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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sat, 16 May, 2020

In the times BC (Before Corona) local farm shops often used to be small scruffy establishments selling one or two gorgeous things (raw milk, asparagus in season, free range eggs from the chickens clucking outside) but the rest of the stock was not so impressive: a little bit wilted, a little bit stale. You would have bought things if you’d not been worried they had sat there for God knows how long, which obviously led to stagnant stock turnover and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s changed now, countrywide I hope. My local farm shops are turning into mini-marts selling artisan, local and seasonal produce, all fresh and flying off the shelves. There’s meat from local suppliers or the farm itself; there are WI-style (and that’s a compliment) cakes and they even stock flour still! They start trading in bedding plants and gardening supplies – plus of course gin and beer from the nearby craft breweries and distilleries.

So I have got myself two bunches of asparagus to gorge on, proper unwashed Cornish new potatoes, eggs with super-yellow yolks, raw milk to make yoghurt and English strawberries. My heart is full.

I’ll make the asparagus and lemon pasta with my loot and spicy stir fried asparagus with the other bunch. That will come with sautéed new potatoes left over from the meal of ones simply boiled and eaten with my fingers, smearing butter and sprinkling salt on each and every one (which is obvs the best way to have first new potatoes). I’ll make a batch of yoghurt for overnight oats for breakfasts. I’ll feel almost normal!

The eggs will be another wonderful breakfast of Parmesan soufflé omelette. And I’ll bake the biscuit de savoie to be served with lots of fresh berries and fresh cream. On second thoughts the berries will be just as lovely with whipped cream and sponge fingers won’t they? Which are also easier, skinnier and less effort.

I’ve got a piece of beef sirloin from the farm shop meat selection and I plan on roasting it at low temperature – any leftovers will make divine sandwiches, with homemade mayo if you’re bored and so inclined. And maybe homemade pickles? There’s so much lovely stuff to be made if you have time, and you do now. It won’t last forever, hopefully, but heartening messages come from polls among people who never used to cook much BC – they almost all claim they are going to keep cooking at home when things return to how they used to be. There’s nothing that could have cheered me more. Stay safe!

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