If you read my post on Halloween you will know (although you have probably noticed anyway) that I haven’t posted much recently. The cause: the company I work for held a big conference in Newcastle last week, resulting in having worked 78 hours over the the week; but also I had my suitcase get off the train and head to Glasgow when I was staying on for Newcastle, and then I ended up in A&E because my son decided to re-enact his current favorite song: five naughty monkeys jumping on the bed (which required having his head glued back together; in case any of his Grandparents read this and start to panic: he is fine now). Needless to say I have been a tad stressed.

Thankfully, I had left my work in my suitcase and the lady who took it by mistake tweeted us, so after many many text messages and telephone calls we were both reunited with our suitcases at Newcastle Central Station just in time for me to head back down to the Midlands. Because I had been going to the conference I had packed all of my nicest things, including the diamond earrings that my husband bought me for my birthday; I was, therefore, truly relieved to get it all back, and full of appreciation for having such a good, honest person take it in the first place. If only everyone in the world were like her. I just need each and every one of you to now keep your fingers crossed that my insurance covers the cost of having to buy replacement belongings whilst I was waiting to get my case back! Please.

You are now probably wondering why on earth I am planning on cooking up feasts about which to blog about, and not just getting a take away? Well, I had take away already when I got home, so I don’t really want to fork out for another. And besides, I have had a string of uninspiring meals over the course of the week: the food at conference was ok (but, even if I say so myself, not as good as my own), a pizza, a bowl of pasta and burgers, chips and sweetcorn; not exactly a menu of health and happiness.
I’ve had some good sleep, a slow weekend and the easiest of trips to Sainsbury’s, so I feel like my blood pressure has probably relaxed a bit, and I’m ready to hit the kitchen again. It is a plate of some scrumptious home comforts that I’m yearning for now. 

I do my food shopping weekly, and usually at the weekend; I have tried all sorts of other options, but that is what seems to suit me. Sometimes I pick a cuisine and will eat solely that type of food for the week; you’ll often find the ingredients for curry, Italian or Scandinavian dishes in my kitchen. Other times, like this week, I won’t be able to decide, or I will fancy a dish that doesn’t ‘fit’, so the week becomes a melting pot of different influences. I saw one of my best friends the other day and she said she was having kedgeree (one of my absolute favourites), considering I had a burger with chips and sweetcorn and didn’t have any smoked haddock, you can imagine my disappointment. So I HAVE to have it this week! My main aim when planning this week’s meals was the seasonality of ingredients (for autumn is certainly a treasure trove of tastes and isn’t going to last much longer as we prepare to stuff ourselves silly over the fast-approaching festive season) and the fact that I had some diced pheasant in the freezer. With all of this in mind I have bought food for:

Pheasant au vin (with mashed potato and peas)
Porchetta con zucca al forno e verdure verdi (Italian roast pork with roasted butternut squash and greens)
Jansson’s temptation with watercress
Leftover roast pork curry
Root vegetable korma
Smoked mackerel with goat’s cheese potato cakes and watercress

I am so looking forward to cooking again!

If I were to have an eat-together in November, that had to be seasonal, I think it would incorporate a lot of this; maybe:

Goat’s cheese potato cake with simply dressed watercress

Jerusalem artichoke and sausage casserole

Pears poached in spiced madeira with custard

Even I can’t eat this much food in one weekend, so I will post recipes with pictures as I eat my way through the week.


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