Hello hello! Thanks so much for the lovely feedback I've had over the past week. Blogging is very new for me and I think it takes a little while to find your voice and figure it out. I said to my friend Nicki, also a blogger, that it feels a bit like writing into a vacuum; tap, tap, anyone there?
So thanks for your encouraging emails. I'm really hoping this is a conversation rather than a monologue!
Speaking of which, per earlier post, I'd really like to know your favourite recipe from your Mum or Gran (mine is Armenian Cake). Estelle's is Honey Jumbles (recipe please!)
OK. So what is this about tinned vegetables, then.
I prefer fresh vegetables. Naturally. They taste better, they look better and they have way more fibre which I can tell you Matilda (2) needs. Oh yes. Still in nappies and I'm quite familiar with the effects of blueberries or pears or when she decides to snack on All-Bran. Excellent.
I'd love to only shop at farmers markets. Buy seasonal organic produce. Reap from my own fabulous vegetable patch and snip fresh fruit from the trees of a community garden.
But because I don't live in a parallel universe and my children run riot at markets and it's the best I can do to come away with a bunch of bananas, I usually have some peas and spinach in the freezer and some tins of corn and tomatoes in the cupboard.
Which brings me to tonight's dinner: Vegetable risotto.
It might sound insane to cook this on a school night and maybe it is. But it's really pretty easy, it doesn't take that long, and I never stand and stir it without stopping.
In fact, tonight I stopped to break up a fight about Mr Potato Head, to retrieve a banana Matilda had purloined and then, a major stop, to exile both children from the kitchen and sweep and mop up shattered glass and oil from an olive oil bottle Henry dropped on the stone floor. Just what you want when you decide to make risotto. Delicious though, with enough left over to make Arancini tomorrow.
1.5 litres chicken stock
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp butter
1.5 cups aborio rice
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 cup finely chopped zucchini
1 400g tin corn kernals
1 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 tblsp tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen spinach (defrosted)
handful basil/thyme/oregano or dried herbs are fine
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper
Heat your stock in a separate saucepan and keep warm as you use it.
In a heavy saucepan heat your oil and butter together. Add the leek (or a small onion) and cook for a minute. Add the rice. Cook for another minute then add a ladle full of stock and stir well. Once stock is absorbed, add another ladle. Add all your vegetables (these measurements are a bit of a guess, I used one large carrot and zucchini each which made about a cup each.) Keep adding ladles of stock at a time. You know the drill. Add the herbs near the end and the parmesan once it's cooked and off the heat. It'll take about 20 minutes to cook unless you have to take it off the stove to mop oil and glass off your kitchen floor which I hope you don't.