Lazy Sunday supermarket shopping outfit: the bag was a Christmas gift from Kate
I’m having a very lazy day today, a day of prep for the week ahead. It started with a long lie-in reading Sophie Dahl’s book Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights, which I was bought for Christmas.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Sophie Dahl has a way of writing that simply mesmerises. This book, half cookery guide, half autobiography, tells of experiences with food, with family and with weight and diet that I can relate to, generously interspersed with recipes that inspire.
And it is that inspirational element that has made want to recommend this book where I wouldn’t usually bother with cookery texts. There has been an influx of cookbooks of late that demonstrate how to bake, how to cook Italian, that take the fashionable essentials of every modern kitchen and create fast and easy suppers that score high on taste and simplicity. The problem is that these manuals have become so common and so explicit that they seldom offer anything new.
Yet, Sophie’s recipes explore new patterns of cooking, indulging in the pleasure of taking time for preparation, of forward planning and of utilising ingredients that may not be store cupboard essentials as yet. She cooks, as I do, by taste and intuition, shunning the now common instruction manual style of recipe for one more that encourages experimentation – pinches, handfuls, substitute ingredients… And her food is about warmth, joy, indulgence – yes, delight. It’s a new way of cooking, and, my first recipe attempt having been beyond successful, one I highly recommend sampling!“
Inspired by the lovely Miss Dahl (or is she Mrs Cullum now?), my trip to Sainsbury’s with Ben and Lauren involved the buying of, amongst other things, fresh smoked haddock, yeast and spelt flour. I came home with a bagful of goodies, did a bit of online research into basic recipes, and attempted to create my own breakfast muffins for the week ahead, using up some pumpkin and sunflower seeds I had in the cupboard and the pumpkin puree I froze back in November:
My recipe was as followed:
Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F.
Beat 5 medium eggs in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 cup sunflower oil, 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence, and 2 cups of pumpkin puree. Stir in 1 cup of seeds of your choice.
In a separate bowl mix 3 cups spelt flour, 1 cup soft brown sugar, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of ginger.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing well. Spoon into greased muffin trays and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the tops are firm.
See, I know I won’t get up early enough for a good breakfast every morning but I really want to start eating a more balanced diet, and I know I will happily nibble these on my train to Oxford.
As I type this I also have a couple of servings of brown rice cooking in a saucepan with a leftover mulled wine spice sachet. I’ll be eating the rice for my lunches, mixed with chopped peppers, cashew nuts, chopped tomatoes, torn rocket and possibly some cold chicken leftovers. Should keep me going, don’t you think?!
Mmmm, yummy rice salad lunches!