Karen Wright writes: This week I have been working flat out in my kitchen - recipe testing.
Most of the time things work out but occasionally I have a blip and it’s the garden birds that get a feast with the cast-offs. This week it was a selection of choux pastry that didn’t hit the spot, Mr and Mrs Blackbird were more than happy to help me out. Just the basic pastry mind, we need to be careful what we put out on the bird feeders.
It's great to see the tiny buds of life appearing in our gardens. Though we only have a tiny space we cram plenty in and just now it is the snowdrops and daffodils that are keen to come out and say hello. Gradually the daylight hours are getting longer and before you know it, we will be having our evening meals in the daylight.
Speaking of meals, I promised last week that as it is Veganuary I would share a quick, easy and cheap recipe for a chickpea and spinach curry. This is a dish that I will be cooking up this Thursday at The Caravan and Motorhome Show at Eventcity in Manchester. I had a practice run today and it worked well.
Chickpea and Spinach Vegan Curry
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic puree (tube)
1 tsp ginger puree (tube)
1 tsp chilli puree (tube)
1 tsp salt
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas
Half tin light coconut milk
2 handfuls spinach
Method: Heat the oil and gently cook the onions without browning, slow cooking sweetens them up. After about five minutes add the curry powder and purees, add a splash of water to relax them. Add the salt and the tomatoes and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Add the chickpeas and the coconut milk and simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the consistency if required with a splash of water/more coconut milk. Add the spinach and let it wilt for a few minutes. Serve the curry with your choice of side - rice, chips, naan... Sprinkle the coriander on top of the curry just before eating.
I bought some rhubarb! It’s that time of year again and the gorgeous ruby stalks are appearing in the greengrocers and farm shops. Shout out to Blacker Hall Farm Shop that ordered some in especially for me. I am appearing at our Rhubarb Festival again this year so I am trying to decide what to make. Breaking news, one thing I am making is rhubarb soup. Yes, you heard correctly - soup! So, you need to watch this space and come to the festival to hear more about it.
I have been booked in March for an after dinner speaking engagement, I am quite intrigued by this as it’s just a 20 minute talk. What can I talk about for just 20 minutes? I am getting used to chatting for an hour or so but 20 minutes, a challenge for a chatterbox like me!
Well readers, I need to go, I have a suitcase to pack and a rather special cake to box (or should I say - crate up) ready for my engagements this week. I will be able to share the cake with you next week, but it is currently embargoed! My husband John has had to build a cart on wheels to transport it from the house to the car, so you can tell it is a heavy one.
Readers have a wonderful week, enjoy yourselves and I look forward to sharing my adventures with you next week.
For more tips and recipes go to http://www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk