Tuesday, 4 July 2017

cookery calendar challenge - July

I have written this post ahead of our holidays so that I can join in with Penny at The Homemade Heart for the monthly cookery calendar challenge and you can enjoy a post or two whilst I am away.


It was a busy month and I didn't quite managed to cook two dishes from one book - although I have chosen them. I enjoyed browsing the cookery book 'Limoncello & Linen Water' by Tessa Kiros. The books is pure eye candy, the photos alone are worth a purchase. The recipes are Italian and each is accompanied by a brief story or explanation about the origin of the recipe. I rather like that, it makes it special to cook something that has a tradition. It is a solid book with a pretty old rose pink velvety book mark. It is one of those books that will have you browse through your local charity shops to build up your vintage crockery collection....

The recipes I bookmarked were spaghetti with lentil ragu and stovetop pork with balsamic vinegar. There are many recipes I fancy to cook and that I have eaten versions of at one time in the past. I am sure I have mentioned it before, I used to take a class that was called 'A tavola non si invecchia'. It was an unusual type of Italian language classes. Basically, we spent two hours in the teachers dining room, ate a three course meal followed by coffee and chatted in Italian. Paolo, the teacher, was a great cook hailing from Tuscany and introduced many traditional Italian dishes, some of which remind me of the recipes in this book.


I only managed to cook the spaghetti. We have eaten of course, and every day! We just have not been organised enough to put together a proper shopping list for the meals I had in mind.

The lentil ragu is really easy to make. It involves cooking brown lentils with a whole clove of garlic and sage. At the same time, a tomato sauce is cooked by sautéing red onion in a little olive, then adding a tin of tomatoes. Seasoning is added. When the lentils are cooked, they are added to the tomato sauce and mixed well. Hey pronto, that's it all. It was delicious, even my meat eaters liked it, so much so that I am allowed to cook it again. I call this a success.

I am still planning to cook the pork, it is such a simple dish with just a few ingredients and I know my carnivores will love it.

All the recipes I looked at are simple, the list of ingredients does not require a shopping trip to a Italian grocery specialist, your normal shop will do. Some of the fish recipes may call for fish that are not all that common at your local fish counter but no doubt you'll find a fish that will substitute nicely. There is one recipe that calls for chicken necks with heads attached. Not something I have ever seen in the supermarket in Britain but I am sure a good butcher could provide those. The recipe is for stuffed chicken neck if you are wondering. I don't think I am going to cook this anytime soon.

I hope I'll have some more time to cook after our Cornwall trip. It'll just be me and Sam for a week and maybe I can be quite adventurous as there would be only one to complain.

I am not quite certain which of my many cookery books I am going to use. I feel tempted to buy one: Rick Stein's 'Long Weekends'. Has anyone got it? Would you recommend it?  Of all the TV chefs I have watched over the years, he is one of my favourites. I always like listening to his chatter and accompany him on his journeys. I am trying to remember his wee dog's name. Spotty? Chalky?

Thanks for stopping by and reading these lines. If you have a spare minute or two, why not pop over to Penny's and see everybody else's cookery adventures. x

11 comments:

  1. That looks like a pretty and informative cookbook and the meal looks very inventive! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  2. This sounds so good. I've been meaning to tell you that I've cooked "Tim's Chicken" a couple of times and my husband and I love it. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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  3. The lentil sauce sounds yummy, but your mention of the stuffed chicken necks prompted me to laugh out loud! I am imagining you and yours having a good holiday. xx

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  4. I like the sound of the lentil ragu. I have her book "Apples for Jam" which I have hardly used... maybe I should join in next month with that! Hope you are having a lovely holiday x

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  5. Hi! I'm trying this from my phone - who knows if it'll be successful...anyway that looks a fab book. I really like the Rick Stein book - have even cooked 3 things from it (I usually just read them in bed and think that looks nice). I'm still a little sad about Chalky!!! Nxx

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  6. Mmm, delicious vegetarian dish, I really like the sound of it. I make something similar with red lentils but it's not the most popular thing I ever make. I'm struggling to think what is actually... CJ xx

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  7. Sounds great! Hope you enjoy the Rick book, sounds as though it will be good too!

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  8. Hi Christina, thank you so much for joining me again this month. Tessa Kiros, ooh, I have tried and tried to like her books, as they are always so beautiful to look through, but I always end up redonating them to the charity shop (where I have invariably bought them!) Perhaps this one would be better than Apples for Jam, which I have struggled with several times. The spaghetti sounds really delicious, I love anything made with lentils. Like you I would majorly body swerve the chicken neck recipe! Your Italian course sounds like a unique experience, what a wonderful way to learn a language. Have you been to Eusebi Deli & Cafe on Gibson Street? Very authentic and delicious Italian food, the staff are delightful and the atmosphere is great. Have a great holiday, and thanks again for joining me this month X

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  9. Pretty photos and a pink velvet ribbon - I am already in love with this book. The lentil ragu sounds lush, I think that is something we would enjoy here. Hope you're enjoying your holiday. xx

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  10. All cookery books you buy have a good editor, photos are wonderful!The last cookbook I bought doesn't have any photos (recipes are ok) and now I think that it's a crime to sell cookery books without photographs;) Ciao

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  11. Thanks, Christina, for this lentil ragu recipe. We enjoy lentils and I am always looking for ways to include them in our meals. Unfortunately, the sauce may have to wait awhile as we are both trying to limit pasta meals...but one day.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx