Thursday, 4 November 2010

Northern Harvest

I got my first veg box delivered today. Having liked the idea for ages but having convinced myself I couldn't afford them, I finally decided that I deserved a treat and that a delicious parcel of fresh produce might kick start my cooking mojo again. (Yes, I realise it's slightly weird to view vegetables as a treat but there we go!) I love cooking and am a firm believer in the whole idea that food is healing but lots of commitments recently and the subsequent distinct lack of energy means that I've been eating a pretty unhealthy diet and a cooked meal has been about as adventurous as cheese on gluten-free toast. The resulting bad skin and even less energy than usual can't be unrelated so I'm really excited at the thought of searching out yummy recipes to make the most of this lovely fresh fruit and veg.
I got the delivery from a company called Northern Harvest who do box deliveries of fruit and veg but also a host of other food, all sourced from farms in the Lancashire and Cheshire area. Given that I don't have a garden and an allotment, this is about as close as I can get to really fresh veg!
I've just started reading Denis Cotter's "Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me" which is an absolute delight and can best be described as a love letter to the vegetables he uses in his Cork vegetarian restaurant Cafe Paradiso. Not only does the book have mouthwatering descriptions of his favourite foods, there are wonderful restaurant quality recipes in it as well. It is too my lasting regret that I have been to Cork twice and both times missed the chance to eat there -one day I hope!
The weather has definitely taken a turn towards winter today so I'm looking for hearty warming recipes. What shall I make first?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Moomins, Monsters and Mitfords

Part of the reason for starting this blog, apart from having somewhere to witter on about my obsessions with food, knitting and books, is to start exploring Manchester more. I've lived here for a year, having spent all of my previous years in London and the South East, but a combination of work, studying and poorliness have prevented me from engaging with all that the city has to offer.

With that in mind, the boy and I set off to Bury Art Gallery at the weekend and discovered Moomins! The gallery is tiny but has a great exhibition of a selection of drawings by Tove Jansson, the creator of the Moomins. The drawings themselves were very fragile so didn't take any piccies but here's one of the little Moomins on the floor pointing you in the right direction!

The gallery also had an exhibition of paper sculptures and my favourite was the swirly spiral made of books pictured at the beginning of the post. A trip to nearby Bury Market resulted in the purchase of some gorgeous local goats' cheese and some beautiful crumbly Lancashire cheese dotted through with sweet red onion. Then it was home for me to munch my way through said cheese, the boy to carve the Halloween pumpkin and to wait for Trick or Treaters!
Whilst waiting, I've been gorging on Debo Devonshire's memoirs "Wait for Me", which was a really unexpected present from some friends. It is fascinating! Not just the youngest Mitford sister, Debo is also the Duchess of Devonshire, friend of the Kennedys and full of interesting insights on how Britain and it's countryside have changed over the last five or so decades.
I'm off to finish it now before getting on with some secret Christmas knitting. Having made the decision to make most of my Christmas presents, I've realised that this is going to take a loooooong time so had better crack on with it!
Thanks for reading and hope you'll join me for future posts on my journey through my thirties x