I’m going to be busy over the next few days, and rather than leave an empty page, I’m sharing some of the short stories I’ve written – I have posted them before, but some time ago!
I try to pretend as long as possible that the last fingers of summer are stretching into the last quarter of the year, but it’s no good, I submit, it is autumn. How about this to keep you warm? It’s a favourite recipe from the Dutch province of Groningen – a favourite there and a favourite for me!
- 10 oz dried peas and 10 oz split peas washed and soaked overnight
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 small leeks, finely sliced
- 1 celeriac, peeled and cubed ( the recipe doesn’t give a size, but I would go small!)
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 8 oz ham hock
- 10 oz smoked bacon – in a lump if possible, not slices
- smoked sausage
- fresh herbs – 1 tbsp thyme and 2 bay leaves,
- ½ bunch parsley, ½ celery leaves – which might be difficult to get over here, so maybe some finely chopped celery would do instead
- ½ a chilli
- salt and pepper
peas, beans and veg:
- add the carrot, onions, ham, bacon, chilli, herbs, salt and pepper to the peas and beans in their soaking water, bring to the boil then simmer for 2 hours
- add the potatoes, leeks and celeriac
- warm the sausage on a low heat for 15 mins, remove from water and slice
- take the ham hock and bacon out of the stew – take the meat from the bone and cut in cubes (if your family is squeamish, cut the fat off the bacon and ham)
- remove the chilli and bay leaves and return the cubed and sliced meat to the soup, check for seasoning
- add the chopped parsley and celery leaves/celery
This is the recipe – but it is enough for the largest of families or a Guy Fawkes Night party! There is nearly 3 lbs of ingredients plus all the liquid and vegetables – I think I would halve it, or for just our little family quarter it!