Thursday 10 July 2008

One Local Summer week 6 - 2 meals

I finally pulled my finger out and made gnocchi on Monday (I used that recipe without the basil or the sauce).

It was a lot easier than I expected, though the dough was very sticky, and it was slightly bizarre in that I put the remainder of the dough in the fridge to use up for lunches later in the week and unlike pastry, it got softer and soggier as time passed, so that when I finally got it out again I had to add even more flour. These were some very healthy gnocchi - they have that wholemeal flour taste.

I served the gnocchi with a pork chop from
Norwood farm and a home made pesto, into which went a big bag of the very peppery Whiterow rocket, a very healthy slug of garlic olive oil, and a fairly large quantity of locally produced pecorino romano, with a very strong cheesy taste.

And a handful of unlocal pine nuts. Sssshhh.

I whizzed all this up in the blender and then stirred it through the gnocchi. It was very strong. Neither of us could finish our serving....I had my doubts about Mr Z liking it in the first place, but the truth was, I probably put too much pesto on the gnocchi and it was overwhelming. I finished up the leftovers for lunch the next day - much to the disgust of my colleagues, who said it looked so disgusting I should go an eat somewhere else (but this is par for the course with my lunches, which quite often look awful but taste great) - and it was better cold and with a quantity of the pesto left on the plate.

I cooked up the rest of the gnocchi last night and will serve it variously with salsa, a creamy mustard dressing...anything I can find in the fridge, really. Gnocchi. It's the way forward.

As well as cooking up the gnocchi, I also made a mostly local meal for dinner - potato gratin (non-local onions) with mustardy sausages and broad beans. I used up the last of the pecorino romano on the potatoes and it was much better than the usual cheddar. I will definitely be buying more of that.

I decided last night I should subscribe to a vegetable box scheme. I looked up Abel & Cole, who are always putting leaflets through my door, but then thought I should shop around a bit, so I started searching and found this great tool for locavoring. Even better, the great tool told me about a farm shop a mere mile away from my house. I could bike there! Well....I could. We'll see. Maybe in the holidays.

Top marks this week also go to Cooper's, the supermarket local to where I work, who, I noted yesterday, have a whole cabinet of meat from a local farm - and even have a big sign up saying, "This farm is only 2.2 miles away from Cooper's!" It's a semi-independent supermarket and I fear that, if we end up selling our school site to the developers, one of the giants will move in an Cooper's will be no more. I think there should be more shops that sell knitting yarn, local meats and out of date chocolate repackaged and discounted.

This week I am also loving....

Igoogle. Having finally worked out how to reap RSS feeds, there's no stopping me.

Extra marking. Strangely. I am up to £75 worth of additional work now (I finally was able to work this out when they sent me the item fee, 2 full weeks after my request) - roughly half way to that Boden coat, then.

Naps. Nuff said.

Year 10 work experience. My timetable's dropped to 12 lessons, out of a possible 25.

My impending birthday. I'm going to Blackpool for the riding of rollercoasters and the drinking of gin, in celebration of the turning of 30.

Vertical gardening.
Want. Can't manage the garden I've got already, but want anyway.

Hypermiling. I may be really pissing off the drivers behind me with my enormous gap between me and the car in front and my coasting down hills and up to traffic lights, but I can already see the difference in my petrol consumption. Impressive.

Not much loving....

The weather. It's too rainy! I hope the sun is being saved up for August.

Work. How is it possible there are 12 more get ups until the summer holidays? Whose bright idea was that, eh? The kids have given up, I've largely given up....having my full quota of classes back next week for the first time since February (student teacher has also gone now) may well be the end of me. Bring on more naps.

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