Poor neglected blog. The truth is working full time and trying to cram in time with Toddler Em, cook food to eat and try to say more than 3 words a day to Nick, something had to give.
But I really do miss having a blog and a couple of things have conspired this week to make me want to blog again.
Firstly I work at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, and this week Michelin starred chef Sat Bains observed a surgical op at the invitation of the surgeon who had previously visited his kitchen to . Both aimed to learn lessons about team working Obviously I was nowhere near the theatre at the time – operating theatres being even harder to get close to than Michelin starred restaurants.
Reading about the visit reminded me how writing the blog so different from my work I had always found writing the blog somehow helped to round me out.
Then desperate to escape the heat this weekend. Toddler Em and I hit our local community gardens, just a few minutes walk from the house. Arkwright Community Gardens is a gorgeous space perfect for the urban toddler to get in touch with a greener world. Chickens, a greenhouse with peaches and bananas, the tandoor oven is lit once a week with cookery and gardening clubs in an area. The volunteers there are always helpful and smiling. It was heaven when Em was really tiny letting her crawl in the mud.
The Meadows is Nottingham that does not enjoy the best reputation plagued by dodgy 70s planning decisions .The gardens are just over a decade old , they sell affordable organic produce in season and a steady stream of locals drop by for bags of salad and veg. No soft fruit this week as someone had jumped the fence and helped themselves – probably just as well as Em can make short work of a patch of strawberries.
Last weekend during our visit we bought some massive bulbs of fennel,bulbs were larger than Em’s head and the fronds towered over her. It got me enthusiastic about cooking as only fresh food can do.
I cooked the fennel bulbs in the slow cooker along with with a rack of pork ribs, they meant for the BBQ but your just cannot get the weather , just lightly seasoned with salt and pepper cooked as a rack in the slow-cooker on low for 4 hours til the bones lift out of the meat. Served with a fresh fennel and carrot salad , fennel finely sliced and carrot grated with just a dash of white wine vinegar.
I am still working through the fennel leaves so far in a fish stew and bean salads.
If you could spare a vote for the Community Gardens they have put themselves for a Lottery Good Causes Award. It will only take a quick click here