It’s that time of year, when one day the night suddenly jumps out and spooks you at 6pm, then stumbling in shock you’re accosted for candy by ghouls and goblins. After a Nos Calan Gaeaf (Halloween) spent binging on leftover treats and episodes of Stranger Things […]
It’s only a couple of weeks since meeting Eira and I now find myself in the kitchen of another of Cardiff’s food visionaries. Geraldine’s vision is to “put the soul back in the kitchen”. She wants to save kitchens from becoming a place to warm up […]
I could listen to Eira talk for hours. I would be constantly nodding in agreement to all that she says. And in relief too, knowing that there are people walking this earth who totally get what food is about. It’s about making it at home from scratch, using local products, foraged harvests, or surplus produce that people leave at her doorstep. It’s so easy to fall in love with Eira’s philosophy and her way of doing things. It’s just so right, so empowering and so independent.
Eira once created a special menu plan for her son to help him survive on a budget while eating nourishing food. The answer was home-made tomato sauce that could be used for various meals, dishes that overlap with certain ingredients and save you money. These little things, that aren’t so little. All for the sake of having a nourishing home-made meal. Thank you!
The recipe that I got from Eira, is the perfect foodification* of Eira’s wisdom. It’s called ‘potch’ and it’s a simple, comforting mash of some seasonal and local root vegetables. It’s a proof that simple seasonal and local ingredients with a bit of spice is all you need to make a delicious dish.
*as in personification but with food
Ingredients (serves 2)
½ turnip – swede
50 g butter
a pinch of salt
a pinch of white pepper
a pinch of grated/ ground nutmeg
2-3 tbsp of cream (I used yoghurt)
1. Clean the root veg and cut them roughly the same size. Put all in a pan together and cover with water and add salt.Boil the vegetables until tender, drain, mash them, put lid on pan.
2.While the root veg are cooking, clean and chop leeks.Put butter in a pan, heat up and add leeks. Cook till tender, normally 5 -10 mins. Add the cream, nutmeg and white pepper to the leeks, cook for 2-3 mins.
3. Add the leek mixture to the root vegetables, and mix through)
Eira makes it in big batches, and leaves it in the fridge for her family to eat it in all possible ways- as a side, as a spread, in a sandwich, etc…
For Eira’s preserves, have a look at her website innercitypickle.co.uk or come to Roath market on Saturdays, where she sells her produce.
While running my eyes around Cat’s and George’s house it felt like my perfect home- a big old wooden table, a bright kitchen overlooking a rustic garden with herbs and tall trees behind it. Little details everywhere made me feel so happy inside knowing that there are people who appreciate similar things in life.
That sunny and happy Monday morning we sat and shared Cat’s home-made bread, her partner George’s scrambled eggs and a bowlful of stories..with apple butter on top. It was one of those conversations that sinks in and leaves you feeling warm and nourished long after it’s over.
Cat has travelled and lived in many places, so much so that there is no place she is particularly attached to. She shared a home-baked bread recipe, that makes you feel quite homey.
George is also well-travelled, including some spontaneous trips such as one day going to Paris with his suitcases and no particular plan. His roots are in Minessota, where amongst other things he used to be an eggman (I didn’t dare asking). He shared a scrambled eggs recipe.
Cat’s Bread Recipe
This is a simple recipe for a home-baked bread. Mix it in the evening, bake it and eat it next morning. Easy to make and has few ingredients. If anyone feels intimidated to make their own bread this perhaps could inspire them to take that step.
Ingredients (makes two loaves)
- 6 cups of flour (half white, half wholemeal). You can use any flour you’ve got at home.
- 1/3 cup of mixed seeds
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 cups water
- Mix all the ingredients and leave it on the counter covered overnight, or for 8 hours.
- Grease the tins and put the dough in. Let it rise for about 1.5 hours. Then bake for about 40 minutes at 235C degrees if you’d like brown crust.
George’s Scrambled Eggs
You are free to improvise with ingredients, but some herbs and spices is a great addition!
- 1 finely diced onion
- red pepper
- purple sprouts
- fresh herbs: parsley, chives
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 slices of bacon
- 1/2 cup of milk
- Fry the onion. Then add all the other ingredients, except for eggs. Fry them till browned.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl with milk. Then add them to the pan with all the other ingredients.
Happy belated 50th George!!!
‘A typical lunch for me is a doorstop piece of a granary toast; then I get a tin of plain sardines drained and mash them up in a bowl along with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread that on to the toast, then I pile up all my favourite things on top for lots of flavour and nutrients. Usually a rocket, chopped up small beetroot, a spring onion, a radish, a cucumber and tomatoes, topped off with capers, coriander and a drizzle of hot garlic sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. It’s a yummy cheap quick and a nutritious meal.’
If you don’t have all of the ingredients for Asha’s lunch, I say, do it anyway. After days of putting it off I decided I would give it a go with what I can find in my kitchen. Instead of a granary toast I used a slice of a sourdough bread, skipped the hot garlic sauce as I’m not the one for spices, nor did I have any beetroots. And yet it turned out to be a beautiful mouth-watering snack for lunch. This recipe is totally open for creativity and improvisation, the basis of it is a slice or two of bread, and some sardines, the toppings can vary.
- A slice or two of bread
- 2-3 sardines from a tin
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4 of cucumber, chopped
- 1-2 radishes, chopped
- 1 small beetroot, chopped
- fresh herbs (can be coriander, parsley or dill), chopped
- some salad leaves
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1-2 Tbsp of capers sprinkled on top
Mash sardines and mix in some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spread it on bread and top it with different vegetables, salad leaves, herbs, and seeds. You can add a sauce if you have one. Enjoy!!!
If you live in Adamsdown then you’ve heard of Clifton street. It’s the heart of the Adamsdown universe, where people shop, get their hair cut and tattoos inked, meet a neighbour for coffee, a nata and co, hire fancy dress, taste Brasilian street food, and […]