Sunday, 12 June 2016

Delicious Things That Can Poison or Sting!**

Hello everybody! I'm feeling pretty cheery today as I've managed to get a lot of creative bits and bobs done this weekend: some writing, rehearsals for a show I'm in this month... and these foodie lovelies.

We've been feeling the pinch a bit  as we've launched OH's new career and had to pay out a fair whack for that, just as we've also had to do a lot of travelling to see a family member in hospital. So hey ho, it's June, the sun is shining (oh heck, that's a lie, it's been stormy all day) and we've not got much spare.

Never mind... we've been making the most of what we've got.

In the picture, you see rhubarb liqueur. Made from homegrown rhubarb, stewed and syruped in a slow cooker. We used the stewed fruit used for desserts, and bottled the liquor with about half vodka. This means it's sweeter and a bit less potent than regular rhubarb vodka, so you could have it neat over ice or with a tonic. I think with all the booze and sugar it should keep well, but I've got it in the fridge. Yummy!

And the green stuff is my ever awesome nettle pesto. I gather my nettles from a patch at the nature reserve fringed by triffid-tall thistles and nettles that I think most dog walkers would be scared of. My peasant's pesto is made of  about three fists of mixed blanched nettles, one garlic clove, one slice of wholemeal bread, French-toasted, a lump of leftover French cheese, and whizzed together with rapeseed oil - or regular vegetable oil as it tends to be these days. I stirred it into some veggie spaghetti the other night - the spaghetti was cooked in the nettle stock from blanching the leaves for extra flavour. If you've never eaten nettles, they are more spinach than spinach. Awesome free things!

Talking of free, I'm not really one for dumpster diving, but I procured some overripe bananas by someone who couldn't contemplate using them, as I said it was such a waste to throw good food away. Some went into smoothies, some went into a cake*, but my favourite thing to do with overripe bananas is to make super-healthy ice cream.

How do you do that? Well, chop up the banana into pieces and freeze it. Just before you want to eat the ice cream, take it out of the freezer so it thaws a bit. For 3 medium bananas, I added a dessert spoon of smooth peanut butter for a nice texture and flavour (you can do without if you don't have/don't like/can't eat peanuts). Then whizz it  in the food processor until it looks like soft ice cream! Simple, lovely.

Anyway, thought I'd share those with you.

*the cake was a Hairy Dieters recipe. Got the book from the library. We're still eating said cake, but the recipe calls for waaaay too many bananas, I think. Took ages to cook. Probably the worst cake I've ever made. Will just make the one from my Good Housekeeping book in future.

**Yes, nettles are the stingers. Rhubarb is lovely, but you know never to eat the leaves, right?