Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Title, what title?

Random Christmas photo.
It's really hard coming back after so long, I've been trying to write a post all day. Mostly it was about Christmas, and how odd it is finding myself without my old seasonal anchors. But I couldn't seem to say what I wanted to without sounding whiny, or over-explaining. Apparently that's one of the problems new writers have: over-explaining. 

So, fuck it, I'm just going to say hello, and beg for favourite non-meat Christmas recipes. For years Christmas for me has meant roast goose, but Dave doesn't like meat so I need to make something marvellous without it. I'll do goose too, and am hoping I can find a less than whole one so I don't have to eat it for a year, but it would be great if the marvellous non-meat thing could be the main focus.

I meant to make Nigella Lawson's Marzipan Fruit Cake today, as a substitute for my usual boozy, dark fruit cake which I didn't get round to making in October. But I didn't have any orange flower water so it will have to wait till Thursday. Annoyingly I have orange flower water in my old pantry, just up the road, but my ex has moved away and added an extra lock to the front door so I can't get in. I've been trying to get a key off him for five weeks now, so have taken legal advice. I'd be well within my rights to break in, it is my house after all, but I'd rather not have to.

Anyway, this is turning into a whine again so I'll go. But before I do I'll say I'm meeting my best friend tomorrow, about which I am very excited as I haven't seen he since July. And Christmas looks set to be fabby, especially if I can solve the food conflict.


Scarlet Blue said...

Marks and Spencer's vegetarian range?
I am appalling with food, even at Christmas, but it does get complicated!

Titus said...

Eek Eryl, I don't think I've got anything exciting for you. I do like chickpea stew, which is just like sausage stew except with chickpeas, but that's hardly suitable for carving. I don't think I've ever made a nut roast. Sorry. I'll have a think, I do have a lovely vegetarian cookbook, 'Laurel's Kitchen'.

If you want a hand kicking a door in, I'm your girl!

Titus said...

Coo, look what I just found:

It's a start!

The Pollinatrix said...

Hi :) Nice to see you here.

When I lived in Lousisiana and worked at a restaurant, we used to make something called Spinach Madeleine, which is basically a scrumptious version of creamed spinach with Creole seasoning and pepper jack cheese. We served it over ginormous baked potatoes. If you're interested, I'll send you the recipe.

savannah said...

xoxoxo for you, sweet girl! we seem to do a lot of recipes with baby portobello mushrooms/criminis for mr matrix for the "meaty" flover instead of beef. as to the house, i'm glad your getting legal advice! xox

The Unbearable Banishment said...

This is an excellent opportunity to establish some NEW seasonal anchors. You're never too old!

Do you know I've never eaten a goose? How'd I avoid it all these decades? I'll bet they're flavorful.

Boozy and dark is how I like my women. Or...rather...how I used to like 'em.

Golden West said...

Merry Christmas, Eryl!!

debra said...

One of my daughters is a soy free vegan. I am pretty good at cooking meat-free these days.

Perhaps a cup of coffee and a slice of vanilla cheesecake will help. xo

angryparsnip said...

Daughter is vegan in her home but vegetarian in the outside world.
She has lots of recipes and has read many cookbooks, so many bad cookbooks out there.
Daugher is making a chickpea cutlet that is served with a mushroom gravy for Christmas dinner.
I am working on, still perfecting a roasted veggie, very slowed cooked till it becomes like silk then piled into a flaky crust.
At the Farmers Market I go to one fabulous chef has the best roasted veggie on puffed pastry. I am trying to figure out how he does it.
he used all soft veggies.
Love the random Christmas photo !

cheers, parsnip

Lulu LaBonne said...

I'm mad about risottos because they're so good fried up next day, I always add plenty of dairy (cream/mascapone) my current favourite is butternut squash and dill with a good fine grating of lemon rind, then seasoned with fresh dill and nutmeg, served with spinach leaf and walnut salad.

Can you buy goose legs separately, I like salting them and making a confit - that lasts well (unless I have to share)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Nice to have you back Eryl. My son is veggie, which can be a nuisance on BNoxing Day when the other ten eat meat. I usually put crumbled up veggie sausages, lots of mediterranean veggies, shallots, chopped nuts etc., into a baking tin, pour olive oil lavishly over the top, toss it all well, add a few herbs and hope for the best. Good luck.

india banks said...

I just saw Skyfall so had the visual of Daniel Craig breaking into your old house and liberating your orange flower water for you, Eryl. How maddening that must be. Whatever you do I imagine will be beautiful. Have a lovely first Christmas with Dave and happy new year xx

Rachel Fox said...

I have a good (no great!) simple nut roast recipe... it involves marmite which is one reason i like it! can send it to you.

Pat said...

Now Eryl I am sure someone as resourceful as you can divvy up a bit of orange water.
"Orange flower water is made by macerating bitter orange blossom in water, then distilling the broth. It's characteristic in the cooking of north Africa and other Mediterranean countries. And a beautiful ingredient it is, too - as long as you exercise the utmost caution: you want a barely identifiable hint of this stuff, not a full-on sensory attack."

Hello! I've just googled - maybe not so simple but don't let a bit of uncharitableness ruffle your feathers - its not worth it in the end.
I wouldn't expect him to eat goose - don't fancy it either - but look at my lemon chicken recipe in today's post and see if he might feel adventurous. Happy Christmas!

Eryl said...

Scarlet ~ M&S could well be the answer!

Titus ~ thanks, I'll look at that recipe, it sounds like just the sort of thing Dave likes.

I may call on you regarding the door!

Polli ~ Spinach Madeleine sounds delicious, and the recipe would be very much appreciated, thank you.

Savannah ~ mushrooms are one of Dave's favourite things, and you've reminded me that I once made a mushroom and chestnut stuffing to go with turkey which everyone loved. Now, if I can remember when I found the recipe...

UB ~ I now have an image of you in your youth trawling the bars of New York for a dark, boozy woman.

Eryl said...

Golden ~ you too, and a splendid new year.

Debra ~ a cup of coffee and a slice of vanilla cheesecake always help!

Parsnip ~ chickpea anything sounds good to me, as does anything with puff pastry, yum!

Lulu ~ I'm sure I've seen goose legs in the freezers at Lidl for buttons, and in Waitrose for many buttons. I love risotto, too, though have never fried it, must try.

Weaver ~ it's nice to be back. Your veggie dish sounds delicious.

India ~ I could so do with Daniel Craig, my wooden spoons need to be liberated, too. Can you believe I left them behind?!

Rachel ~ Dave absolutely loves Marmite; yes please to the recipe.

Pat ~ I managed to find it in the local deli, so the cake is baked.

Goose is delicious; similar to duck but more succulent and not quite so strong flavoured. It always reminds me of roast pork the way my mother made it when I was a child, the skin is fantastic.

Your Lemon Chicken might be a very good substitute for my goose, and chicken is a rare treat for me these days as Dave doesn't eat it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The World According To Me said...

I don't have a non-meat recipe I'm afraid, apart from turkey quorn moussaka maybe? With roast pots and veg? Bit Greek and non veg that one!
Sorry to hear about the orange flower water and no access. Hope it all sorts itself out.
I wish you a splendid Christmas and all good things for 2013. x

rochambeau said...

Hey Friend,
Thank you for checking in. Isn't it annoying that there just always seems to be "something"!! Hope you will get you key and retrieve your own orange flower water from "YOUR' house very soon.

I'm glad you feel your mom whilst you're in the kitchen, friend. Today, I made one of my mother's recettes, a Christmas Stolen. It's now rising in the oven.

How is Dave's guitar going? I've been bad about practicing for awhile, but still tonight 10 mins brings me joy!

Hugs to you Eryl!


Kass said...

I know about long absences . Good for you for putting something out there.

Happy Holidays.

nick said...

Jenny and I are having a chestnut and mushroom lasagne. I haven't got the recipe to hand but here's one from the net:


Good luck with getting access to your old home. Your ex is being a bloody-minded arsehole.

india banks said...

thanks for your sweet comments on my blog :) and I CAN believe you left your wooden spoons behind. Love makes us crazy like that xx

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Kim Ayres said...

Maggie makes a wonderful Chestnut nut roast every year. Mind you from one year to the next she can never quite remember what she did the last time, so it shifts and changes, but it is always delicious.

Wishing you the very best for the festive season :)