It’s hard to imagine that October marks our 18th month of the Cottage Cooking Club, a place where our online international group of food and travel bloggers has monthly gathered together to share our prepared recipes from the cookbook “River Cottage veg everyday!” by British author and television personality, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Throughout this time our fearless leader, Andrea, of The Kitchen Lioness, Notes from a very small German Kitchen has inspired and coordinated the group’s efforts toward more purposefully preparing a broad range of vegetables within our daily meals, as well as sharing them with others, particularly, that which is seasonal, and those ingredients locally available depending on each individuals locale.
Much has been explored through River Cottage veg over our time together, both in the abundant variety of vegetables, and, in their many colorful, creative flavor combinations. Some of the dishes are common to us, including those we may already prepare in our own kitchen repertoires, other offerings have been unique and treasured finds that may be prepared for many years to come.
Most of the recipes in the cookbook are quite easily prepared and require little time and so monthly I always try to make the effort to prepare as many of the offerings as possible from among the list. This month of October, brimmed with unique activities and engagements, on top of the usual fall madness, made preparing the list a bit difficult for me, even despite the easy recipe format, and so this month I only prepared two of the dishes. Well, I’m blushing a bit, I should say one of the dishes, and, one of the ‘suggestions’ that is, for among the content listings I should hardly call poached egg on toast as a recipe, even despite its provided detailed technique, and, that it was included as one of our recipe choices for the month. Still, poached eggs on toast are quite delicious and the mere idea artistically displayed by color photograph within the pages of a cookbook might indeed spark the idea for any home cook short on time and in need of healthy simplicity. Once the poached egg was finished and set upon the lovely slice of toasted rye bread spread with butter, then, instead of photographing the egg whole atop the toast, I stuck a fork into it, and proceeded to do something I don’t often do during the day, I sat right down and ate it. It was spectacular.
Now given that description, if you are still inclined to count the Poached egg on toast as one of the month’s recipes, given it was on the list, then my second dish of the month is Porotos granadas, Hugh’s inspiration on the traditional Chilean squash and bean stew. The dish, as he indicates is hearty, and following the traditional soup/stew sauté foundation base of onions and garlic, the recipe proceeds with the addition of sweet smoked paprika spice and fresh chopped oregano, I loved the scent of the combination, and then, how well the ingredients played between each other, reminding me of the Cuban Sofrito. I used ‘tins’ of beans, and ultimately chose two among the cookbooks recommendations, cannellini, and, pink pinto beans before the combined additions of butternut squash (which I had pre-roasted in cubes,) fresh green beans, and corn. Seasoned with salt and pepper, and though I didn’t photograph it as such, served on a bed of hot cooked rice, I thought the Porotos granadas grand for a chilly fall evening.
Paging through the cookbook, those pages I have now thumbed through countless times over the past 18 months provides lots of good memories, those of dishes shared with others, and those shared between the group. Many of the books recipes I have now prepared, some recipes I yet look forward to, others, well, I may pass on a few. Nevertheless, the experience of our Cottage Cooking Club has been quite enjoyable, with much to share and much to learn, expanding on the incorporating more fresh vegetables, especially those seasonal and local, served onto the shared table of its intended daily menu.
Big Hugs and a Shout out to all our Cottage Cooking Club members. Looking forward to seeing you next month on the CCC, and then some in between.
To see what other Cottage Cooking Club members have posted over this next few days click here.