But first, dinner. Again, no meat, but we definitely didn’t go hungry. The weather was – you guessed it – rubbish today, and I felt like something bolstering for dinner, so I made a sort of loose minestrone. That is, I didn’t follow any particular recipe, instead, just used what I had kicking round. That happened to be: onion, celery, carrot, pumpkin, potato and later on, asparagus. It must be one of the most virtuous dinners you can eat – a trillion vegetables, bound together by stock and a bit of pasta. It is so healthy that it pretty much obliterates the calorific dessert that follows…right?
Above: Veges for the minestrone – so many that I needed two chopping boards! Healthy!
So, I sweated the veges in a little butter and olive oil for about ten minutes. I then crumbled in a stock cube – Knorr Porcini flavoured cubes brought back for me from Italy by my aunty Lynn. (it’s what Nigella uses!!) I then added water to the pot, brought it to the boil, and let it simmer away while I made the pud.
I wish I had thought to take a photo of the rhubarb (microwaved for a few minutes with a spoonful each of sugar and water) – it was just so pink, it looked as though I had added food colouring. The pudding, which is from Nigella’s How To Eat, is basically a Victoria Sponge batter mixed in with the rhubarb. I have to agree with Nigella when she says how great the batter tastes. I have always been a sucker for eating the mixture though…Anyway, you heap it all into the greased pudding bowl, cover it, and steam for two hours.
Once the pudding was a-steaming, I added some chopped asparagus and a handful of macaroni to the pot of soup. Once the pasta had swelled up and cooked, I ladled it out and grated over some parmesan. It was perfect – warming, comforting, tasty.
Above: Tim’s minestrone (rhymes with pinecone?)
As for the Pig’s Bum, it turned out beautifully, an incredibly light sponge with flecks of pink throughout.
Above: Pig’s Bum!
It tasted amazingly good, especially considering it took all of five minutes to make. Unlike the last couple of things I have steamed, it wasn’t stodgy in the slightest – really very light in fact. So, by the time Tim and I had ploughed through it, and Stefan and Kieran had had some too…there really isn’t much left! Will definitely be making this again at some stage.