Rhubarb, Ratatouille and a Recipe

The main feature of the day has been the succession of texts and phonecalls.

The first one, from an unknown number, was a bit of a worry as there is always a chance that it is bad news. Once I found out it wasn’t bad news I decided that it’s nice to know there are people out there, despite the isolation. Several of the calls have been people checking to make sure we have everything we need, which is comforting, though it does make me feel old.

I am now watching TV, blogging and breathing in the comforting scent of rhubarb crumble as it cools in the kitchen.

I am mentally preparing myself to cook tea. It’s not that cooking tea is difficult, but as I’m doing a roast it has to be at least as good as the one Julia made a couple of days ago. It’s the same meat, warmed up, but the trimmings all need doing and it won’t do to make a mess of things or she will mention it several times a day for the next week.


Rede Crested Pochard – Arnot Hill Park

We will be having carrots (because I have bought too many recently), parsnips, sprouts, broccoli and asparagus. We don’t usually have asparagus, but variety is good for us and I threw it in the basket without thinking about what it would go with.

That’s the problem with lockdown, you have to spend so much time planning your food. I was very well organised at one time but after moving to the city and being near a supermarket that was open 24 hours (apart from Sunday) I have let things slip. It has been hard getting them back in line and, with some groceries being short it has been tempting to put a little extra in the basket.

First, there is the menu for 7-10 days, then there is working out the shopping list, ensuring that things won’t go off and actually getting into a shop. At that point you have to hope you can get everything you need, make substitutions, and resist the temptation to add too many snacks. I think I may have covered that before, when talking about the cake and biscuits that found their way into my basket on Wednesday.

Julia is managing to keep her exercise routine up by gardening, working out and running on the spot. My regime of lifting the remote control, walking to the kettle and a little light typing, is not quite so healthy, though it seems to work for me. That’s why I need to cut down on snacks and resist the cake.


Tufted Duck – Arnot Hill Park

Tomorrow I am going to cook a pan of carrot soup. I really have bought too many carrots.

I’m also going to look at a recipe for Burnt Aubergine Chilli Number One Son sent me. It involves, as you may guess, burning an aubergine. Gas will do nicely, according to the recipe, and a barbecue will give it a nice smokey flavour. The recipe is strangely uninformative about the likely results using a garden flamethrower to do the charring. No doubt it will make for an interesting experiment for the middle of the week.

It’s about time to vary the menu. In fact, if the lockdown is extended for another couple of weeks, it is essential. Much more ratatouille and I’m likely to have a meltdown. We will be having it tomorrow (ratatouille, that is, not a meltdown), and I’m looking on it as a penance rather than a meal. Crumble, on the other hand, is always a pleasure. I will finish now as it’s time to eat.

The photo theme of the day is ducks.

They are interesting, cheerful, and they taste good.


Mandarin Duck – Arnot Hill Park


11 thoughts on “Rhubarb, Ratatouille and a Recipe

  1. tootlepedal

    I am with Derrick on the second go at the roast thing. We had roast chicken for the second time exactly on that basis this evening and it was delicious. Very fine duck pictures but a bit tactless at the end there.

  2. Laurie Graves

    I know just what you mean about missing being able to go to the store whenever the mood strikes. Our small town has a good-sized grocery store that is very convenient. Or rather, was, until the pandemic. However, sure makes me appreciate food more. Your meals sound really good, Quercus. What a great thing it is to be a good home cook. The food doesn’t need to be fancy, just hearty and flavorful.

  3. derrickjknight

    All the ducks are splendid. Forgive me if I’m trying to teach you to suck eggs, but Jackie heats up left over meat slices in a tray of gravy and it tastes the same as the day before.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I have done that in the past, but I admit to being lazy last night and merely poured the gravy on cold meat. All advice is gratefully received, as I am not the most polished or accomplished of cooks. 🙂

      1. quercuscommunity

        Sounds good. We have linguine in the cupboard, we have prawns in the freezer (which will have to do instead of scallops) and I will have to buy more asparagus, though it will have to wait for the UK season to start. The last lot was imported from South America but I thought we needed a bit of variety in the lockdown diet.

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