Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I know, I know. You hang around for ages waiting for a blog post and two come along at once.  Well I'm sorry for the delay, I really am, but circumstances at work and at home have changed so I haven't really had the head space or time to write.  On the odd occasion that I have had a window of opportunity to write I haven't been doing the cooking, and writing about food that you haven't cooked yourself isn't as easy as it seems.

I have tried to write, I really have. I have draft posts for Indian inspired Fish and Chips, Green Cauliflour Cheese, Chocolate Turkey Fajitas, Seafood Pancakes, and Rabbit Stew and Dumplings.  There are also a couple of posts relating to our experience of giving up Supermarkets for Lent.  But these things will remain in draft until such time as we cook the dishes again*.

On top of work I have also been training for my first half marathon.  Getting home from work and going out for anything between a 6k and a 10k run before even contemplating food, really reduces the amount of free time in the evenings, before going to bed and starting the whole thing again in the morning.  But with the half marathon behind me** we're settling into a new routine, which should see me at the stove more often.

Apart from anything else, I have instigated yet another food challenge.  You may have noticed that there's the small matter of the World Cup looming on the horizon.  Whether England win the tournament, make it out of their group, or capitulate and lose all of their opening matches is neither here nor there.  A group of us will be eating dishes representing all 32 of countries taking part in Brazil.  You can follow our progress here.

In the mean time, we have tried to be very organised on the food front.  Our weekly meal planning has gone from strength to strength.  We either plan after a veg box delivery from Market Delivered, or before we do our big shop for the week.  This is the only way we have found of making sure we always use the food we have and limit food waste.

Tonight we had planned to have spaghetti with a beef ragu using some braising steak that was lurking in the freezer, however, in the interests of a happy house, we have allowed a change of plan to suit the mood of our youngest and fussiest family member.  Rather than defrosting the steak we acquiesced and took some pork mince out of the freezer to make meatballs.  It really wasn't such a big change as the sauce for both dishes contain the same ingredients.

Fried onions and fennel seeds were added to the mince before it was rolled into ping-pong ball sized spheres.  These were then poached in the tomato and vegetable sauce before being piled onto the pasta and served with garlic bread.  Everybody was happy and cleared their plates so it was a worthwhile change of plan.  I don't have Italy in my group for the World Cup Food Challenge so I'll not need to cook any pasta dishes during the tournament.  What to cook for Ecuador is another matter all together.

*Hopefully won't be too long as they were all very good.
**I'm still running, just not as far.

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