Karen writes: Sometimes the best laid plans can’t compete with nature and that is what happened to me last week.
I had booked a campsite down in Brighton to stay at and wait for our new grandchild to arrive. We thought it best to go a week in advance of the due date so that we could be sure to be there to help. The new baby had other ideas and we had a mad dash to get down in time as it became apparent that it was arriving a week early. It was a case of throwing whatever we thought we might need into the caravan and setting off on what is normally a four-hour journey. Unfortunately, the M1 was closed due to an accident and we had to detour down the A1. We arrived just in time to whisk our three-year-old granddaughter away from the activity and a baby boy was born within 20 minutes of his mum entering the hospital. Mum and baby both doing fantastic.
We had just done a week’s grocery shop the day before, so I brought the shopping with us and I have been using things not usually associated with camping all week long - sprouts, spinach, leeks and mushrooms. We were having a fishy week as the recommendation is to try to reduce our red meat intake. We have enjoyed tray-bakes again, one day cod loin and chorizo the next salmon and cherry tomatoes. I have also been trying to cook nourishing meals to take to the new baby’s house and being vegetarians, all those vegetables found their way into a blue cheese lasagne. For the non-vegetarians I made a very scrumptious beef bourguignon with some dauphinoise potatoes as a side. We had a couple of bottles of bubbly and wet the baby’s head in style.
Staying in a caravan in winter is a great thing to do. I find that it forces me to relax a bit and it is perfectly possible to be warm and comfortable. In fact, it is very cosy in the evenings when you draw the curtains, get the telly and the heating on and settle down with a nice cuppa or a glass of something. I find that I can use my time quite productively making plans, doing admin tasks and a spot of research for whatever project I am working on.
One of the quick dishes that I made this week for a lunch was another vegan meal. It is still Veganuary so I thought I would share the recipe now for anyone who is interested in giving it a whirl. It is just a mushroom and spinach spaghetti, delicious, a bit like garlic mushrooms but with a bit more oomph!
Garlic Mushroom and Spinach Pasta
1 chopped onion
1 Tsp garlic puree
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 large portobello mushrooms sliced thickly
Salt and pepper
200 ml almond or soy milk
3 handfuls fresh spinach
Method: Soften the onion in a frying pan with spray oil then add the mushrooms. Try to resist stirring the mushrooms, let them gently release their juices, add a little water if they stick. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and then the almond/soy milk. Cook very gently and let it thicken a bit. Season to taste and then add the spinach and cover the pan to allow the spinach to wilt. Serve with spaghetti.
I am heading back to Wakefield this week and then getting organised for my February events. I have the Rhubarb Festival to think about and a day at the Caravan and Motorhome Show at the NEC in Birmingham, so plenty going on.
Its goodbye to January, it has been a fabulous start to 2020 for me, especially with our new arrival making his appearance. Hope everyone else has enjoyed the month and you are looking forward to what is to come….
Same time, same place next week, bye for now.
For more tips and recipes go to http://www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk