Euro 2012 Meals

   With the Euros on, the challenge is going to     be to eat “proper food” during the football fest. It has been suggested of course, shamefully, that the role of the woman during football tournaments is to be supportive of the man in the house, provide sympathy, understanding, tolerance and food on the table. That is not going to work in our ‘hold. Firstly, I like to cook. You may have noticed. Secondly, my partner is even more keen than I to watch all the games, is far more passionate than me. Thirdly, well it just is not the way we do things here. No doubt we will resort to takeaways at some stages of the proceedings. Hopefully the weather will pick up and we can have the salads we had planned… In the meantime, the challenge I have set myself is to provide a main meal for two, between the games (I have already stretched this to 8.00pm tonight..)

In addition, I will try to update this page everyday (ish) to show off the food provided and maybe add a word or two to the pictures. Please feel free to add comments and serving suggestions.

Day 1. Poland v Greece    Russia v CCzech Republic. 08/06/12

Gammon, carrots and French beans, new potatoes with a white sauce.

Nothing too spectacular here- unlike the games! Bought a gammon joint and soaked for a long time with plenty of changes of water. Then boiled, with an onion, an old tomato past its best, some cloves, pepper and a bay leaf.I let this simmer for, oh quite a while really and let it sit in the juices with the heat off. Nothing precise with my cooking….

Drain the meat, reserving the liquid. This can be used (watered down, still very salty ) to cook the veg and then that water used to make the white sauce.

Managed to serve this between games. Great TV dinner. Result.

Day 2. Holland v Denmark   Germany v Portugal 09/06/12

Sausage and lentils.

Nothing special here. Used some of the gammon water (see above) diluted again to cook the lentils. Added some garlic and onion (the first from our garden!) and some chilli  flakes.  Slow fry the sausages, add the lentils and a dollop of yoghurt. A bit of bread. Hearty meal.

Note 1. Had to keep popping out from the Holland/Denmark game to make sure the lentils didn’t boil dry. Luckily it was not the most interesting game!

Note 2. For #derbyuk viewers: The bread shown is sour dough bread from Baked Derby   Worth a visit.

Day 3   Spain v Italy  Ireland v Croatia 10/06/12

Reading the Observer Magazine this morning and Nigel Slater’s recipe for Summer vegetable  sauté leapt of the page. Firstly it includes cooked ham and we have some left over from the other day. (see above.) Plus I had some frozen Tarragon bought from the local coop as a “sell by” bargain.It’s a simple format that fits into the required time scale and which I can adapt when the garden begins to bear fruit. ( as it were…) So here is Nigel’s recipe

I didn’t stick to the recipe of course and don’t believe that Nigel would expect me to…. so here are a few notes.

  • H does not like asparagus so that is out of the window..
  • I disregarded quantities. After all, a courgette is a courgette, not a 200gr unit. So I just threw in the quantities that looked right.
  • I added the oil  a bit at a time: a small amount with the peppers, most with the courgettes and the topping up when tomatoes went in.

I’m having mine with some fusilli, H with some Baked_Derby sourdough. (see above.) And here it is:

…served up on time.

Footnote: Bit disappointing in the end. I think this dish needs to be with very fresh vegetables. For instance, the courgettes Nigel used seem to be very small; difficult to get in the shops right now. Equally, the carrots I got from the coop were tasteless.

I will try a version of this when I can get  the courgettes, tomatoes, broad beans from the garden.


Well, good intentions and everything!!! When I embarked on this project it was 1/2 term and then the weekend. Back to school on the Monday with lots of reports to write. Very little time to actually do the cooking, let alone add to this post…. I will try and recap now…

Day 4     11/06/12  France v England, Ukraine v Sweden

The pressure is on… We call upon Mr Marks and Mr Spencer who provide us with a leek and gruyere tart (me) and a salmon and broccoli quiche (H).

I should add that those potatoes are home grown- by me- as is some of the lettuce. Not a bad compromise..

Day 5   12/06/12  Greece v Czech Republic, Poland v Russia.

Should have been hot dogs and sauerkraut really but….We settled for meatballs and spaghetti. Normally I would have used pork mince for this, but had some beef mince to use up. Apart from some seasoning, I added some breadcrumbs (useful to have some ready in the freezer, from some past its best bread) and an egg.

Day 6.   13/06/12  Denmark v Portugal, Netherlands v Germany

Chicken tonight!


Chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces, marinaded in rapeseed oil, lemon juice and garlic.Later, fried with some chorizo and served up with couscous. Very simple, very tasty…

Day 7  14/06/12  Italy v Croatia, Spain v Ireland.

We seem to be reliant on minced beef…. Tonight, Mexican tortillas, with, er, minced beef, salad, salsa (bought) and cheese. Closest to a take-away so far.


Day 8 15/06/12 Ukraine v France, Sweden v England.

We’ll pass on this one. Quick bowl of pasta in pesto sauce before going out to watch the England match at the pub…

Day 9 16/06/12 Czech Republic v Poland, Greece v Russia.

Is it cheating to go round to some friends for a meal? I don’t think so. Especially when the food served up is as good as this…

We had Leon spicy chicken, griddled aubergines, slow roasted tomatoes, rocket salad and homemade flatbreads. The photo doesn’t do the meal justice. We even had a pudding:


Baked apple and a cheeseboard. Great, social eating. Shame about result; I had some money on Russia….


And that, basically, is when I lose track. We did carry on eating, but the days and the menus are blurred. As are the matches. It was a good idea (I think) but I couldn’t maintain the pace. Life takes over. And to be honest, you lot showed little interest in the project!

A highlight was on Thursday. We were in St Andrews for our son’s graduation and, rather than opting for a fancy restaurant, son G wanted to cook a lamb tagine to be shared with family and friends. If we have done nothing else, we have passed on the idea that food is to be shared and savoured.We didn’t watch the football but, tou’ll be pleased to know, we did solve all the problems of the world.

Tonight (23/06/12) we will hopefully see France beat Spain. Tired after a 2 day road trip St Andrews in the rain and wind, neither of us could think what to eat tonight. I ended up buying- yes, you guessed it- some minced beef. I had in mind a lazy “spag bol”  Not particularly happy with this option I hunted around and ended up making a simple meatloaf.The recipe I based it on is here . I didn’t have all the herbs recommended but it tastes good-

The other amendment I made to the recipe was putting the mix through a food processor to whiz it all up into a smooth paste. We will be having this with homegrown potatoes and salad.

No more updates here. We have more football and the Tour De France to come and tricky culinary decisions to make. If I come up with anything spectacular, I will let you know.

If you have any ideas for good food to eat during or in-between sporting events, do let me know!



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