Mostly today I have been cooking/preparing food….

Went to the local Coop and bought:

  • A gammon joint
  • 1kg of carrots (1/2 price in the sell by section)
  • 2 large courgettes (ditto)
  • A bunch of celery (ditto)
  • 3 large Spanish onions.

Had time on my hands and wanted distraction from thoughts whirring through my head so set about cooking, preparing and preserving. This is what I did….

First, I soaked the gammon in several changes of water. This is necessary to get rid of the excess salt whatever the wrapper says. Patience.

I then decided to make a Mirepoix mix to freeze and use later for soups and stews.

1 Large Spanish onion, roughly chopped

2 sticks of celery chopped

1 clove of garlic

3 medium sized carrots, diced

Add to a bowl and sprinkle with white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt,  and a pinch of dried tarragon. Toss, put on a tray and place in freezer. This will enable me to take a handful out when needed. Transferred to freezer bag.


On to the courgettes. Also for freezing.

I sliced them, put in a bowl and added salt. Dried with paper towel. Added a drop of oil to a pan and gently heated up the courgette. The aim was to soften and slightly brown the courgette, turning once. Dried on paper towel and, like the mirepoix put on a tray in the top shelf of the freezer. Will use to make ratatouille , add to tomato sauce or pasta. It won’t look pretty but hope it is tasty!

Onto the gammon. Drain and add fresh water to cover. Added courgette tops, a carrot, 1/2 onion, some celery, 2 bay leaves and some pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for…never good at timings… an hr won’t hurt..


Take out the gammon, strain and reserve the juice. Taste and add seasoning if necessary.


Some carrot soup now (non vegetarian).

Chopped up about 6 carrots, 1/2 onion and a couple of slices of the celery.

Fried in some oil- I used what was left after frying the courgettes- toss and add a generous sprinkling of dried coriander and some pepper. When onion softened and taken on some colour, transfer to a pot and ladle on reserved gammon juice; enough to cover then a bit more. Bring to boil then simmer until the carrots are soft.

Put the vedge through blender with some of the juice to make a tasty, thick soup. Taste,adjust seasoning and add more liquid if necessary. I will probably have this tomorrow, maybe with a dollop of cream and some fresh coriander.


Blanched and froze the rest of the carrots- bar one which I will have tonight. Oh yes- tea/dinner/supper tonight? Fried potatoes and gammon in a white sauce using rest of onion. And a carrot.

All very time consuming but today I had the time and the inclination. And will have ready made ingredients for future meals when time is at a premium.

Bon appetit.

For other food experiments and experiences, click on the “What’s cookin?” link at top of page.


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