Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Big Food, by Accident

Not sure how this transpired, but at eleven a.m. I was idly wondering what to get for lunch.  Then by 1 p.m. I had a giant Vegetable Roast and a giant Plum Cake there.  It just sort of crept up on me.  Big Food happened.

Here's the veggie set up 

I had just pulled out a lot of frozen veggies, farm stuff I mean, and thought maybe a stirfry.  Kale, onions, tomatoes, edible pod peas. There might be celery and leeks in there, too.  Then I thought why? you don't like stirfry that much, how about roasting them?  Looked up a recipe or two and found one for a roast vegetable pie.  But it involved making a pastry crust, nooooo, another day.  However, there were some great ideas for flavoring the veggies, so I studied them.

And after letting the vegs sit in a tossed olive oil mix, with baharat (that Ottolenghi spice mix, which I have to make again soon) and a big pinch of turmeric along with salt and black pepper,  here comes the recipe lady's idea:  I poured over a nice mix of chicken broth thickened with cornstarch.  Back to my ideas, then put a big twig of curry leaves on top, and a big sprig of basil, both fresh.   Roasted for about an hour at 325, and it was a treat.  Much more interesting than the run of roasted vegetables.

And while the oven was hot and I was waiting for the lunch to cook, I thought I might as well get around to mixing that plum cake recipe I make sometimes, since I had the plums prepped in the freezer, waiting for it.  

A bit short of butter, but it worked fine with half the usual amount anyway, and where she puts brandy I put red wine, and where she puts Demerara sugar I sniffed hoity toity and put white sugar.  

But I did buy this pan specially for this recipe and I'm glad I did.  It has to be just this thick and just this size in order to work.  If you're interested in trying it, I have completely forgotten who the writer was, but she presents it as Figgy Demerara Snacking Cake, so you can probably find it that way.  If I ever find her name, I will duly credit her.  

And since it needs a  400F oven, I had that heat up further after the veggies were done at 325F and I was eating lunch, so there was cake for dessert, more or less.  I like it best with plums on top, nice  tart contrast with the sweeter effect of the cake part, but I guess you can stud it with just about any fruit you have to hand.  It's made with wholewheat flour, too, so it's virtuous. Not that I think that considerations of health ought to enter into the consideration of cake.  Just eat a nice little bit and enjoy it.

So now there are many squares of Plum Cake in the freezer ready to bring out any time I need a little something with tea.  Or for a friend.  And a little plate of them is already across the street awaiting friends homecoming this evening. 

Always a good thing to have enough to share.  Some fresh scones with homemade strawberry jam found their way next door yesterday, where the little granddaughter was there for the day, wonder how that happened..it beats me how people living alone manage to cook for one, really.


  1. I don't seem to be able to cook for one either. Perhaps its genetic ( or being part of a large family). My products look similar to yours although I generally use cherries for the plum torte !

  2. I really meant that I always share what I cook. Never occurs to me to cook just for me!

  3. Coming back to credit Melissa Clark with the cake recipe that I changed a lot!


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