Final day of the Cookery Challenge today and I will admit that my spirits were low. Yesterday’s effort didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped and I’ve been feeling unwell the last couple of days. However, those of you who followed the infamous Bus Challenge will know that I always see a task through, even those that are self-inflicted. So. Onwards.
Luckily, I consulted Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Everyday in the afternoon as I hadn’t realised my planned meal would take two and a half hours to cook. But it turned out to be super easy: minimum chopping, maximum stewing away in the oven. So, my lamb with lemon and pearl barley was really rather good:
How bloody wholesome does that look?! I served it with warm rye bread too. Om nom nom.
I ad lib-ed again today and replaced the pearl barley with a broth mixture from Tesco, which included split lentils and peas, as well as pearl barley. You know, for a bit of variety. However, it is apparent that there’s a good reason for Hugh writing the recipe to specifically include pearl barley. I’d also add slightly less lemon juice next time, I think.
So what have we learnt this week?
1. I can cook rice if I just follow simple instructions
2. I need to practice chopping and I need to man up around a sizzling pan
3. I now know a really good curry recipe, a really good marinade and a really good slow-cook casserole and thus my cooking repertoire is expanding
4. Split lentils take longer to cook than pearl barley
5. There is no supermarket in Worcester or Droitwich that sells polenta
6. I could benefit from using fewer utensils and making less of a mess
The most important lesson, though, is that I’ve enjoyed the challenge. There have been ups and downs (yes, I really have only been doing this for three days – bear with me) but it’s been satisfying to eat meals cooked by my own fair hands and I think Chris has enjoyed the break, despite his input yesterday.
My next challenge has to be to keep this up, surely…