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Saturday 1.12

Lunch: At mum’s

Dinner: At Mark and Navah’s

Sunday 2.12

Lunch: Ate out

Dinner: Celery gratin (cream, ham, garlic); ciabatta

Monday 3.12

Persian lamb, courgettes, bulghar

"Dulce de Batata", cream and honey

Tuesday 4.12

Salad of bulghar with courgettes, feta, chilli, avocado oil, shallot and Tamarillos

This was pretty good. The Natural Grocery Store had Tamarillos, and I fancied trying them.

I had also some smoked garlic purée in the dressing (because it was in the fridge) but the flavour didn’t come through. I think you need to use whole bulbs of it.

Wednesday 5.12

Yorks Provender Savoy, lentil, ham soup

Venison steaks, myrtille and mushroom sauce, carrots in cumin, mashed potato

Thursday 6.12


Haddock, pea and leek purée, new potatoes

Friday 7.12

Avocado halves with stewed tomatoes, chilli, cilantro

Champagne risotto, prawns and mushrooms

Saturday 8.12

Lunch: spag with leek sauce

Dinner: John

Marinated venison, red chard and rocket salad, mirin and smoked garlic dressing

Venison steak in Sybil Kapoor’s sweet oriental marinade, seared then cooled, sliced very thinly; this was excellent

Confit of duck, cassoulet with belly pork and saucisson; cabbage with bacon and onion, ciabatta

Ciabatta, because baguettes do not go in panniers and it was raining

Pear and almond cake, crème fraîche.

I used 4 medium comice pears, nicely ripe. The cake recipe is from Delia Smith’s cake book, the Greek orange and almond cake, but without adding juice to the mix, and without the syrup. I peeled and halved the pears and stuck them on top of the mix. The pears don’t sink in, but they do give out some liquid, and the cake needs longer cooking than in the book. It is very nice

Langres and Spenwood

Sunday 9.12

Lunch: Squash, onion, tomato, moroccan spices, cilantro; couscous with preserved lemon and olives

Dinner: Braised chicory

Duck livers, sauce from the venison marinade, soba noodles, salad

Monday 10.12

Chickpeas, saucisson, paprika and chilli, tomatoes

Quince and crème fraîche

Tuesday 11.12

NCG leek and white stilton soup

Lamb chops, cabbage and porcini, sautéed potatoes

Wednesday 12.12

Simon and Amelia

Pea and bacon soup

Oops, this was almost the same as we cooked last time – but Simon did say it is a favourite

Braised beef with Guinness, black pepper; braised red cabbage, curly pasta

pear and almond cake, crème fraîche

cheeses as on saturday

Thursday 13.12

Bighams stifado, courgettes, tagliatelle

Friday 14.12

Waitrose Butterbean and garlic hummus, pitta

Aubergine, fried; puy lentils, suce of sundried tomatoes, garlic, chilli; bulghar

Saturday 15.12

Lunch: bulghar with fresh tomatoes, onions, olives, preserved lemon

Dinner: roast pheasant, truffle oil, roast squash, spelt with sage and onion

Chocolate and smoked paprika puddings, crème fraîche

We had had something similar at La Merced, Cachi

Sunday 16.12

Lunch: Tagliatelle with sauce of pheasant leftovers, pine kernels, roast smoked garlic

Dinner: Butter beans, parma ham, cream, truffle oil

Paella, spinach

Monday 17.12


Fillet steak, mushrooms, stilton and port sauce, potato croquettes

Tuesday 18.12

Chicken, red pepper, tomatoes, chevre with tagliatelle

Peaches, poached then grilled with pistachios, crème fraîche

Wednesday 19.12

Parsnip and potato gratin with stilton, peas

Thursday 20.12

Sprout and walnut soup

Pheasant legs, pinto beans with saucisson, green salad

Not a success – pheasant legs are tough unless you confit or casserole them, and the beans needed more fat.

Friday 21.12

Parma ham and bread

Mushrooms with porcini and truffle oil sauce, celeriac and potato cakes, green salad

Saturday 22.12

Lunch: Turkey and ham pie, pickled plums, sauerkraut

Dinner: Sausages with roast fennel, polenta

Italian style sausages, with fennel seed

Pears in butter, Millas cake, crème fraîche

Sunday 23.12

Lunch: lentil, cabbage, salami soup

Dinner: beetroot, walnuts, horseradish cream, salad leaves

Sweet potatoes, red peppers-tomatoes-chilli, chèvre, rocket

Monday 24.12

Lunch: Dhal and rice

Dinner: Salmon with 5-spice, ginger and garlic; cabbage with chilli, oyster sauce; black rice noodles

Chestnut pannacotta with bitter orange caramel

4.5 oz chestnuts (vacuum pack), 5floz cream-and-milk, 2 tbs sugar, vanilla essence, ground dried orange peel, 1 small leaf gelatine (Costa). I mashed the chestnuts, brought cream and milk to the simmer, dissolved sugar, then the gelatine, mixed the lot. Allow to cool until it starts to set, then mix again and decant into small bowls. The texture is rough, which we liked ; I might try liquidising it to make it smooth next time, but this risks it losing character

I made an orange caramel sauce with 2tbs sugar, caramelised, and juice of half an orange. First attempt I overdid the caramel and it was pretty bitter, though just about edible.

Tuesday 25.12

Lunch: Mum, Connie, Chas

smoked salmon with lentils, salami, seaweed flakes

Guinea Fowl with chestnut, sausage, quince, onion, ciabatta stuffing; gravy; roast potatoes, roast parsnips, sprouts with fried breadcrumbs and walnuts, celeriac and cream purée

Christmas pud and cream

Beaufort, Stilton, Oxford Isis

Dinner: turkey and ham pie, pickled plum, salad with fried potatoes

Wednesday 26.12

Lunch: Scrambled eggs with yesterday’s leftover veg fried

Dinner: stilton, pear, salad

A sort of tarte flammiche – pizza base, onions cooked down, crème fraîche, smoked streaky bacon

Thursday 27.12

Ravioli of guineau fowl and stuffing, green salad

I made these yesterday. It’s only around Christmas that I make pasta, as there are leftovers that have to be used inventively and I have the time to do it

Quince and cream

Friday 28.12

Puy lentil, sprout, bacon soup

Guineau fowl with saffron-almond sauce; shredded cabbage with fresh chilli, garlic, cream; basmati rice

sauce had: fresh and roast garlic, saffron, almonds, cumin, coriander, fennel, dried ginger, chilli, cardamon, cloves. Damn. This is curried turkey, isn’t it? Except not turkey

Saturday 29.12

Lunch: Spring greens with sesame oil, mirin, chilli, guineau fowl; rice

Dinner: At Martin’s, Diana cooking

Sunday 30.12

Lunch: Corn puddings stuffed with guineau fowl and smoked olives, haricot beans with saucisson, chipotle, smoked paprika, tomato

Thus the guineau fowl ends its tour round the world. The corn stuff was sweetcorn, onions, polenta moulded into little pudding basins, filled with guineau fowl, then steamed. The meat could have done with more gravy. The corn mix was a little dry – I don’t think I had enough water for the polenta

Dinner: Thai vegetable soup

Risotto with lime leaves, lemon grass, crab, spring onions, peppers

Monday 31.12

Smoked salmon, fried bacon, potato pancakes with seaweed flakes, wasabi, creme fraiche

Venison steaks with lapsang souchon and dried orange zest; fried parsnip chips, celeriac mash

for the sauce I used caramelised onions, the goose stock, pork jelly, a red wine cube, and some of the orange caramel. the orange caramel went very well with the parsnips; the whole thing worked well

we had a Gigondas Raspail-Ay and this went well

Chocolate and olive puddings

we have had similar desserts a couple of times - most recently at the Champignon Sauvage. This was guesswork. I made a batter with 1oz butter, 1tbs olive oil, 2oz sugar. Pureed this with 10-11 fruity kalamata olives. Added half an egg, 1oz cocoa and 1.5 oz flour, 1tsp baking powder. Maybe some of that orange zest too. It sort of works, though I think it could have been lighter or moister. The flavour works - Colin said it tastes like a different sort of chocolate.

Oxford Isis

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