So I've made a list of things to write about and I will do one a week. There are things to keep me going, such a bit about burgers in London - Meat Liquor vs. Honest of Brixton, my quest for Nocellera Del Belice olives that don't cost the earth, making gravadlax with my mum, and things I've been cooking.
Firstly, an obsession that is slightly strange. I love garlic. It's probably my most-used ingredient, as I put it in just about everything. I always have at least two bulbs in my fruit bowl (which should be renamed a garlic bowl as we never have fruit) and I have been known to roast a whole bulb and eat the soft squidgy cloves, or spread it on some bread.
That's really good by the way - you just need to cut the top off the bulb, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and leave it in the oven. Keep an eye on it as it can burn easily, but leave it for 10-15 mins in a hot oven. Leave it for longer if the cloves don't seem squashy. The result will be soft cloves full of taste without the pungent kick of garlic - and it doesn't make your breath smell as bad. I don't however recommend it for the first meal you cook your new beau.
My other favourite thing to do with garlic is to bash it into some butter and make garlic butter (durr). This is very easy. Get a pack of butter - now it doesn't need to be posh, butter is SO expensive now but make sure it's the one wrapped in paper, not in a tub - and leave it to get to room temperature. It will be harder to blend if it's straight from the fridge.
Now whack it into a blender (or a mixing bowl if you fancy a workout for the bingo wings) and add whatever you like - I like it strong, so probably use 8-10 peeled cloves for a whole pack of butter. I also add some dried herbs, bit of salt as it helps to dull the garlic taste slightly, and maybe some dried chilli, rosemary from the garden (the only plant that I haven't killed). Whizz it all together and spoon it onto a sheet of cling film. Roll it into a sausage shape and put it in the freezer for 30 mins.
Take it out and unwrap it - the shape is important, as when you cut it. it's nice to have circular pieces. I put it on top of cooked steaks, to melt over the steak instead of a sauce. I also use it to make my creamy mushrooms - watch out for the recipe to that soon.
Finally, I wanted to tell you about a more recent garlic discovery - fresh garlic. They sell it on Kingston market, which has been an absolute revelation for me. A market selling every type of fruit and veg, as well as a good selection of herbs too is just amazing. So anyway one of my favourite stalls started stocking fresh garlic - it looks a bit like a fat, short spring spring onion. The smell is very strong, but when added to food it doesn't seem as strong as dried garlic. The fresh stuff isn't separated into cloves, again it's a bit like an onion with lots of layers.
I have bought some today and I'm going to try it in the garlic butter to see what The Scouser thinks to it all. I'll let you know!