Sunday, 31 October 2010

fragrant chicken stew

After last week's pumpkin picking, today is about one thing and one thing only - Hallowe'en.

Our road has a very active parents group who run an organised Trick or Treat every year, and after the fun he had last year it's all Milo has gone on about since his birthday. However, there's a whole (rainy) day to get through before we can carve pumpkins, make gingerbread bat biscuits and run up and down the street doing evil laughs.

As the weather is so bad we end up going swimming for most of day, before heading home (via Waitrose to get a good supply of 'treats') to make some gingerbread bat biscuits. Initially we did a batch using the dinosaur cutters Kiki, Brian and Finn bought him for his birthday but due to either an error in the dough or their proximity in the oven, we end up with basically a big slab of slightly bendy gingerbread. The bat cutter worked much better, but they were still a bit floppy.

Sadly no pictures as we ate them all, aided by Ana who returned from the country hungover and tired, just in time to carve pumpkins and dress up the little boy as a "grumpire"...

I was particularly proud of our pumpkins this year. I made a funny/happy one...

...and an evil one with horns...

Even some local (therefore posh and well brought up) girls said they were the best pumpkins they'd seen. Naturally I let them have more sweets.

Anyway as we're out on the streets, we've got dinner slowly ticking away in the oven - an experimental chicken stew from Delicious 2005, now in the Owl Book. It's fairly frugal as I make it using the legs and thighs from the birds I jointed when Matt & Virginie came for dinner, and the other key ingredient is a couple of fennel bulbs which I was suppose to use in a soup last week, but didn't.

I'm slightly concerned the presence of skin, bones and bacon would make this the ultimate anti-Ana stew, but it actually turned out to be brilliant. The skin and bones came away really easily when I dished it up, and the only down point seemed to be the fact it got cold fairly quickly. So much so we both had to microwave it, and those of you who know how tepid I eat my food will realise just how cold it must have been for that happen.

We are definitely having this again, especially if my brother's predictions of it being a iron cold winter come true. He's so earthy!

Food of the Milos
As you can imagine, a weekend of daddy time culminating in trick or treat means he's not had the most balanced of diets. Yesterday's crisps, sausages and chips were replaced today by lollipops, gingerbread, marshmallow ghosts and jelly bats/spiders/eyeballs.

Actually his diet wasn't that bad. After waking and getting up at 02.30 (thanks) he had the usual nibbles and porridge for breakfast, followed by dried fruit based snacks at the pool. It was only after a late lunch of macaroni cheese (my version), it was only after that it turned to custard.

fragrant chicken stew - Delicious 2005, now the Owl Book

1 comment:

  1. I am a tepid food eater too, almost never have to use the microwave unless heating something previously frozen. Ron still doesn't get it!