Cottage Cooking Club – January 2015

Early spring

Spring is a few weeks ahead of itself here. The blooms that start popping up in February have been appearing everywhere around the neighbourhood over the last two weeks. It’s a welcome sign of renewal.

I’ve been experiencing renewal in a slightly less pleasurable way since the turn of the year. Our building was completely re-piped over the last few weeks and it was disruptive enough to throw off my blogging schedule (among other things). Half of my kitchen’s contents were piled on the other half and the rest of our place was uneasily accommodating the contents of our storage and coat closets, along with the substantial contents of a big built-in bookshelf.

There are no more holes in the wall and in their place, there are bright new coats of paint. We’re slowly organizing and putting away the things we’re keeping and working on getting rid of the rest. (One of the advantages of this sort of project is that it inspires you to purge unneeded belongings.) One of the disadvantages of work of this kind is that it saps creative energy, so we’ve been existing on some pretty utilitarian cooking lately and writing inspiration was a little hard to come by.

But that’s all over with, so I’m back in the kitchen and at my desk and will be catching up on some promised posts soon. For now, I’m glad I only committed to one Cottage Cooking Club selection this month, though all of them looked like things I’d love to try.

Curried Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak

Just before the chaos began, I made a big batch of this bubble and squeak. The traditional version has been a comfort food favourite of mine for many years, but one that I don’t often remember to make. This curried vegan version, which uses leftover cooked cabbage and potatoes, is economical and delicious. (And as a bonus, it reminded me that simply sautéed shredded cabbage is a delicious side dish all on its own.) I added chickpeas to the dish, for a little protein and fibre boost, but otherwise followed the recipe. My only quibble is that curry powder is such an imprecise description. I’m going to be playing around with curry spices as I make this dish again, until I get a combination I really love.

I also made the fennel and celeriac soup with orange zest, which was delicious, but that was when the work in our kitchen began and I neglected to get a photo. I love this sort of soup, especially when the weather is cold or rainy. Citrus and fennel have bright notes that help to make up for sunless days and celeriac has the same sort of earthy heft as potatoes, which braces against the cold. A perfect winter soup.

Now, we can move on to February. It’s a cold and dark month in many places, but here in Vancouver, it’s often full of spring.

Here are the links to the rest of the group’s posts for this month. I encourage you to check them out – you’ll meet some wonderful bloggers and get some great inspiration for vegetarian eating.

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9 thoughts on “Cottage Cooking Club – January 2015

  1. Welcome back to sanity, Teresa. Construction disruptions especially when they involve the kitchen are difficult to deal with, wearing a smile. I suspect there was a grimace or two out of you and Kevin. Glad you are through the process. Peggy and I had a terrific time with Bubble & Squeak, primarily because of the name and its history and Walt Disney. Who knew making a vegetarian dish could be so much fun. Peggy also made the soup. (Just grab her picture off her Blog, post it and pretend. Just a suggestion. LOL) Your Spring buds are nice to see.

  2. Hi Teresa, wow it sounds as if you really have had your hands full. I know what you mean about big projects sapping the energy and its terrific you at least got to give a go on a couple of the months selections. The Bubble and Squeak was delicious, I used just plain simple curry powder with fine results and don’t know that I would change it. The soup was indeed delicious and definitely one to prepare again. Best of Luck finishing up on things, ridding of those no longer needed items, and clearing the way in the blooms of renewal!

  3. Kudos for managing to make what you did with so much else going on. I didn’t make either of those dishes so I really enjoyed reading your comments about them.

  4. Dear Teresa, I certainly appreciate you taking the time “out of construction chaos” to participate in the Cottage Cooking Club this month with two wonderful recipes – the bubble and squeak was quite comforting, I agree, and it is funny that you mention the “curry issue”, it has been bugging me for a while now – there are so many different spice blends out there but in the end, it is a question of personal preference, I guess. If you like a more spicy curry blend, go for one with a bolder character. I now use a variety of curry blends, depending on mood, remaining ingredients etc. The fennel soup was so delicious and it does have a certain comfort-food level during these cold days – very creamy and velvety.
    Hope all the construction is over and done with by now and thank you, again, for participating,
    Andrea

  5. Home construction can be so disruptive, and not being able to cook comfort food while the stress is on can be frustrating. The bubble and squeak sounds perfect for this time of year. I only recently discovered that I liked cooked cabbage. I though all cooked cabbage was the same as sauerkraut which I don’t like. I’ll have to revisit this one some time soon.

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