I managed a personal triumph in the kitchen this week as I overcame what had developed into a weird procrastinating inertia around roasting a squash! Yes folks, I have to admit to the fact that even after 5 years of writing this weekly column and 25 years of cooking for the family I had never managed to build up the self-confidence to cut a squash in half, scoop out the seeds, baste with oil and wang into the oven on a baking tray at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Now that I’ve finally cracked it, finally realised just; a) how easy it is and b) how delicious the end result is; I feel a little bit of a buffoon. The other beautiful thing about it is that the preparation is quick and easy and the cooking takes no more attention than a glance at the timer.
So now I can approach the Winter Squash season with a new found confidence, a confidence that comes from experience rather than repeating what Jim from Hotch Potch Organics has told me whenever I’ve asked him for tips. I can stand tall and announce that I KNOW how wonderful a risotto made with roasted Carnival Squash is; because I made it myself! It’s the best time of year for Winter Squash and the variety available at the market will give me plenty to experiment with; butternut, carnival, acorn, kaboocha, delicata etc.
I had another realisation in the kitchen this weekend; I realised why Plenty! Pies are called Plenty! (In other words why they have that exclamation mark after their name.) As I put two of their vegetarian pies (chick pea, delicious) into the oven and wondered if I ought to do some spuds to go with them I thought, “No, that will be Plenty!” And they were!
Customers should be thinking about putting in their orders for Christmas about now and at this week’s market we will have Madgett’s (Turkeys, Duck, Goose, Chicken etc), lots of meat stalls and Faithfull’s Christmas cakes all with their order books ready. In previous years we have always had Organic Turkeys available from Cefn Maen Farm, who would return to the market at this time of year. Unfortunately, due to a bereavement they won’t be attending the market this year. They do however have a small quantity of Organic turkeys available to order and they can be contacted on 01291 690428.