Pink soup & apples

Ruby chard soup

I’ve made a frugal soup today, with swede and ruby chard from the garden and goose stock from our New Year’s Eve roast goose. So the only bought ingredients (apart from the rather expensive goose, of course) were a bit of local apple juice and some pearled spelt which comes all the way from Somerset.

The new leaves on the over-wintered chard are a very dark purple with bright pink stems. The cooked leaves are green and have leaked their colour into the soup, turning it a vibrant pinky-red.

Still I feel pleased and satisfied, as I always do when I’ve been able to put a meal on the table mainly with things from the garden or leftover from another meal.

After our soup we will have apple and ginger cake, made for a meeting we went to today of a local smallholders’ club. The apples come from a tree in my mother’s garden, are very tasty and have lasted extraordinarily well since they were picked in the autumn, without us storing them particularly carefully.

My mum can’t remember the variety. Bit of a pity that. If she could then I could grow it! I have been poring over apple varieties on the web this past week, since time is running out for getting them to plant by March.

I am having happy dreams of the time when we have enough apples to make juice and dried apples as well as chutney, jelly, bottled apple compote and so on.

Here are the lovely apples with no name.

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Hello 2014!

New Year's Eve table

Second New Year’s Eve in our ‘new’ home. Last year we were just four for dinner and tonight we were eight; so brilliant to have friends and family from Manchester and other bits of our old life here in the new one – makes me feel whole, connected, all of that.

Tonight we ate: tapenade and a bean and garlic thing on toasts, celeriac and chestnut soup (very good recipe from River Cafe), roast goose with apples or spinach and nut roast and red cabbage, green salad and cheese, cheesecake with plum and apple compote.

Another year coming and I feel full of hope.

Happy new year to all my friends and readers out there. May 2014 be good to you.