Struggling? – With Marcella #91 & #92 (of 466)

At my table, last night, sat dear friends who know what it is to struggle.

We all do, don’t we? There’s always something we’re struggling with.

We talked about how unhelpful it can be for a fellow Christian to ask ‘How’s your walk with the Lord?’ It’s unhelpful because we’ll pretty much always be left standing there with a heavy awareness of our failures to love and serve our Lord the way we should.

We agreed a far better question was to ask ‘What are you struggling with lately?’ Then, to seek to encourage each other to see how the Lord is walking with us in those struggles, molding and shaping us to be more like him.

It’s less about our walk with the Lord. It’s more about his walking with us, beside us, before us, behind us and through us.

So, as we ate the next installment from the ‘Veal’ chapter in Marcella’s book, along with a deliciously simple potato and anchovy dish (neither recipe involved any struggle at all!), we asked each other, ‘What are you struggling with?’ and reminded each other how we do that struggling with the Lord by our side, holding us fast.

We finished off the meal with the remnants of Nigella’s ‘No Churn Coffee Icecream’ from the night before – no churning or struggling there!

Last night: #91 ‘Veal Scaloppine with Marsala and Cream’ and #92 ‘Pan-Roasted Potatoes with Anchovies, Genoa Style’ with fellow strugglers at my table.

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Using Up Stuff – With Marcella #88, #89 & #90 (of 466)

When forced to live through times of transition, uncertainty, waiting or delay, I tend to get moderately (to highly) obsessive about sorting, culling, throwing out and using up stuff. I must write a how-to guide about it someday. For now, I’m too obsessed to be writing about such obsessive behaviour.

Last night I ventured into the ‘Veal’ chapter in Marcella’s book. I think I may only have had veal once in my life, if ever, so I had left this chapter untouched up to this point. The potential cost also put me off a little – but then it turns out that because you flatten the escalopes until they are thin, it looks like your guests are getting more meat than they actually are. Also, because Marcella’s recipes tend not to have long lists of complicated ingredients, you don’t have too many other expenses.

The main reason I was venturing into the chapter of veal recipes, was to cook one particular recipe that would use up the couple of tablespoons of Grappa leftover from the ‘Drunk Roast Pork’ recipe I cooked for my friend’s 40th. In addition, it would also make use of some of the tin of anchovies in my cupboard. ‘Veal Scaloppine with Ham, Anchovies, Capers and Grappa’ was quick to cook (5-6 minutes). So quick, that I didn’t remember to take a photo – sorry.

For dessert, I used one of Nigella’s recipes that had been highlighted on a blog I was reading the night before. ‘No Churn Coffee Icecream.’ I also found the recipe on her official site. I highly recommend giving it a try!! My guests last night would concur. This recipe used up the last of some coffee powder (used for cooking purposes) and a forgotten tin of sweetened condensed milk found in the back of my cupboard. I served the icecream in coffee cups with a seasonally inevitable Ferrero Rocher on the side. Sorry, no photo of that either.

That was last night.

Today I made a ‘Glazed Bread Pudding’ in advance of a staff Christmas dinner in two day’s time. Marcella suggests making it in advance to let the flavours develop. This recipe used up the last of the rum (used for cooking purposes!) in my cupboard. I also, somewhat frustratingly, used up a half packet of caster sugar in my attempt to make the toffee glaze. After three attempts I gave up. I will make my own toffee sauce to drizzle over it on the night.

Crazy, I know! Ever so non-conformist of me! My inner ‘recipe-conformist’ is not coping very well.

Tonight, I’ll be giving another veal recipe a go – just to use up the remaining anchovies and some of the remaining Marsala (used for cooking purposes!).

Last night: #88 ‘Veal Scaloppine with Ham, Anchovies, Capers and Grappa’ and #89 ‘Smothered French Beans with Carrots Sticks and Mortadella or Ham’ with the Violinist and the Ambassador at my table.

For Monday night: #90 ‘Glazed Bread Pudding’ at my boss’s home with a collection of desserts set to be on the table.