Delia’s Fast Roast Chicken

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“If you sometimes feel depressed or let down, if you are suffering from the pressures of life, or simply having a plain old day, my advice is to roast a chicken”

This is the start to chapter 4 of Delia How to Cook, Book 2 which is where I decided to start,  because there was a chicken in the fridge and becasue it is February and I find February a hard month to get through and Delia is right, a chicken roasting in the oven (especially one with a lemon up its bum) just makes the day feel a little bit more golden.

So I started with Fast Roast Chicken with Lemon and Tarragon and I was worried, really worried about the timing of this because I have it ingrained within my internal cookery book that a chicken cooks at 20 minutes a lb plus 20 minutes so to be told that my 3lb chicken would cook in 45 minutes had me feeling very nervous…

But it works, it does, bang on 45 minutes the chicken came out and it was done perfectly…and the gravy was spot on and we were all happy and feeling that little bit more spring like…and there were leftovers (2 stir fries and a chicken sandwich).

This is probably the easiest recipe to do from the point of view that all the family will eat it…chapter 1 is patchy, chapter 2 (fish) is for me alone…

The Tyranny of the Lunchbox

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I loathe making packed lunches day in day out…there, I’ve admitted it.  Odd because I love picnics and what is a packed lunch but a picnic in miniature ? I haven’t always hated them, in fact when Spider first started having lunch twice a week as “lunch club” at preschool I spent most of the week planning them and trying to make them fun and enjoyable.

But now some 4 years on, 4 years during which the amount of things he will eat has been  rapidly decreasing (and inconsistent, one week he will eat something the next week it’s “But Mummy, you KNOW I don’t eat that !!!), I just find it dispiriting and a grind…and I’m not alone, I don’t think Flapjack Queen has made flapjacks in over 18 months

His Grandma has had some success with evening meals and has discovered he will eat a lot of things he says he doesn’t like if you cover them with breadcrumbs.

Anyway I have decided it is time to rejuvenate the lunchtime experience for both of us, to try and inject some fun and variation into what has become a sort of “if it’s monday it must be cheese” experience…although maybe drawing up a spreadsheet to record progress may have been taking things a bit too far !

So tonight I have tried to restart my Domestic Goddess qualifications – spurred on by the guilt of the knowledge that my Spider had a Cadbury’s mini roll in his packed lunch every day last week – I flicked through Cake Days:Hummingbird Bakery to see if there was anything I could make from the storecupboard… pity poor Spider as despite page after page of baked yumminess I appear to have picked the most healthy and boring recipe in the book.

Cooling in the kitchen are Apricot Crunches which are a sort of fruited flapjack. I had been worried by the amount of butter involved until I realised they use butter and sugar instead of golden syrup and not in addition. Result for me is that for once I can get my flapjack out of the tin…however the mixture didn’t set too well and is prone to crumbling…I think possibly a higher oven temp next time to make the sugar and butter become” sticky”.

It’s not much, but it is at least a start…and it’s only monday