Well, we haven't done a that was the week that was post for a while, which means that the blog has been lacking in cute cat pictures, which will never do.
La Minx remains as beautiful and capricious as ever, as is the way with felines. She, at best, tolerates and, at worst, cordially dislikes D despite our ongoing efforts but he forgives her because she is beautiful and has the loudest purr ever to emanate from a little cat.
Now, tell me, where on Earth has the summer gone? I'm sure we had a few nice days back there in what - May? June? But the last few weeks have been terrible! As regular readers will know, I am not a fan of the heat but the lack of blue skies and the constant threat of rain is becoming slightly depressing. I feel like I should be talking about barbecues and summer salads but it's really more weather for stews.
Still, miserable weather notwithstanding, we managed to drag ourselves out this week when we went to a really fun Sipsmith gin event at Shear's Yard this week, which I will write about in more detail in another post; I was shocked to find that it has been two and a half years since we last went to that fine establishment (I wrote about it here). Sadly, both time and money preclude us from visiting such local gems as often as we would both like - and given the continued pressures on independent establishments it's a real shame not to support them more. Leeds recently lost The Black Swan which was an absolutely wonderful gastro-ish pub that is also mentioned in the above post which goes to show that even places that do everything right are at risk.
We had a few nights midweek where we were a bit lax about cooking for various reasons, but things have picked up this weekend, and for brunch this morning I finally got around to making shakshuka (pictured below with toasted, buttered brioche).
It's been on my "dishes I should really try" list for AGES and, guess what? It really is worth trying! I followed Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe, here because I liked the fact that it kept things pretty simple (I mean, in terms of additions to the stewed tomato and pepper mix.) I can see how adding a garnish of feta, or herbed yoghurt or cooking some chorizo or something in with the vegetables would work well, but loved it just as it was. It's great for brunch because you can make the sauce the day before (which probably improves the flavour anyway) and then just cook the eggs in the morning. Although I have to say this: his recipe suggests that you make the sauce then divide it between four pans before cooking with the eggs. This sounds like a lot of washing up to me. I cooked the vegetables in a large, shallow, stove-top casserole dish and just broke the eggs into that. Much simpler.