Fanny suggests cooking the spinach and passing it through a sieve. This seems a little strange to me, or dows it just sound like hard work? Either way, I revert to the 'wilt and chop' method I am comfortable with, I've had enough of that ordinary kitchen sieve for all those potatoes lately. I always find my wok the best spinach wilter. Mmm, it's so green, and naturally so too!
The base for the soup reminds me more of a white sauce really, and there's no stock involved. Fanny recommends a 'roomy pan' to dissolve the butter in before shooting in the flour and mixing. I am getting very used to 'shooting' in the flour, and I even like saying it. Once cooked out for a minute or two, a pint of milk - I am using Soya for extra taste and because really I am not keen on milk to be honest - is gradually mixed in with some spinach, beating well between each addition. I am getting very used to beating things in too, and also like saying it. I am just shooting and beating all day.
The roux starts off quite thick and pasty, but soon thins down after a few shoots and beats. The final thing is to add some seasoning - salt, pepper and nutmeg, yum - and some grated hard cheese. I've got some Double Gloucester which seems perfect. A quick mix, I mean beat, and that's it. Fanny says if I am feeling WILDLY extravagant I can add a dollop of cream, but does warn that this is an unnecessary addition for everyday occasions. I'm feeling extravagant. The soup is really fresh and tasty, still quite hearty though. The nutmeg kick is the real extravagance here, perfect.
More freshness for pudding, and again simple and quick. Perfect to whip up for a midweek after work supper. Baked Apples.
I set to coring a couple of cooking apples, and then very carefully as I am sure Fanny would've approved of, I run a small sharp knife around each apple in a very thin meridian line. This causes the skin to contract while baking, Fanny tells me, and thus enables me to 'jack off' the top easily. Erm, ok.
The missing core is filled with a lucious mixture of chopped glacé cherries, walnuts and golden syrup before baking. Fanny says to bake them 'until tender' so I check and check every now and again, until around 45 minutes later the top skins have jacked off all by themselves. Some the escaped syrupy juice is reunited over the apple. The finished Baked Apples are soft but still have some bite, Fanny describes them as feathery, and just enough sweetness from the syrup and cherries, with a bit of crunch with the walnuts. I'm enjoying this mid week dinner party very much!