Online Shopping and French Onion Soup

This festive season I decided, to minimise the pain associated with christmas shopping, to do it all online. Of course, like a Pavlov dog, I had erased from my mind the reason why online shopping is not all it’s made up to be.

It’s easy to browse for something, to be sure. It’s easy to pay for something, of course. What isn’t quite so easy is obtaining your goods. It’s a hit and miss affair.

Your online shop of choice might state that you will receive your goods in one to two days. Then you get home (having ordered something at work for example) and find a card saying ‘we tried to deliver but you weren’t in so we’ve sent your parcel back to the depot’. But, you think, it’s supposed to come tomorrow!

Or, just as easily, the item that should have been delivered in one to two days turns up three months later, and you can’t even remember why you purchased it, or who it was for.

So there I was, waiting for one of those ‘delivery next day’ parcels. And I was quickly running out of ‘next day’, so to speak. But I had tools. I had a tracking number. With this number I could track my item. I could see, virtually, where it was. At that specific time it was…

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…‘Out for delivery’. I lived in hope. But not expectation.

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Roasted Vegetable Soup with Mushroom & Cheese Toasts

Seeing how it’s blasting down outside I thought we’d do something seasonal. Actually just pausing on that a second, how come the weather was so reluctant to accept the arrival of Summer a few months back but has been more than happy to slip straight into Autumn?

It’s because England is stuck on the edge of the Atlantic and there’s lots of water around. Also we tend to get the back-end of America’s hurricanes – typical, even our weather is just the left-overs from somewhere else!

Anyway this soup comes with lots of certificates of healthiness so I decided to ruin that by serving it with olive oil-drenched toast filled with cheese and creamy mushrooms.

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Mediterranean Fish Stew with Garlic Ciabatta

New Le Creuset soup bowls. With lids! A gift from the wife for my birthday back in June. Had to try them out.

We decided on a fishy creation rather than standard soup and went for a tomatoey base rather than creamy. And (shock, gasp) this dish is actually quite healthy!

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Seafood Chowder with San Francisco Sourdough Bread

Mid-week feeding can be quite difficult. Thinking up something to eat that doesn’t involve 3 hours of preparation and also doesn’t involve picking up a phone and ordering sweet and sour chicken balls. Well here’s an easy enough quick fix: Seafood Chowder (no mussels in this one)

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Soup For Convicts

Guess what. I’ve got a lot of ham left over from the festive season so expect to see ham-related recipes. Here’s the first. Pea and ham soup. This classic dish originated on the high seas when sailors would boil up dried peas with salt pork and was originally known as pease pudding.

Also, for those of you familiar with southern England, it was served to convicts in the village of Pease Pottage travelling to port to be dispatched to Australia. England’s great – who would have thought pea soup had a heritage like that?

Food Criminal

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