Let's Get Ready To Crumble

Aha. The BAFTAs have just lurched into the predictable bits. Ledger's just won, for chrissakes, while the overrated Slumdog's already got about 87... expect Winslet, Rourke, Slumdog and Boyle to get the remaining big prizes and go and do something less tedious instead... like discussing crumble.

Sister Lambshank was up for the weekend, for meat, wine, borrowed bears - we like to offer our guests every service - a wander around Ally Pally Farmers Market and a planned roast chicken lunch before we packed her off home. Last night's lamb was good, the wine flowed, the cheese rocked (it was cheese, it does that) and the sleep was good. Well, except for me: I seem to have picked up some throat infection which has left me snoring like a warthog.

The chicken though went in the freezer for next weekend and, instead, we had a cupboard clearing smorgasbord, topped up with some bits from the market, including an excellent fidget pie: ham, cheese and apple in good pastry to provide a glorious, simple comforting dish. Throw in some ham, some roasted peppers and aubergine, the remains of the goat curd, some Giggly Pig sausages (ginger and spring onion, a great combo), a couple of spinach bourek, some winter salad from the plot, some steamed leeks and a chorizo and green bean stew from the freezer. That was followed by a home made crumble, also from the freezer: we stuck it in there uncooked a couple of months ago when a dinner guest surprised us with an enormous cake.

Here's the thing. The crumble was excellent, the best we've created in our kitchen. And the bean and chorizo stew? Even better than when it was first made. So what happens in the freezer? Is there a scientific answer? Is it just a time thing? Either way, I think I'm cooking all my food three months early from this point on...


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