Some simmer action on the hob
It’s one of those things we knew that you could do (because our granny said so).
However, using the leftover chicken carcass to stretch another meal out of it, seemed, well…too much hassle.
Something people did in the 50′s.
Today, we stand corrected, faces shiny with steam from the pot, we’re feeling smug that we will be taking home made soup to work for tomorrow’s lunch!
2-3 cloves garlic
Leftover chicken carcass
Herbs, stock cube, salt & pepper can be added to taste
(We cooked our chicken with Rosemary and Garlic to begin with so we didn’t need to add too much seasoning)
1. Slice the onion and add to a pan with some olive oil
2. Add a couple of crushed cloves of garlic
3. Sweat until the onion begins to colour
4. Add the leftover veg and coat in the oil
5. Cut the chicken into manageable pieces and add to the pan
6. If you’ve got any of the cooking juices left in the pan, pour these in too.
7. Cover the carcass with water and simmer for an hour
8. Pick out the remains of the carcass and strip any remaining meat from the bones and into the pan
9. You can add a stock cube, salt and pepper to taste (depending on what the chicken was originally seasoned with and if you added the juices)
10. Whizz with a hand held blender or leave chunky – up to you
Far from being a chore, this recipe is one you can make in the course of tidying the kitchen after a Sunday lunch.
It’s a great way of reducing food waste, making sure tomorrow’s lunch is taken care of and getting the best value for money from your Sunday roast.
Our first literary dinner with author Isabel Ashdown was a huge success and we would like to thank everyone for their kind support and wonderful company.
It was clear why The Old Town Hall is currently booked for up to two years in advance,
its beautiful high ceilings definitely lent a touch of grandeur to the proceedings.
Guests enjoyed a glass of Elderflower bubbly on arrival,
and Andrei Lussmann was ambushed at the last minute to say a few words about his restaurants and his philosophy on food by way of introducing the delicious menu.
Everyone attending received a free copy of Isabel’s first book “Glasshopper”,
and as dessert was being served she took to the floor to talk about her writing career.
We were so spellbound by this that we didn’t finish our Lemon Posset.
(and we don’t need to tell you how GREAT that was).
Reading from Glasshopper, Isabel introduced its two principal characters, Jake and Mary.
Jake is 13 years old and growing up in the eighties.
Mary is his mother, and in the book we get to see her not only through Jake’s eyes, as his mum, but also before that time, learning how she had once had the same aspirations as her son.
It was lovely to hear an author read their work.
The tone of the piece, the voice of the character, every inflection, was as it should be, was how it was written.
It was also inspiring to hear how Isabel had left a secure management role to study creative writing, and she had lots of advice to share with the guests about how to get started, how to keep going and insight into the publishing process.
We were delighted that so many people asked questions, which we hope is a sign that there will be a glut of St Albans novelists to invite for future events.
The evening wasn’t without its serious side and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated to our chosen charity The National Association for Children Of Alcoholics.
Supporting this event helped us to raise awareness of the 1 million children living with an alcohol-dependent parent and raise much needed funds for the National helpline.
We must say a special thank you to the team at The Sopwell House Hotel and Waterstones for supporting the dinner and for being such great company.
We’ve had a bit of time to rest over the bank holiday, and we’re busy planning the next one, so please get in touch with any comments, suggestions and ideas that you may have.
Thanks again for a great evening, we hope to see you soon!
Our literary event is raising money for The National Association for Children Of Alcoholics (Nacoa)
Nacoa offers information, advice and emotional support to children affected by parental drinking.
Each year, Nacoa holds Children Of Alcoholics Week, to raise awareness of the estimated 1 million children living with an alcohol-dependent parents.
Below is the COA Week blog, which we hope goes some way in explaining why Nacoa is such an important charity.
“I listened to the radio for as long as I could bear on my car journey last week. Every news bulletin seemed to have the same purpose; to make me very angry about the state of our country, if not the world. Today’s 24-hour media is all pervading, and it is easy to become de-sensitised, easy to miss the fundamental problems that play out in our society, every day, in front of our eyes. Such a challenge is exactly what Nacoa faces in ‘Children Of Alcoholics week’, which starts today. So, what does Nacoa want to achieve with this week?
Firstly, we want people to know that there are almost 1 million children in the UK living with an alcohol dependent parent.
Secondly, we want people to suspend judgement of those parents.
I am sure many people will question why they should care about an issue they may consider to be self made.
The answer is that to not care will leave another generation to suffer the legacy of addiction.
Studies show that children of alcoholics are:
Twice as likely to be in trouble with the police
Twice as likely to develop alcoholism themselves
Three times as likely to have an addiction to drugs
Five times as likely to have an eating disorder
Three times as likely to consider suicide
The inheritance tax for a child of an alcoholic is the highest rate of all.
Many services exist to support alcoholics and their families but Nacoa is the only UK charity supporting children whose parents have not acknowledged that there is a problem.
Nacoa runs a free, confidential helpline for children affected by parental alcoholism.
Children calling the helpline tell our volunteers about problems at school because they have been awake all night listening to arguments and fall asleep in class. Some don’t eat properly because there is no money for food; they may not ever get their clothes washed and some will suffer abuse.
Marked out by their peers for being different, falling behind with their studies due to lack of parental support, the alcoholism at home begins to seep through every area of a child’s life.
It isn’t hard then, to see the cycle developing and how if their needs for attention affection and security continue to go unmet, they could carry such emotional issues into adulthood.
I earlier quoted a statistic of 1 million children being affected.
The fact is there could be so many more, because alcoholism is the family secret.
The drinking is kept secret for many reasons: shame, embarrassment, fear of betraying the family, fear of being taken away. ..there is still a stigma surrounding alcoholism.
This stigma creates a barrier between a child and opportunity.
Nacoa offers information, advice and emotional support for children.
Most of all we offer a safe place, without judgement.
Callers to the helpline learn that it is not their fault.
They learn that they didn’t cause their parents drinking.
They learn that there is no need to feel shame.
At Nacoa, there is no stigma.
Nacoa helps them to make healthy decisions for themselves so that they can lead full and happy lives regardless of whether their parent continues to drink.
COA week is about highlighting how many children are living with this problem and how, if we suspend judgement and blame we make it that much easier for them to get the help that they need.
We may mark COA Week annually, but at Nacoa every week is COA Week and we continue to raise awareness of the 1 million children living with an alcohol-dependent parent.
Things are changing, but slowly, for some children change will come too late.
There is still a long way to go and one day we might just get there”.
With less than 2 weeks to go until out literary fundraiser.
(Stops typing, runs in circles, shrieks).
We thoroughly enjoyed our tasting session at Lussmanns and we’re really excited to share the menu with you!
Agreeing the menu with Andrei. Lussmann is a bit like being invited to dine at the captains table.
You get to sit with the man himself while the staff produce a steady stream of fresh, sustainable dishes that all have the feel of being much loved, family recipes.
We wanted to offer a choice at our dinner and so we were trying 3 dishes of each of the 3 courses being served.
Warning us that trying to eat all 9 dishes would be inadvisable, Andrei assured us that it wouldn’t be wasted, and that anything we left would be recycled for the national grid!
So within minutes we were discussing how food waste becomes methane gas and contributes to renewable energy and examining his newly delivered doggy boxes (better for the environment than doggy bags).
The boxes themselves looked good enough to eat and probably taste better than some of the take aways we’ve been guilty of ordering.
We hope he won’t be offended if we say we’d quite like to follow this event with ‘An evening with Andrei Lussmann’.
So, without further ado, here is the menu for the evening, we’ll be in touch to ask you your choices soon and then all you have to do is turn up and enjoy!
Hertfordshire free-range chicken liver & Armagnac Parfait (our favourite)
Warmed chicory with Stilton, pear & walnuts
South coast Mackerel with a Colemans mustard & new potato salad
Line-caught smoked haddock mash, peas & wholegrain mustard cream (Looks and tastes great)
Roasted root vegetable tagine
Romney Marsh lamb thyme & shallot rösti with seasonal vegetables (Melted in the mouth, we’re having this!)
Chocolate & digestive tart
Sticky toffee pudding toffee sauce & vanilla bean ice cream
Lemon posset with almond crunch (One word – IMMENSE)
Tea & coffee to follow
If you haven’t bought a ticket yet, don’t miss out, get one here: https://my.allaboutstalbans.net/book-tickets/Old-Town-Hall/449/Isabel-Ashdown-Literary-Dinner.aspx
We are busy working on our first literary dinner to be held in St Alban’s on May 3rd.
Literary genius? Award winning author Isabel Ashdown has confirmed. Check!
Venue? Booked The Old Town Hall. Check!
Food? Booked the wonderful Lussmans to feed us all. Check!
Tickets? On sale next week from The Old Town Hall. Half check!
All we need now is for people to come! Please support us in our efforts, Isabel is a wonderful writer and we hope that her visit will be the first of many from authors, artists and anyone else we think is a little bit interesting. St Albans deserves that.
It’s going to be a wonderful evening, not least because we’ll be raising money for children’s charity Nacoa. Nacoa supports children with alcohol-dependent parents and attending this event will help them to continue taking calls on their free, confidential helpline which is often the only place that vulnerable children have to turn to.
Thanks to Roger Harlow for letting us use his amazing image of The Old Town Hall – if you like it, you can buy the postcard from the Tourist Information Centre when you buy your event tickets