Sunday, 19 December 2010
Stewed fruit compote
This has been a tough week; I've been doing something very unusual for me - I've been out partying. For numerous noble causes (saying goodbye to friends, celebrating the festive season and making the most of my last few weeks in London), I've been staying out late wining and dining (and even dancing!) with the best of them. The problem is that I've had to add this hectic socialising onto the end of an already pretty chaotic timetable of long walks to nursery, waking during the night to attend to sick/teething baby and generally running around chasing my tail.
The result: I've caught the children's bug and now we're all feeling pretty sorry for ourselves; coughing and sniffing. Needless to say, progress on our imminent move to Copenhagen has been slow and then, as if there wasn't enough on our plates, this week we found out that the landlord of the flat we are supposed to be moving into in January has reneged. A little bit disappointing.
But I was determined to find something beautiful and delicious to celebrate amidst all this ugliness and it came upon me quite unexpectedly; as I was cooking up a batch of stewed fruit compote and had left the pan simmering on the stove. I went to get the children dressed and came back to the kitchen to the glorious aroma of stewed apples and pears, prunes and dried apricots. The steam from the simmering pot wafted through the air and the comforting smell gave me a moment of sublimity. I felt revived.
This is a recipe I make from time to time when immunities are low and I need something super healthy to add to the children's breakfasts in the morning. I simply peel, core and chop a couple of apples and pears, pop them in a pan and cover with water. I add five each of prunes and dried apricots and bring the pan to the boil then let it simmer for a while.
When the fruit is soft, I drain it and blend it up to a puree (using a bit of the drained water). This time I couldn't resist drinking the cupful of warm juice left in the pan. It was an instant tonic, lubricating my sore throat and warming my insides. Hopefully the vitamin boost will put us all on the road to recovery.