Puy lentils - Chicken legs were seared in olive oil then removed from the pan. A sliced leek and a handful of sliced pancetta were cooked until soft. One cup of cooked puy lentils were added along with a whisker of dried thyme, a punnet of grape tomatoes and a cup of chicken stock. Chicken was nestled in it's lentily bed and popped into a 180 degree oven for about half an hour. I dare you not to eat the leftover liquid with the serving spoon.
Potatoes - Scrubbed and pierced potatoes were baked in a 180 degree oven for about an hour (til cooked). Meanwhile a clove of garlic was cooked in a splash of oil til just fragrant. When cooled it was mixed with a good knob of butter. Spinach was finely sliced and cheddar was grated. Home made baked beans (garlic oil, bacon, tin of cannelini beans, tin of chopped tomatoes, paprika and maple syrup to taste) bubbled on the stove. A quartered potato was slathered with garlic butter, a large spoonful of beans, spinach, cheese and a generous dollop of sour cream.
Clams - Angel hair spaghetti was put on to cook. A few shallots were fried in garlic oil til soft. A good splash of vermouth (could use white wine) was added and allowed to bubble and go syrupy. A small carton of cream followed. The clams were tumbled in and a lid popped on. After a few minutes and a good few shakes of the pan the spaghetti was added and tossed through all the heavenly smelling liquor. A giant platter, a sprinkling of parsley...bliss!
Nectarines - One cup of castor sugar joined two and a half cups of water in a pan over a low heat. When the sugar had dissolved the simmering liquid was left to dance for a further five-ish minutes. Halved nectarines were added and cooked on each side for a few minutes. These ruby delights were removed and their skins peeled away. Two teaspoons of rosewater was added to the liquid and left to plip and plop away merrily until it was syrupy. A few nectarine halves, a dollop of greek yoghurt, a generous trickle of turkish delight scented syrup and some crushed pistachios. Arabian Nights at its very best.