Confession. The nation celebrated the Queens Diamond Jubilee this weekend, commemorating the 60th anniversary of her coronation. That wasn’t the confession. The confession was- we didn’t really celebrate it.. At all. No reason actually. On Friday, it has to be said, we had red, white and blue pancakes (spelt pancakes with strawberries, blueberries and sweetened natural yogurt) the kids had a party at school, and I may have stuck union jacks on all their tupperwares in their special Jubilee lunch.
Over the weekend however, we were involved with various activities over the weekend that completely EXcluded the Queen (I repeat- not consciously, nor maliciously- God save the Queen…) and INcluded cinema, swimming, walking, jogging with my girls, family bike rides, paella, car boot sales, snuggling beautiful new nieces, hide and seek in a field of knee-deep grass in the pouring rain (nope, not me- I was (happily) busy making food!), and finally today (though Jubilee weekend is officially over) fun and games at Cheshire Ice Cream Farm. Nary a union Jack in sight. I never even heard a bar of Land of Hope and Glory. I think I may have heard them sing God Save the Queen in church on Sunday, though I was playing Lego with my delicious rambunctious son in the nursery at the time. Bless him. Please.
All of this to say….I should be posting an alternative “red,white and blue “cheese”cake or something , and instead I have a really lame offering, but only because I am busy having family fun.
Here it is. My lame offering: Home-cooked chickpeas taste waaaaay better than canned. I am sold. I am never using canned chickpeas again. I actually cannot believe the difference.
I threw a whole bag into the slow cooker WITHOUT SOAKING and left it cooking as we gallavanted over Cheshire. When we returned- perfect, tender chickpeas.
My Mum said “What did you cook these chickpeas in?”
Mum: But what else???
Me: Just water.Not even any salt.
Mum: You didn’t cook them in stock or something? They taste so….good!
Me (popping a chickpea in) Mmmmm! Wow! They taste good!!
Now I love chickpeas but I would never call them a two-exclamation-mark-worthy food (hyphen overkill). But these were. They really were tasty. And I realise that canned beans and legumes have something added to them called FIRMING AGENT, and that is the reason that canned chickpeas don’t even seem fully cooked when you take them out. They could almost pass as “aldente”, and I am not really keen on that.
So I felt like a domestic goddess today, because the brown rice chicken paella tasted AMAZING, my best one so-far, and so did my Vegetarian Alternative- Chickpeas and Spinach (featured on this website under maindishes. (My too-lazy-to-hyperlink) Furthermore, I bagged up my ready-to-eat chickpeas in ickle freezer bags ready for a chickpea moment (Firming-Agent Free).
I have good memories of the Queen’s Jubilee weekend. None involve Union Jacks, but plenty of small, simple things, and these are the things I love. Oh- and some very tasty chickpeas.