Before we enter the blog proper, I feel it is important to make a couple of excuses. Firstly, I’m sorry that there have been no new recipe posts in the past week or so, but what I shall call a ‘negative life event’ took place and I haven’t found the time. However, we shan’t go any further into that since I’m not, as you may know, much of a sharer – I simply don’t feel the need. Secondly, this was supposed to be a post regarding a certain rhubarb, strawberry and orange compote. Unfortunately, the fates took time to collude against any honourable intentions I may have held and the photographing of the intended dessert fell flat on its face. I’m extremely glad to be back and I hope to bring you news of my recipe for individual rhubarb and custard galettes as soon as possible.

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Fougasse is a French loaf, usually found in Provence, which I have been meaning to post for a number of weeks. The leaf shape and rustic quality of this bread is something that absolutely captivates me – it is incredibly pretty. As such, it was something that simply had to find its way to FrugalFeeding, since the quaintly rustic look of my food often belies my decorative deficiencies. As it is a cousin of the Italian focaccia it lends itself well to all manner of different flavourings. Rosemary is always a particularly good choice with bread, since its flavour appears to penetrate a loaf with devastating efficiency. Indeed, despite the fact that only a few sprigs of rosemary were employed in the making of this loaf, the flavour of the rosemary can be easily tasted throughout. The addition of plenty of good-quality sea salt only adds to this. However, as I have already intimated, there is great scope for invention when it comes to bread. Olives, sun-dried tomatoes or chorizo would also make great additions to this superb bread.

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So, it seems as though the time has come to accept that Christmas is just around the corner. The idea of beginning to celebrate a public holiday more than a couple of weeks in advance of its arrival has always sickened me somewhat. Alas, these days the build-up to such events begins before the preceding holiday. It has reached the point at which we always seem to be celebrating something; there should be a law which restricts the sale of themed paraphernalia to its relevant month. There is a distinct possibility that we shall soon be celebrating Christmas a year in advance.

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Since we started using dried pulses for cooking the tins of butterbeans and chickpeas that are stockpiled in our cupboards have been all but forgotten about. However, leaving them go to waste clearly is not an option, so I shall be trying my hardest over the next few weeks to make use of them. This is my own recipe, though it should be mentioned that the café at which I work has served up butterbean gratin on a number of occasions. Despite the fact that this wasn’t a tried and tested recipe it was absolutely delicious. The tomato sauce was deep and rich in flavour, the butterbeans were tender and the breadcrumbs were browned to perfection. If you are in search of a delicious, light and healthy meal, look no further.

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Quiche, which is essentially a savoury tart, has been a staple in my diet for the majority of the past two decades. Almost all of these tarts have included onion, cheese, bacon and mushroom and have been made by my mother. Whilst this variety of quiche is by no means a disappointment, the time has come for a change. So, this week when it was announced that the much cooked quiche would once again feature on the weekly menu, I made the dramatic move of insisting on the injection of a little variety. It was a massive success, though if you prefer an entirely healthy lifestyle it may not be one for you. You may blame BBC GoodFood for this, since that’s where the recipe was discovered.

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