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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A current obsession with spinach and theatre reviewing.

I first want to apologise to my readers for not being more attendant to this, my food and drink blog. The recent lack of regular blog posts has been due to lack of time to devote to writing about food. Most of you will know that I have another blog about another of my passions; the theatre. Over the last year I have been honoured in getting some great opportunities to review plays in Derby and Nottingham at Derby Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse, plus Curve in Leicester. I have also been asked to attend some of Derby Playhouse's professional rehearsals for their very recent production of The Odyssey. How could I pass that up? I get two free press tickets for each gig and a glass of wine on press nights but no other pay generally.

All these things take up my spare time and often end up with me writing my reviews until one in the morning and then getting up again at five to go and do a day's work on the counters at Tesco. Thank goodness that the store isn't that busy at the moment. Then, I was offered (and took) a chance to appear on Kev Castle's hospital radio at The Queen's Medical Centre. That was great fun and I did talk about the Mug Of Strong Tea food blog as well as things theatrical, honest folks. Recently I got chosen by Nottingham Playhouse to be the paid writer for a review of their play, The Three Penny Opera for The Big Issue!

In the last couple of days I have written another 2000 words for a glossy amateur theatre magazine called Sardines and supplied photos for my article about the twinning events that happen every two years between Nottingham's Lace Market Theatre and two amateur theatres in the German city of Karlsruhe. Busy busy busy.

In between times I eat and learn/revise my German language skills for a visit in April by our friends from Karlsruhe. All of the above can be read on my other blog at

Spinach! Yes, I haven't been much of a spinach eater until about a month ago when I got some from work and steamed it to add a bit of greenery to my meal. It was delicious and only takes about ten minutes to steam. As well as being an accompaniment I have experimented with adding it to a curry. First steam, drain and squeeze out all the water, chop finely and stir into a curry at he last minute.

lamb rogan josh curry with spinach

Many people dislike the strong taste and soggy texture of cooked spinach so why not try experimenting with raw spinach leaves and adding a few to a salad. Young spinach leaves can be used as a substitute for lettuce; a warm salad with spinach leaves, grilled bacon, avocado and sliced mushrooms for example.

rack of lamb chops, new potatoes and spinach

So far I don't have muscles like Popeye. Interestingly, spinach has long been thought of as a particularly rich source of iron and back in the 1950s children were forced to eat it by their parents who thought it would make them fit and strong. A big influence was the cartoon character Popeye who gulped down tins of the stuff!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Spinch used to be one of many vegetables which brought back unpleasant memories of my parents trying to persuade me to eat ' just a little'. These days I still don't rate it amongst my favourites, but it is excellent in curry, & delicious raw, if you use young leaves. I'm thinking of growing some this year, as if I buy it in a bag from a supermarket, there is far too much, & as I hate waste I rarely bother.