Sweet goodness, good sweetness and an absent dragon

What a shock to a tiddler’s system! The advent of storm Barbara seems to have stirred my Aga dragon into restlessness. Next thing I knew, he had gone out to meet the gathering gale, leaving my bed temperature dropping below comfortable bum-simmering  heat and me a cold kittle. I greeted at my owner, I fussed, I complained. Did she go looking for absent dragons? No indeed, she just started messing about with bits of stick and paper and the dreaded vacuum cleaner. She said that it must be a problem with the flues. Yes indeed, he flue away! She said she would have to take all the coal out and relight the Aga. Never mind how I felt about all this rubbish being stacked over my afternoon sleeping place, and midday coming fast.

The wind was increasing in its roar, hail was drumming on the windows and Mum said this was good (told you she was a funny woman) because it would help the dragon want to come home and the Aga be alight again. At least I think thats what she said. It may have included something about peat blocks and barbecue coals as bait too.

Whats she done to my snoozing zone?

Anyway, despite all the grumbles about scorched jumper and grubby fingernails, she got the Aga going again in record time. She was so pleased with the 2 hour relight that she decided to do some baking again. I was too exhausted to care and sank into my vetbed for a snooze. Heres what she made:

Orange topped sweet potato tart

This tart is gluten free and vegan, healthy and very more-ish.

If you like chilli feel free to add more to the tart top. Green olives would be a good addition too.

1 large sweet potato, baked till soft

1 green chilli, finely sliced

300g pack silken tofu

1 orange, use 1/2 grated rind and all flesh, sliced

4 decent asparagus spears

1 avocado, sliced

1 tsp caraway seed

1 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp Lebanese 10 spice (or use cassia/cinnamon)

1 Tablespoon walnut oil

(optional green olives, sliced)

Mash the sweet potato into a 7″ pie dish as a base. Sprinkle on the orange rind, green chillies, then layer on the tofu like its a pie filling. Decorate with asparagus, avocado, then place orange slices on top. Sprinkle the seeds and spice over then a drizzle of oil. Bake in a moderate oven (350C gas 4) till orange is softened and slightly browned.

Since the house was now smelling all peat-smokey she made a smokey soup too.

Smokey pepper soup

This is a creamy tasting yet vegan gluten-free soup.


1 onion, diced and 3 garlic cloves, peeled, fried in

1 dessertspoon olive oil

Add 1/2 aubergine, diced and sweated then

1  1/2 red peppers, chopped

Splash of white wine or sherry (optional)

Add 1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp light miso

2 tsp bouillon powder

black pepper to taste, (touch of chilli if liked)

2 tsp sage

1 tsp thyme

+ 1 litre water.

Simmer till aubergine softens enough to blend easily with a stick blender. Thin to desired consistency with more water. Serve with oat soda bread and seasonal beetroot green salad.







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