Vegetable days

Thursday morning

Today’s big question is… long does it take to cook cauliflower? This is not a veg that we normally have, but my parents brought around an exceptionally good one and it’s been sat in our fridge for several days hoping to get cooked. A quick look at my oldest (but more often than not) most useful cookery book ‘Margarite Paten’s Everyday Cook Book’ revealed a section on cooking vegetables that had us hooting with laughter. The cooking times were on the long side to say the least. Take fresh peas in the pod, once you’ve removed them how long do you boil them? I’d say about 1 minute, maybe 2 tops, my old book says 10 to 15 minutes. Oh dear. It says cauliflower sprigs take 10 minutes, I’d guessed at 4 to 5 minutes, so we used carrots for a point of reference. We normally cook them cut up for 3 to 4 minutes, but Margarite quotes ……..wait for it……25 to 30 minutes. EEEekkk. Even good old Delia, in her ‘How to Cook’ series says 20 minutes for small whole carrots. All I can say is ‘no wonder there’s so many people out there who hate vegetables. The poor things must have grown up with over cooked soggy piles of cauliflower and carrot, that just mush to a sodden mess of yukkiness. Urgh.

Fortunately my mum never overcooked her veg when we were growing up, she did used to go a bit towards the longer cooking time, as it was traditional to use the longer times, but suddenly decide to shorten her times further. I remember having crunchy cooked carrots, I think she’d boiled the water and waved the carrots over the top! Now we all cook our veg to a T, just enough to keep the firmness, but not crunchy….. perfection. I love me vegetables.

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