If you have cour­gettes and toma­toes on board, this is a great way you can use them to­gether

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin - Vicky Blick

A veg­etable stew that’s tasty, ticks all the nu­tri­tion boxes and can also be in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile

Like most boaters I’ve got some­thing ed­i­ble grow­ing in a con­tainer which I can nur­ture and then eat.

It’s a very ba­sic in­stinct in us all to be self suf­fi­cient in some way but, be­cause of our boat­ing life­style, mine re­ally is a bit re­stricted these days. When we were house­bound I kept chick­ens, bees and even a goat and so self suf­fi­ciency is in my blood.

Yes there were times when it would have been sim­pler and cheaper to get our eggs and milk from the su­per­mar­ket but the an­i­mals brought mostly plea­sure into our lives and taught the chil­dren about good an­i­mal wel­fare and hus­bandry. With the un­cer­tainty of where our food comes from and what it silently con­tains, home pro­duc­tion also means you know ex­actly what you are eat­ing. To­day, two of our girls have fol­lowed in my foot­steps and keep live­stock.

I know that there are boaters who keep a cou­ple of hens on board but when I sug­gested this to the Cap­tain, he was not im­pressed. In my head I’d even de­signed the cage which would sit snug­gled into the fore­deck, eas­ily re­mov­able so that we could lift it on to grass when we moored. Seemed idyl­lic to me but I have con­tented my­self with buy­ing eggs from canal­side stalls in­stead.

Mean­while, my veg­etable planter on the tug deck pro­vides us with two good tasty crops which I can al­ways find a use for ei­ther cooked or raw: cour­gettes and cherry toma­toes. The cour­gette is a good sub­sti­tute for cu­cum­ber in a salad and the cherry toma­toes can be used in salad or em­bel­lish any cooked dish. The best way to use them, though, is to­gether in a veg­etable stew.

It may not sound a very ro­man­tic dish but it is tasty both hot or cold. I cook plenty and use the leftovers in stuffed pan­cakes with a cheese top­ping or as a fill­ing for jacket po­tato. It’s a meal which ticks all the nu­tri­tion boxes, doesn’t cost the earth and uses mostly what you have on board in the larder.

‘It may not sound a very ro­man­tic dish but it’s tasty, ticks all the nu­tri­tion boxes, and doesn’t cost the earth’

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