Ratatouille and a Vist to Southport

What a week! I just want to say sorry I haven't left comments on any ones posts.
I've had to work every day this week doing training sessions for a new food ordering system that Marks and Spencer are launching. Thursday was my day off, but instead of being able to get on with the usual cleaning, ironing, shopping we ended up having to go to Southport (it's a coastal resort just up a bit from Liverpool). Fantastic if you have nothing to do and are on an outing for the day.

Southport is really nice, a massive beach - the sand seems to go on for miles. For once it didn't rain either, but the purpose of our visit was so that Paul could get some fancy fandangled window washing system fitted to his van........it's going to make us rich, says he!
We will find out on that one..........

Anyway, we were out all day and I mean all day. Left here at 6am and got there at 9am. We had absolutely nothing to do except walk the streets until 4pm when the van was ready to pick up. Then we had an hour and a half of 'lessons' on how to work this water thingy.
So we ended up leaving Southport at 5.30pm (fantastic - just in the middle of 'rush hour'!!
Anyway, we got back at just after 8pm. What a day, we were so worn out from all the walking and driving! Then I had work again Friday morning. I'm glad that week has passed!

Below is Southport beach - see what I mean about the sea being way out there somewhere!

Just realised, I'm totally going off the subject of my ratatouille!
I made it a while ago but haven't had a chance to blog it till now.

You can make as much or as little as you want - just make it to suit yourself by simply using more of the following ingredients. This is the amount I used to serve the two of us.

You will need:

1 Knob of Butter and a little Olive Oil
1 Courgette (Zucchini)
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Large Red Onion
1 Large Brown Onion
5 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
3 Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon of tomato puree
2 Teaspoons of Sugar
2 Teaspoons of Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

How to do it:

Cut a line around each tomato and another across the middle and place into a dish (one that isn't fussed if you pour in boiling water). Don't want to use one that is going to crack!
Pour over boiling water to just cover the tomatoes and leave for about 10 minutes.

Now pour off the water and pour in cold water and leave for a few minutes to cool. Remove from the water, you should now be able to peel their skins off quite easily.
Chop the tomatoes (removing the core) and put to one side.

Now, chop the rest of the vegetables into chunks about an inch in size, keeping the onions separate from the rest of the veg.

Heat the oil and butter in a largish saucepan (size, depending on how much or little you are making)
Over a low heat, add the red and brown onions and gently fry for about 15 minutes until soft but not coloured.

Now add the rest of the vegetables and continue to fry over a low heat for another 15 minutes, stirring every now and then. Take care that they don't colour too much.
Add the skinned and chopped tomatoes. Add the garlic, tomato puree, sugar and smoked paprika and give it a good stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This may seem excessive but I cooked mine over a low heat for about 40 more minutes until the liquid from the tomatoes and veg had reduced to a nice
thick 'ish' sauce and serve immediately.

We had ours with Chicken Schnitzel (recipe to follow soon as I've caught up with my ironing etc)!


  1. Ohh Your ratatouille looks fab Jan! Yum Yum!! I can well imagine how exhausted you must have been. There is nothing more tiring than wandering about aimlessly while you are waiting for something to be finished. Fingers crossed it DOES make your rich! Then it will have been worth it!

  2. Mmmmmmm! That looks so good, Jan.

    Southport beach doesn't just seem to go on for miles, it does go on for miles. It's a 2 hour hike just to go for a paddle, well maybe I exagerate, but not much. :-)

  3. Mmmhhh, I like a good ratatouille. Looks great.
    Southport Beach is funny, I think. Last time I went I was there really early on in the morning during school holidays and I sat down, with my book to enjoy the sun and the beach. Little by little cars started to appear and park in a long line in between me and the sea. By mid morning the beach resembled a car park and families were just having picnics in between all the cars. I found it all very strange as I didn't understand why anybody would want to sit right next to all the cars if there is such a lovely beach to have a picnic on. I guess it must be laziness, not wanting to carry all the stuff for a few hundred yards. Sometimes I just don't get people! Needless to say I got up and went somewhere else!

  4. Looks good...now go finish that ironing so we can get the chicken recipe!


  5. Ive never been to Southport myself but my Grandparents (who lived near Liverpool in the 1950's) always used to go to the beach there! The ratatouille looks fab.

  6. What a lovely recipe Jan...Another keeper for my files.

  7. Loving that ratatouille! Especially as it is made with courgette and not aubergine! Sounds like you have been a busy bee! I will get with you this week on the sweets, promise! Much love, Raquel XO

  8. Looks like a great dish! I love my veggies!

  9. Southport beach looks lovely. I've never been though.
    We love ratatouille served with chicken. Great photo's.

  10. I love the looks of your ratatouille! Just found your blog and glad I did. I'll be back often to visit!

    Picky Palate

  11. Yummy! I love your idea about not being to fussy on the measurements. I think sometimes people make cooking WAY to hard!

  12. I have been wanting to try a ratatouille and that looks good!

  13. Not been there before, the beach looks massive.
    Love the food photos!

  14. Too bad the weather did not cooperate and you could spend countless hours on the beach...nothing like and impromptu beach holiday. Also I wish we still had Marks & Spencers here. I'm not usre if they are in Canada at all anymore. I loved going there!!!!!!!!!!! The ratatouille is one of my favourites as well!!!!!!!!!!!


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