Monday, 25 January 2010

Food for Living...

Don't mistake me... i love pretty things & pretty food. I love fabric Jam Tops and dainty labels with all the "use by" dates. I like a tea party and i like to use Cake Forks and silver Chutney Spoons... (i like a pretty red bowl, sshhhh) But food is about life and living and sustenance.
Like i said, my Nanna needs a bit of 'life' right now, so:
Marmalade with GIANT WRITING so she can read the label with her poor eyesight.
LEMON CHEESE also with giant writing... and i call this Lemon Curd. It is a debate we have had for some years, my Nanna and I. But she is in her 90's now and i can give in gracefully to this one. Lemon CHEESE it is.
And.... a crunchy top Lemon Drizzle cake - also Nanna's favourite.

That's the funny thing about being poorly.... when you are healthy and well (and elderly...) people are inclined to visit you less often. And as soon as you are poorly and tired and maybe ready to 'shuffle off the mortal coil'.... everybody comes a calling!
So, in true Postman Pat style "special delivery service", the delightfully smiley ChildFish and I, are off to spread cookery joy where it is currently most needed.
x x x "Here's to the many many mothers who gone before us, making pots of Lemon Cheese by the barrel load" x x x

Sunday, 24 January 2010

St Clements Marmalade...

Orange and Lemon Marmalade = St Clements...
I love to make Jams & Chutneys & Pickles & Cordials... and the more i make them, the less i can bear to buy them from shops. I had a mammoth making session the other day. My nanna is in a position right now where she needs and deserves, a lot of looking after. The first of her favourite things i made was the Marmalade.
Recipe used from my LAKELAND Preserves & Pickles Book (i love it) but it made soooo many jars...

I think this: was one one of my problems. I don't like coarse Marmalade with lots of peel but i know that the peel is what gives it the bitter flavour. So i juiced all my fruits and mixed some of the peel 'waste' into the juice.
This led to much more juice than the recipe anticipated. It was quicker and easier for me this way but i needed more sugar to boil the liquid into a jelly. *lesson Learned*

And i realised too late the recipe made milllllliiiioooonnns ofg jars!
So i will be out and about next week delivering pots of Marmalade to family members (you've been warned family)

OOoohhh the satisfaction....
P.s. On delivery to my nanna she told me about a great product called "marmamaid".... an alternative to all those Seville Oranges. I will investigate.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Read your own Blog....

... i mean it, go back through your own blog and read it!
I popped into this blog this morning - i wanted to bake a batch of wholemeal scones and i thought i should check MrsB's previous post when she made them.... I had a recipe but wanted to compare if MrsB's seemed better / any tips she had etc...
Well, i got carried away reading all our posts. We are brilliant! (tongue in cheek) and i really enjoyed some of the great food, all over again. I reminded myself about Cous-Cous and there were a few of MrsB's i had earmarked 'to try' but forgotten about.

That's all i wanted to say really. Go through your own blog - it's good fun... like finding a book that you really liked and takes you back to forgotten moments...
Cheers to us x

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Emergency Chocolate Cake

MMMmmm, cake.....
MMMmmm, chocolate... So: in just over one hours time, your house will be entertaining 6 children and 4 adults.... i have held birthday parties with fewer guests than this.
But the weather is poor, kids need to play and you can't 'not invite' so and so...
you'll have to invite them all to yours.

Believe me, this is quick and easy. Providing you have a stock cupboard with Cake ingredients.
7oz plain flour
2 tble spoons cocoa powder
1 t'spoon bicarb soda
1 t'spoon baking powder
4oz caster sugar
2 tblespoons Golden Syrup
2 eggs (i only had ONE EGG left!! so i just put one in, and it was fine)
1/4 pint corn oil (i keep a bottle in the cupboard especially for this emergency cake)
just under 1/4 pint milk

Topping / Filling: Some Icing Sugar... a tub of emergency frosting if you have any... good quality chocolate to melt... cream to whip...any combinations of whatever you have really!

Bung all the ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand or machine - it will be pretty runny.
I greased and lined two 8inch sandwich tins. Fill half each with the mixture.
Cook for about 30mins on 160 / 325 (check at 25mins, my oven is pretty rapid)
TThhhhheee lightest sponge ever! and no butter, and ONE egg! surely it shouldn't work? but it does....

The icing was all experimental with what i had left in my kitchen. half a tub of shop bought frosting in the middle - but you could whip up some cream or make some butter icing? it doesn't need much as the sponge is so good alone :)

For the top, i melted a small bit of butter with 2/3rds of a half eaten bar of dark 70% chocolate and literally the dregs of a packet of icing sugar - whisked by hand... And poured it over the cake, allowing it to drip in abandon. I even put this cake in the fridge for 20mins so the guests didn't think it was 'still warm' and 'just made'.

I am a little house proud and did wash the bowl before they arrived (you could hide the dirty utensils in a cupboard if you're in a hurry)

I was just sweeping the floor as they arrived....
Emergency! and oh sooooo good x
(a recipe given to me as a teenager the Mum of a good friend, an adapted for circumstances)

Monday, 18 January 2010

Family Food x

O.K. are we ready? Lets go!Today Miss B and I, thought that we would share a lovely recipe with you, from this wonderful child/ family/ mummy/ teenager/ student friendly, helpful, homey warm book! Zesty Flapjacks!

They are fab! They contain store cupboard ingredients and you can add anything to them that you have to hand: nuts, spices, dried fruit....x

I love them: to pop in lunch boxes; to have to hand for a wee pick me up; for husbands who cycle in the cold; for friends with new babies and a need for coffee and a little love; for the "little treat" (a small friend of Master B's frequently enquires about)!

So lets get our ingredients out...and my able assistant and I will...hang on a assistant? Able assistant?

Right, my able assistant is in her own kitchen now. Let us carry on together!
Oh now we have to do some dancing...come on everyone! On your feet!
Right perhaps we ought to admit is the lovely recipe for Zesty Flapjacks! This is what they look like....
Enjoy your wee treat!
She may not be much of an assistant, but she keeps you on your toes!


Saturday, 9 January 2010

Cooking at Christmas...

I have had problems with accessing this blog account so i missed all the great Christmas Cookery Posts i had planned. Aaah well, we are all too busy with our own Christmassy plans to have time for much pleasure reading? But i did want to share a few of the images i had stored...
Above - look at my gorgeous vintage Ceramic rolling pin *Christmas goodies bag from MrsB to me* (lucky lady that i am) i adore my rolling pin - and look closely, you'll see it has "Nutbrown" written on it, like it came from a little squirrel's kitchen!
And, next to that, a Tree Cookie Cutter with a cutout slice so the cookie sits tightly on the rim of One's tea cup.... precious!

I did use my rolling pin for various pastry dishes. Some invoving chocolate chunks, mmmm
and some involving Home-made fruity Mincemeat (i am salivating at the mere memory)
*MrsB - remind me to blog my fruit mincemeat recipe for next festive season?*

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas Cookery and didn't allow it to get too much of a chore?
I have taken my friends advice below: a fizzy mineral tab in a 3/4 pint of water - topped up to a full pint with SPATONE and orange juice.
I feel A L I V E ! zzzziinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg !

Monday, 4 January 2010

My Secret Weapon!

This is amazing stuff on its own (berocca), but I add a splash of something so potent, it fills me with verve, energy, vitality and enough getup and go, to get up and keep going after two small people, 24/7!

If like me, you are one of the many women in this country who is not getting enough iron and may even be anaemic, the revelation that is SpaTone (available from Boots, pharmacies, supermarkets etc) will change your life! Something so simple yet so effective!

Take one sachet of Spatone (iron rich water) slosh it in a glass, add a Berocca (mega multivits and importantly vit C which is what helps your body absorb iron) and top up with water!

There we have it a zingy, energy giving breakfast cocktail!