In My Kitchen


Friday, 21 November 2014

In my kitchen this week this month the last few weeks. 

These salmon parcels with oven fried potatoes (chips) and minty mushy peas.

These chewy cocoa brownies.

This  tasty lentil cottage pie with cheesy mash.

This supper onion pie from How to be a Domestic Goddess. Simple and cheap and delicious.

These leftovers. Spaghetti with courgettes, cream and parmesan,

Made into a frittata with some bacon.

These olive toasts. Roughly chopped olives, anchovies, capers, garlic and parsley mixed with lemon juice and olive oil.

These crusty white loaves.

And this mincemeat.

What's been happening in your kitchen lately?

These I Have Liked


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

 Sitting with the silence turning the heel on a sock.

George's Christmas list. He would like a bicycle pannier and a large map of Middle Earth. I ask him if he is planning a bike trip to The Lonely Mountain to find Smaug's treasure and if so would he like me to make him some lembas bread?

Tom's beard-in-progress (BIP?). His hair is already down to his shoulders. I think he may end up looking something like this. I secretly hope that he will.

A leek and bacon tart the custard part of which was made from two eggs plus the leftover cheesy-creamy-cidery sauce which I served with chicken joints on Sunday. It was extra delicious because good use had been made of leftovers.

Working out the cost of baking. This slightly weird, nerdy behaviour is actually quite empowering. Knowing flour, for example, costs 2p an ounce, butter 12p, granulated sugar 2p, demerara sugar 7p and an egg 20p makes you realise just how much money you can save by baking from scratch. I made a batch of twelve rolls yesterday and worked out that they cost 7p each. A loaf of bread costs me 40p in ingredients and 5p in electricity (I bake 4 loaves at a time).

Katie and Tom have been perfecting their cinnamon toast making skills. Katie has long since been an expert cocoa maker and mastery of cinnamon toast will set her up nicely for winter.

I very much liked Detectorists on BBC4 and was sorry when it finished last week. It has been the only thing worth watching on telly lately.

My copy of Jane Kenyon's collected poems finally arrived from Philadelphia after a long wait. I am indebted to Megan for introducing me to her, blog friends share wonderful things.

Yesterday was the last garden waste collection day of the year, so of course today is the day I decide to fill my garden waste bin with spent michaelmas daisies, goldenrod and an accidental rose. There they will stay for the next five months quietly composting until the collections start up again. Meanwhile I have four sodden November roses on my windowsill and they are pleasing me greatly.

The Year In Books ~ This Boy by Alan Johnson


Friday, 7 November 2014

Better late than never here I am with my November read for The Year in Books. This Boy by Alan Johnson is just the sort of book I am unlikely to read. I hardly ever read autobiographies, I dislike tales of grim childhoods and I never ever read books by politicians, even ones I agree with. However, I read Jane's post  and was persuaded to try it. I am so glad I did. An immensely readable memoir of growing up very poor in 1950s London. Recommended.

As for October's read that has been consigned to my 'must finish one day' pile. A shockingly large pile I have to say.

So, what else has been happening around here? Well, as you may have noticed I am still failing to take photos of food hence the lack of 'In My Kitchen' posts. Sorry about that. 

I have been knitting but again failing to take photos of said knitting. I finished a sock. Must knit another one I suppose. 

My mum has requested some fingerless mitts for her arthriticky old hands so I must get on with those when I can pin her down to a yarn choice.

George came home unexpectedly last weekend for a visit which was nice. I'd forgotten how much space he takes up. He seems to be enjoying student life.

Halloween was very low key this year. Katie carved a pumpkin and I made it into soup and cake.
Guy Fawkes has become less important too although it is a useful reminder that it must be time to make my Christmas cake.

Cornflake Cuisine


Friday, 31 October 2014

I never buy breakfast cereal. Never liked it, never been impressed by its supposed nutritional merits (a slice of wholemeal bread is just as nutritious -probably more) or its convenience (how inconvenient is a slice of bread?) and never wanted those great big boxes cluttering up my cupboards. But the other day I happened on this recipe for cornflake tarts by Miss South of the excellent North/South Food blog and was persuaded to buy some.

It took me right back. If you went to school in the UK in the 60s and 70s you may remember eating cornflake tarts along with other dishes such as; beef stew and dumplings, liver and bacon, instant mash scooped with an ice cream scoop, pilchard salad with beetroot (yuk), yellow, soggy cabbage, fish and chips on Friday, cheese and onion flan, chocolate concrete, rice pudding and tinned prunes, banana custard (making me heave just thinking about it) and giant metal jugs of pink custard (yuk again). This was before the advent of the turkey twizzler and was basically good, honest home-cooked food but for the most part it was pretty grim. Not all of it though, chocolate concrete, a kind of chocolate shortbread was my favourite pudding and these cornflake tarts were pretty good too. As Miss South says they are even better if you use butter rather than marge in the pastry and homemade jam instead of cheap red jam.

After the success of the cornflake tarts I decided to make that other classic of cornflake cuisine, also a childhood favourite - chocolate cornflake crunchies. I like mine made into a big cake and cut in wedges rather than having to faff about with paper cases.

To make one 8 inch cake
Melt slowly in a pan
200g of milk or plain chocolate (or a mixture of both)
50g butter
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
Stir in
200g cornflakes* (Rice Krispies work just as well as cornflakes)
Press into an 8 inch cake or flan tin and refrigerate until set. 

* I researched cornflake prices and discovered you could pay anything from 31p to £2.50 for a box of the stuff. Tesco Everyday Value 31p cornflakes it was.

School dinners, did you love or loathe them? 


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