Mood Food

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Do you cook the same kind of food all the time? 
I don't. When my family go camping in the summer I cook myself extravagant little delicacies. I make dishes like tarragon chicken, garlicky scallops, baked goat's cheese in pastry, steak and hollandaise sauce. I indulge.

When I am feeling full of good intentions (usually after eating too much of the above) I make lots of lovely, big, modern salads. Like these.

When I want to make everyone happy I cook roast chicken, sausages and mash, pizza and chocolate fudge pudding.

When the weather is cold and miserable and I'm a bit bored I bake things like brownies, cinnamon roll cake and rainy day muffins.

And when I'm trying not to spend too much I cook simple, old-fashioned grub. If I bake then I choose recipes which don't call for things like whole bars of best quality chocolate, pistachios, maple syrup or dried cherries. I choose instead recipes like flapjacks, scones or these date slices.


Date Slices

Cook 8oz of chopped dates in 5fl oz water until soft -about 10 mins.
Rub 4oz self-raising flour and 1 teaspoon bicarb with 4oz butter until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture.
Stir in 4oz oats and 4oz sugar.
Grease and base line a tin about 7" by 11" and press half the crumb mixture into it.
Spread the dates on top and cover with the rest of the crumbs pressing down.
Bake at 180°c (160°c fan oven) for 25 mins.


Homity pie is a good, honest, frugal dish. A shortcrust pastry crust is filled with chopped cooked potato, fried onions and cheese. I added a parsnip and a leek to mine because they needed using up. This was made in a deep cake tin and baked for 40 minutes at 200°c (180°c).

Simple, wholesome and cheap is my kind of cooking at the moment. Who knows for how long though. It all depends on my mood, the weather's mood, and how many driving lessons George is going to need.




In other news I am being plagued by spammers at the moment. The spam box is always full but just lately a lot is getting through Blogger's screening and ending up on the blog. I delete between thirty and forty spam comments a day at the moment. I do not intend to put the word verification as I don't think it is fair to ask genuine readers to decipher those things. I won't enable comment moderation either because I'll still have to read and delete them. Instead I have decided to close comments on all posts older than a month. If anyone has a question about an old post just contact me directly -details on the black bar under my heading.

43 comments:

  1. Hi Sue, re the spamming, I get a couple a week, on old posts. They go straight to spam so I don't worry too much. I guess I'm not in your league!

    Yup, cooking is closely related to feeling; I lurch from super-healthy, to total crap with wholesome and hearty in-between. I don't know how I am going to change this, but I AM trying! I'm finding your blog and that of Frugal in Norfolk especially helpful.

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  2. Anonymous10:28 pm GMT

    Hello, Sue, sorry about your spammers, they sound a real nuisance, but I'm glad you don't use those captcha things, as I find it impossible to get right first time. I am here from Attic24, by the way. Just wanted to let you know that I intend to try your date slices. M

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  3. Sorry to hear about your spammers, Sue. I had never heard of homity pie before reading this post but I think it sounds delicious. Pastry, potato and cheese...right up my alley.

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  4. When it is grey and miserable, I cook vast quantities of carbohydrate. And then when my jeans won't fasten, I eat extra vegetables. Sigh.

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  5. I had a spate of pornographic spam once - made from XXX's.....it was quite clever in some ways but very rude so went into the bin.
    I have a jar of mincemeat that needs using so will make Delia's mincemeat slices which are very similar to your date slices...so wholesome, easy and delicious - perfecto
    The share holders of British Gas must be getting through a lot of Horlicks....

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    1. Mincemeat slices-genius!

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  6. Bloody nuisance the spammers.....and boy am I ever hungry now!!! The date bars look divine!! Thanks so for the recipe!!! Basically I am thinking about the next thing to cook as soon as I wash up!!! I like to make it all...and yes I do cook for myself...my husband is vegan and I am not so I cook two dinners every night....yes I need my head examined......so when he is away I treat myself !!!!

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  7. Homity pie is a big favourite in our house - so much so that the boys have learnt to make it and will do so for us about once a fortnight! They love it with baked beans and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. I like green beans myself.
    Spammers get on my nerves. I do now moderate so that none slip through but it does make me cross...

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  8. I haven't heard of homity pie before but it sounds the perfect offset to extravagant dining. Thank you for the idea.

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  9. Definitely mood food. At the moment it's cold comfort sustenance all the way, so the recipes here are just perfect.

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  10. Would you please be able to add the recipe for the potato pie? I would love to make it. Thanks, in advance, Ann.

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    1. Make some shortcrust pastry, put it in a pie or cake tin. Fill with cooked spuds, fried onion and cheese. Quantities depend on how big your tin and family are. Bake for 40 minutes at 200°c (180°c).

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  11. Your homity pie looks far more delicious than the Cranks one,. But then, anything with carbs in looks delicious to me, which is a big part of why my trousers often feel tight!

    I moderate comments on any posts over a month old. That makes a big difference.

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  12. I was fascinated by your reference to modern salads and went to take a look. THANK YOU! I have been losing weight since September and am on the home stretch. However, you have supplied some much needed inspiration on a grey day when I am tempted to slather anything that moves in butter and then eat it (followed by another one and another one..........)

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  13. Please can I come and live with you?! Julie x

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  14. Close comments to anonymous commenters. I did this and it just about reduced my spam to zero. You don't have to have a blog to comment, just a recognisable ID.

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  15. Oh that Date slice sounds delicious, I love dates. You seem to be plagued by spammers and nasty anon people....nothing better to do with their lives.
    x Sandi

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  16. Blogger is letting a lot of spam through at the moment, not sure why, but I've been using Disqus for commenting for a couple of years now - that seems to keep them at bay.

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    1. Thanks Jean. I will investigate disqus.

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  17. I was having terrible problems with spam a while ago - literally thousands per day, which was ludicrous. I took the step that Canadian Abroad suggests above and blocked anonymous commenting and it literally stopped overnight - so it seems that is the answer.

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  18. Guess the spammers find us all in the end. I don't use word verification but have ticked comment moderation (don't get a huge amount of comments). After receiving too much spam I also ticked Open ID (I think that was what it was called). Got rid of the spam - fingers crossed).

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  19. What a fantastic idea about closing comments to old posts! GENIUS. I shall do that.

    With regard to date slices, I might well try these. I seem to have a plethora of dried dates for some reason. (Sticky toffee pudding intentions gone awry, probably).

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    1. Takes ages as you have to do each post individually unless I'm missing something.

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  20. Spam fritters away ones patience.
    Sorry, sorry.

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  21. Hello there. I have just made these but as I had no mincemeat, dates or jam I used frozen mulberries and put flaked almonds on top. And bingo! They worked! Thank you. Now to stop myself munching through the whole lot...
    Ax

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    1. Mulberries, how wonderful. I'd love a mulberry tree to go with my quince tree. May be I will try them with frozen raspberries.... Thanks A.

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  22. You're not alone with the spammers I think lots of us are suffering the same.
    If it continues I shall have to do something but like you I don't want to.
    By the way, I used to make date shorties years ago and you've gone and made me want to make some again, I had forgotten how lovely they are.
    Briony
    xx

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  23. Oh, date slices. Haven't thought about them in years. They were my mum's favourite. And now I think I'm going to cry!

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  24. I must try uour rainy day muffins and homity pie. I share your frustration with the spammers - it seems to increased so much in the past few months.
    Sarah x

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  25. Hi Sue, I hope this new google thing of mine works as I was using, not your anonymous thing to coment but the URL Name one in the past. Hopefully with my new google account I will be able to comment...
    We usually have a repertoire of 40 or so recipes that we do on a regular basis and we add new things to the list when we find good recipes. When guests come, I cook more elaborate dishes and I also change things depending on the season. We like wholesome hearty food in the autumn and winter and definitely more salads in the spring/summer. Pati xx

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    1. It absolutely does work Pati. Thank goodness . I am sorry about the change but the spam was getting ridiculous.

      It would be really helpful if you could add a comment explaining how to go about setting up a Blogger account if you don't have a blog.

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    2. I mean Google account of course.

      You can have a Blogger account without having to have a blog though.

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    3. Glad I can keep on commenting.... Originally I thought that in order to comment on some blogs that didn't have the anonymous tab etc, I just had to have a blog. Then I realised that I could create myself a google, wordpress or such accounts to be able to comment but was a bit lazy about creating one (as I already have another email address). Finally, I decided to create myself a google account when one of my uni lecturers needed to send us some files and could only be accessed via google mail. Sorry this is getting ridiculously complicated. Creating myself a google account was as easy as creating a yahoo or hotmail account. It is basically a way of getting yourself a new email address. I only use this account for the blogs or to access some uni files. If I want to comment on a blog, the system then forces me to sign in to my google account first and once I am in, the comment gets published or allows you to publish it (I can't remember). I don't know whether I have explained things properly. Please let me know if you need further clarification. Pati x

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    4. Thank you Pati, you are a star.

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  26. My mum used to make dried apricot slices very like your date slices. Probably not so frugal here, but she had two well established apricot trees and used to dry and preserve them. Oh I do miss fresh tree-ripened apricots - I have yet to find any shop-bought ones that come any where close in flavour. I often buy dried apricots but never seem to have any 'left over' ;-)

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  27. Love the comfort food nd I'll introduce homity pie soon. When we have people over, or go to a potluck, people are always delighted by my simple choices: perogies and farmer sausage, scalloped potatoes and ham, or the Welsh cake that was my first baking ever. Date squares are my top favourite. I keep asking for them for my birthday cake, but no one believes me.

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  28. I absolutely know what you mean by mood food. I almost always bake when it's grey and raining and I feel depressed. My mum always makes date slices and I associate them with her. She soaks her dates in apple juice but otherwise the recipe looks similar.

    Spammers - yes, HATE them. I get about five a day which is annoying enough but thirty or forty - that's crazy! Closing comments on old posts is a good idea.

    Gillian x

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  29. Sue you need to train your spam filter, literally. I have my moderation set for posts older than 10 days and rarely get comments on posts older than that. Be sure to mark all spam comments that turn up in your Awaiting Moderation box as spam, don't just delete them. Also set up email notification of comments if you haven't already and be sure to mark the emails that notify you of spam comments as spam if they make it into your inbox (many will go to your email spam) and then delete them without opening them (no idea why this part works but it does). I get roughly the same number of spam comments as you but it is very, very rare indeed for a spam comment to get through. Hope that helps :)

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  30. Hi Sue, please update us on your 5:2 fasting. You inspired me to started it after reading your post end February.Feeling hungry now and would love another update to keep my spirits up!

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