Food & Drink

4-2-2 and other magic numbers

The title of this post refers not, as you might suppose, to what remains of a football team formation after two players have been sent off for kicking chunks out of the opposing team or, indeed, having been caught out diving and rolling around on the ground UNlike big girls*  No, 4-2-2 is the magic formula for baking a basic cake.

*see Olympic ladies hockey team playing on with broken noses/jaws and blood pouring down their faces

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Gluttony – The Good, The Not Bad and The Experimental

I left you last time with two courgettes still to use up, which I did manage as you will see, but picked three more large ones. At this point, you may be expecting me to sigh in a faintly exasperated fashion but, in fact, I am rather looking forward to trying some more courgette-based recipies. So, once again, I’m going to share with you the fruits of my culinary adventures so far (and if you think three posts on the topic of courgettes is excessive, just wait until my two already-really-quite-large pumpkins are ready). Gluttony for punishment 😉

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Gluttony – The Next Course

Encouraged by my success with the courgette fritters yesterday, (which were also a hit with DH), I went on to make a courgette-based main course for dinner: namely, Lasagne with strips of courgette instead of pasta. I wimped out a little and did have a layer of actual pasta (fresh lasagne sheets) but, in truth, it was rather superfluous and barely noticeable. If anything, the slight crunch of the courgettes was an improvement on the usual slight rubberiness of the pasta. DS reverted to his usual stance of “I don’t like courgettes”, despite wolfing them down in the form of fritters earlier, and left his courgettes uneaten, but DD did eat some, including the courgettes (bins were checked to ensure no cheating), and apparently enjoyed it. (The promise of an ice cream if she finished it all may have helped). I thought it was absolutely luverly! 🙂

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Gluttony

Pile of fritters

“I’m doing some fritters”, I say to the children, “Who wants some?”

“Me!” says DS, our resident food dumpster.

“Are they apple?” asks DD, guardedly.

“No. Courgette” I reply.

“Er, no, then”, DS back-pedals rapidly, announcing, “Courgettes are evil!”

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Christmas Spirit

I am in the Christmas spirit. Appoximately a pint into the Christmas spirit. In my case, an earlier trip to the supermarket to lay in stocks for Christmas included a bottle of Southern Comfort, which I subsequently combined with a bottle of Crabbies, about half and half.

I’m not normally driven to hit the bottle, but it’s Christmas and, at times, Christmas is really quite depressing. Well, no, that’s not strictly true, it’s the build up to Christmas that’s depressing. The relentless “arthouse” adverts for perfume, the unremitting commercialism,  not to mention the certain knowledge that your Christmas grocery shop would feed a small village (and not even a starving African one) for a month and will probably take considerably longer to lose the weight you’ll gain from the over-indulgence.

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Cold Comfort Food

frittersIt’s turned a bit nippy of late and in addition to big, roaring fires, woolly socks (hand-knitted, naturally) and fleecy jumpers, what a body needs is calories to keep it warm. Forget starting a diet, (that’s a New Year’s resolution for the breaking), what you want is comfort food with lots of carbs. The obvious candidate for the basis of a warming carb-fest is the humble potato, but if your immediate thoughts turn to chips or mash, then think again.

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Cock Ale and other culinary oddities

Home made pork pie

I’ve been researching food and drink history recently (and trying out a few traditional recipes like the very tasty pork pie over there –>).

It’s a fascinating subject and it’s apparent that our ancestors had a much less finicky approach to food and drink. Among the oddities I have unearthed are a Medieval recipe for “Garbage”, made with all the bits of a chicken you’d normally throw in the…umm..garbage, like the head, feet and entrails. They also had assorted ways of cooking pretty much anything that flies, walks or swims (boiled heron, anyone?) and some rather novel ideas for flavouring alcoholic beverages, which brings me to the Cock Ale.

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Wild Mushroom Stroganoff (Recipe)

Here is my recipe for Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with rice.

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Time flies like an arrow…

…and fruit flies like a banana, but not nearly as much as they like my quietly decaying mountain of apples and pears 🙁

In my best efforts to bake, cook and eat the stuff as swiftly as possible, I’d neglected to take the bin bag of bruised offcuts to the outside bin quickly enough and opened the bin to a small swarm of the buggers this morning. Bin bag was duly sealed and trotted outdoors together with any obviously hopeless fruit and the remaining fruit installed in the fridge out of harm’s (and flies’ way).

Today’s effort Toffee Apple Flapjacks spoiled slightly by insufficient plain toffees and DD’s insistence on including the Licorice ones (no, they’re yucky!). Oh well, I’m away this weekend, so won’t have to eat any.

http://www.waitrose.com/recipe/Toffee_Apple_Flapjacks_Made_with_English_Apples.aspxl

The Perpetual Chicken

Today is day 3 of the residence in our house of the perpetual chicken.

She started her life with us…well, not so much life  really as the final post mortem phase of her corporeal existence…She started her sojourn with us as the Sunday roast, served with roasties and 3 types of veg. She was a well stacked bird. Her ample breasts would (proportionally speaking) put Jordan to shame and she cost a mere £5 from Sainsbury’s, so a good deal cheaper too, though somewhat classier. (more…)

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