Food & Drink

A Dumpling in the Hand…

Pierogi_07-01…is obviously worth far more than two in the bush. ‘A dumpling, a dumpling, my kingdom for a dumpling’ and so on. Clearly with the cold weather upon us and Pancake Day no more than a distant memory, we still crave comfort food, so let us celebrate the dumpling in all its cultural diversity. The English favour the stodgy suet dumpling, an unstuffed ball which is robust enough to prop up the meatiest stew, the Chinese have Won Ton, the Japanese Gyoza, the Italians have Ravioli, to name but a few, but the Poles have Pierogi, which, quite frankly, knock the rest into a cocked hat.* (more…)

What a Tosser

lemonJif Lemon Day, as my friend Viv calls it, is upon up again and I must admit that although I have both lemon and lime juice in my fridge, it is unlikely that I’ll be using it today. We will be having pancakes for dinner, but something a little more substantial than lemon and sugar is required for a main course. There seems to be a peculiar notion in this country that pancakes are a sweet dish, whereas there are so many possibilities to stuff them with savoury fillings. To this end, I’ll be making chilli later and we’ll be having that in pancakes, topped with cheese and sour cream. The plan was to have chilli with rice on Monday and use the matured and slightly drier leftovers for the pancakes today, but the perpetual chicken* has made everything slip again.

*lasting a record 6 days (8 elapsed thanks to a Chinese New Year takeaway on Friday and an indulgent Rugby pizza on Sunday)


Currying Favour

lambI have noticed that the leftovers bandwagon is trundling along nicely at present. All the big foodie blogs are writing about how to use up your leftovers, as if the idea of doing so was some amazing, new and previously unconsidered discovery. As far as this household is concerned, NOT throwing away food is the norm, as it was when I was growing up. Maybe the odd, almost empty jar of something that has been lurking at the back of the fridge or cupboard gets tossed out occasionally, but otherwise it is only packaging and bones that end up in the bin.


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


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 😉


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! 🙂



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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