Wednesday, November 24, 2004

the wrong sort of flour

Put the wrong sort of flour in the breadmaker last night (ordinary plain white flour instead of strong, bread flour), which I thought would end in utter disaster. I spotted the packet just before I went to bed, but couldn't be bothered to do anything about it, and thought I'll just see what happens. It turned out to be hardly any different!
Have chickpeas on to soak ATM. They don't do tinned chickpeas in LIDL, which is where I have to go since I have been let down terribly by I can never get a delivery slot within 2 or 3 days and It's so difficult to know what I need in advance. Anyway, Its evil, and I end up spending ridiculous abounts of money. I can get things like dried pulses on the market. Thought I would make some hoummus, seeing as the stuff I bought in the deli yesterday was a bit horrible. I went in there to get malt extract and semolina to make breadsticks (to go with hoummus). They didn't have any semolina, so I'll have to manage without. Jem said "what's semolina?" I never thought I'd live to see the day when a child said that! Actually I have a massive bag of ground rice I got from the "Asian Specialities" section in Tesco- maybe that will do.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sweetcorn twitters

Totally ran out of juice so *had* to make some lemonade. (They won't drink water unless they're really thirsty, or in bed, in which case it suddenly becomes alright). Had to persuade Furgs that this was in fact the real lemonade, and the stuff you buy isn't.

In a large jug dissolve 4 spoons of honey or sugar with a little hot water.
Add the juice of 1 lemon.
Top up jug with fizzy water (or just plain water)

I've been a bit experimental lately, not my usual stuff, which I think people were getting bored with, anyway. I've been trying to steer away from ready made meat substitutes, but anything vaguely sloppy doesn't go down very well with the younger ones. They prefer something you can pick up. I'm also trying not to spend too much money. So today I made 1/2 and 1/2 bread in the breadmaker and for tea we had sweetcorn fritters (or 'twitters') with potato wedges and baked beans.

Mix about 2 cups of gram flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 1tsp mustard powder. Add enough water to make a thick batter. Add a tin or 2 of sweetcorn. Fry spoonfuls in plenty of hot oil and turn once. (Do not disturb until set). Should go a goldeny brown colour. Yummy. Hasn't given anyone wind (yet).

For potato wedges cut potatoes (and sweet potatoes) lengthwise into 1/4s and dizzle in olive oil. Add salt and/or pepper/sesame seeds if desired. Roast at 200c for 30-40 mins until they start to brown.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Parkin (Lancashire/Yorkshire?)

Just thought I'd add this. We made it on Bonfire Night, and we intend to do it again. I got the recipe from Jill Robinson, Maeve's boyfriend's mum. I think it's from a book. It said is was Lancashire Parkin. I thought parkin was always Yorkshire. She said the secret ingredient is marmalade. It is better that any parkin that I have had before. Even the children liked it.

In a pan melt:
100g (4oz) margarine or butter
200g (8oz) black treacle
75g (3oz) soft brown sugar
1 tbsp marmalade
Add: ¼ pint milk and
1 egg
In a bowl, mix:
75g (3oz) wholemeal flour
75g (3oz) self-raising flour
50g (2oz) medium oatmeal
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Add wet to dry ingredients and pour into greased and lined 8” square tin.
Bake at 180 C / gas 4 for 45 to 50 minutes.
Allow to cool in tin.
Cut into squares.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Sneeky Leeky Soup/ potato beanburgers

Today for lunch we had leftovers from a hurried tea I had to make before we went out to the lantern festival. We had:

Sneeky Leeky Soup
(sneeky because I sneaked some protein in!)

2 onions
1 leek
3 potatoes
1 tin of butter beans
pinch of veg bouillion powder (instant stock)
sunflower oil

  • Fry veg in oil, add boiling water and boil for a bit.
  • Add beans and boil till everything is cooked.
  • Season and blend till only a few lumps left
I had to make something else as Furgs absolutely won't eat soup and Ally, well, it would go everywhere! so I made this. Jem said it was my 'new invention':
Potato Beanburgers
1 tin kidney beans
About the same quantity of mashed potato
  • Mash the beans and combine with potato and enough flour to stick together.
  • Make into round burger shapes using more flour. Makes about 10.
  • Heat oil and fry for a minute or so on each side, till browned

Surprisingly nice, with ketchup and bread.


...and welcome to my recipe of the day. It is intended to be a diary of things I make to feed my starving hoards. I enjoy cooking (sometimes); sometimes I just have to make something quickly. Sometimes I bake for fun with the children. I have to feed a wide age range, from 1 to 17 years, all with their own tastes and likes and dislikes. It is vegetarian (usually) and healthy (as possible). I like to use organic ingredients, but also like to do things on the cheap, so there is always a bit of compromise, but I do steer clear of additives, as much as possible, and use as little processed food as I can, considering I often have at least one child attatched to my person or hanging off me by tea-time!
I like to cook seasonal food, to celebrate festivals, and or the fun of it. I try to make things more interesting for myself and for the children. I have no formal qualifications in cooking, in fact I failed miserably at school, but I was regularly cooking for 6 by the time was 14. I became vegetarian as soon as I left home. (My mum subsequently did, after a few years of nagging me!)
Some of the things here will be recipes I have made up or adapted, others are just quick ideas, but all are tried and tested by me on at least 4 hungry kids, plus various adults.
Please feel free to read, enjoy and inwardly digest...