Friday, 7 September 2012

Frugal Friday - fruity nobs and squash curry

Had a quantity of  almost stale muesli to use up, so have made it into fruity nobs:

8oz muesli (mine had fruit nuts seeds in)
8oz sugar
8os flour
8 oz butter
good tbsp of golden syrup

Melt butter and golden syrup, add in rest of ingredients and stir thoroughly; if a bit on the dry side add milk, fruit juice, water to get the right consistency for rolling into balls.
Roll into balls, place on tray and flatten, bake in hottish oven until golden and crisp, cool on tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Cheap curry for Friday supper tonight , happens to be a favourite of mine, I love the texture of the squash after a long, slow gentle cooking on the cooler end of the Rayburn.

1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tin water
4 cloves
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground fenugreek
chilli  powder to taste
1/2 tsp salt
good few twists of black pepper
generous tbsp honey
4 oz butter
uice of 1 lime
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 butternut or other squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced
cream to finish

Put tomatoes and water in pan with cloves, leave to simmer until thickened, then add in everything else, stir well, lid on, and simmer for a couple of hour on a gentle heat. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Freezes well at this point.  Add cream to finish and re-heat gently before serving with rice or/and naan breads.
Roll on supper time :)


Thursday, 6 September 2012


Latest adddition to the menagerie :)  These are rare breed Shetland ducks, and 4 have hatched over the past couple of days. Duckling number 5 has appeared tonight, a couple of hours ago, and is drying off and sleeping in the incubator with the last egg. The last egg shows no signs of pipping, and there was one that looked a bit iffy when I candled them last, so I won't be surprised if nothing comes of that one. However, I'm thrilled to bits to have 5 strong and healthy ducklings hatch out of 6 eggs on only my second attempt at hatching - the first one being a few weeks ago with the Scots Dumpy chicks who will be 6 weeks old this weekend; I'll take some up to date photos of them tomorrow. In the meanwhile, these are way off the cuteness scale, they really are lol


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wednesday supper

Smoked haddock fishcakes and parsley sauce with braised red cabbage.......................


Living the simple life

- can be hard work, but by God it's worth it!  The simple joys of a barefoot wander around the garden on a sunny autumn morning, picking flowers and other things for the house, handfuls of ripe red raspberries dripping with warm juice............

The rudbeckias were alive with bees; I love their sunny simplicity in a plain vase in the hall :)

The best food needs no adornment - Italian flat leaf parsely in a jam jar, fresh for  kitchen snippings, the smell is incredible

Been an odd year for vegetable  growing, the courgettes are very  late indeed, this being the first one :) I will hae that for myself at suppertime I think, with my fishcakes :)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

How to make corned beef - the real deal

For each 12lb beef, allow 1 - 1/2 lbs salt - scale down accordingly. Place a layer of salt in a container (I used an ice cream tub), place meat in and cover with salt. Cover and leave in fridge for 24 hours. Make up a curing solution: to every 4 pints water, add 8 oz brown sugar, 1 tsp bicarb, spices as liked (bay leaf, allspice, peppercorns, etc). Heat to dissolve sugar, cool, then pour over meat in tub, return to fridge when cold and leave 3 - 4 weeks.
When ready, take out, soak for a few hours in cold water before cooking. To cook, simmer in water for about 20 minutes to the lb or so, with 20 minutes over; I baked mine which was successful too.

Don't expect it to look or taste anything like the tinned stuff, though, because it really won't! It's a good thing to know how to do for keeping beef without using the freezer. It's nice served hot with potatoes and vegetables and dumplings, or in a hash, as I did with the first bit of mine.
Hope this helps, shout if I've missed anything. This is how I do mine, by the way, adapted from several methods/recipes


Monday, 3 September 2012

Never a dull Monday...........

 - there's a song in there somewhere lol

It eventually turned into a nice day here with sunshine, I had the top half of the back door open most of the day. Must admit I didn't do too much really but that's ok, it'll still be there tomorrow. Talked a lot to the chicks - 5 weeks old now

I started my new book which arrived, recommended to me,   promising to be an engrossing tale from what I've read so far
The first three of the Shetland duck eggs have pipped in the incubator, so will be a late night just keeping an eye on them - if I go to bed at all!
I made red flannel hash for supper, one of my favourites, with baked beans and poached egg, will put up my recipe in on the Kitchen in the Vale page.
There is half a large fermenting bucket of Victoria plums sitting looking expectantly at me, newly harvested, but they will wait until tomorrow for sorting and processing. I'm pleased, as I thought it was an exceptionally poor year for them, turns out it looks ok. Possibly some spiced plum chutney on the cards for winter presents and bartering I think.
My Piecework CD (containg a year's worth of issues) was returned by my daughter, so I may well watch some of that this evening too.
Never a dull Monday, there is always something interesting going on :)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Summer's End chutney

Summer's End chutney
Thought I'd re-post this as it might help with seasonal gluts of vegetables; use any veg/fruit you have, just keep the vinegar/veg/sugar ratios the same; add spices and seasonings as you desire.
Summer's End chutney

6lbs of fruit/vegetables
3lbs tomatoes - green or red, or mixture of both
4lbs soft brown sugar
1 lb dried fruit
2 pints vinegar
herbs and spices to taste

Chop all vegetables finely and place in pan; add rest of ingredients and simmer slowly for several hours until thickened - when you draw the wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan, it should be thick enough not to run in and fill the space made. Stir occasionally during cooking time. Spoon inot hot, clean jars and seal immediately, or leave until cold and pot up then. Label date, and store somewhere cool and dry for about 3 months before using

Thought for a September Sunday