Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Why do I want to eat salad on the coldest day of this year?

Because I have masses of vegetables ! 
So here's what I have done.
Chopped half a leek as finely as possible,and a handful of Brussels Sprouts...I  am always reading about them now,and they seem to be the vegetable of the month! Then two carorots,and a small green chilli. All the vegetables were incredibly difficult to cut finely, but with perseverance, they seem OK.
 To this I have added a dressing made with a teaspoon of grainy mustard, some runny honey,salt and a little olive oil,then perked up with some fresh lime  juice. Finally some basil leaves on the top,chopped as fine as I could cut them.
It's now marinating,and I shall have some for lunch.

I also made a soup from a red onion, half a sweet potato, half a red pepper and a small butternut squash. Simmered with some chicken stock cubes until soft,and then blitzed  with my hand blender. 
This tasted a bit bland, so as there was some lime juice left from the salad, I put that in as well.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Big problems

I have had my email hacked and am unable to get online. Will have to find a IT specialist who can help !   Jill

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The chicken liver terrine.

At last, a rustic mix of chicken livers, sausages, bacon ,with thyme, juniper berries, onions .plus the usual salt and cracked black pepper. This  was marinated overnight with a glass of Calvados and some Sherry. The next morning I added an egg and some  breadcrumbs to bind it all  together, then I wrapped Parma Ham  inside the tin,and filled it with the  mixture.
Put into the oven in a Bain Marie,and cooked for an hour at 185 o until any juices ran clear.
Then left in the tin to cool,and pressed down to compact it with some  tins.
Here is the result,which will be served with the damson chutney I made yesterday, plus some cornichons.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Today's experiment.

I thought I would bottle up some of the Damson Gin which has been sitting in the dark for over three months now.  The damsons were far too good to just throw away, so I have made some Damson Gin  Chutney
Here's what I did. 
First stoned the damsons,which were soft and luscious, weighted them ,added  the same amount of chopped onions,and two large cloves of garlic, then  put the onions and garlic in a sautĂ© pan with some butter and olive oil ,and cooked them until they were transparent. 
I then then added the damsons, and enough sugar to make it sweet .but not too sweet. Poured in quarter of a bottle of red wine,and the rest of the damson gin that was left from the bottling. Stirred that around, added salt and pepper, a touch of chilli and a small star anise ,and let it simmer down till it was jammy , when I have bottled it to be ready for Christmas.
It has made three pots,which will be good to give away with  a bottle of the damson gin. That's 3 presents  done!   I made some lemon curd as well.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The perils of being one handed yet again!

Last night as well as preparing a chicken liver terrine, I made some strawberry jam,as there was half a punnet left from when my granddaughter stayed the night. 
250 Grammes of strawberries, the same of preserving sugar ,and the juice of half a lemon. Boiled the fruit up,it set well, and potted it . This morning I was  tightening the lid of the jar, when it slipped from my grasp, and  onto the floor, covering my shoe and halfway up my trouser leg. Of course most of it went onto the floor,so I have very little to show for all that effort.
 Luckily it didn't break,as broken glass and sticky jam would have been dreadful to clear up.
One of the many times that  I curse having had a stroke which  has left me with only one workable hand. 
Chicken liver terrine is now cooking. Will take a photo and give the recipe later.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Very busy morning.

As it's getting nearer to Christmas,I have been thinking about what to make .
So, I have already started some Damson Gin,which is in large jars ,waiting to be bottled nearer mid December, and I have done Marmalade Vodka  too. 
That  is so easy, just some homemade marmalade  in the vodka, about a tablespoon,shake it up weekly ,and leave till it has infused,and then strain it,and bottle it. If you were to buy it  ,the price is around £36.00!
Also this morning I have made a large batch of mincemeat for mince Pies. 
Dried fruit,with extra golden sultanas 2large grated apples, trying to peel them one handed  is no joke. A little brown sugar, the zest and juice of a lemon and an orange, plus some flaked almonds,and then some suet. Added to this is a good tablespoon of mixed spice,and a teaspoon of Cinnamon,.then 
finally 25 cl of Oloroso Sherry. 
 I am having a friend for lunch ,we will have potted Shrimps,which I do myself,with lemon zest, powdered mace, chilli pepper  and unsalted butter.   Then Barnsley chops,lamb chops which are double in size, with potatoes, and finely sliced  leeks and Courgettes cooked together.
Finally we shall have a plum and apple crumble , the topping done this morningand for which I forgot one ingredient when I was half  way through rubbing the butter into the flour! 
when you are messy with only one hand ,it's a nightmare,especially as I got my glasses covered with butter and flour. Thank goodness the phone didn't ring.-
Here are the potted shrimps and a corner of the apple and plum crumble, I can't work out how to take 2pictures in sequence.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The lasagne! The aroma is totally gorgeous.


I have to go to Hospital for a MRI scan  to see how the tumour is progressing ( hopefully not growing  at all .) after almost a year of treatments, I am down to bi monthly visits ,which is far better  and they give me the medication via an injection ,rather then ditzy all day having an infusion through my veins.
When I return I have lunch to do for my two sons  who will then go off to watch Bristol City play football, at present they are top of  their league! 
We are having a Parma ham and porcini mushroom lasagne, which I prepared yesterday. 
I made a thick white sauce,and then loosened it with the water from the soaked dried porcini mushrooms,plus I used dried morelles   ,and wood ear mushrooms as well.
Then layer of lasagne, then some Parma ham, then grated cheese,( should have been pecorino ,but there wasn't say to be had,so I used Manchego and Parmesan instead. Build up the layers ,and finish with the grated cheese.  Will try and put up a picture providing it isn't wolfed down  too fast for  me to wrestle with the camera.