Friday, September 02, 2011

Speed is of the Essence

Wouldn't you know it. Got up late this morning, and have still to bake something. Looks like it will have to be scones which can be made quickly, cook fast and can be eaten whilst still warm.

Yesterday the phone rang whilst I was still writing my blog. One of B's sailing buddies who asked him to pop down to the boat yard as his assistance was wanted for a short while. Apparently it was time for the safety boat to have its M O T.
Was going out on Norris, so B said he'd wouldn't be too long anyway, but took the back door key with me just in case.
To cut a long story short. When I got home, went first into the greenhouse to water then pick the ripe tomatoes, then to the back door. Horrors! The back-door key had fallen from my pocket. I retraced my steps to the greenhouse and to the raspberries where I'd had a peek, no key. The only place I'd removed my purse from my pocket (this had been put over the key) was at the cashpoint. Must have dropped it there. As B was due back any minute decided to sit on the bench in the sun to wait for B to come and let me in (we had another spare key in the house).
After half an hour had another think, and was SURE the key was in my pocket when I got home, for was positive I felt it in my pocket when I removed myself from Norris's lap. So took a look around Norris - no sign, then went back over the lawn and back into the greenhouse and sat again in my chair, and took another look round. No sign of the key on the floor or shelves, but as I was stepping out of the greenhouse saw it lying flat along and against the bottom bar that goes across the door space. Barely visible at all. Thank goodness it was found as it was 5.00pm before B returned with is usual "sorry I'm late" (have to inscribe this on his gravestone).
Apparently B had been trying to phone me (on the land line) and he couldn't get through. Turned out he hadn't replaced the hand set properly when he put it back after his call that morning.

During the afternoon, cooked a small (thawed) piece of silverside for supper with a piece of free fat from the butcher (mainly to make beef dripping that B loves). Decided to cook the mat at 200C for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 100C and leave it to cook for 4 - 5 hours. This made it extremely tender and kept it moist.
Served several slices of this with broccoli, and small potatoes that were mostly cooked but finished off for 10 minutes in the last of the fat after draining off the dripping. Also cooked three little Yorkshire Puddings that for some reason didn't rise at all, but were very crisp. A small jug of rich gravy (with a little red wine added) finished the meal. B thought it was absolutely gorgeous, even the flat Yorkies, eating all of them.

For afters, B ate the last of the trifle, pouring over some cream presumably (taken from the fridge), for when he was about to go to bed at 10.00 and we both went into the kitchen, found he had left the fridge door wide open. Thank goodness it was not the freezer. "How did I come to do that" he said in a bemused fashion? Because he forgot to shut it?
Can count on the fingers of one hand the times B has left the fridge door open since we moved here two years ago. He is paranoid about being burgled, fitted the front door with bolts and safety chain, yet for the first few months, if he had spent minutes unlocking the door to answer it, then forgot to secure it again, and often found myself when answering the door (a few days later) it was (still) unlocked. Now I have to keep a check on almost everything he does that is 'important'. Or remind him (which he hates me doing).

As to the Plum Tomato Jam Susan G. Some 'vegetable fruit' jams can be eaten both as a sweet spread or as a savoury relish, although the relish types usually have vinegar in the making. Normally 'jam' is for use in sweet dishes, a 'marmalade' (such as onion marmalade) is for savouries.

Blackpool Tower was opened yesterday after refurbishment. By this I mean the whole Tower - right up to the top. The lower part has always been open for dancing etc. Norma the Hair does a lot of dancing and goes to the Tower most weekends with her dance partner. She went on Tuesday of this week with an elderly relative (so she could see the ballroom and dancing therein) and said there was a very long queue to get in, and although they wanted to go only to the ballroom, they had to queue with everyone else (most who wanted to go to other parts of the Tower) and it took an hour before they managed to reach the reception area.

Thanks Les for your advice. I do try to be very careful what I eat, and although I ask B to bring in a white Hovis, telling him this is the only bread that doesn't affect my tum - this last time he brought in another brand and I didn't notice. Had no problem yesterday with my dyspepsia as I ate only food that was home-cooked. Don't think I've ever bought chilled foods (other than dairy).

The problem with driving through Cornwall is that it can take some time due to only one major road running through it (unless another has been built since we used to visit). So almost essential to arrange to drive through at times when the roads are least likely to have much traffic. It must have been frustrating gillibob for your journey to take so long. The last time we went was in October due to a holiday having to be postponed, and this was a lovely time of year to go. Not a lot of traffic, and the weather still good. This was the time when we saw autumn in one day. All the trees in the foot of Cornwall were still in green leaf with the exception of a couple of orange leaves we saw. As we moved up the country (via Cheddar Gorge) the trees were fast changing colour. When we got to Leicester all the leaves were various shades of orange, and by the time we got to Leeds the leaves had fallen from the trees. Quite an experience.

Good to hear from you again Mother Noah, and hope you enjoy the 'sausages'. Congratulations on losing so much weight.
Also welcome to a new 'commenteer': mobilier gradina who was also taken by the 'sausage' recipe. Do hope everyone who makes these enjoys them. They could also be formed into 'patties' or 'cakes' if you prefer, but always think 'sausages' (aka 'rissoles') are that little bit different.

Just for interest here is another recipe for another 'vegetarian' sausage. In some ways similar to Glamorgan Sausages (also made with cheese), but different enough to be worth making. The flavour can be changed slightly according to whether white, brown or granary bread crumbs are used, or a different cheese, and - if you like that sort of thing - a few spices can be added (such as cumin, chilli powder etc), or some diced Peppadew or grated root ginger. A teaspoon of tomato puree will add another dimension. Instead of leek, use an onion (I would tend to grate this). Use this recipe as a guide then make 'bangers' of your choice.
Vegetarian Sausages: makes 8
5 oz (150g) fresh breadcrumbs
4 oz (100g) grated Cheddar cheese (or other)
1 small leek, washed and thinly sliced
1 - 2 tblsp chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, tiny bit of sage)
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper
2 eggs
milk to mix (only if necessary)
plain flour and fresh breadcrumbs for coating
Put the breadcrumbs, cheese, leek, herbs, mustard and seasoning to taste in a mixing bowl. Separate one egg and reserve the white. Add the yolk to the remaining whole egg, beat to combine and then stir this into the breadcrumb mixture. If necessary add a little milk to make a mixture that can be gathered together into a ball, but it should not be 'sticky'.
Divide the mixture into eight and shape each into a sausage (equal sized). Place on a plate, cover and chill for about an hour or until needed (they could be speed-chilled in the freezer).
Lightly whisk the reserved egg white, then dip each sausage into this, followed by rolling in flour and then fresh breadcrumbs.
Put enough fat in a deep frying pan to shallow or deep-fry, and when hot lower the sausages into the oil and fry for five minutes until crisp and brown. If the fat is shallow, then turn the sausages occasionally and allow a little longer to brown evenly and heat through.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve immediately.

In the old days we used to serve chutneys and pickles with our cold meats. Then came 'relishes', and 'salsas'. The word 'salsa' means 'sauce', but in this instance means a 'chunky sauce'. Almost back to the chutney again but not so sharp. If you are not keen on the chunkies, then a quick blitz in a food processor/blender would bring a salsa back to a more recognisable 'sauce' again that could work well spread on a pizza or eaten with pasta . This 'salsa/sauce' does not keep much longer than a few days in the fridge, but could be frozen.
Tomato Salsa:
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
small piece of red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 pieces sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tblsp sherry
1 tsp brown soft light brown sugar
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and toss together to combine. Cover and chill for 2 - 3 hours before serving.

As this morning will be busier than most, will now have to take my leave. Hoping to hear from you again tomorrow and do hope you all manage to enjoy your day. Have just realised it is already September - hasn't the year flown past? Still - the autumn is one of the busiest (and happiest) time for us cooks, so not grumbling.
Had better get on then, hadn't I? Bye for now.