Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Morning After...

When B returned from the RNLI 'do' he said the desserts were much liked, with many people taking the trouble to say how much they loved the Tropical Fruit cheesecake. This almost ended up as a disaster, but fortunately managed to end up nearly as intended.

I'd made the cheesecake (flavoured with coconut and with pineapple pieces folded in), and the (canned) tropical fruits were to go on the top. In the end decided it might be better if I poured a little jelly over the cheesecake surface to hold the fruits, so made up a lemon jelly using less than the pint of liquid (adding fresh lemon juice then making up to the amount with the syrup from the can). This was cooled and began to set when poured onto the cake, so carefully placed on the fruit. Silly me, silly SILLY me had decided to include thin slices of kiwi (cut in half) to add more colour and as this contains (as does FRESH pineapple) an enzyme that is 'anti-setting, this then prevented the jelly setting firmly. But at least it wasn't THAT runny, and - in a way - this would help keep the fruit in place but also be more like a clear 'coulis' that could double as a sauce. After being in the fridge for a while it did seem to set enough to hold in place, but as I wasn't there when it was served, not sure how it turned out. But as everyone who had it seemed to love it, this probably worked well.

Made another 10 profiteroles just to be sure there was enough, these were again like little balloons and hollow inside. To save me using a new tub of double cream decided to fill these with the last bit of 'ganache' (cream and melted chocolate whipped together), and after dipping three profiteroles in melted chocolate, put a little chocolate on the base of the ganache filled and set this on the top of the three to make a little pyramid. As the chocolate set, these four were then firmly held together for serving. The top prof. also had a spoon of chocolate poured over.

Did not take photos because I forgot. Sorry about that, but then when in their containers they didn't look very interesting at all, they needed to removed and slice to get the best effect, so you'll have to wait until I make some for Beloved before you get to see them.

As I had some time to spare (whilst the bread machine was making dough) sat at the dining table and picked up one of the Harmsworth Household Encyclopedias that belonged to my mum. This these were printed in 1910, and certainly the clothes, hair, furniture, houses etc, showed how people used to live then.

On one of the antiques programmes a lady sold something and when asked what she would do with the money, she said she would spend it on her hobby. She had taken up 'crafts'. She said everyone was now 'taking up crafts', her particular one being card-making.
In the 'Harmsworths', (one of six big volumes) one covered the letter 'R' and then 'S', but yesterday only read part of it. Even confined to the two letters, this showed crafts I'd had a go at but since forgotten about.
Nowadays, crafts seem to be card-making, patchwork, knitting and sewing, but then I read about Raffia Work (done that), Ribbon Work (done that), Richelieu Work (done that), Rug making (hooked wool, rag rugs and braided rugs (done all three), Rush weaving (done that), Samplers (done that), Sealing Wax (done that), Shell work (not yet tried that), it all came flooding back and now I want to get 'crafty again. This just shows how many crafts we 'oldies' are familiar with that no-one today has ever heard about. And what a lot of pleasure they have missed. The rest of this book, plus the other five books will include loads more crafts (basket work, knitting, weaving, bead-making, tatting, lace-making, pokerwork, fretwork, marquetry to name but a few) and wish more programmes could be shown making many of the above.
Do any of the above sound familiar to you minimiser deb, or to other readers?

Despite the fact our working hours are far less today than they used to be, and with all the household appliances, even domestic duties can be done in minutes rather than hours, somehow it seems that no-one has any free time anymore. I blame TV (and now computer games) for this. Before we had these, we could busy ourselves with countless crafts and enjoy listening to the wireless at the same time. Now it is only knitting we can do without having to give our full attention to what we are doing with our hands - leaving us free to knit and watch at the same time.

Back to food. Although probably only of interest to penny-pinchers and those who count calories, when sorting out my 'jelly collection, took a look at the ingredient list at the back of a Hartley's strawberry jelly, and a Tesco strawberry jelly. If I remember correctly, the Tesco jelly was 8p at that time (makes up into a pint). The Hartley's being much dearer (although still not expensive). Strangely, although it appeared that both jellies contained exactly the same ingredients, these must have been in different amounts as both jellies (when made up) had very different 'nutritional' amounts.
strawberry jelly;
Hartley's: 296 calories (Tesco 65)
" 5.1 protein (Tesco 1.1)
" 68.9 carbo (14.6)

Although jelly is not really served as a 'food', it is worth noting from the nutritional angle that the carbohydrate was mainly sugars, so in a way the Tesco one was 'healthier'. Certainly if keeping to a low-calorie diet, the Tesco one also wins hands down, so perhaps the cheaper jelly is better on both counts to give to chubby children to help prevent more obesity.
Mind you there is a great difference in flavour between the two. The Tesco seems more like coloured water with not a lot of taste, but when served with fresh strawberries, then it would be good. Also as considerable money saved using the cheaper jelly, this could help pay for the fresh fruit.

Now to your comments.
Firstly must thank Sue15cat for putting us in the picture re egg production today. Trouble with me is I tend to trust what I read and what I hear/see on TV. Obviously a lot of it is not true. It is good that Sue has taken the trouble to find out the facts and make doubly sure that the eggs she buys are really, REALLY from happy hens that run freely outdoors in good conditions.

A thanks also to Sarina who has given a more objective view to the topic on discussion. However strongly we feel about things, we have to allow everyone freedom of choice. I'm constantly amazed how cruelty to some creatures can really make a nation pull together to improve their lot, yet others seem to be ignored.
When I see the amount of fish kept together in confined spaces (albeit in sea water) when 'farmed', this looks even worse than the chickens. Yet no-one has yet complained. For that matter, although I really haven't much interest in fish, feel that those kept in garden ponds or aquariums indoors, have pretty poor 'living' conditions when you compare it with their natural habitat.
Thankfully the days of when canaries were kept in tiny cages singing their hearts out have now long gone, and a caged bird is allowed a little more space. But no freedom to actually fly any distance as nature intended. When we kept a couple of budgies I used to let them out of the cage to fly around the room each day for a couple or so hours. It was a devil of a job getting them back into the cage though.

Have checked my oven temperature with both a digital and an oven thermometer Les, and both give the same reading. I have to check sometimes as the temperature dial on our oven doesn't show enough. For instance there is nothing shown between 140C and 180C and not that much space between the figures. So have to guess at 150C, 160C, and 170C if that is what I need (and usually use the oven thermometer to check).
Thanks also for repeating what I have said in the past (but your version is a lot more concise), and am sure new readers will find it interesting reading. The way you pass on information (straight to the point) makes me wonder whether you were a teacher before you retired.
Doubt I'd be much good as a teacher, I tend to use far too many words when only one would do.

You certainly had an action-packed day Jane, but it's amazing what we can do when we set our mind to it. Do hope your greenhouse is up and running, but take care that it is well anchored down, the plastic ones can blow over very easily.
Because of this Beloved has had to anchor our greenhouse to the outside wall by making a couple of holes in the back and threading through wire to fix to two hooks screwed into the wall. This does keep it secure, although the wind can still push the plastic cover against the plants on the shelving and occasionally these topple over onto the floor.

When we had a similar greenhouse in Leeds, this had to stand in the middle of the garden on crazy paving, although there were enough beds close by to drive in the stakes to hook on the 'stays' to hold it secure. To prevent any lifting of the base when we had high winds, also used to lay growbags or deep containers across the bottom part of the frame so the weight would also help to hold it down. This really worked well.

Thanks Eileen for your comment. The Rigo Jansci made this time was a bit lighter than the one you tried (and I think all the better for it). This was because I used more cream to chocolate to make the ganache (normally equal amounts of each), so when whipped it almost doubled in bulk and lighter than the normal 'truffle' texture.

Now the gammon has been soaked overnight, today will be cooking it, leaving it in the stock to cool before chilling, then will slice, pack and freeze most of it away. That's another job done. Each day I now seem to have more cooking to do - much of it to do with my new website (need to make and bake and take photos etc), and also have plenty of lemon curd, jam and marmalade to make (many sold for charity).
With a whole freezer drawer now empty, have room to freeze the bowls from my ice-cream machine and so can bring that back into use. Also have plenty of space now in the fridge, so will try and keep it like that as never do have enough room to chill things when needing to.

Even the larder has empty space on the shelves, one side normally two deep in cans and each can with another on top, now has only one row along the back of a shelf (with another can on top), and do you know - I don't even feel the need to fill those gaps!
What I intend to do - especially on the 'dry goods' side of the larder (which is not so empty), is to work through most of this during the summer months then stock up again for the winter so all the shelves are filled. This because of the threat that our gas and electric prices will rise even higher. It isn't as though they need our money - they seem to have enough to pay the big bosses huge bonuses. But then that's all they care about. Draining us of our money so the wealthy can have even more. Why can't our government nationalise the fuel industry (and rail as well) as was done before, then perhaps a little less personal greed and a lot more thought to the consumer would happen.

A delayed start today as waited until Gill had phoned. so as I see it is moving on towards noon, think it is time I wound up for today and should be back at normal time tomorrow (although planning to shop at Morrisons early in the morning so hope I get up early enough to publish before I go). In case I forget, Norma the Hair will be back on Wednesday, so will probably be writing/publishing late morning that day. The reminders just in case some readers like to read this blog at 'coffee break'.

Don't think we will have rain today, but it is very windy, and this probably means no sailing although B will go and see just in case. Have now to plan supper (think this might be liver, bacon, cabbage and potatoes, on the other hand it might not!), and get on with cooking the gammon and making some biscuits etc. Do hope you have a good day, and hope we'll be meeting up again tomorrow. See you then.