Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slow and Steady...

'Slow and steady wins the race' it is said, and that's how I'm planning to tackle the party food.  B brought home the paper (given out to people who were at the club house for one reason or another) advertising the 'do', and it said 'Exclusive Buffet', so I've really got to come up trumps.

Took an hour or two (or more) yesterday sorting out which recipes I'll be using, and then each carefully to see what preparation could be done in advance.  As with most canapes, it is more a matter of assembling on the day, and some have to be left until the last minute, although some can be prepared and kept chilled for several hours.   
Many of the bases can be cooked in advance (even frozen - then flash baked to crisp up again), so will have to plan the timing for these as well.   Fortunately found the Macaroons could be frozen, and as the ones I made (now a few days old) were ending up OK the one I put in the freezer yesterday came out really crisp today, so can do those really early to freeze, also freeze unfilled profiteroles. 

Today am planning to experiment by toasting bread 'cups' and then freezing (as it said they could be), to take out in a few days to see if they are OK, also making a few cheese straws to keep in airtight containers.  Possibly other things as well.  But the aim now is to buy the necessary that can be kept in the fridge or freezer (packs of smoked salmon etc), jars of 'caviare', cornichons.... and a gammon to roast and a topside of beef to cook, and leave most of the 'makings' until the following week.  As said before, it is all in the organisation.

Forgive me for a short blog today as with Gill phoning, this will shorten my working morning, so want to get on as soon as she has put the phone down.  Just time now for me to reply to comments, and hopefully give a recipe (or two) for celeriac for Stephanie.  I was not too keen on 'bulb'fennel Stephanie, but shredded very finely and mixed with cabbage, carrot, onion and a light mayo dressing, it does make a very tasty coleslaw.

You sound as though you are having a spell of very stormy weather Lisa.  Pity it spoilt your day out.  We don't have many thunderstorms in this country, maybe one or two a year, and they don't last long.  Very few are really bad ones.
A reminder (to all) that if recipes on this site are to be printed off, best to do it before blogger deletes the posting from the site (they seem to only keep the last few posts of each month published) although I still have them in 'save'), or add to 'favourites' to print off later. Will keep the recipe in case it is lost, so can give it you again if necessary.

Really hope that the job you applied for will be yours Kathryn, but even if not you still have the pleasure of now being able to ride three ponies throughout the next few months, instead of just Dolly.  This could lead to (paid) work in that area.  Myself always feel that if life deals us bad cards but we play them with a good heart, then we will eventually be given a good hand. 

Great bargains Jane, must take a look at the freecycle site as have loads of things I want to get rid of that are too good for the tip and need a good home.

Your mention of elderly people being 'sedentary' Brenda, then feeling cold even in a warm room, really shows the reason.  I feel cold when sitting in my chair in our living room, but not nearly so chilled when I'm moving around the house, working in the kitchen etc, even though there is no heating at that time (from c.h. or hob/oven).
Continuous movement burns up our calories which in turn give us more internal body heat I suppose, and that must be the answer, try to keep active even when old.  But not always as simple as that.  Eating/drinking warming foods really does help, and these don't have to be expensive. A good cheap 'chunky' soup is better than clutching any hot water bottle.

Here are some suggestions for using celeriac... (now in season). 
Celeriac Juliennes: 
Cut peeled celeriac into strips about 2" (5cm) by quarter inch (0.5cm) square.  Blanch or steam for 2 minutes, then refresh under cold water.  Dry well then put into a frying pan with half oz (15g) butter for every 9 oz (250g) celeriac.  Add a pinch of sugar and seasoning to taste.  'Sweat' over low heat for 10 - 15 minutes until tender.  Serve with chopped parsley.

Pan-braised Celeriac with Onion and Herbs: serves 4
1 celeriac, peel and chop into half inch (1cm) cubes
1 onion, chopped
3 tblsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tblsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tblsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
salt and pepper
4 fl oz (100ml) vegetable stock
Fry the celeriac and onion in the oil over medium heat until softened and browning, stirring often. Add the garlic, herbs and seasoning to taste and fry for a further minute, then add stock, bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender and there is still some liquid left.
Serve as an accompaniment to any roast or grilled/pan fried meat and especially good with lamb, chicken or pork.

Celeriac is also good boiled and mashed (with or without potatoes), roasted with other roast veg, and made into a soup with potatoes and leeks.  After sweating the veg in a little butter, then add veg. stock, seasoning to taste, then simmer for half an hour.  Blend to a puree, reheat and season to taste, stirring in a little double cream before serving. Garnish with chopped chives (opt).

That's it for today, as Gill will be phoning in 5 mins, and still need to do 'spellcheck'.  Hope to write a longer blog tomorrow.  Join me then.  TTFN.