Friday, April 25, 2014

Short of Ideas....

Not sure why, but don't have any idea what I'm going to write about.  Mind you, that is pretty normal, I usually write what comes in to my head the minute my fingers touch the keyboard without any advance planning (other than perhaps giving recipes that have been requested).  Tonight my mind seems blank.  So I may finish early.l

At least have a few comments to reply to (sigh of relief from me, what would I do without them?). The first from Grub-Lover who enjoys reading back numbers of Home and Freezer Digest, but also mentions Tupperware Parties. Also Pam (Texas) who also mentions both.
Yes, I remember Tupperware parties well.  Probably held some myself.  Still have several of their products, and two large orange tubs hold plain flour and self-raising, and two slightly smaller contain caster sugar and icing sugar.  All  three have a sort of an outline of a white flower on the front of each and it seems these ones (that have this flower) are now collectors items. 

I've also one or two other Tupperware containers all still in use and still plenty of life left in them. One is made from thick, clear, solid plastic and has a deep maroon rim and lid of the same colour that has a press button in the middle of the lid, it sort of causes a vacuum in the container when pressed. I use it to store anything I wish to keep very dry, like biscuits or cereals. 

Both Home and Freezer Digest and the slightly larger Cook's Weekly were both excellent little mags that were easy to carry around, and do wish they were still published today.  At one time I used to write for Family Circle and Living magazine (two mags sold only in supermarkets, and wonder if these are still being published.  I've not seen any, but then haven't really looked for them.  I believe the US and Australia also sold these, but with slightly different content to suit the country of publication.

Am always interested in the difference in prices between the UK and Canada (sent by Margie - thanks for that), and so look forward to hearing the comparison price between the canned and fresh. We too are having cooler weather at the moment, although the sun has been shining, in the shade we get quite shivery.  After several weeks blooming, the daffodils are now dying back, but now have several tubs of beautiful large yellow and red tulips in flower.  Also the wisteria is now starting to show flowers.  

The red geraniums (aka pelargoniums) that I brought into the conservatory to hope keep alive during the winter have kept on flowering, so all I need to do now is trim them back slightly and then plant them out once the danger of frosts is over (June).  That'll save me quite a bit of money.  All I need to buy is trailing blue lobelia, and maybe a couple or so yellow chrysanthemum type plants to give a change of colour, then the garden will be all set for the summer.  Hardly need any attention except from watering, and even that may not be needed if we get our usual rainy summer.

Not sure why the Holladaise sauce ended up too thick Sarina,  perhaps it needed more melted butter, and maybe one large egg instead of two medium ones.  If a recipe doesn't give the size of egg needed it always means a medium one.

This week have been using the free-range Tesco eggs (£1 for half a dozen - approx. 16.5p each), and although they are classed as medium, they were mainly what I call 'small'.  One quite tiny.   In the trays of 15 'value' eggs (9p each), the majority are large, often quite large, a few medium and only a couple small. Me (being me) occasionally sit and weight each egg from the cheaper tray, writing the weight on the shells so I can compare them. Wish I'd done the same with the free-range, only by the time I'd thought about doing this, B had used half of them - scrambled on toast.

It does seem I seem to gain more pleasure from working out the cost of small amounts of food, either singles (as in one egg) or by the oz or gr (or ml), than I do actually cooking the stuff.  Am I sad or what?

Made another batch of bread again today.  I now always extend the pack of bread mix by adding a further 500g of strong bread flour plus half as much again of liquid (half water, half milk), and end up with a large loaf and 8 big baps (rolls).  Allowing for the extra flour and milk, the total probably costs me around 80p - 90p.  Having seen a TV ad for Co-op bread at 75p a loaf, and rolls are often really cheaper by the dozen, possibly I don't save much as have to take into account the fuel used for baking, but certainly the bread seems a lot better than any on sale.  Having said that have never bought really expensive 'artisan' bread anyway - this probably is good, but way too costly for me.

Quite a few people don't care for rhubarb, and Mary (Perth/Australia) finds her family feels the same. It's probably because it can be very sharp in flavour and sometimes not pleasant to eat when overcooked (easily turns to a mush).  The best way is to cut the stalks into short lengths then give them a couple of minutes microwave - just long enough to soften them slightly,  Put into a dish with sugar and any other flavouring (ginger) or fruit (strawberries were suggested), and either cover with pastry or a crumble mix.  Then bake until the topping is cooked.  
Quite often now I cook both the fruit filling (any firm fruits) and crumble mix separately, then assemble the dish when ready to serve, it can be reheated in the microwave for a couple of minutes - not long enough to overcook the fruit.  The crumble mix can be cooked when the oven is on for something else, then cooled and stored in an airtight (Tupperware??) container in the fridge to use later.

Considering I hadn't a thought of what I was going to write when I began, still have managed to fill more than a page with my 'rambles'.  Maybe even a few useful tips included here and there.  But I still feel tired, and still short of ideas of what to write about (or what to do), so maybe could do with a bit of inspiration from your end.  Far better for me to write what you want to hear (need to know) rather than me fill the pages with just nothing much but nattering. 

Each day I keep trying to think up a new challenge, but nothing has come to me yet.  At least one did come to mind earlier but blow me - I've already forgotten what it was.  Maybe I'll remember by my next blog.  Oh yes, it might have been because I had discovered a cook book (when clearing up) giving recipes that used only 3 ingredients.  Am pretty sure all the ingredients were expensive, so didn't really read it through properly.   Maybe I'll come up with one or two suggestions (the dandelions are now flowering, the leaves are edible AND free!), but at this time of night that is as far as my little brain will take me. 

Am taking tomorrow off as a full day of baking has been planned, also baking on Sunday, but will return late Sunday to write/publish the blog ready for the Monday read.  Hope you'll find time to read and enjoy and I'll be trying to make the next blog more interesting that this one.  Bye for now. xx