Sunday, March 08, 2015

Quick Catch Up...

Seems we are getting wet weather this weekend (North West), rest of the country having dry and more spring like weather.  Temperature up to 17C, so seems that winter is now over and done with.

Another load of larder food has been moved on for others to use up.  Not sure why, but this has cheered me up quite a bit, maybe it is the sight of a lot of empty spaces on the shelves that can now be filled with non-foods.  Those days of stocking up to give a feeling of security, seem now no longer necessary. 

Still have the freezers to sort out as I need at least one large drawer to store my cake bases etc, and also some (home-made) ready-meals.   That has to be done bit by bit as it is mighty cold sitting in front of the tall freezer when the door is open, the smaller freezer (with four separate drawers) can be sortied drawer by drawer, each taken to the table and contents less likely to get hidden at back of shelves.

Am always grateful for your comments as these can be replied to - even if I have nothing else to write about, and have to say that spreading pesto over a pizza base is a very good idea Margie.  Traditionally it was always tomato (pizza) sauce, but recently I've seen the American cooks (in diners etc) spread pizzas with a white sauce (cheese based?), so perhaps time we changed the normal to something different.
American readers may be able to give some suggestions.

Like the idea of using balsamic vinegar (with sherry) to pickle beetroot Cheesepare although I tend to prefer eating unpickled cooked beetroot in sarnies (from vacuum packs).  Sandwiches made with the soft 'Philly' type cheese topped with beetroot is a favourite. 
For those that don't already know, eating beetroot helps to lower blood pressure.  I also like drinking beetroot juice (surplus can be frozen), and chocolate cakes/brownies made with choc and grated cooked beetroot are wonderful.  Children love them.

Not sure how much mushy peas cost, depends on the quality I suppose.  Cheap cans of the mushies can be improved if a little melted butter is mashed in with a pinch of seasoning. 
Have found that those packs of 'quick-cook' dried peas do make wonderful mushy peas (adding butter and maybe a pinch of sugar as well as seasoning according to your choice of flavour) and I make up a whole pack then freeze it away in small tubs to eat (with fish 'n chips') as required.

Normally I don't reply to a comment from 'Anonymous', but as this queried an old recipe of mine thought I'd give it a mention.
Yes, my original pan-fry-pizza had a base made from flour mixed to a dough with yogurt, and it worked very well as long as eaten once the topping had been heated under the grill.  If left too long the base then became a bit soft.   If the pizza was to stand for longer, then perhaps the bread-dough type base would be a better choice. 

Even as I write my mind is visualising making a pan-fry-pizza using either a naan bread or a tortilla/chapatti as the base, just heated through in the pan and then given a smear of tomato ketchup/paste, pkus plenty of toppings, grated cheese on top - under the grill and then this could be wrapped up in half (a bit like a calzone), or even rolled up to eat as a hot snack.

When 'The Goode Kitchen' was being shown on TV I did tape all the episodes Christopher, but somehow they got taped over (mistakenly by one of the children), the same thing happened when I taped the many 'live' Pebble Mill cookery spots that I did, also 'Bazaar'.  Suppose I felt they were not important enough to keep, but wish now I had.  At least have the books.

When we first moved to Leeds my next-door neighbour ran a B & B (she shouldn't have done, her house was council owned, but not my problem) and she used to buy a lot of her food from cash and carry, especially vegetables where she would go to the Leeds version of Covent Garden (wholesale greengrocery), and buy sacks of carrots, onions, spuds etc for a really low (wholesale) price.  Anyone can go to these wholesalers and buy what they want as long as the produce is by the sack, box, or crate (not by the kg unless normally sold that way). 
Nowadays soft fruits such as strawberries are usually sold by the punnet, even though the punnets are (at the wholesalers) sold by the crate, but in those days the fruit was sold loose in trays, and it was possible to buy fruit that was past its best, very low cost, and then make jam with it.

The only snag with buying in this way is that you need to be at the warehouse very early in the morning (about 4.00am) to get the best produce at the best price.
Leeds Market would sell some produce very cheaply at the end of the week (late Saturday) when they knew it wouldn't keep until the following Monday - such as fresh berries, tomatoes, mushrooms, salads.... so another good way to get cheaper produce is to hover round the fresh food markets late on Saturdays (and this can include meat, poultry, even bakers for bread etc).  All we need is time and persistence.

Have to say I'd rather spend time on making meals from fresh produce, even if it does work out  slightly dearer, as the way my mind works is that time equals money, so as long as one way (or the other) will make a saving, does it matter which is chosen?   If I was desperate, I'd probably do both, then end up exhausted by the end of the day.

Well, that's my quick catch up, as ever not much to chat about these days, but at least I'm feeling a lot more positive.  My gout has nearly subsided, but - being me - I've now developed a very stiff neck.    Those were the days when I woke up having no pains at all.  And wasn't this taken for granted.  We don't know how lucky we are/have been until too late.  Keep telling myself things could be a lot worse.  TTFN.