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I was brought up in the Forties and Fifties, when rationing was the norm, and The Ministry of Food kept an eye on our diet.
My mother, Doris, would have to 'make do' with what she had, and as a result, I learned from an early age to make my own meals and to eke things out.
We were healthier too, and you hardly ever saw an obese person.
In this age of austerity, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my recipes with you, and to invite you to send us some of yours...
This is NOT 'Posh Nosh', but food you can make on a tight budget...
SO LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR RECIPES...
ABOVE: Pete with his home-made Bread.
BELOW: A variation, Pete's Plaited Tinned sesame seed loaf
GETTING FLAKEY OVER PASTRY
Flakey Pastry is quite easy to make, but it takes patience, - but why bother when you can get it frozen from the supermarket in the form of Jusroll?. All you need do then is roll it out and use it.
Here's some of Pete favourites recipes, recommended by Nikki!
(One of Nikki's absolute favourites!)
Roll out your pastry first, on a floured surface.
Take two salmon steaks purchased from your local supermarket, and place them on the surface of the rolled-out pastry. Cut round the salmon, leaving about a half inch all round.
Mix a mushroom cup-a-soup with about an egg-cup full of milke and a knob of butter, to make a paste. For added flavour, add a triangle of Dairylea cheese triangles, and spread over each portion of salmon, before covering with the rest of the pastry. Don't forget to wet the base pastry around the salmon with milk, and press the upper pastry casing down to seal.
Bake in the oven for 20 mins at full power, and serve with rice, broccoli and a mushroon sauce, made from a cup-a-soup -DELICIOUS!!!
Apple & Blackberry Pie
Roll out the pastry as for the first recipe, and boil four medium-sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced, for five minutes before adding a punnet of blackberries, then strain.
Lightly oil or butter a round pie dish, and place the pastry over it, mould into tin, and trim off excess round edge of tin.
Fill the pie base with apple and blackberry mixture, adding one tablespoon of sugar or splendour, a pinch of ginger and a pinch of cinnamon, and mix together.
For extra taste, roll the rest of the pastry whilst adding a pinch or two of nutmeg - YUM!
Bake in oven at high temperature for 20 minutes and serve with cream.
We always decorate with Acorns and Oak Leaves, - for obvious reasons!
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Pete's Apple & Tomato Crumble!
Yes, you read that right! You see, Nikki loves Pete's Apple Crumble, and he usually adds blackberries, blackcurrants or blueberries to the apple for added flavour.
HOWEVER! On this particular day, our happy couple had run out of soft fruit, so Pete suggested adding tomatoes!
'After all', Pete explained to Nikki,
'As all gardeners and botanists know, tomatoes are FRUIT, even though we usually use them as salad vegetable, - so why not?'
Nikki agreed, and the APPLE & TOMATO CRUMBLE was born!
Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it, - and believe us, it's DELICIOUS!
300g/10½oz plain flour
175g/6oz unrefined brown sugar
200g/7oz unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
Knob of butter for greasing
450g/1lb apples peeled, cored and cut into 1cm/½in pieces
five cherry tomatoes
50g/2oz unrefined brown sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Taking a few cubes of butter at a time rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture bubbling.
Serve with thick cream or custard.
Apple and TOMATO Crumble - an unlikely combination we know, - but look how Nikki is enjoying it!
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PETE'S HEALTHY WHITE LOAF
My recipe for tasty white bread is much healthier than the loaves you can buy from the supermarket, as, instead of using sugar and salt, I use Splenda® and Celery salt. I also use Coriander Leaf, which gives an extra healthy 'zing'.
Oh yes, - it tastes delicious too!
1 tsp fast acting yeast
500gms Strong white flour
1 tsp celery salt
1 tablespoon Splenda® sweetener
1 tblsp coriander leaf
2 tblsp olive oil
320 mls warm water
1 tsp of milk
A sprinkle of poppy or sesame seed
Mix all ingredients into a large bowl for 5 mins
Place dough on floured surface and rest for 5 mins.
Knead for 2 mins and rest for a further 5 mins.
Place in bread tin and dust with flour.
Brush surface with milk and sprinkle poppy or sesame seed.
Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 30-40 mins, or until doubled in size.
Bake on lower shelf of oven at 230C/450F/Gas mark 8 for 30 - 40 mins.
1:Damp cloth covering dough 2: Risen dough ready for oven 3: Cooked loaf
Click on bottom R/H corner of picture for larger view.
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RECIPES FROM OUR READERS
Well, our Apple & Tomato Crumble caused quite a stir, and as a result, here is a couple of recipes sent in by our readers...
The first is from Pete's cousin TRICIA LEWIS...
Honey & Peanut Butter Booster Bars
These jam-packed near relatives of the flapjack are my antidote to the devil's work - those big-brand 'energy' bars that fester among the chocolate on every motorway service-station counter masquerading as a late breakfast...
2. Stir the oats, dried fruit and three-quarters of the seeds into the melted butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Spread the mixture out evenly in the baking tin, smoothing the top as you go.
3. Scatter the remaining seeds over the surface and trickle with a little more honey. Place in an oven preheated to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden in the centre and golden brown at the edges.
4. Leave to cool completely in the tin (be patient - it cuts much better when cold), then turn out and cut into squares with a sharp knife. These bars will keep for 5-7 days in an airtight tin.
Variation: Banana Booster Bars:
Replace the peanut butter with 1 medium ripe banana (about 175g), mashed. Stir it in after all the other ingredients have been combined.
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