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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
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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The next one is from JAN RANSON, although not a pensioner like Pete, she has learned to scrimp and save and 'make do'. We met on the facebook page 'Old Memories of Walthamstow'. She has promised to turf out her old recipe book, but in the meantime, here is a simple one anybody can make... handy in these times of austerity for all but the rich...
One good thing i make which I call "day before the giro soup" contains any veg I have left in the fridge chopped and add water and milk and stock cube herbs etc and cook till tender then put in liquidiser till smooth and eat with whatever bread is left in the freezer
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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.
IF YOU HAVE ANY RECIPES, SEND THEM TO PETE AT: