So, with all that has been going on, I’ve hardly had time to think of blogging! The baking, wok and reading continued, but no time to write about it all and I daresay it would be more dull than usual if it were just a basic, typo-riddled recipe every two days.
On the plus side, we’re getting a cat to deal with our variety of garden rodents (mice and rabbits and rats, oh dear!), so I’ll update you on him weekly, starting Thursday after he’s had a day to settle. I’ve also had time to finish a few books, made £250-ish a week instead of the usual £50-100, been doing some painting, had another meatfeast, tidied the garden, etc.
On the minus side, two of the hens fell ill and had to be put to sleep, I apparently can’t drive any vehicles on-road at all (for now) as my attention-span is too short and my attention to details is too broad, so I’m an accident liability and the therapist stressed and confused me so much she made my depression worse, so I’m back to my usual coping mechanisms and almost recovered.
The pluses of the minus side? I can now save my bike-money for babies, am away from that therapist and the other two hens are doing well and getting tubby for Winter.
Everything is looking up again from here and I’ve adjusted enough to my new schedule to reintegrate weight training and blogging.
We have also concluded that making one big stew a week out of cheaper ingredients is helpful to the budget, so I’m aiming to make at least one a week. Here’s this week’s:
Stew of the Week: Smoky Hellmince, Carrot and Bacon Surprise.
Accidentally burned the base of this, but once transferred to another pot it actually has a kind of nice smoky flavour.
-600g frozen beef and pork mince
-300g mixed frozen vegetables
-water to cover
-chopping board and knife
1: Wash and chop the carrots and swede.
2: Add all the ingredients to the pot in this order: water, vegetables, meat, rice, seasonings.
3: Boil until cooked-through.
The next recipe is for jam tarts from scratch. We collected so many elderberries and were given a load of plums, so it was definitely worthwhile to make some jam!
(Makes 24 small tarts and one large flat stripy one.)
-500g plain flour
-cold water as needed
-one pot, stirring spoon, jar and funnel for every fruit variety you want to jam separately
-chopping board and knife
-mixing bowl and rolling pin
-24 tarts worth of cookie trays and one large baking tray
1: Boil the kettle and fill the jar with boiling water. Close tightly and put to one side.
2: Wash your fruit. Slice any larger fruit into 2″ segments, leave berries whole.
3: Place the fruit in its pot. You shouldn’t need extra water yet.
4: Heat them through, stirring all the time. They should start bubbling away nicely. DON’T LEAVE THEM FROM THIS POINT. I’ll say when it’s safe to turn your back again! 🙂
5: When the fruit has basically dissolved into lumps of fruit and fruit paste, gradually add the sugar. Keep stirring. The fruit should release more fluid. Now is the time to boil it down until it’s thick.
6: Take it off the heat. It no longer requires 100% of your attention!
7: Check your jar. It should still be so hot you can’t touch it without a glove or teatowel. Pour the water away.
8: Once the fruit is thick but pourable, place the funnel into the jar and spoon it all in. Tighten the lid ASAP and place in the fridge to ensure it seals and is sterile. Check the pop-tab on the lid of the jar once cool. Once it is locked in like they are at the store, your jar is sealed.
9: Mix the flour and butter until crumbs form. Add water until your dough is soft but not sticky.
10: Grease your trays.
11: Use half the dough to line the 24 cookie spots and roll out half to fill the baking tray.
12: Spoon your jam/s into the tart bases. Maybe do something creative with the huge one!
13: Bake at 170 for 20min for the small tarts and 25 for the huge one.
14: Leave to cool before removing from trays.