Well the pickings in the ‘Who has had the biggest disaster in the home’ competition were slim, but I loved that they all involved emergency services, potential loss of life, a trip to Accident & Emergency, and in Ngaire’s case, a sexually-innapropriate moment. It’s a great indicator of the types of friends I gravitate to.
Posts from the ‘Recipes’ Category
So my bright idea to give away a book didn’t garner much interest – so far, only three peeps have posted a domestic disaster. But I can’t tell if that is a sign that means it doesn’t bode well for book sales or that the people I know are such sophisticated cooks/cleaners/home-handy women that they’ve never bleached a whole load of black washing or poisoned their dinner guests.
One of the reasons I’ve put so much weight on in the past nine months – I’ve put on at least 5 kilos or 12 pounds – is because I’m forever baking. And then eating the whole lot.
When I lived in New York, I never baked. No one ever came over, so there was no need. I saw loads of my friends, but we always met in cafes or restaurants. I kept the cupboards completely bare because I ate out almost every night and didn’t want to over-eat every day. So there was never anything to snack on.
Here, you have to have things in the cupboard, otherwise someone pops in unannounced and you have nothing to feed them, and because you’re 15 minutes’ drive from a shop you have no back-up and you look like a complete and utter domestic failure. So you buy or make a surplus of soups and snacky bits (even if they are made from scratch) and you make sure you always have milk and bread and enough for another helping of whatever you are planning to serve.
And, if someone lets you know they’re dropping in, you make something. I love that. It’s a way of saying, on a plate, “I’m glad to see you. You mean something to me.” But because I’m such an enthusiastic eater, it’s got me into a bit of trouble and I’m heading back to NYC more ample than ever before.
Anyway, who cares about that. What I meant to write about is scones. I made a batch of scones today for my cousin and my mum, who came for morning tea. They came out brilliant (the scones, not my family members), which sounds like a skite, but I don’t think I’d made scones since I was at school, so it was by no means certain that they were going to be good. I served them with Te Horo jam, really strong coffee, and fresh cream I bought in a shop with the last of my egg money.
Then I ate three. (I told you I was an enthusiastic eater). Here’s the recipe:
Edmond’s Cookery Book Plain Scones
- 3 cups of flour
- 6 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 75 grams of butter
- 1 cup of milk
- Sift the three dry ingredients into a bowl.
- Cut in the butter until the mix resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the milk, give it a quick mix and tip the dough out onto a floured baking tray. Chop the dough into 12 evenly-sized pieces and chuck them into a 220 degrees celsius oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve with jam and whipped cream.
I went up the line yesterday, to my cousins, to have lunch and say goodbye before jetting off out of here. I offered to bring a pavlova, as it’s about the only dessert I could make with the ingredients I have left – i.e. lots of eggs – and it’s something I haven’t made in the whole time I’ve been here.
There is loads of pumpkin to be dealt with at the moment. I’ve made lots of soup, but that’s getting a bit boring, so today I made a pumpkin curry. I used a Jamie Olive recipe and I didn’t have all the ingredients – no ginger, no curry leaves – but as luck would have it I had a can of chopped tomatoes (the last one in the pantry) and some coconut milk (the lucky last of that too). And a s*&tload of pumpkin.
I finally got around to making some bread this week.
I’ve never made bread before, and I’m not known for my precision when it comes to cooking, so I was a bit trepidatious about the whole thing, but my friend Kathy sent me a Jim Lahey recipe for no-knead bread, and it’s depressing eating eggs without bread, so I gave it a go.
I had a good rifle through the freezer the other day, to see what I had left in there (loads, as it happens – at least eight containers of soup, lots of frozen veggies and even some fish), and I came across a bag of blackberries from a foraging trip back in February.
It was kismet, because I’d just seen a beautiful boysenberry Bakewell cake over on my virtual friend Ali’s blog Pease Pudding. I swapped the boysenberries for blackberries, rummaged around in the pantry for the other ingredients, and made it tout suite.
It was so cold the other morning that I could not drag myself out of bed. For ages. Eventually I decided the only way I was getting up was with a bribe. So I promised myself that if I got up, I’d make myself some pikelets. (I have to bribe myself; I live alone.)
I don’t know if people have pikelets in other parts of the world. I’ve never seen them in the US, where pancakes, which are similar but bigger and stodgier, reign supreme. I’ve had something similar in Scotland, but they were thicker and called flapjacks. In New Zealand pikelets are small and light and a classic morning or afternoon tea dish, served with butter and jam, or if you are very greedy (and don’t live in a self-sufficient way), with cream.
Anyway, a pile of pikelets is a really naughty thing to eat for breakfast, but a great way to coerce yourself or anyone else from the boudoir to the kitchen. Even the cat got up to have a look at them. I ate them warm, with butter and some of my friend Fiona’s crabapple jelly on top.
Here’s how to make them:
Edmond’s Cookery Book Pikelets
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 good pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of milk
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl; the egg and sugar in another. Combine the two and add the milk, but don’t overmix.
- Heat a nonstick pan and dot tablespoonfuls of the mix into the pan. Turn over once bubbles appear on the surface of the pikelet. Once cooked on both sides, slather with butter and jam and eat while wearing socks, a merino singlet, two jerseys and a knee rug.
I pulled out a crumble the other night, as the finish to an almost self-sufficient meal. It was only almost because Emma had brought a beautiful lamb shoulder with her, and cooked that up with rosemary and other things. I supplied a salad from the garden and a Jerusalem artichoke risotto… and this: