I can't imagine the younger me becoming excited by a butter dish but the thirty-something me is oddly excited!
As I adorned my new butter dish with it's slab of real, creamy butter, I got to thinking, (rare I know!) What other kitchen items had I accrued through maturity? was I an old aged lady in the land of the grown up kitchen?...
My husband is a coffee addict so we own cafetieres, not one but two, imagine the horror of the only cafetiere breaking on a lazy Sunday morning! I used to think coffee was for the teachers staff room, stylish Italians and for people with asbestos mouth!
Next up, our cheese board, the very idea of eating copious amounts of cheese, just because, never occurred to me years ago. Now I not only own a cheese board but a cheese knife!
And finally (subject to change) my slow cooker (cue rays of sunshine and harmonic music) My giant slow cooker which saves me rushing home to cook and quenches my throw-it-all-in desire. Is there anything better than coming home knackered to the smell of whatever concoction you threw in the there at 7am?! (forget the early morning chopping for a moment!)
So let us be thankful (and a little sad) that we've grown up and no matter what our culinary lives throw at us, we probably have a utensil for that!
Tell me, which kitchen items do you own that say 'I'm a grown up'? 😉
You know those funny things you do when you have little kidders?...
I spent many nights, post bedtime story snuggling my daughter into bed and then pretending to walk into her bedroom door on the way out! Sound crazy? I bet you know what I mean really. You know, that gentle bump into the door accompanied with the dramatic pretence of rubbing my head whilst groaning, made completely worth it because it sent my little girl into fits of giggles and I knew she was heading for dreamland already laughing. (I don't know maybe she was actually laughing at my 'carry on' themed acting, maybe she knew all along!)
I would also, whilst bathing her, accept the 'beer' she gave me (a beaker of bath water topped with bubbles) and pretend to drink it followed by a display of spluttering and pretend vomiting to which she would, amongst giggles, declare 'it's not really beer mummy it's bath water!" Fun times though it always resulted in me having an invisible bubble bath moustache that I would only remember when casually licking my lips later on!
Anyway, I've done this stuff and I would pay to go back and do it all again. I've also tried hiding minutely chopped mushrooms in her food but she always discovered them! I've tried the 'try this grape' alright, it was an olive and very different but worth a try! And once, many moons ago, I served her bangers and mash, and had the amazing idea to serve it to her in a face. Not actually in a face, or her face for that matter! but in the shape of a face, I'm so creative...
A dollop of creamy mash as the head, one curved sausage for a smile, the other was chopped into three pieces for eyes and nose (obviously!) a garden pea hair do and gravy beard and the beautifully presented meal was perfection. So perfect it induced squeals of delight as she ate 'the nose' and so on, so perfect that when I once served her this firm favourite presented as every day bangers and mash she was pretty distraught! and sort of whimpered "Where's my face?" So much for thinking I should treat her like a grown up, my fifteen year old daughter was not impressed. I'd let her down worse still 'disappointed' her, this was a serious error in the history of family traditions.
My daughter is now nineteen and I probably don't have to tell you how she enjoys her bangers and mash! We have various 'faces' depending on what veg is in the fridge!
Feel free to share your family food traditions! Here's ours! ▼
It's that time, yes I know it's Autumn but it's time to bake the cakes and start the feeding!
I love fruit cake and as for fruit cake laced with brandy, what more can I say? other than, pass me another slice! My family aren't as keen as me, (shame) so all the more for me! Yey!
I normally cheat and buy soaked fruit but this year I thought I'd be true to the world of baking and soak it myself. Three days the recipe said! Three actual days! I thought it would be a couple of hours and then get on with it! nope. I managed it. The shot of brandy incentive helped 😉
So the cakes are baked and and fed and the weekly watering begins, for the cake and for me (bakers privilege) Cheers!
I love it when Autumn comes, it means I can make a stew without suffering the over heating that comes when I sneak one in during the summer!
My beef & veg casserole Serves 3-4 depending how hungry you are! I normally feed three of us with a bowl left for the next days lunch, unless someone goes back for seconds!
400g stewing beef
1 lge red onion, chopped
1 lge parsnip, sliced
2-3 lge carrots, sliced
5 new potatoes, chopped
2 medium vine tomatoes chopped into small pieces
1.5 pints beef stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 -2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
100 mls red wine
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper
Brown the beef in some oil and remove from the pan.(putting any juice aside if necessary- can be used in stock later)
On a medium heat, Saute the onions until clear then add all the vegetables and tomatoes and heat through for 10 mins, stirring to avoid sticking.
Add the beef and herbs/spices and stir
Add 2 tbsp of plain flour (or corn flour) to thicken, coating the ingredients.
Add stock, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce
Bring to a gentle boil then simmer for 10 minutes
Season with salt and pepper
Put in pre-heated oven (160) for 1-1.5 hrs adding wine in last half hour.
Serve with dumplings, mash or roast potatoes
Or if you love your slow cooker like me, plonk it on low all day!
When our girls were little we discovered a cheap and cheerful meal that everyone enjoyed, even now we sometimes have our cheesy pasta bake when we don't know what else to have and want some comfort food. Here's the recipe, forgive any vagueness (I'm not a chef!) and feel free to mess with the quantities, if you're hungry you're hungry!
320g of dried fusilli (twists) or conchiglie (shells)
2 medium leeks or 1 large cut into chunks
1 head of brocolli cut into florets
6 rashers of bacon (we like smoked) or chunks of leftover gammon
1 brown onion diced
200ml milk (use more if you want more cheese sauce)
150g cheddar cheese, grated.
Knobs of butter
1-2 tablespoons of plain flour
Salt and pepper
Enjoy comfort food heaven!
Cheesy pasta bake, before the scrummy cheese sauce is added.
Hi I'm Sarah!
I live in the beautiful Lake District
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