Category Archives: A taste of old England

Bubble and Squeak..

Leftovers…we all have them but what do we do with them? Put them in the bin( trash) in the dog, Well in my kitchen we do not waste anything and this recipe is a very old one and you can add what you like but the motto is…Waste not want not…Do you know how much food is thrown away every year? Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
That is horrendous and based on that….NO ONE should starve in the world …The fact is they still do…So do your bit and make your motto waste not want not!

Retired? No one told me!

bubble and squeak-potato-cabbage Bubble and Squeak

Every week is the same…….Left Over Veggies…What does that mean?… Oh yeah, Bubble and Squeak!Yummy!  Enjoy!

Originally in the 18th Century, it was made from fried beef and cabbage now it’s lost the beef part and is potatoes and leftover vegetables from the Roast Dinner.

One of the first references of the dish was from a said surprising source  Thomas Bridges ” A burlesque translation of Homer” 1770:

” We, therefore, cooked him up a dish Of lean Bull-Beef, with cabbage fry’d… Bubble they call this dish, and squeak”

It is so called due to it bubbling up and squeaking whilst over the fire.

By the late 40’s it had lost the meat and was just leftover potatoes and veggies, possible from enforced wartime rationing.

This change was put into print in the 1950 edition of The Good Housekeeping, Home Encyclopedia.

Information source: 

This dish has been a…

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Old fashioned Bread Pudding just like Grandma used to make …

 

bread-pudding-old -fashined recipe

Bread Pudding.

An old family favourite of my dad’s and a recipe passed down through the family although my nan didn’t put as much spice in as I do but recipes grow and evolve, don’t they? Which is the lovely thing… I have made it much more since living here in Thailand as all the expat men love it ( a taste of home) …

I keep all of my bits of stale bread in the freezer until I have enough for a pudding so no waste in this kitchen.

Ingredients:

2/3 Ib of bread ( brown /white) or mixed.

1 tbsp Mixed Spice.

2 eggs beaten

3 oz butter melted.

12/16 oz  dried fruit (sultanas or raisins)

Let’s Cook!

Put bread in a large mixing bowl and cover with water or mix or milk and water to soak.

When soft I squeeze out in a colander as much liquid as I can. My little helper( Lily) getting stuck in and squeezing the bread dry…Kids just love the mucky bits…lol

bread-pudding-spiced

Add melted butter, mixed spice, eggs and fruit and combine.

bread-pudding-old fashioned-recipe

Nanny poured the melted butter in and Lily did the dried ingredients. and give a good stir… Next, it will be the Christmas Puddings as we only have 118 sleeps.

I like lots of spice and fruit so if I think it needs more at this point then I add it is one of those dishes where you can add what you like for example if I have had some other fruit left over as in cranberries or blueberries I would add them.

Put in hot oven 180 degrees for 1 hour if top seems to be browning too quickly then reduce heat a little. It should rise up a little by end of cooking. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sugar.

This is when I invoke my rights to cooks perks and have the 1st bit..to try of course as it’s yummy hot and straight from the dish. It is also great served with custard or cold if there is any left..haha. It also uses up all your bits of stale bread.

I hope you enjoy these dishes..until next time xx If you missed the Bread and Butter Pudding recipe then here it is…

Bread and Butter Pudding

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/old-fashioned-bread-and-butter-pudding/

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Thank you for reading if you love this recipe please share xx

Old Fashioned Bread and Butter Pudding.

Bread and Butter Pudding

I am not one to waste anything and particularly now I live here in Thailand as Thais eat Nose to tail..literally…

What to do with left over bread.????…Well lots as it is..you can make breadcrumbs which can be used in numerous ways, Bread pudding, Summer Pudding or Bread and butter pudding.

In England there is a definite difference between Bread Pudding and Bread and Butter puddingThey are totally different dishes.Bread pudding is quite dense, Bread and Butter pudding is lighter.

But bread I never waste it is so versatile … This pudding is one my mum used to make and I know there are many variations now adding marmalade and jams etc…

This is just a plain old-fashioned, traditional Bread and Butter pudding not to be confused with bread pudding which is totally different.

Bread and Butter Pudding!

Bread and butter pudding

Ingredients :

  • 50g/2 oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 8 thin slices bread
  • 50g/2/3 oz sultanas
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 350 ml/12 fl oz whole milk
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz double cream
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 25 gm/1 oz granulated sugar
  • Nutmeg, grated, to taste.

Let’s Cook !

Grease your dish/dishes with butter.

Now get your bread ready , butter one side of the bread and cut in fingers or triangles depending on what shape dish you are using.

Instead of butter you can put jam or marmalade on the bread…Me I love it JUST with butter.

Take 2 eggs for a medium pudding or I sometimes use ramekins which then would make

4/5 small puddings, whisk the eggs and add the milk andcream..stir well.

Arrange bread in dish and sprinkle some dried raisins in between the layers finishing

with the bread. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the top andpour the egg mixture

over leave to absorb the egg mix, if needed top it up a little with milk.

Pre heat the oven to 180 C/355 F/Gas 4.

Cook for 30/40 minutes if using a large dish or smaller ramekins take approx 20/25 mins,

cook until well risen and golden…Serve on it’s own or with custard.

Enjoy!

A simple pudding and a way to use up bread and if you just want to use milk which I

often do it is just as nice.

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The Best of British …Pie, Mash and Liquor

pIE mASH AND lIQUOR

British food has it critics but we have some of the best produce in the world and some outstanding chefs and cooks… Like everywhere in the world you can pay the earth for food or you can pop in a little roadside café and get the very best food it is all down not only to the produce but the chef…

Britain is well-known for its Full English Breakfast, Fish & Chips, Sunday Roast, Bangers & Mash, Steak & Kidney Pie …

Did you know?

How bangers and mash got their name? During WW 1 as the meat was rationed sausages only had scraps of meat and were mainly cereal and water hence they spluttered and sizzled and sounded like mini explosions especially if the skins burst … So Bangers and Mash it was from then on.

Sausages frying

However, if you are an Eastender they will tell you Pie, mash and Liquor is without a doubt the best of British food.

Pie, mash and Liquor… Traditional working class food originating in London and as my hubby’s family were born and raised under the sound of the bow bells… Pie and mash with liquor can be found on the menu at every single family do along with Jellied ells and plenty of shellfish… Tradition cites that a true cockney is born within earshot of those bells…which ring out from St. Mary- le Bow Church, Cheapside.

That’s that sorted then isn’t it?

Life HOWEVER is never that simple you should know that …Those bells didn’t ring for 21 years as they were damaged badly in WW 2 so between 1940 and 1961 they were silent but an appeal for money to repair bells was launched and run by London’s Pearly King and Queen and finally, in 1961 they were fully restored and returned to the church.

The first peal for over 21 years from St. Mary-le-Bow Church.

What a proud moment for Londoners…

The debate about who is a true cockney lingers on…

Back to pie mash and liquor, the pie is always made from the liquor of stewed eels and if you can get hold of an original recipe ..hold on tight because most lips are tightly sealed and they won’t give up their recipe for no man or women.

One of the original and oldest Pie shops WAS world-famous Manzes always crowded and very popular with East Enders. It is now closed ..a sad day for the residents of Islington in London… They should give shops like this some sort of status as this iconic food is part and parcel of the East End of London’s tradition.

There are still shops which sell pie and mash and this one is probably now the oldest… F. Cooke and be warned do not mention the G word or your feet won’t touch the ground on your way out…

Me??? I come from south of England and if I had to choose it would be Fish and Chips…no mushy peas, or eels or that green liquor ( and ) you know why…Don’t you ???

I would just opt for good old  Fish and Chip served in a newspaper and eaten on a bench by the sea or the river if in London.

Do you love Pie, Mash and Liquor????? Have you eaten Jellied eels???

If you have enjoyed this post please hit the share buttons x

If you still want to see even more from me????

Although I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Still, want to see more from me???

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Until  next time xx

 

 

Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day…Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday.

Who doesn’t like a nice thin, lacy pancake with sugar and lemon? Pancakes are eaten almost all over the world in one form or another so although plain and simple is my favourite I don’t mind some of the other versions on occasions.

I am also quite good at tossing them much to the surprise of the kids although not sure how I would fare in some of the pancake races which are held throughout the Uk and tossing them while running…lol….that would be a sight to behold…

The first recorded pancake race was way back in 1445 in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. Since 1950 Olney has competed against women of Liberal, Kansas, the USA in an international race.

Tradition declares that the race was first run in the year 1445, pancakes at the time being a popular dish, receiving royal favour. It was run on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent, and the whole day was given over to a festival of celebration, pranks and pastimes. It is not known where the original start line was but the finish line was at the Church door. The winner has to bang on the door with her frying pan…

 

Did you know????

The largest pancake was created in Rochdale, Manchester, the UK in 1994, by the Co-Operative Union, Ltd. Measuring 15.01 m (49 ft 3 in) in diameter and 2.5 cm (1 in) thick, the pancake weighed 3 tonnes (6,614 lb) and took more than just a frying pan to flip over!

In total, Brits use an unbelievable 52 million eggs on Pancake Day. That’s 22 million more than any other day.

The most flips anyone has ever done with a pancake is 349 flips in two minutes. That’s ‘flipping’ good’!

We all have our preferences for pancake toppings but the weirdest pancake toppings have to be ketchup and mustard, please…Nooooo! peanut butter and ice cream, coco pops and cream…I just love maple syrup on mine or lemon..simples is best!

The Guinness World Record for the most pancakes served in eight hours is 34,818.

William Shakespeare was also a pancake lover! It is reflected in many of his plays. When Shakespeare was alive Shrove Tuesday is much as it is today – that is people ate plenty of pancakes!.  Dinner was a midday meal instead of evening, and the pancakes would follow their main meal. The Tudors enjoyed heavily spiced foods and regularly included ale or beer as ingredients instead of water. They ate very rich foods, and their pancakes could have been enriched with rose-water, sherry, eggs, ale or butter – or a mixture of them all

In France and the United States, Pancake day is called Mardi Gras which means ‘Fat’ or ‘Grease Tuesday’.

Simple Pancake batter recipe.

pancake-2367620_1920

100 gm flour

2 eggs

300 ml milk

Oil/ butter for frying

Lemon wedges to serve

Sugar to serve

Let’s Cook!

Put your flour, eggs, milk, pinch salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Using an omelette or crepe pan add a knob of butter and when melted add some of your mix to pan and roll about to cover the bottom…I like my pancake thin so don’t use too much mix others like theirs thicker but personal choice.

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Cook until nicely golden and flip over and cook the other side …keep warm in the oven while you are cooking all your pancakes.

Serve with a good squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of sugar.

That is my way, plain and simple but it is your opportunity to use your favourite toppings…

What do you top your pancakes with??? Please tell me in comments…

Pancakes are made all over the world and vary somewhat… if you missed my post on how they are made here in Thailand then I have added the link for you to enjoy these were made down in one of the local homes here and they kindly let us take the photos…It is a family affair both young and old play their part…I found it fascinating…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/traditional-handmade-thai-pancakes-khao-gle-at/

Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend xx

 

 

Christmas Recipes…Prepare now..Freeze for later…

 

christmas-1695531_1920The time is just flying by now it’s 7th December already…

Have you finished shopping? Have you wrapped your presents yet?preparation done? Don’t know what to make? Well never fear Carol is here???

Today I am going to give you a few recipes and tips about what you can cook in advance to make life just that bit easier…

Sausage rolls and mince pies

Mince pies and Sausage Rolls

We have made our sweet mincemeat...haven’t we???

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is my mums she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are 🙂

I use half fat to flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK….i can’t get it here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3  cups or 12oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Cranberry Sauce.JPG

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 Stuffing Mix:

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….no bacon and nearest shop was a way away so I put my thinking cap on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant…..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts I didn’t have but they were optional.

The celery became Thai celery which is much smaller more the size of coriander…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz  of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts( optional)
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls.

stuffing-mix

Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices smoked bacon
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

Bread Sauce.

Bread Sauce

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves.This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

 

What do make in advance???

Yesterday I pickled some more onions and just hope I don’t have to pickle more before Christmas I made 4 jars so even the one who shall be nameless doesn’t eat a jar full a week.

pickled onions Dec 2017

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

That’s all for today…..

Take care and have fun x

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes…Home Cured Ham

christmas-1695531_1920

I have cured my own ham/ bacon for a long time now…

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery in the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring although for some may still cause headaches if your aversion is to chemicals then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.Belly pork rubbed with garlic and lemon thyme

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

SAM_6497

It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Before you say yes I cut it thinly and no not everyone in the household likes it like that but the beauty of making your own is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home-cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre)

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 5 litres water
  • 900 gm salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

  1. Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
  2. Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
  3. Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

  1. Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
  2. Store the ham cold.
  3. Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
  4. Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing.

Ham home cured

When ham cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

Cooked ham with cloves in skin

I have also once it has finished cooking scored the fat and studded with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Loin Ham sliced

My third way which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg and scored the fat….when I got to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat wacked it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…awesome!

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas recipes please let me know in comments and also what are your favourite maybe you cook something I haven’t tried or heard of…Please let me know…

I have also now published a small gift guide to kitchen utensils over on Orienthailiving please pop over and have a look it would be lovely to see you there x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made the conscious decision that for the amount used and the dilution per litre of liquid that as the body can cope and disperse with the nitrate I would use that rather than get botulism which the body generally doesn’t cope with