I forgot to mention that I didn’t have buttermilk in the fridge. I made my own by putting a tbl sp of lemon juice into a jug, topping it up to the 6fl oz mark with milk and leaving it for a few minutes.

Remember that I halved the recipe. If you want to make it as it says  just double the amount of liquids above.


Nigel Slater’s lazy loaf (soda bread)…

There are days when I feel like wholemeal bread and soup for lunch. Today is that day. I googled for a soda bread recipe because I don’t feel like walking to the shops today.

This one came up, along with many others. Good old Nigel. He always seems to enjoy his food so much. I gave it a go.

nigel's lazy loaf

nigel's lazy loaf

I did half of the recipe because it doesn’t keep as well as yeast bread. It came out really well! I divided mine into four so we can rip it up easily.

It’s a keeper and I will be making this one again 😉

Left over mash again…curried what?

It’s left over mash time again. I swear each time I make mashed potato, I do enough extra to make a shepherds pie with. However after the hungary hoards have been at it there isn’t enough to do that with! Right i’m making potato cake type thingies instead….with a twist….

The idea came from something to have with a crunchy salad. Curry came to mind, not sure about this but what have we to lose? 

I mixed together;

some curry powder
1tbl sp flour
a pinch of dried coriander
a garlic clove, crushed then chopped into tiny pieces
a bit of whisked egg (not a whole one I used the rest for dipping)
some wholemeal flour for dipping the rounds into. Then mixed it all together.

Dividing the mixture into four. Make a round flat shapes then dip each into the egg then the wholemeal flour. Shallow fry. Easy peasy!

Now what to call them? They aren’t potato cakes or burgers. More like curry patties. Soft and creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside (sounds a bit like a cream egg! Ha ha!). Well call them whatever you will.

Sorry I didn’t take pictures, I forgot and then they were all eaten up!

They are delicious and go very well indeed with a good salad. Will I make them again? You bet! Watch out mash, here I come ;-D

Sewing snakes again and a little embroidery…

I have been making a bean bag today. Designed as a form of light pressure on the knee. Hopefully, to help somebody sit still enough to write things down.

Little man wasn’t really interested in those to be honest. He was interested in the leftovers though!
His comments were “Oooooh what’s this bit going to be? I could make something with that bit too” and “Muuuuum can I make a snake…..pleeeeeze?”

Little man does play with these snakes that we make, a LOT to be fair. He has one of those springy up type of baskets in his room. The kind you are supposed to put your dirty clothes into. You guessed, it’s full to the brim of snakes of all sizes. Each time I sew I am talked into helping make one of these snakes. Today I am letting Little hands do the work, while I get onto cutting out these bean bags. Does he remember how to make a snake? Of course, we have hundreds of these things!

We shared scissors, pencil, ruler well everything really. I don’t know why because we have more than one of each. Maybe I was lazy and couldn’t be bothered to get more out of the cupboard. It gave us chance to watch what each other was doing and to chat as we went too.

Littleman makes another snake

Little man sat on my knee to guide the fabric as usual. He’s getting quite good at it now!

So some off-cut fabric had life breathed into it in the form of a rattle snake…..bits of rice in a little container sewed into the tail and he cut a LONG strip of felt for a tongue. I added some beads for eyes whilst he jumped around the room in excitement….. then it was done! Welcome to our world little snakey who doesn’t even have a name yet!

I made a boring oversized beanbag with covers but I did have a lot of fun watching my Little man creating 😉

I have been dabbling with hand embroidery after reading the Jan/Dec issue of STITCH. The embroidery I have been stitching quietly each night has been finished. Here it is in all it’s glory (can’t you tell I’m proud;-D).

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It’s a little different from the magazine but who says you can’t put your own stamp on something! I should really get into making into a cushion cover. It was originally a pillow case with a hole in it. Rescued from the rag-bag by my cunning hand and a rather bent needle.
Shocking I know but it’s the only one I could find with a sharp enough point and with a big enough eye to take the silks! I usually only use it for tacking purposes on soft furnishing type fabric.I’m going to the market today to buy some zips if memory lets me I will get a pack while I’m there!

Little people are on half term hols this week. By the weather we are getting I should think a great amount of time will be spent splashing in puddles and creating things. It’s all good 😉 Hope you are having fun too.

Sweet nothings

Clips and hair grips, flowers and bows isn’t that what being a little girl is all about? I have been making some of these for the little ones in our family.

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Not terribly time-consuming at all. In fact it takes just a few minutes! I learned this from a book that I picked up in the library but you can actually see it being done here on videojug, which would have made life easier had I seen it first!

I also crocheted this up over Christmas. A bit here and a bit there. I pulled it out of the bag today to sew the seams and finish it off. It will be on its way to a new baby girl very soon. Congratulations to all families with newborns 😉 My thoughts are with you and how I really don’t miss night feeding!

crochet baby cardigan

Homemade yoghurt/cheese but what can you do with the whey?

The cultures from the first batch are still going, also with skimmed milk. How many batches now?…loads! At least seven and so far it still sets pretty solid. I should have bought one of these Easi yo makers years ago! 😉

A couple of people have emailed and asked how I make my yoghurt so here is what I do;

Use 1tbl sp of cultures (yoghurt made from the last batch) and make up to the top of the pot with uht skimmed milk that hasn’t been stored in the fridge so it’s room temperature. Stir well. Put the hot water in the yoghurt maker as per instructions then leave for 6 hours et voila! Shove it in the fridge for later.

After a few hours it will be set, just needing a mix up as there is a bit of whey on the top. Hubby doesn’t like it as is, he says it’s too sour so he adds a bit of sugar and mixes it in. That does make it runnier though. I did try one batch with a tbl sp of sugar mixed in with the cultures at the beginning but it was too sweet for me so at least it is clear that if you all like it sweet you can do it from the beginning. If you mix it up and it’s too runny then you can just strain it. Like for soft cheese but don’t leave it as long.

We have nice thick yoghurt or soft cheese or whatever but what about that green juicy stuff that is left…the whey. What do you do with it? From various books and on the internet here’s what I’ve found….

Whey… what to do with the whey when you have made the soft cheese…don’t throw it away because it so nutritious. You can use it in bread, it tastes a bit like sourdough if you use a lot. I know as I made some today. I used about half the water content of my bread recipe, replacing the other half with the whey. You could use as little or as much as you want I would think.

In cakes and biscuits to help them rise. I haven’t tried this yet.

As a face cleanser/toner/moisturiser. I didn’t fancy smelling like I fell into a bucket of sour milk so I didn’t try that, you can if you want to-let me know how it goes;-)

You can also make ricotta cheese if you manage to collect enough whey. I read somewhere that whey is freezable until you collect enough, I think it may have been in the comments of how to make ricotta.

It’s nutritious so a shame to waste it but if you must pour it away then share it with the garden, the plants like it too (so long as you didn’t add any salt to it!).

I have only scratched the surface mentioning these uses and each time I look further into it, I find more and more things that people use whey for.

I’m a newbie on this subject so if  I’m wrong please correct me. I haven’t tried out all of the above yet but if you do, let me know how you get on 😉