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Noticed yesterday that I have Rabbit damage and digging in the lawn which is a capital offence on Chris's acres. •410 from dining room window will sort the problem! Then it will be a toss up Rabbit Pie or leave it for Magpie bait. I am overun there will be no song bird nests in my hedges this year. My two Larsens are in Bucks and should have been brought back by my son, but that is not going to happen now, along with a clay shoot and dinner at The Gunton Arms for his 45th.

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Due to the fact I have to stay at home.If I can offer any advice on food.I would  be happy to do so.Easy meals using items in cupboards, fridge freezers etc.Ask away. Ian

How long for an 8kg tabby at gas mark 6? Well there's sod all in tescos!

Poor old tabby. I keep reminding myself that we have lots of food in cupboards and fridge and freezer and that we won’t starve. My grandparents used to have so little food in the house. Grandad (I cal

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I have resurrected this topic as Jean was asking about apples for a crumble and I would appreciate your thoughts here too Ian. Jean wanted to know if apples should be cooked or uncooked before adding the crumble. I have made a few apple pies recently using different recipes, Delia likes her apples cooked and ‘fluffy’ but mostly it seems other recipes use uncooked apples.  Any guidance for us Ian?

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When I make crumble,I pre cook my apples.With pies you can do with precooked apples or Raw.With raw, slice fairly  thinly sugar ,spice such as Mixed spice or powered Coriander.I would suggest  you start the oven off hot at first to set the pastry, then reduce the hot making sure the apples are 

 nice and soft.Serve with good old custard and or ice cream.

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I personally like a bit of bite to the apples so par cook them with a clove and a small amount of sugar, just enough to slightly soften. Have to remember to remove the clove before adding the crumble.  Proportion of apple to crumble? well in our house the kids always asked for “at least a foot of crumble” Never did quite that much! 

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Thanks to Vanessan for resurrecting this topic. I knew I had seen this somewhere but didn't go digging back! And thanks to Ian for the tips. 

The problem with trying to cook anything different at the moment is the lack of anything but my basic day to day items. Under normal circumstances I might find a recipe and then nip round the corner to the shop for any ingredients I haven't got. That's not as easy now so planning ahead seems to be the thing to do ... I'm not quite that organised yet!!

Have to say that Jamie Oliver's recipe looks quite easy and straightforward to follow ... perhaps I will give it a go this evening. I don't have any cream ice cream or custard at the moment so a tin of evaporated milk will have to do.

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/classic-apple-crumble/

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With apple crumble I often use cinnamon and ginger with rhubarb crumble but the type of apple is also important.  Cooking apple such as Bramley is IMHO the best - we have a massive tree that only has apples every so many years and when it does it really does, so I peel them and put them in the freezer in chunks and it keeps us in apple sauce and apple crumble for years.  The tree was pruned professionally this year and he was able to leave lots of horizontal branches and it is covered in blossom!!!

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I  have still yet to see any bread flour in the shops, a small amount of plain flour yes, but no bread flour, yet the shop shelves are overflowing with bread.

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15 minutes ago, w-album said:

With apple crumble I often use cinnamon and ginger with rhubarb crumble but the type of apple is also important.  Cooking apple such as Bramley is IMHO the best - we have a massive tree that only has apples every so many years and when it does it really does, so I peel them and put them in the freezer in chunks and it keeps us in apple sauce and apple crumble for years.  The tree was pruned professionally this year and he was able to leave lots of horizontal branches and it is covered in blossom!!!

I was given a lot of cooking apples just before Christmas (oh heck 🤭) I have no idea what they are but they are a lovely red colour so certainly not Bramleys which I usually use. I have been using them over the last few weeks for Apple pies and they have really kept well over the winter. I like cinnamon clove and nutmeg with mine, sometimes sultanas or raisins too.
One of our favourite recipes is a pastry base layered with mincemeat, sliced eating apples and covered with a crumble mix. 
Bet that blossom looks good on that apple tree! 🍏

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When we first moved to our house, the apple tree produced masses of fruit so i collected loads, stewed them and froze the batches. The following year and every year since then each apple had a weavel thing in it and I couldnt use any. I will check again this year but not hopeful. 

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my parents got some from a local mill, a neighbour was headed out there and got them some, normally the mill sells 16 kg bags, but because of hoarding they had split them down to 1kg bags and were selling individually.

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1 hour ago, Chelsea14Ian said:

According to  Marina theres next to no flour available in supermarkets at present. She managed to get some flour last week in a Polish shop.

That is certainly the situation our local Hertfordshire supermarkets - we actually do need some.  We have been using our bread maker as our local bakers have closed for the duration and simply can't get any new supplies and now coming close to running out of yeast.  I believe there is masses of flour in commercial/catering size packs but not in general public size quantities.  I excelled myself yesterday by finding a bag of French Bread flour hiding in the bottom of the larder.  Well past its best before date which in the case of strong flour is relevant but it provided a loaf to last a few days (as long as we don't eat too much at a time - home made bread is dangerous stuff!!!)

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I'm informed  by and large most food and goods are now available now.A few weeks back when it was it was like the Wild west.There was no loo rolls and hand sanitizer. Now theres no flour, tomato puree and Marina said the deli counter at Morrisons. 

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One for Alan, pickled  Gherkins.Now and again  marina buys mini cucumbers. I turn them into pickled Gherkins..

Wash the cucumbers in cold water,sprinkle with table salt and leave for 24 hours,turn occasionally. Good quality pickling vinegar, look for 6%.a little sugar .You will need about 500ml of vinegar two dessert spoons of sugar.Heat until sugar has dissolved, allow to cool.Wash Kilner jar,I then leave in a oven 100c for 5/6 minutes. Raise cucumbers place in the jar  with a few pepper corns,dried dill or caraway seeds .Cover with vinegar and sugar seal and leave the longer the better.Each Christmas  I do onions for the family,sometime mustard pickle.

Ideas for Gherkins Use in stragonoff, beef,chicken or mushroom. 

My method is sa follows.one pint of white sauce.1 oz butter, 1oz flour.Melt butter add flour cook for about five minutes, make sure the mixture does not brown,slowly add about one pint of milk,bring slowly to the boil reduce the heat use a spoon or a whisk.Try not to get any lumps. Set aside.finely dice one medium sized onion or shallots. Cook on a medium  heat until softened, set aside onions. For mushroom stragonoff,use mushrooms of your choice. Always nice to have a selection. I often use chestnut and button,plus some oyster. Just cut into large pieces, fry in a little oil salt and black pepper  light brown in colour.Add smoked paprika a couple of teaspoons should  be fine add about 300ml double cream,a little white  sauce,bring to the boil,reduce heat,check seasoning slice a few home made Gherkins and a few chopped  chives or parsley serve with long grain  rice.The same method for beef or chicken. 

Gherkins good also with potato salad or tartare sauce. 

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Can we reuse the vinegar and just put fresh pickled onions in there pops?

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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  • 5 weeks later...

My take on Spanish  style chicken.Good at home or on the boat.This is for two people. 

One finely  diced onion,white or red,which is s bit sweeter. One sliced red or green pepper,about six button or chestnut  mushrooms. Two chicken fillets.One tin of chopped tomatoes, two cloves of garlic,one litre chicken stock  ground black pepper,sea salt.Spanish fine pasta,Fideu allat n0 1,available  on line or fine pasta.one hand full .Smoked paprika 

Lightly cook the onions  add peppers then mushrooms. Add salt and pepper. Then chopped tomatoes bring back to the boil,reduce heat cook for 2/3 minutes. Then add chicken stock.About 10 minutes  Add a few teaspoons of paprika, before it's ready add the pasta. Chicken slice into two from the thick end to the thin end.Hot fry pan add a little light  olive oil,once hot cook chicken about  3 or 4 minutes  on each side lightly  season,also check seasoning of the sauce.let the chicken  rest for two minutes. Plate up ,pasta dish is good or a plate, add a little extra virgin olive oil,two pieces of chicken.You can add grated orange  on top.

Serve with salad and some nice crusty bread.

Can also be done with fish or vegan using aubergine and  courgettes just replace with veg stock.

Tip :Olive oils. -Light olive  oil good for cooking ,will be fine at high temperature. Please please  dont use Extra Virgin olive oil.As I said just a little once your dish is ready to serve,great on salads.If you cook with it  no good at high temperatures and it's far more expensive than basic olive  oils.

Some TV chefs say cook with extra Virgin olive oil. Dont there taking rubbish. My dish will also make a good soup just cut the chicken, fish or aubergines and  courgettes smaller. 

Give it a try.

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On 18/04/2020 at 13:17, Chelsea14Ian said:

According to  Marina theres next to no flour available in supermarkets at present. She managed to get some flour last week in a Polish shop.

If this rears its head again, you could always do what I did: Back in April, I bought a 10Kg bag of chapatti flour from Tesco for the princely sum of £3.50, I think it was a "Ramadan special" or something. Now it is £5. Obviously, it makes excellent chappatis, which we eat a fair number of anyway, but it also makes very good bread. It says on the bag that it is wholemeal wheat flour and it must be pretty strong, judging by the way the bread rises.

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It’s strange the items that go in and out of shortages. I couldn’t get cake cases anywhere either in the shop or on my online shop. My daughter said there were plenty where she lives and picked some up for me. You can guess what I made yesterday! 

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round my waythere is bread flour, but just white mainly, brown and wholemeal seem non existent, and tins of Yeast is the other problem, though my parents who make bread every other day caught a windfall when i spotted some in asda, and got them a couple of tins, plus the 3 tins I had that had just gone out of date.

Personally I call in at sainsburys bakery and ask and buy fresh yeast mostly when I make bread.

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It is strange  how shopping  patterns have changed. In the beginning panic took hold. Shortage of loo rolls and pasta then tomato puree, followed  by flour.Suppermarkets are very good at restocking. They know each day what sells the quickest and often  can reorder  overnight. In normal times if for example you have a morrisons in your area, some foods will be available  but may not be so in the next town.My morrisons has lots of Asian foods,due to a fairly large Asian community. They will always  stock up on bbq items due to weather. During this pandemic has turned  shopping  on its head.

One last thing

Lunch for use yesterday:grilled pork fillet,braised red cabbage,cauliflower  cheese,carrots roast spuds,gravy and some of these yorkies,Strawberries cream and ice cream,some home grown. 

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I think the big issue with the flour was the shutdown of the factories making the bags, as flour was available all through for the bakeries, and my parents went halves on a 16Kg sack of flour from a local mill with a neighbour who went and picked it up, my local asda were rebagging 1kg batches in custard doughnut bags and plastic bags to keep stock on the shelves, there was never a shortage of bread.

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Yes seemed your correct, lots of flour but no bags to put it in.Marina got some from our local Polich shop.And very good flour it is.Then re bagged in Morrisons.

Think local shops have stepped  up,and I always  shop local if possible. Often they will order something  for you if possible. I would  love to see a return  of good butcher and fishmonger shops on the high street. Often use them on the broads. Theres no doubt  shopping habits are changing, and perhaps may help local  shops,I welcome that very much.

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