Calling the school up, I felt guilty, as if I'd somehow concocted an evil plan to keep them off, so that I could send them up some chimneys later. Its not that the school isn't lovely and they always respond well but it just seems to be every other week. I suppose this is what happens when you have three children. Soup for everyone!
But still... the cooking continues. Lentil soup, spicy onions, pakora, chicken noodle soup, breads, cakes and stews. This week, it will once again be soups and stews with a few pasta dishes thrown in for good measure. I'll be going shopping later, ensuring I take cash...a good little ploy to ensure I don't spend over the budget...and this is how the menu for the week looks:
Beef Stew with Dumplings
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Rigatoni al Forno
Parsnip and Apple soup
Vegetable Soup and homemade bread
Tomato and Chilli soup
Birthday Cake for Grandpa
Yet More Indian Food for Friday Night's Dinner with Friends
I tried out a new pakora batter. I mixed flour with bicarbonate of soda and made the batter thinner with a quick beating at the end to get a light, frothy but crispy coating; I tried it on onion rings which were ideal but this would work well with bhaji or any other pakora.
100g plain flour
40g gram flour
1tsp salt, ground cumin, turmeric, bicarb
Half teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
*You could just use a pakora mix or, as I did, I added in a bit of both.
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons veg/groundnut oil
Oil for frying
Water to make a batter
Sift all the powdered, dry ingredients together and add the lemon juice and oil; it'll froth a bit because of the lemon juice reacting with the bicarb. Slowly, stir in water to make a thin batter, consistency of single cream. I beat this at the end for 30 seconds to air it as I believe that is what creates a crispy batter. Mix in onions (or veg of choice) and coriander seeds.
Heat oil, and test by dropping in a tiny amount of batter; it should immediately start to bubble and float to the top. Place tablespoons or more of the onion batter mix into the hot oil and cook until brown on both sides. I've videotaped my efforts for you to giggle at....
I went to Fi's house with Jo on Thursday evening and took some hearthbread; it was tasty but I realised this is always better hot....it reheats beautifully and remember to add a drizzle more olive oil when you take it out the oven...also, remember just how garlicky it is. The original recipe calls for 3 heads of garlic....yes, 3!!! I use one, roasted beforehand but this is still a lot of garlic! Beware. That's all I'm saying....
I made thank you cards last week, to give out to my friends and family who very kindly bought me wonderful gifts. I used an image of the flowers my friend Ann sent me; they really were incredibly beautiful....the flowers, I mean.