Monday, November 16, 2009

Back to normality......?

I was looking forward to my post today; the food for the week, a receipt, under fifty pounds.. basically, normality. This being the winter autumn still...? of discontent when it comes to illness, I was naive to think it would be so. Lulled into a false sense of security, I floated to bed last night, with a list in my head of all I would achieve come Monday lunchtime. This list became null and void yet again when a small lass, shivering and sad, appeared by my bedside in the wee hours with a fever. One lass turned to two and, once again, I find myself with children home from school.

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:
Macaroni Cheese
Beef Stew with Dumplings
Haddock Chowder
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Rigatoni al Forno
Parsnip and Apple soup
Vegetable Soup and homemade bread
Hearthbread pizza
Tomato and Chilli soup
Fruit Loaf
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.
New Batter
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 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.


Rook No. 17 said...

Stopping by from SITS! Happy Monday! I'm impressed and inspired by your menu planning. The pakoras sound wonderful, and your cards are absolutely lovely!

Twincerely,Olga said...

saying hi from Sits!you are listening toPink Floyd@@@ happy Monday!

ER said...

aw, i hope your wee lassies get better soon, Helen. Is it the flu they have? Thank goodness for soup! I swear it works quicker than tablets! That batter recipe looks delicious, but i've got to stop reading your blog when i'm hungry! ;) Lizzy

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I hope the kidlets feel better soon!!

Grannymar said...

Tantalising pictures and SOUND to tease me! Now I have to go make my lonely dinner for one! ;(

Hope the girls recover quickly and that it is the last of the bugs to hit your household.

Protege said...

The thank you cards are beautiful.;)
I wish I had someone taking care of me, I am home with a flue too.;) Annoying as I just had one 2 months ago.;)
Hope your kids will get better soon:;)

Judy Harper said...

Beef Stew with dumplings, are you going to post the recipe? I love Beef Stew, but I'm always trying to find somthing to pour it over like rice, etc, never thought of dumplings. Are the dumplings made from your noodle reciped you posted with Chicken Noodle Soup? Fruit bread? Hmm, is that like Fruit cake? I hope the girls are feeling better.

Helen McGinn said...

Rook No.17, thanks for stopping by! :O)

Twincerely, Olga, I sure am, hon!

ER, thank you, soup does have magical properties, doesn't it? :O)

Thanks Lee!

Grannymar, I know, the sound of frying is the best, right?? ;O)

Protege, thank you. Wish you were nearby, I'd bring you round your soup of choice! Get better's awful, I so feel for you.

Judy, I will post it. I make a few different kinds but I recently made some which went with a chicken stew which I quite liked because I didn't have to use lard. I'll be using a version of that, without cheese I think, so watch this space! :O) Fruit bread is like fruit cake but more bread, less fruit. I'll post the recipe for sure. xxx

Unknown Mami said...

Boo! I'm trying to scare the illness away. Did it work? Probably not.

I hope the entire household is feeling great soon.

I love the cards. Well done.

mise said...

Blessings to the lassies. Could you add peppermint creams or popcorn balls to the recipe list to cheer them up (they could help you make them)?

Janice said...

Ah the best laid plans... pakora looks great.

ModernMom said...

Oh I spent the last 2 weeks playing the sick game. Hope your babies are better soon.

Kim said...

I hope your kids feel better soon! Almost nothing worse than sick kids, especially when there's more than one. And I love the thank you cards!

Melissa B. said...

Hope your gals are back on their feet soon. And thanks for the recipe...always looking for something new!

The Vintage Kitten said...

Hi Helen, Thanks for your email address I have put it in my contacts. I havnt published the comment so the whole world doesnt see it. Hope the girls are feeling better, a bowl of soup always does the trick X

Shelle said...

Your cards look adorable....hope everyone is better by now!

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