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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Don't season it till you have tasted it!

Husband with palate of a Labrador has a habit of piling a load of pepper on whatever delicious morsels I set before him before even tasting it.

Last night it was chicken curry (and I didn't stint on the spices) so when he did his usual peppering I warned  him - I will hide a load of pepper in his dinner one day!

I was thinking about this today as I stood in the queue at the local supermarket.  I was pondering my grumpiness as the woman behind me in the queue progressed so far up the checkout aisle she could have packed my shopping.  I hate that.  When the person behind you gets into the space that should rightfully be yours until you have paid and left the checkout.  It happens so often and in my opinion is not helped by the habit that checkout staff have of beginning to put the next customer's shopping through before you have finished packing and putting your purse in your bag.  I often find myself under pressure to move away from the area that I end up doing a balancing act with my purse, the receipt, my card or any change, my shopping ... and it's just RUDE!!

On the way back in the car I was thinking about all the other trivial things that irritate me.  Room 101 may not be big enough to contain them.

Here are a few:

People who stop as the they reach the top, or bottom of an escalator as though they had no idea which direction to go in.  Just move! otherwise there will be a human pile up.

People who drive up the traffic lane that is either closed up ahead or merges up ahead, and jump the entire queue.

Clichés - all of them!

People who don't pick up their dog poo or hang their poo bag on a branch for the dog poo fairy to collect.

Buttons on my shirts that are too small for the buttonholes.

Misuse of the apostrophe

I think I'll stop there!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

New York cheesecake

This cheesecake recipe is easy and pretty much foolproof.  I have been making it for years now and I don't think it has ever failed.  It is also really versatile - I have made it with raspberries and I have made it with blueberries but it tastes just as good with just the lemon zest and juice.

You need
300g ginger nuts
100g melted butter
500g cream cheese - I use Philadelphia if I can't get to the deli
Vanilla - either half a teaspoon of good vanilla extract or scrape the seeds from a pod
Juice and zest of one lemon
3 Eggs separated
125g caster sugar
150 ml soured cream
2 tablespoons cornflour.

Whizz the ginger nuts in a food processor and mix with the butter.  Press into the base of a springform tin.
Chill in the fridge.
Beat together the cream cheese, vanilla and lemon.  Add the egg yolks and half the sugar and beat till smooth.
Mix the cornflour into the soured cream and add to the mixture.
Whisk the egg whites till stiff adding the remaining sugar and whisking again till shiny.
Fold the egg whites into the mixture and at this point gently fold in any blueberries or other fruit you fancy.
Pour into the cake tin, smooth the top and bake at 170°C for an hour.
Let the cheesecake cool and remove from the tin.

Admire your work and enjoy your cheesecake!  The results never fail to impress.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Pork burgers

I had a Nigel Slater moment last week.  In his programme he often goes to the fridge and has a root about to see what he has.  It may be that the TV crew have filled the fridge beforehand with the right kind of leftovers and odd bits of food. ...not the kind that are usually found in my fridge (bendy carrots, yoghurt at least one month out of date, slimy mushrooms, lettuce with brown edges).  No, everything in the slater fridge is deli quality! 

So ...I had, on a whim, made an impulse buy of minced pork.  Not for me the impulse buying of clothes, shoes and handbags.  Oh no.  I was tempted by minced pork.  How sad is that?
I had no real plans for my pork when I bought it so was wondering what to do with it.  A rummage through the fridge proved, this time quite productive and my pork burgers were born.

500g minced pork
A handful of breadcrumbs
Finely chopped red chilli
Bunch of coriander chopped
Finely chopped red onion
Finely chopped garlic
Beaten egg

Mix all together and shape into 4 burgers.

Coat in some oil and fry till brown on the outside and cooked through.  Pop a bit of grated mozzarella on the top and put in a burger bun.

We ate two and I am looking forward the the other two (they are in the freezer)