Posted in Food, Friday

#Friday 14.0: Lakes! Where Have I Been All This Time?

Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.

Another place to contemplate

                  Like many other people, as we emerge from lockdown we have been left with the thought of exploring more around where we may live. There is a strong chance the numbers of those taking holidays abroad will drop drastically.  As an interim we may spend more of our time and money either sampling local secrets or taking time out elsewhere in the country. 
                 Over the past two months I have been mapping out new places to visit and take my family when it’s safe to do so.  Last month I discovered a place while out cycling, so stopped over to have a nose.  At the time it was still shut but having opened a few weeks back, we’ve made our 3rd visit already, and I found it a perfect spot for lots of things. 

Continue reading “#Friday 14.0: Lakes! Where Have I Been All This Time?”

Posted in Food, Friday

#Friday 13.0: My new therapeutic pass time

Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.

The journey thus far

                  There are certain household activities from which I get a very therapeutic kick out of.  But to name a few: (1) Hoovering: I’ve always loved hovering around the house. During my teenage years mum nominated me to take up that activity full time.  To this day adamant that it was my diligent approach to it, rather then being an easy target that won me this accolade. (2) Washing up: I only ever started using a dish washer after I got married some 19 years ago.  Before that time I’d happily help my parents with washing up, ensuring each dish was sparkling clean.  Today, while majority of the cutlery can be shoved in thy dishwasher, I still love scrubbing those pots and pans to make sure every inch of the area is spotless.  (3) Ironing: My therapeutic connection is not so strong anymore with this one. There was time when I would iron my clothes for the entire week on a Sunday evening, gliding across while listening to music. 
                    Earlier in the week my mum came around to see the kids, and being off work, also wanted to teach my wife how to make Samosas from scratch. All changed…… 

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Posted in Food, Personal Observations

Toast from love

First…the idea

Today’s post is dedicated to our community writer Nikki, who publishes her writings on her site centered on mental health and personal observations. Go check it out, no nonsense talk which has been insightful to all her readership.
This post sprung from something Nikki said about toast (it was much more then that) and so I thought why not.

Not just any toast

This is a short story about the origins of this toast (my toast image above). You see, I rarely eat bread, it’s a weekend treat in my quest to avoid too many carbs during the week. As the kettle boiled and I poured the water into the mug, it began overwhelming the teabag. With no control the tea leaves dispersed in a fit of emotion. I was overthinking this too much so left the scene to turn a slice of bread into a toast. As I sat down slowly eating this toast, a revelation shot through my head leaving me paralysed. You see, this was no ordinary slice of toast – it was different; I could taste the love swirling within my mouth. All of a sudden I was transported to it’s journey.

A toast to flavour

The morning before the baker, who worked in a large supermarket was not in a happy mood. That morning he baked bread as normal, packaged it and placed on the wooden shelves for the customers. But he didn’t engage in much conversation with anyone. In fact he stayed at the back today, near the hot ovens that were busily baking the bread. His focus was lost, his attention vacant and all this impacted how his body prepared the fresh bread. If truth be known, he should have admitted his position and been more honest. It had been uncharacteristic of him to behave in that manner, to remain stubborn. He had become a closed book to the only one reader who should have been able to flick to any page without permission.
The tiger sticks were too crusty, the tops of the loaf too crumbly, the croissants showing signs of over baking. On the rare occasion when he did walk out from the back and to the front, the audience of bread looked sad, just like him.
The evening that followed that morning he crept into the bedroom slowly. Every movement was delicate, he didn’t want to be heard or seen. Right there he had a choice, to get dressed and slide into bed or to face up. The rapid exchange of should I, shouldn’t I felt like a colossal wave, and he the sailor having to quickly decide to either forge ahead or turn back. Finally, he sat on the bed and placed his hand on his wife’s shoulder. She must have been awake because she turned around that very moment, maybe even before skin made contact with skin. In that embrace between them both, the heavy burden seeped its way out of his body. The platform of life was better stable for him now, like the bread he had expanded in ways he felt comfortable.
He didn’t need to creep around the bed now, there was a bounce in his step. He hopped into bed and feet entwined. The morning after that evening he baked with a renewed passion. He carefully watched each bread rise to the morning occasion. He whistled as he packed each type of bread and carefully placed it on the wooden shelves. He spoke to each and every customer who picked up the bread, asking them what they were going fill it with. Just then his pocket vibrated, his phone displayed a message from his wife which filled his heart with joy; they would no longer be just two.

I’d realised my tea had turned too dark, the teabag had submerged more then it should have, like two souls becoming one. However until the next weekend came along, this toast of love would be a nice reminder, that your mood can be an ingredient in your cooking.

Posted in Food

#Foodie Wednesday – Chickpeas, Potatoes, Puri

(I’m glad to say still sticking with this regular post)

My mum always says you can only eat something if your name’s written on it. What does she mean by that? Growing up I remember countless occasions when mum would cook up a dinner, we’d get a knock on the front door and it’s one of her friends. She’d insist on them to stay for dinner, and afterwards mum would say that a particular portion was in the destiny of that person to consume.

The case of the ticking hobs

Last week my wife had decided on cooking a meal which consisted of masala chickpeas, gunpowder potatoes and Puri (fluffy chapatti which is fried). We love that combination at home so were looking forward to it. However the very morning our cooker started making a continuous ticking noise. It happened a few years back and that meant a deep clean of the gas hobs. (Note: we clean down our cooker every other day so don’t want you thinking otherwise 😋). No matter how much we cleaned the ticking noise continued, albeit intermittent. So we persisted throughout the day and this meant the planned meal left on hold and us seeking a take out. An overnight dry time fixed the problem.

The moral….

We were intent on cooking and eating this dish but weren’t destined to and had to wait. Like mum would say.

Masala chickpeas (left), gunpowder potatoes (right), puri (centre)

Ingredients and Instructions

There are a number of recipes online for cooking these dishes so I’ll share my firm favourites as links below.

Gunpowder potatoes | Puri’s | Masala Chickpeas

 

Posted in Food

#Foodie Wednesday – Homemade Digestives

(I’m glad to say still sticking with this regular post)

Every now and then we’ll have a go at making biscuits. When I mean we’ll that’s everyone in my house apart from myself. Over the weekend we tried our hand at digestive biscuits, which make for great tea dunkers. After several dunking tests these one’s held their shape and didn’t sink to the bottom of my mug.

Ingredients and Instructions

The recipe is not my own but from a #cookbook by Davina McCall which we purchased a number of years ago. It’s a simple one but does allow for tweaks if you want to enhance the taste. This particular one doesn’t feel too buttery or sugary so works for us.
Happy biscuit making!