Monday, April 20, 2020

Desperate recipes

The last time I put a recipe on here was in 2008, when I posted Dave's mother's recipe for parkin. It's cracking stuff, so follow the link if you want the recipe. According to Dave, the top of his mother's cooked parkin "looks like an acned face that's been lightly Ronsealed," but don't let that put you off. 

That was 12 years ago, which might give you a hint as to how interested I am in cooking. These days, though, I am having to think about it more because we are still not going in supermarkets, we still have not managed to get a delivery from one, and we're relying on click and collect fruit and vegetable boxes, with occasional specific items acquired by my friends Liz and Chrissie. (Thank you, L and C.) The village shop is also making deliveries, but their range is limited. Gosh, this is boring.

Anyway...remember the iceberg lettuce that arrived unwanted and unloved in a salad box? There were actually two of them, and a couple of days ago one was still languishing in the fridge salad drawer.  I've been reading the definitive edition of Anne Frank's diary with 30% more material in it than the original, and I'd got to the bit where the families were boiling lettuce to eat. 

Then on Sunday my sister Jen, who knows 90% of what there is to know about cooking, suggested I make pea and lettuce soup, and she sent me a recipe. It was simpler than Zoë's recipe but surprisingly tasty, so here is a link.

Now, responding to a request from long time blog reader Marmee, here is Dave's (handmade) bread recipe, which he wrote out at my request:

500 gms wholemeal flour
1.5 teasp dried yeast
1.5 teasp sugar
.5 teasp salt
300 mls warm water

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl using a spoon. (Add a knob of butter or a little oil if required. This will slow the rise.) Add 300 mls of warm water and stir with a spoon. The mixture will be sticky and discouraging.

Use hands to put the mess onto the kneading surface which has been sprinkled with spare flour.
Knead the mixture vigorously.
There will be a sudden moment when the mixture is no longer sticky and your hands are dough-free. 
Continue to knead according to mood.

Grease the inside of a bread tin  with butter.
Shape the dough and drop it into the bread tin.
Cover with a clean tea towel to ward off flies.
Let the bread rise to twice its original size. It needs to be in a warm place to rise.
Overcome doubts and knock it back, kneading as before, and letting it rise again.
Remove the tea towel before baking in the oven for about 40 minutes at 220C. not a fan oven. Make sure the oven has a bowl of water at the bottom during the bake.

I was going to give you my recipe for the old family favourite from the  Penlee Reform Cookery Book (1916) - cheese and lentil savoury -  from the early 20th century UK vegetarian movement. 

I could also give you the recipe for my amazingly delicious curried red lentil soup, but I'm too bored by writing about food to bother today. Let me know in the comments section if you'd like them and I'll post them another day.

Art is currently more appealing to me, and I'm pretty pleased with my drawing of one of my favourite shoes:

which I am wearing on the front cover of my new book DAYS ARE WHERE WE LIVE, currently out as an ebook and very very soon (yay!) out as a paperback. If the proof that is arriving tomorrow is perfect, it'll be out by the weekend.

I hope you have a good day, despite the lockdown. 


marmee said...

Big thank you for this very precise recipe! And yes, I have seen a lettuce soup recipe and a braised lettuce recipe but those did not involve iceberg lettuce! Here I am also not going to the shops. A nearby "no waste" shop has begun delivering so it all depends on what they are able to source's actually made the cooking and food thing more interesting to ME. And oh my goodness what a very middle class issue especially here where I live

Sue Hepworth said...

Forgot the temp of the oven which should be 220C. Will add it now.

Sally said...

Dave's recipe made me chuckle - entertaining & informative!Lots of comfort cooking,baking & eating going on at this house. Enjoying your more frequent blogs. Hope you have a good day.Sally
Ps Wondering did you ever finish 'Conversations With Friends'?

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Sally, I do enjoy good food, but Dave is not interested so I just cook for me. And I do make an effort, but I think there are far more interesting things to do than cook. I do miss baking for visitors though. I LIKE baking.
re the Rooney - no, I gave up half way through and skimmed the ending. There are far more rewarding books to read. After Rooney, I read Fingersmith for the first time. I just finished Anne Frank (which I had never read before) and polished off the new Anne Tyler far too quickly. Was it unusually short? I have no way of knowing as I read it on my Kindle. Just revving up to read The Fortnight in September by CR Sheriff, recommended to me by Marmee and by Chrissie, in the space of one week. They do not know each other.

Sally said...

Hi Sue, I think abandoning books that don't enthrall is the way forward!
Your instincts are bang on regarding the new Anne Tyler, she said exactly that in a recent Sunday Times article.
I'm reading a bunch of Elizabeth Strout novels atm. Fantastic - she really draws you in with everyday ordinary/extraordinary stories about characters you care about.
Two separate recommendations for your next read. If you make it three I will add The Fortnight in September to my list. Thank goodness for books!

Sue Hepworth said...

I am a big fan of Strout!
Life is too short to carry on reading a book you're not enjoying.