I haven't been doing all my regular work while I'm book writing but I'm still cooking, nothing stops that, and still knitting when I have a break. As usual, we're eating leftovers when we have them and Hanno made about four litres of tomato relish/sauce so we can't complain about a lack of variety or quality. Here are a few meals from the past few week.
On Saturday we had half this scone loaf fresh for lunch and finished most of the second half on Sunday. A minute in the microwave freshened it up and made it warm again. To make good scones you need a moist dough and then as you lightly knead it, you can add more flour in the kneading to make it easier to handle and cut. There are many recipes for scones, this recipe makes a very tasty scone that is light and moist.
SCONES - these are similar to American and Canadian biscuits
- 3 cups SR flour
- good pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or natural yoghurt - this makes for a very light and tasty dough.
- enough milk to make a moist dough. If you have no sour cream or yoghurt, you could use buttermilk, whey or milk soured with vinegar or lemon juice
- Combine the flour, salt and sugar.
- Rub the butter and sour cream/yoghurt into the flour with your fingertips. When it's combined well ...
- Add the buttermilk/whey/soured milk and mix in. You want a dough that is not sloppy but it looks too wet.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a floured bench. Knead for less than a minute, incorporating more flour.
- Form into whatever shape you want, place on a baking tray, put into a hot over and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and it smells cooked.
We had a few sweet potatoes that were about to sprout (now they have, I'll plant the sprouting ends I cut off) so I wanted to use them straight away. I made up a savoury mince - or ground beef with vegetables - with curry spices and liquid from the cooking tomato sauce.
After boiling the sweet potato, I mashed it and topped the meat with it. Twenty minutes in the oven gave us a delicious, golden pie we dined on for two nights.
And this is Hanno's tomato relish/sauce. He washed the tomatoes, chopped them an added two sticks celery and six large chopped onions. In a large pot, add a slurp of olive oil, a couple of crushed garlic cloves, two tablespoons paprika, one tablespoon curry powder and a teaspoon each of salt and pepper - remember, it's a large pot. Cook the spices, then add the vegetables and bring to the boil. Leave the top off the pot and let the tomatoes to cook slowly allowing the liquid to evaporate off - this intensifies the flavour. After about an hour, add one cup of sugar and one cup of vinegar - we used malt vinegar and white sugar, but you could use whatever you have in the cupboard.
When the sauce is thick and reduced by at least one third, take it off the stove and blend with a stick blender. This is optional, we often have the chunkier relish, but it serves well as tomato sauce if you blend it.
This sauce/relish will develop in flavour as it's left to sit. Use it on anything that needs tomato sauce, pizzas, sandwiches or pasta. That amount made what you see in the containers above - about four litres/quarts. We sterilised the jars in the oven and boiled the lids. The sauce was added, the jars turned upside down and allowed to cool. All the buttons on the lids were inverted and they're now stored in the fridge and the pantry cupboard.
And this is how I used the sauce last night on our dinner - more leftovers. I made a meatloaf during the week and had a small portion left. It wouldn't have been safe to keep it longer so last night I mashed some potatoes, made a coleslaw from white cabbage, onions, carrots and mayonnaise and served the meatloaf with the sauce. It was delicious.
And finally, I saved the best till last - brown rice and sweet potato salad. I could eat this salad every day. Boil a cup of brown rice and bake a cut up sweet potato until it's cooked and browned. When the rice is drained and cool, add whatever vegetables you have on hand - I used sweet corn just picked from the garden, onions, celery and cucumber. If I had red capsicum/pepper I would have added that too for the colour. Add two level tablespoons mayo, salt and pepper to taste, mix it all together then add the sweet potato. Don't add it earlier as it will break up when you mix the salad. We had this with cold chicken but it would be an excellent vegetarian dish served with tomato and radishes.
As you can see from this selection from the past week, we eat simple food but it's nourishing and delicious. We had meat for almost every main meal last week but we often have meatless meals. Real food doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. If you have a good recipe book, or someone to teach you, you will be able to feed your family a variety of good food that you don't pay an arm and a leg for.
Many thanks to everyone who voted for Down to Earth in the Bloggies. The voting ends in a couple of weeks. I hope we all have a productive and interesting week and you enjoy your work and whatever you do in the coming days.