20 May 2015

Simple meals from the stockpile

I spent the past few days travelling and working. We had a short trip to visit family on the weekend and now I'm back at the desk, writing. Meals have been very simple: pumpkin soup for two days and salmon fish cakes late last week. It's a good stand by pantry meal so I thought you'd like the recipe. I generally make it a different way almost every time I make it, using whatever I have in the stockpile and cupboard.  This time is was red salmon with a orange sweet potato instead of plain potatoes. It made a great change and I'll make sure I use the sweet potato again. 

1 large can red or pink salmon Alaska (415 grams)
1 onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced, cooked and mashed
½ finely diced capsicum/pepper
1 egg
salt and pepper
breadcrumbs - I used Panko

  1. Break up the salmon, discard the liquid and either remove the bones or crush them. I use them crushed in the fishcakes because they're very soft and they're a good source of calcium. 
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and form into fishcakes.
  3. Coat in breadcrumbs and allow to sit in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
  4. Then add to hot oil in a frying pan and cook until both sides are golden brown.
I served ours with a garden salad, pickled celery and chilli jam. Delicious and very thrifty, this fed us for two meals at a cost of under $10.

I made another plum cake too. Hanno loves it and the season is short. Apart from that I'm not doing much except writing. I'm getting to the end of it now, three chapters to go, so I can see a time when I'll be back to being a full time homemaker with all that brings with it.

I've decided to make a list each day of short tasks I can carry out when I take a break from writing. On it today and for the rest of the week are:
  1. Prune hydrangeas and roses
  2. Water hanging pots
  3. Press tablecloths and napkins
  4. Bring in my new chair. Hanno painted an old wooden chair for me to use here in my work room. I'm giving up the office chair and getting back to an old kitchen chair with a seat pad on it.
  5. Make seat pad. I'll take a photo when it's in here. Hanno had painted it a beautiful pale chalky blue.
I've found that if I don't allocate time for certain things they don't get done and I feel like I'm not doing anything. I'm sitting all the time while I write so when I take a break I want to do something and this little list is just the thing to organise my thoughts and get through a few small things.

Around 4 o'clock it's so lovely outside. I get my little garden trolly and some clippers and I've been snipping here and there. The air is crisp, darkness comes early and the leaves are slowly falling. I hope you're enjoying your home today and that you're getting through the work you've planned for yourself.



  1. I have been remiss in visiting a thousand times and not leaving a comment, which I plan to change.

    I have lots of cans of pumpkin from when I was making pumpkin pies. I would love to know your recipe for pumpkin soup or other ideas for using up this resource.


  2. I'm in a similar spot--I'm a freelance editor and currently under deadline, so most of my time is going to that when possible (read: when the kids are occupied!) so I end up feeling like I'm not doing much around the house. Yesterday I was taking 15-minute breaks from work to fold laundry, wash dishes, etc. I also like your idea of having a list of short tasks to do--that would make it so I wasn't stuck thinking, "OK, I have 15 minutes to get something done--now what to do?!"

    And on that note, back to work I go.

  3. Ah Rhonda, the crisp air sounds lovely. We're getting into Summer here in Alabama, so we've got hot, humid mornings and hot, sultry evenings, with the accompanying bugs. We won't see cool again until at least October. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for all you do.

  4. Isn't the crisp start to the day wonderful :) I love salmon patties, thanks for sharing your recipe. I sometimes use a mix of potato, sweet potato and pumpkin - great way for me to 'hide' in extra vegies from the vegie fearing 8 year old of mine!!
    I just wanted to say too, I have borrowed your Down to Earth hard cover from the library and it's a wonderful read.
    Warm regards, Jan x

  5. Good morning, Rhonda. Well there are now two fish patty recipes I have to try...yours and one on the DTE forum which also sounds very yummy with feta cheese in it as well. I also have to prune my hydrangeas so will put that on my list otherwise I never go and do it. Not long to go till you have finished writing. You must be looking forward to that day so very much.

  6. To think that pressing napkins and tablecloths is a break for you makes me chuckle! ;-) We are having strange spring weather here - a lot of rain and cool temperatures. Except for the flooding and the worries that come with that, I'm really enjoying it.

  7. I have made something simular to this but never with sweet potatoes, and they are my favorite. I checked the pantry and have everything I need soooo guess what's for supper tomorrow night! Thanks for the recipe :)

  8. Thanks Rhonda for reminding me of pantry dinners. Things are a bit tight at the moment so we'll be having a few tuna and fish patties ourselves. kxx

  9. I made some salmon patties last night for dinner. I had not thought about them in years and actually was quite dry in thinking up some different and delicious dinners to serve. This really was the ticket; they were quite enjoyable only I make mine a bit differently.

  10. The salmon cakes look excellent - I haven't made something like those for years. It's so helpful that you've added the tin size as well - with the multiple sizes available in different countries, this information makes such a difference :) And thanks for the reminder to vary our activities - off now to do some ironing LOL

  11. I will have to try that recipe. It looks and sounds delicious!

  12. I think my salmon patties have been.........boring. The same ingredients, basically, as my mother used in the 1950s! What a neat idea to use sweet potato! And just the idea of using something else makes all sorts of things come to mind.....

    And pale chalky blue is such a lovely soothing comforting color. I am waiting to see that chair! Love your blog, Rhonda. Been reading it for years!

  13. I make very similar patties. Sometimes I use tuna and sometimes I use salomon, but I always use mashed plain potatoes. Sweet potatoes aren't popular in Poland, where I live but of course you can find them in some grocery shops. I am going to try yours. That would be good dish to smuggle some veggies in my kids' plates. Thank you for reminder,

  14. Hi Rhonda Pickled celery what a great idea. I am forever trying to think what else to do with all that celery.Could I beg for the recipe please .You are motivating hydrangeas, ironing, kitchen floor and I will whisper this (the rest of the day is art) Love this weather Cheers Affussa

    1. Hi Affusa, the celery is easy. Cut it length-ways in thin batons, place in a bowl and add a teaspoon of salt. Leave overnight and wash the celery the next morning. This will remove most of the salt. Make up a spicy vinegar, I use the same recipe I use for my bread and butter cucumbers, add the celery to a sterilised jar and top up the jar with hot spicy vinegar. It can be eaten that day but it tastes better in a couple of weeks.

  15. How timely (and strange!) that I received an email this morning from some concerned agency telling us to write our senators about gmo'd salmon. this was after my delicious salmon patty dinner last night. I immediately reacted by thinking: I did not know salmon was affected by this. Now what ? Goood lord, it was hardly a better time to tell me.

  16. Fishcakes are my favourite 'go to' store cupboard recipe, even more so now that I also have a few cans of potatoes in the cupboard. It means a lovely homemade dinner can be on the table with the minimum of fuss, and little extras that you find lurking in the bottom of the fridge can be chopped and added so they are great for using up leftovers.

    I've been adding lots of chilli flakes to mine recently, the last batch blew my head off, I'll have to go a bit easier next time ;-)


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