love a bit of Crumpet

So this weeks been a bit special, treated myself (well ourselves) to a brand new pan set and a set of Poachette Rings (if your wondering there the things that make eggs fit in a bun, I’m guessing you know what a pan set is but if not

panset

this is the one I got.

 So I thought how can I use it all in a day, make the kitchen into a bomb site and make a nice tasty treat

CRUMPETS

 Delia is a tasty crumpet is the recipe that I went with and to be fair I wasn’t disapointed CLICK HERE for the recipe

after heating the milk so I could put my hand in without scalding myself I added the sugar yeast mix and stuck a shower cap over it and left well alone for 30 minsmilkmixthis gave me the time to sift the flour and salt into a bowl

flour

and have a fag and a cuppa tea like what Delia said would happen to the milk did

magicmilk

and just needed to add that to the flour and whisk (Balls to that bring on the Kenwood)

littlemix

to make a smooth batter

resting batter

then leave it for another hour with its shower cap, nother fag nother cuppa then bring on the  Tefal Ingenio and Poachette Rings

pochette rings

bloody frying pan is H-U-G-E

fizzy batter

now my froffy batter is ready for the heated pan

lovely bubbly

boy did it work

first 2 were a bit crap rubish

first 2

but we learn from our mistakes

crumpets

and that my friends are my crumpets

Smile and Say Cheese

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For most, Easter is filled with over indulgence of chocolate eggs and religion, but always up for a challenge I made cheese🙂

I got my kit from the wonderful people at Lakeland then a quick trip to Tesco (other supermarkets are available) for the basic ingredients milk, cream and buttermilk after reading the book I plonked for the white, didn’t think much could go wrong with that.

IMG_2635After getting the milk and cream mix to the correct temp (hence the 2 metal poles (they held the thermometer)) I added the buttermilkIMG_2643 and the rennet (v) so even the rabbits could eat my cheese or the rare breed we call vegetariansIMG_2644.

And waited so put my cheesemix to bed over nightIMG_2647 and settled down to a night of T.V. the odd ciggie and a cuppa or 3.

The next morning I awoke with anticipation wondering what I would come down to. I was in 2 minds of whether it would have done its magic and on the other hand if its all gone Pete Tong (wrong) how can I dispose of my disaster and purchase the ingredients before the wife stirred🙂 luckily for me I needn’t have worried as the curds and whey had separatedIMG_2649 so I put a knife threw it and began to scoop it into a muslin covered colander IMG_2655and let it drain happily for a few hours to allow the whey to drain from the curd some more and tucked the muslin over it and left it to sit.IMG_2656 It was at this point in proceedings I did think a nip to the shops for a pot of Philly would have been a plan.

After what felt like a life time (3 hours)IMG_2660 it had drained and was ready for EATING (err slow down Pete) oh &*(%^ I ment place in the cheese mould and more waiting.IMG_2664

I weighted it down with a tin and left it over night and then the next morning removed it from its mould

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I have to say it tasted very nice, on toast, crackers and even because it was Easter  Hot cross buns with jam.

The book says it lasts 5 days but to be fair it only saw about 3 1/2 and even Jules who admits cheese does not agree with her thought it tasted nice.

Okay it took 3 days 2 make but hey it was worth it in the end and I’d achived something that was not a hangover lol

Thanks for reading please feel free to leave a comment🙂

TO PASTRY AND BEYOND

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Not something I’d ever dabbled in before PASTRY I mean it comes in a packet from the frozen or chilled section of almost every supermarket/ corner shop, so with half an onion and some cheese sitting in the fridge I thought Cheese and onion pasty YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME

MAKES 1 (and one man very happy🙂 )

For the Pastry

125g plain flour

55g butter cubed (cold)

pinch of  salt

35-45ml water (cold, enough to mix to a pastry dough)

1 egg for Eggie wash

For the Filling

75g chopped onion

splash of oil to cook onions

75g grated cheddar (I used extra mature (real strong stuff)

pepper (didnt need salt as cheese was strong but if you use milder might be an idea)

So after a cuppa and a smoke, letting the dogs out and the 3 S’s I began a task, a task I didn’t know the outcome of. TV Chefs in the UK are always saying to buy pastry so there must be an art to mastering this tricky baking nightmare, so much so I started on the onions (I mean they needed softening and cooling before I added the cheese I’m right yeah ?) so that is exactly what I did first and ended up with………..

IMG_2597I know dont look much, what were u expecting its only for 1 as I say I was still unsure of my pastry.

Add flour, salt and cubed butter into a bowl and WITH YOUR FINGERTIPS mix until breadcrumb texture takes forever

so for those of you who have read my blogs before u know if there is an easy way to do it I’ll find it, google it or just find away.

And there is Kenwood my blender how I love thee, so I pulsed it till breadcrumby then emptied into a bowl and added the water and did the final mix with me hands  into a tight ball, easy so far wrapped in clingfilm ………

IMG_2599all being well so far I placed it in the fridge for 30 mins and grated the cheese and added it to the onion then put the kettle on for a brew…….

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cut a long story shortish I took the pastry out the fridge, floured the board and began to roll out turning each time and cut out a 22cm circle

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Little cheer as so far this Pastry thing is a bit easy (Pause and wait for applause)

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added the filling then straight to facebook to ask the great Jo Wheatley winner of Great British bake off 2011 about the crimping

Hi Pete, I use my thumb and forefinger then with the other hand use index to make indentation x

Legend it worked a treat and then first eggie wash before being put in the fridge and turning the oven on to 200 degrees c

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with the left over pastry I rolled it out made some hearts with a cutter, took my pasty out the fridge added the hearts more eggie wash then in the oven for about 35 mins.

Then scoffed the lot in front of the wife cheese don’t like the wife🙂 bonus

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Olive Rolls (does she now !!!!!!)

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Olive Rolls (does she now !!!!!!)

Okay its baking time, what to do with the Olives after xmas, Rolllllls, followed THIS RECIPE

olive

oh yeah and a teaspoon of sugar

now I know the recipe says do it all with your hands, but if u ever as messy as I am if you’ve got a mixer with a Dough hook, it does the same job.

sieve the flour into a bowl and on one side put the salt, sugar and rosemary (if your using it) on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other, never the 4 shall meet just yet

olive2

Mix these up either with your hands/ dough hook or even wooden spoon then add the chopped ollive

olive3

then add the olive oil and water and knead for the doughs life

or cheat and use the dough hook.

TIP: always have a little bit extra liquid ready just in case and if it comes together before you’ve used all the liquid that’s fine too, this all depends on the humidity in your prep area anything can cores this could be dry cos you have the heating on or damp in the air cos its off. so DONT PANIC

when its all come together into a ball oil a bowl bung some clingfilm over the top and put in a warm place and leave till it’s doubled, trippled, quadrupled in size and let the yeast get to work. I use a borrowed shower cap from hotels around the world because they fit snug over my bowl

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when its finally reached the stage you want it to be, for me it was when I came back from a quick trip out to the shops for provisions (milk, butter and fizzy pop (*&%! I forgot the butter))

It is now that you should beat ten bells out of the dough, I find imagining it’s someone you dont like works for me.

the technical name is knocking back but I prefer my method

when this is done weigh the dough

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and divide the amount by 8

in this case

450g  / 8 = 56g on average

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place the balls onto an oiled tray with parchment dust with flour and then graze each dough ball with a knife and allow to prove again.

IMG_2444at this point you can put the oven on and allow it to warm up.

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when the ovens ready check that the dough balls have risen and chuck it in the oven

10mins later

take them out (I swear by knocking the bottoms and if it sounds hollow then they are done) and place on a cooling rack for as long as you can

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I served my first one with a Balsamic vinegar and Olive oil dip

IMG_2456and very nice it was toooo

enjoy x

Chelsea buns

I made these the first time following this recipie Sams Kitchen shes a great food blogger and very helpful with advice on how to make it, I thought it would be a nice treat for the Grandkids on Christmas day morning and they weren’t disappointed scoffing most of the tree before they left lol

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I did leave the cherries off as no-one in the house is a fan and didn’t have a star cutter to put a star at the top but they tasted bloody good.

anyway I digress so back to the day in hand………………………..

Okay before I start a day of baking I do a check list

  1. Do I have all the ingredients ?
  2. Write a list of what I’m missing
  3. Go shopping for what I have not got
  4. Get home and prepare all my ingredients (bit like on them cookery shows on telly)

Sadly yesterday I skipped part 2 and forgot what I needed in part 3 and came home with a curry for 2 for £5 with a side, sugar and tea bags but no eggs!!!! now for baking an egg is an important ingredient.

So I prepared what I had and wondered what to do instead of EGG

  1. Do I go round the corner to the expensive corner shop ? NO
  2. Do I go the supermarket and buy some ? NO its cold and raining
  3. Do I think I got a few great Chef mates on Facebook and Twitter so lets ask them ? YES so I spoke to my friend Jenni AKA @pastrychefonline who looked at the recipe and said

1 egg? I really wouldn’t worry about it. You should be fine w/another say 15g butter and another 28-ish ml of milk/water.

so that’s what I did

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now you are supposed to add a pinch of salt but as I like to sail close to the wind (and I only had salted butter in the fridge) I used salted butter so skipped the salt stage. (something else I forgot whilst shopping Unsalted butter)

So you will read some cookbooks that say “Dough must be needed by hand mixed together and needed for about 10 minsBALLS

take ingredients and a Mixer with a dough hook and let the electric do the work!!!!

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This takes about the same time but I now dont have one arm bigger than the other. BONUS

when its all combined and the bowl is clean and there is a nice ball of dough at the bottom its done!!!!!

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Then the important bit, now we all stay in hotels and we all accidentally put the smellies and the tea, coffee and biscuits in the case dont we ?? If like me your a baker get your hair wet in the shower and keep the shower cap comes in handy

so now we have to leave the dough and the yeast to do its magic cover the bowl with shower cap and put in a warm place. airing cupboard, by the cooker, in the lounge by the radiator and wait

 

 Image too Image too Image

We’ll come back to the proving.

filling time

 I used sultanas but u can use any dried fruit

sugar and spice (and all things nice that’s what little girls are made of)

Imagetime to cut a long story short when the dough has doubled or more in size

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take out and put on a floured work surface and roll to a rectangle ruffly 30cm by 20ish

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then I added lemon curd instead of butter, the sultanas and sugary spice mix and began to roll

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till it looks like a big cigar and trim the ends

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then chop in half and those halves in half and split each bit into 3 so u have 12 rounds, place them in a spring loaded deep baking tin and allow to rest for around 40 mins to an hour and attempt to tidy the bomb site that is now my kitchen and put the oven onImageImage

20 mins of oven loveliness and TA-DA

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allow to cool then decorate with icing

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then scoff

HAPPY BAKING🙂

36 hours without the phone

Thursday 6th September 2012

Time 09.00 first brew of the morning and the glorious first smoke, something about a fag and a brew that wakes you.

 

Time 09.30 walking back into kitchen with cup in hand, phone caught the corner of my eye “CHECK TEL LINE” W.T.F. made second brew walked back into lounge with brew picked up phone Dead nothing Nada.

 

Time 09.45 rang land line from mobile, line still working as it rang THANK GOD we did pay the bill then, checked internet (this may sound stupid but I have had dead phone lines but still had internet connection in the past so not so stupid)

 

Time 09.55 after getting over the shock of not being able to check mail online or even FACEBOOK I resigned myself to the fact it was time to call the <DRAMATIC MUSIC> unhelpful desk, you know the one, to log a call it does not cost you from ringing from your non working land line but from a mobile would cost you the debt of a third world country.

 

thank you for calling ********* for training purposes your call may be monitored or recorded (or if you abuse our staff we can use it as evidence) please enter your account number

123456

thank you please enter your 4 digit year of your birth”

19**

I was waiting for the other security info IE. length of penis, blood type mothers maiden name and the last time I had a dump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thank you please listen to the following options

1.      for gas or electric

2.      if you are moving home

3.      for mobile phones

4.      for Telephone land line and broadband services

5.      to hear the options again”

 

thank you, it is showing on our records that you have not given a meter reading in the past 3 months”

NO I haven’t cos the little man comes round at most annoying times and struggles to get in behind the telly to check it. ALSO your costing me money so I really aint got time to be doing this!!!

we are now connecting you to an available operator you are 1454536 in the que…….”

 

Oh here we go not only are you costing me £xx per min I now have to be put in a que with the latest hits played on pan pipes. Start feeling like your in the lifts of Debenhams back in the 80’s going from “Ground floor, Over madeup cosmetic specialists to the 5th floor TOYS!!!”

 

I Digress

 

Time 10.14

Hello thank you for calling I am Dave how can I help”

So I explain to Dave that my phone and Broadband is not working

have you checked the line with a working telephone…..”

WHO HAS A WORKING PHONE THAT THEY KEEP JUST FOR THIS VERY PROBLEM UNLESS YOU’RE A BT ENGINEER ?

I explain that I have checked the line and even checked the wire outside the house as this has happened before. (all bollocks, I mean I wouldn’t be ringing if it was working.

I’ll do a check on the line for you now………………… nope your correct the fault is with the exchange (NO SHIT SHERLOCK) I’ll have to log this with our team who will pass it on to BT Outreach who will call you back with progress on the fault.”

(Ohh someone who seems to be helpful) Thanks Dave.

No problem is there anything else I can help you with ?”

Get my phone fixed……….nope that’s it at the mo ta

 

Fastfoward 6ish hours, I’m sure if your still reading this blogg you don’t want to know all the ins and outs of my day.

 

Time 16.40 (get in there before the unhelpful desk go home)

thank you for calling ********* for training purposes your call may…………… available operator you are 1454536 in the que…….”

(didn’t think you wanted all that again J)

Hello thank you for calling I am Jennie  how can I help ?”

Yes rang earlier yada yada yada call me back no call (you get the picture)

Dave should have told you that our engineers wont ring you back for 24hrs this is so they can give you the accurate diagnosis of whats wrong with it…(I don’t care what’s bloody wrong with it it aint working and I want it fixed ffs) anyway whilst I have you on the phone can I take some details as they have not been upda……………”(or can we fleece you more money as we know its costing you money and our company get a cut)

NO I’ll call when its not costing me money……. (hung up quick)

 

THANK GOD FOR GOOD TV AND BEER

 

NEXT DAY Friday 7th September

 

Wake up yada yada yada time to ring the helpdesk YAY

 

Time 11.15 that’s 23 hours after ringing still no phone still no internet, 2 days of having to communicate with real people is really pushing the wrong buttons now.

 

Hello thank you for calling I am Alfie how can I help ?”

explain same situation again even though they have a ref. Number and all the details come up on the computer.

yes well we do say 24 hours”

Oh I thought it had been

says here the call was logged at 12.45…I’ll get someone to call you and let you know what’s going on”

Starting to think not only are these people stupid and incompetent but also cant tell the time. FIRST CALL AT 10.14 not 12.45

 

Amazingly at 12.35 the phone rings to inform me that BT are working on the fault and should be operational by tonight.

 

We will call you back on Monday with an update, as we do not work weekends……………. Have a good weekend!”

 

HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND are you taking the P**S sort my bloody phone out today.   

 

Well …………….

 

Time 20.30 give or take

Just had a phone call on the land line

 

hello Mr Fisk” (I mean come on it’s an easy mistake to make (dick head)) “your phone line is working”

What u want a medal you’re an engineer its your job to fix stuff, I go to a restaurant I get a meal Its your job to serve me with great food fact is it has been on for 2 hours is neither here there or anywhere

 

The end…………………………………..

The Veggie Patch

Okay what started as a bit of a whim, FREE SEEDS SEND US YOUR INFO…..

so there’s me Black fingers (kills anything garden I mean Jules Mows the lawn because the neighbour told me in her words “SHIT AT IT”) so to be fair the thought of a veggie patch was a dream.

well welcome to

most of our seeds came from FREESAMPLES and neighbours, some others came from Homebase, where we also got the Soil and the pots from.

So apart from the digging out and mucky shit, oh and the downpour we should call MAY. This is my veggie patch current pic is only pots and radish that did well for a while till the birds and the sluggs got in there.

Jules had the best wellies and also Green fingers and to be fair she knows what she doing so HOEd the swiming pool, oh did I also say we now got the YARD garden

The Bog Roll plants, they are tomatoes but decided to use the bog rolls to protect them, not helped by the 4 seasons in 1 day Snow, Rain, Hail and eventually Sun. so although we lost some hopefully the ones that did survive will grow.

corn started growing

then growing some more

and I now got Chillies in a pot

some suspect salad leafs

THE DAY WE WENT TO HOMEBASE

we now have Strawberry

and a scarcrow

his names bob and theres more to follow