Saturday, 21 April 2012


On today’s list (Saturday)

Make a loaf
Stake my runner beans as they are getting tall
Lamb curry
Prepare for outdoor veg

The loaf I will be making is a wholemeal seeded one, I have been making it at 70 % hydration, but it seems a bit dense so I’m going to try it at 75% today, that’s 500g Flour (400g wholemeal, 100g strong white), 50g mixed seeds and 375g water. Not forgetting the usual 10g each of Yeast and Salt of course.

Whilst it’s proving I will get on in the garden.

So I’ve supported my beans and dug over the ground ready to plant them out, building a wigwam for them.

Now they won't fall over

 I’m also putting my courgette plants out in a growbag, under a cloche.

Tomatoes in the plastic house,

Peppers in the other plastic house

Before I did that, I had to attend to some food leftovers, so they could be slow cooking.

I hate to waste food, I know I’m always saying it but it really gets to me to hear about  the amount of food that is wasted, and although I know that me eating or using less won’t directly benefit anyone else, we need to respect our food, and part of that means using as much of what you buy as possible. Something my father used to say has always stuck with me, “Take all you need, but use all you take”.
Rant over, I had tomatoes and bread that were getting a bit past it, so I cut the bread up for croutons as before

Basic Ingredient

Ready for the oven

and whilst the oven was on for them I quartered the tomatoes, sprinkled with oil and dried mixed herbs and put them in as well.

Two hours later, when I turned the oven up for the bread, I had croutons for soup all this week, and a delicious tomato and herb base for a pasta bake on Monday.

The loaf came out after 45 minutes and was eaten for lunch. The extra water has improved the crumb, although it did take 5 minutes longer in my oven to cook through.

Next job is the curry; this is a very dry one and is moistened on the plate by a yogurt and herb raita, when you are cooking you have to keep taking away juices from the meat and browning carefully to get a crisp texture to the meat and veg mixture.

Start with finely chopped onion, pepper and garlic, fry in a tiny amount of ghee until softened,

then add the lamb mince and fry slowly, draining away any fat as it is released.

As Yvonne isn’t a big fan of hot curry, I’m using a mild curry powder, add half a teaspoon at this point (or to taste), the advantage of using powder is that it adds no liquid.

Just before eating, stir in some desiccated coconut and raisons to absorb any remaining liquid.

Serve with the Raita and your choice of breads/rice/bhajees etc.

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