Archive for November 30th, 2010

November ’Meanderings’ …

At the start of the November I was putting the final jars of pickles and chutneys from this year on the shelf: we have quite a collection which should see us well through the next few months.  I decided to make some special pickles to serve at Christmas, particularly to accompany cold meats and cheese at the seasonal buffet table.  I also made several jars of a delicious and extremely boozy but Suet Free Mincemeat, wanting to give it a little time to mature before use.  For most of the month, however, I kept the posts simple, adding some of our favourite vegetable side dishes.

Recipes this month

Pickled Pears

Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Mash                 Rosy Roast Root Vegetables
Fried Cabbage with Bacon & Onion

Smashed Potatoes                               Spiced Vegetables with Chick Peas
 100_7626 Spiced vegetables with chick peas
Suet Free Mincemeat

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’ http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

Meanderings Revisited (links back to original post)
Spiced Chick Pea & Tomato Soup
Smoky Fish Chowder

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

Bookshelf Meanderings:  My copy of Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course (the original version with a very youthful looking Delia on the cover) was received as an engagement present and is so well thumbed that it is loose leaf.  As well as containing classic recipes, each chapter has a introductory section with basic information to help cooks understand how to prepare and store ingredients and how they should be used to get the best results.  This is one of my most used books and recipes already on this site include: Spiced Braised Red Cabbage Casserole, St Stephen’s Pudding, Fried Cabbage with Bacon & Onion, Yorkshire Oatmeal Parkin and Old-fashioned Bread Pudding.  There are many good recipes yet to post here, some new and some already tried.  Watch out for: Lemon Surprise Pudding, Fisherman’s Pie, Ham Egg & Cheese Risotto, Spiced Lamb with Chick Peas and Chocolate and Walnut Pudding.

Blogosphere Meanderings: I am grateful to UK based writer Angela at A Spoonful of Sugar who pointed me in the direction of the excellent Hetty Potter’s recipe which I used for my own Suet Free Mincemeat this year.  There are several potfuls stacked on my shelf waiting for Christmas.  I am also very taken with her 2009 Festive Stollen Wreath on the site, a variation on the usual version of Stollen, which is supposed to look like the swaddled baby Jesus.  This is the second time I have seen Stollen in a wreath shape in the last few days (the other was made by Nic at Cherrapeno) and it is something that would be fun to have a go at making for a change one Christmas.  (This is a site with many creative and unusual cake designs.)  I particularly like the unusual Christmas Pudding Cake!  Other recipes that I have my eye on: Pear & Cranberry Loaf, Blood Orange Sorbet, Coconut & Ginger Macaroons and Somerset Apple Cake.

Entertaining Meanderings:  Another family birthday, one where we managed to fit in two special meals to celebrate.  On the day, when we were in a bit of a rush, I found a great but simple recipe for Duck with Chinese Style Plum Sauce, which I will definitely be making again.  We followed this with a Banana Butterscotch Tarte Tatin which was delicious but very rich and buttery.  At the weekend, for the second celebration I cooked Roast Pork on a bed of Fennel and Preserved Lemon with roast potatoes and some simple steamed vegetables.   For dessert I made Portugese Style Custard Tarts using the recipe from Jamie Oliver’s TV series and new book, 30 Minute Meals and served them with Mulled Stewed Plums.

Our church midweek bible study group (we call them LIFEgroups) organised an inter-group quiz with coffee and cake. There were a large number of cakes and I made Ginger Fruit Cake using my Knock Up Cake recipe and Fragrant Marmalade Cake.  I also trialled White Christmas Slices, a new recipe for chocolatey-coconutty bites made from instructions on a Sainsbury’s card, which were a great success.  They will reappear again at Christmas, including some as gifts.

Television Meanderings: I have enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s new TV series called 30 Minute Meals, which has an accompanying book.  The recipes are certainly very straightforward: which is what you would expect from the concept of putting a meal on the table in such a short space of time.  I am not sure I will necessarily have a go at preparing a complete meal, I suppose I might, but all the recipes can be made separately.  So far I have tried Quick Portugese Style Custard Tarts, Cauliflower Macaroni and Crispy Potatoes (my versions of these recipes to follow eventually).

Miscellaneous Meanderings:  It has been a busy month with some new and interesting tastes to enjoy.  As well as birthday meals and church catering we have enjoyed the generosity of our Muslim neighbours.  We were invited to a family wedding and in the preceding days were included in the colourful and musical womens’ celebration (women only of course).  They kept us well supplied with food: mutton curries, lamb kebabs, spicy chicken and extremely spicy chick peas (which made a great base for a vegetable curry).  To go with these were chapattis, naans and savoury rice.  There was also one of my favourite dishes from across the fence, fragrant and delicious sweet rice with nuts, juicy sultanas and large pieces of shaved coconut and bowls of carrot halva, which was served warm and eaten with a spoon.  The gifts of food continued as our neighbours celebrated Eid al-Adha (16-19 November 2010, but the dates differ from year to year according to the lunar calendar) when we were also given a box of special Asian style sweetmeats (to see these click here).  We still have some items in the freezer.  I have hinted that I would like a cookery lesson, especially for the sweet rice!


‘For what we are about to receive…’ December 2010

Coming in December … As we head towards Christmas I will be adding to the list of Christmas recipes already on this site.  In particular, I will be adding the recipe for Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake, used for our very special family Christmas cake plus, eventually, a picture of our finished 2010 Christmas Cake.

If you are interested in French Christmas recipes then Christmas in France on the French Tourism Development Agency (Club France) site may be of interest.

Christmas Unwrapped  – the Christmas Story, beautifully illustrated

It just remains for me to wish all my readers a blessed and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.  I have appreciated your company and your comments.  May we continue to meander through the world of food together!

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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