Farmhouse Whirls

15 On cooling rack-close up

I thought of this recipe for a couple of reasons

1 – The temperatures here in Spain

2 – The pastry making from last week’s recipe

Last week I encouraged you readers to have a go at making pastry. I also suggested a recipe that should help with the technique of “rubbing in”, something common to many types of pastry. Today’s recipe also helps to practise the basics as well as being one of the easiest pastries to play with. It is a robust type of pastry requiring little care when being rolled out.

As most of you will have gathered by now, I live in Spain. Last week the highest temperature ever recorded was reached, 47ºC. Climate Change I hear you ask?…. who knows. As per my comments in the past I think we should take care of our planet, climate change or no. It just doesn’t seem like we ought to risk the only planet we have! I always have something baked on-hand for a nibble mid morning or mid afternoon. We find this recipe is good for hot weather as these whirls keep much better at this time. Other cakes and biscuits I make are more liable to go off.

99 Winewall 01

Winewall

The name of the recipe itself takes me back to the farms and farmhouses of Winewall and Colne, the area where I grew up. Although I am talking of the 1960’s and 1970’s, in many ways these farmhouses had remained stuck in time. The next door farmer for example used a Victorian washing dolly to wash his clothes then a mangle to extrude the water. A man, who we called “Dan Dan the Lavatory Man”, would come by from time to time and empty out the long drop toilet from the farm and indeed some of the houses just down the road…………….

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Grandma’s Minced Meat Pies

22 Cut open on a plate

The idea for today’s recipe comes from my Mother. She was telling me about the minced meat pies that her Mother used to make. She didn’t have the original recipe, so I made this one up inspired by what my Mother could recall. She told me that they:

  • Were individual pies – ACHIEVED
  • Made with minced meat and onions – ACHIEVED
  • and nothing else – NOT ACHIEVED
  • Were moist pies, not dry at all – ACHIEVED

Sorry Mum, but I just couldn’t resist adding in a few extra ingredients. In some cases I can use the excuse that I had them growing in the garden and just wanted to use them up, but other items I went out of my way to buy…….sorry.

My Grandparents had a walled garden at the back of their house. My Grandmother would open the back door of a morning and feed “her” birds. She had all manner of birds come and visit her, to sample her breadcrumbs or small pieces of cheese. She seemed to have a special way with the birds, but then again she was of course a witch.

(To see my proofs of why I believe she was indeed a witch please click here.)

99 Fried egg plants 3

My Grandmother always had these “Fried Egg” flowers in her garden!

One day she came scurrying back into the house with the tale of a large eagle perched on her bird table. We all rushed outside but there was nothing to be seen. We assumed she had imagined it, in spite of her being adamant of the contrary…………..

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

Lemon Cordial

12 Finished drink

An exceedingly simple recipe this week, but with the estival heat there is no better time to publish a recipe for a chilled, tangy lemon drink that goes down so well on a hot summer’s day. This one comes from my maternal grandfather……..

My grandfather liked his gadgets and was an early adopter of many, from video recorders to stylophones, bread slicers to blenders. My grandfather was a bank manager, but he was good with more than number. During the Second World War he was with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). He was good with his hands and he told me that whilst in training for REME he created a musical synthesiser. He told me that he wondered whether it was in fact the first and whether he could have been a millionaire!

He also played the violin, I guess that and his flirting with a synthesiser led him to buy a musical gadget called a stylophone. And just how many of you can recall Rolf Harris’ stylophone?………………

……………. So here is the original recipe, from some 40 years ago…… easy, delicious and perfect for the summer…………

 

To read the rest of the article and view the recipe please click here.

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

White Chocolate and Wild Strawberry Muffins

08 Finished buns

Quite a few years ago now I was sat on a plane, travelling back from a business trip in the UK. I started talking to the lady next to me, who happened to be an editor. Conversation turned to my interest in food and my interest in sharing recipes with the general public. She said I ought to start a blog.

Once home I decided to have a look at the possibility of starting a blog. The process of publishing a blog seemed easy enough, I am after all an IT engineer, but when I looked at the quality of the blogs out there I was dissuaded from giving it a go. I was particularly overawed by the overall visual content of the blogs and in particular the photographs on display. I realised I would have to up my game and invest a considerable amount of time, time which I did not have.

Fast forward several years, to just a couple of years ago. I suddenly had more time as I left full time employment. One problem solved, but what about those fantastic professional photographs, that if anything had improved over time? It started me thinking about what exactly did I want to publish, what was my goal? …………………

……………. These muffins can be made with fresh strawberries or indeed just about any soft fruit. If you choose large pieces of fruit, just roughly chop them first. Now is a good time for fresh strawberries be they wild or otherwise and these muffins also work well with raspberries.

To read the full article and to view the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Crème Caramel Pots

08 Ready to eat

As always with the recipes I publish, I am describing the food that we eat on a day to day basis. I make nothing specifically for the blog, you get what we get! Luckily we like a varied and seasonal fare. Today you are getting Crème Caramel Pots because we had too many eggs that were approaching the end of their useful life, and of course we didn’t want to have to throw them away. These caramel pots, apart from being delicious, are very quick and easy and require just a few minutes in the microwave. Yes, you’ve read right, no old fashioned wood fired stove this week, I am jumping into the modern age and using a microwave!

As I will explain later, this pudding can be served as a  “Caramel Pot” or as a “Crème Caramel”, so you get two different puddings for the price of one. A crème caramel is one of my favourite puddings and also one of my mother’s………

To read the rest of the article and see the recipe please clck here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Chocolate Ginger Biscuits

14 Baked biscuits

I love chocolate and I love ginger, so what better than some biscuits that combine the two. They also contain a little orange peel to further add to the flavour combination, so now is a good time to make them as we still have local fresh oranges available. We go through quite a few biscuits at home, I having at least one every day with my morning masala chai……. an Indian tea and spice mix to which I add lots of fresh ginger.

Fresh ginger is something that can be quite expensive in England yet it can be so cheap here. In large supermarkets it tends to be expensive, but the local town of La Almunia has several shops run by and catering for north African workers. They are over here working in the fields, caring for and later collecting the fruit from the many thousands of vines and fruit trees. These shops have all manner of dried and fresh fruits, herbs and spices overflowing their shelves and baskets in a veritable Aladdin’s cave of  culinary delights. It is here that I can buy the majority of what I need and at very, very competitive prices.

But is the small independent shop an anachronism in this modern digital age?……….

………….Zaragoza, in spite of having a population of only about 700,000 people, opened the first macro complex,  Plaza Imperial,  in 2008 with 170 shops. The second, Puerto Venecia, was completed in 2012 and has 158 shops. They expect to open the third one, “Torre Village”, with 90 shops this year. It sounds like a lot of new shops per capita and of course their being out of town means a lot of travel by car, consumption of fuel and environmental pollution.

2014 05 16 Zaragoza - El Pilar

Zaragoza

To read the full article and the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Nine Plait Herb and Cheese Bread (Re-post)

13-completed-whole-bread

Here is a simple bread recipe that can be made as a loaf, a simple three strand plait or, well whatever you want to really. As I was having one of those relaxing baking days I decided to push the boat out and go for a nine strand plait. When you get the hang of it, the plaiting is not actually that difficult, yet can produce a complex structure that makes quite a centrepiece for when you are entertaining guests.

This particular dough is one of my favourites, but of course you can use just about any hand or machine-made dough. If this one doesn’t suit, just pick the one you like and are most familiar with. The one I suggest today has a good texture and with the addition of herbs and cheese a good, strong flavour too……………..

14-bread-cut

………I make quite a bit of bread as I live in a small village without a bakery. It was not always the case as we had an excellent local one until relatively recently. We would pop in for some freshly made bread, and almost always walk out with some other local (sweet) delicacy they had, still warm from the oven. Not for lack of clientele did the bakery close, but alas, close it did. A young couple opened a small shop selling bread in the centre of town, unfortunately it did not take off. Perhaps the locals, in the majority septuagenarians or greater, didn’t approve. Perhaps it was because the dough was brought in ready made, with only the final bake performed on-site? Anyroad, whatever the reason, all I really know that we now have no bakery! (And yes I can use anyroad, it was officially added into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016).

One of the biggest problems in this region of Spain is the ever increasing population growth of a few major cities and towns, with the corresponding drop in the local villages……….

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge