The Black Cat, Blue Sea Blogger Award

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Thank you very much to What Katie Did Next who has nominated me for the wonderful Black Cat, Blue Sea Award.

“This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee.”

A wonderful gesture from Katie whose blog is both insightful and a fascinating read 🙂

Anyone nominated has to answer three questions, set by the person who nominated them, and then nominate their own recipients whilst also setting them their own three questions to answer.

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The questions set for me to answer are:

1. If you could swap lives with someone for a week, who would it be and why?

It doesn’t say the person has to be living – I would have loved to swap places with Charles Darwin, as he spent time on the Galapagos Islands. Why – because his finds on the island supported his theory that species of living things have changed over time leading to his publishing of The Origin of Species and his theory of evolution by natural selection. Life changing.

2.What is your favourite book, movie and CD?

Favourite book – very difficult to narrow it to one book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (just beats A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth)

Favourite movie – Old: Breakfast at Tiffany’s   Recent: Pretty Woman

CD – this is so difficult… Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon.

3.Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

If I’d been asked this 2 months ago my answer would have been very different but having been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and drug therapy…I just want to be here.

I would like to nominate the following people:

Sara Ms.Health-Esteem

Laura Feast Wisely

Fran Nelipot Cottage

Sumith Keralas.live

Dolly Koolkosherkitchen

Grace wingingitbygrace

Deborah and Charlotte Desires of the Foodaholics

My questions for you are:

1.If you were an animal what would you be and why?

2. What is your favourite book?

3. Who is your hero / heroine?

 

 

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Is 3 the magic number?

The other day I fancied a super speedy breakfast – in truth I couldn’t be bothered to put much effort in! So, 3 minutes later I was chomping on a piece of gluten-free toast slathered (such an onomatopoeic word) in crunchy peanut butter and topped with slices of banana.Delicious.IMG_20160812_100340My caption within my IG post stated, ‘Two’s company but in this case three is definitely not a crowd.’ This got me thinking… I often eat a combination of 3 flavours without thinking about it.

This morning I had a kefir, coconut and maca smoothie. Yesterday’s lunch for my hubby – quail eggs and bacon on gf toast. The day before…avocado, scrambled eggs and oatcakes.  Don’t worry I’m not going to list all my meals over the last month. But, when I look back over my IG account over 50% (always like a statistic) of my meals are a 3 flavour combination.

I started to think about old childhood favourites …fish, chips and mushy peas, beans on toast with grated cheese on top…ooh…choux pastry, cream (i.e. profiteroles) and chocolate sauce.

I have just looked up from typing at my cookbook selection and there on the shelves is Three Good Things by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Not sure whether I feel a challenge coming on…would I have to count spices and seasoning as one of my three?

Another winning combination – smoked salmon, lemon juice and bread. Must stop||

It does make me wonder though how much we complicate things – do we need to combine so many flavours in one dish or do we actually savour simple, more?

Love to know your thoughts and your favourite combinations of 3.

 

 

 

 

Corn on the cob curry 

A really simple, mild but full of flavour curry. Served on a bed of brown rice.

My daughters don’t enjoy hot and spicy food but this curry goes down very well indeed.

The blend of peanuts and yoghurt ensure a creamy sauce that coats the accompanying rice well.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 corn on the cob – chopped in half and then split length ways

50 g gram / chickpea flour         3 tbsp groundnut oil

1 450 g carton of Greek yogurt

250 g unsalted peanuts – ground

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chilli powder

500 ml water

Method:

Cook the prepared corn on the cob in boiling water for 6-8 minutes. Drain.

On high, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the flour – stirring continuously for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat down to a moderate temperature and add the ground peanuts, Stir for a coupe of minutes. Add the yoghurt, turmeric and chilli and stir till mixed thoroughly.Slowly add the 500 ml of water stirring all the time to create a thick sauce. Add the corn on the cob and simmer until all heated through.

Serve on a bed of warm rice.

Cooking is therapy

Having had a day last week that was very different to the norm and not the sort of day I would like to repeat, it was wonderful to receive a postal delivery of dry ingredients that I had ordered prior to my op. I always get very excited when new, to me, flavours arrive.

This is my comfort zone, my area of contentment and my normality – cooking is my therapy.

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I use lots of spices in my cooking and have always been relatively confident playing around with combinations (with only the very occasional flavour disaster). My latest delivery contains sumac and za’ater – two spices I have not used myself although I have eaten many Persian and Middle Eastern dishes. So, while I recover and am relatively housebound I will enjoy spending my time conjuring up recipes. Watch this space …

Happiness is homegrown

I don’t have a very large back garden – about a fifth of an acre  – but the space is put to good use. Because the house is up for sale, I haven’t planted the vegetable plot this year…probably should have done as we haven’t sold yet!!  The garden has a variety of fruit trees – Victoria Plum, Grenadier Apple, Egremont Russet and James Grieve  desert apples, Damson, Bartlett and Conference Pear, Gooseberry, Red / Blackcurrant bushes and Rhubarb. Each year these wonderful plants provide a vast quantity of fruit – so much last year that I had to buy another chest freezer! This year, due to the odd weather, the gooseberry bushes have borne little fruit and the plum tree is clearly resting after a bumper crop last year. However, all other trees are covered in ripening fruit.

The chickens indicated this morning that the red and black currants were ready for picking – red and black juice stained beaks were a real give away!  So… half an hour later 2 bowls were filled…still masses left to pick off the laden stems 🙂

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and so begins the making and baking…pies, cakes, puddings, cassis, flavoured vodkas, jams etc.

 

Smoked mackerel, Greek yoghurt,  cucumber,  spring onions and dill

This only took a couple of minutes  to prepare…my favourite sort of meal😀

Serves 3 as a main dish with new potatoes. Would serve 4 – 5 as a starter.

Ingredients:

Large handful of spinach and watercress for each person

4 spring onions – chopped

Large piece  (10-15 cm) cucumber chopped in to cubes

Greek yoghurt

3 smoked mackerel fillets – skinned and flaked

Handful of dill – chopped

Pomegranate seeds to garnish.

Method:

Put prepared onions,cucumber and mackerel in a bowl and add 3-4 heaped tbsp of yoghurt. Mix together. Add most of the dill – keep some back to sprinkle over as a garnish.Serve out on to watercress/spinach  and top with dill and pomegranate seeds.  New potatoes complement this dish very well 😀

 

Water kefir

I am really enjoying drinking / eating milk kefir in smoothies or smoothie bowls every day. My husband hasn’t taken to the flavour in the same way as me – if I mix in Greek yoghurt he will then consume it! He does however act as if I he is being punished!!

So…I decided to start fermenting with water kefir grains as well.

Step 1: live grains ordered  from Crave Longevity (conversation point at work when they arrived!)

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Step 2: let the grains settle in – 500ml of boiled and cooled water with 2 tbsp sugar.Left in warm dark place for 24 hours.20160628_192347Strained and process repeated 2 x more.

Then 1L of boiled and cooled water and 4/5 tbsp of sugar.

Step 3: second fermentation. Drained liquid put in to a glass jar with sealable top and left in a warm dark place for 72 hours.20160702_190654I put a couple of prunes in the jar – created a ‘cream soda/ Dr Pepper type flavour.

Step 4: put the drink in to the fridge

Result: a delicious mildly effervescent drink 🙂   – which I am delighted to say my husband seems to enjoy.

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He particularly enjoyed the batch I made without any additions of flavours at the second fermentation stage but instead added a slice of lemon and a couple of drops of vanilla prior to serving.20160709_091829