food

Pass it On: the Food Edition

Battenburg Cake, copyright Ingrid Murnane. (Disclaimer: there isn’t a battenburg recipe in the post, but I did make the cake from scratch a while back and like to show off the photo every once in a while)

I collect recipes and cooking tips with the same zeal as I devour any information about knitting. I pick up tips from friends, from books and am doing an ongoing recipe swap with my sister and cousin too. If you’re reading this, Hannah, we had the pancetta and prawn dish tonight and it was lovely!

Of course, I also find fantastic recipes and articles about food online. Things I’ve wanted to know how to do for a long time, and things that I’ve never thought of.  I bookmark them to delicious and come back to them again later, but really, just like all good recipes, they need to be shared around, so here are a few more links that you might like.

A Ravelry friend, Susan has recently started a blog investigating her Great Uncle Arch’s cookbook. She plans to make a recipe form it each week and so far, through such fantastic sounding recipes as Canelon of Beef, has begun to give an insight into Australia in the 1930s and 40s through food. I don’t know whether Uncle Arch any mystery recipes like my Nan’s tin does, but this is definitely a blog that I’ll be following for the food and social history, both.

Kristin Roach’s always fascinating blog, Craft Leftovers, features a ‘thrift kitchen’ slot each Wednesday which is well worth checking out. This week she has a post about making perfect poached eggs with minimum fuss. I always have trouble with timing eggs, so I’ll be giving this a go.

My friend Eddie gives us her recipes for rosemary and elderflower jellies on her blog (the savoury jam sort, not the party kind. That would just be strange). It may be too late now for elderflower, but there’s plenty of rosemary to be had still.

If you, like Giles are a fan of the dried meat extravaganza that is biltong (or jerky), you might like to beat the high prices at the shops with this genuis Ikea hack and put together a box to make your own. I can see that knit night at Ikea might soon include a shopping list for the makings of this box.

In some ways, I’m mighty glad that the summer is coming to an end and one of the main reasons is that I can start making lovely warming soups again. This butternut and garlic soup makes the tastiest lunch ever. We’ve two butternut squashes growing on our balcony garden and I’m sure that one will be destined for this recipe. Oh, and if you’re a meat-eater, the addition of some fried pancetta never goes amiss either.

Are you hungry yet?

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Chilli Pepper Drying Tutorial

This year I planted chilli peppers and ended up with lots more than I am able to use. I’ve given away some and made others into chilli jam, but am still left with a trayful. I decided that drying them would be the best thing to do, so I can use them throughout the winter.

There are a few methods that you can use to dry the peppers including sun-drying or slow-baking them in the oven. Since this is the rainy British autumn and a shared oven, I decided to go the traditional route and dry them by stringing them up to dry. Here’s how I did it:

You will need: chillis, some large plastic buttons, some strong thread or fishing line, a large needle.

Step One: Secure a button to be the stopper at the bottom of the string of chillis, as below.

Step Two: String up the chillis by threading straight through the middle of each and pushing to the bottom of the string, against the button.

Step Three: When you’ve strung up all of your chillis, or when the line seems heavy, hang it up in a dry, well ventilated area to dry.

Mine are going into a draughty garden shed tomorrow. They should take about a month or so to dry out completely.

I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that chillis can burn – do wear gloves if you are at all sensitive to them and be sure to wash your hands after touching them.