Saturday, December 26, 2009

Looking forward to 2010 — and those soon forgotten resolutions..............

This Christmas has been relaxed and easy. The warm summer days are a joy and our neighbourhood is pretty quiet as well. Most likely several are off and away on their boats making the most of the cool sea breezes:  probably headed for favourite fishing spots. As their children grow older and become more independent we see and hear less of them. In previous years, lots of excited kids dashed about playing on new bikes, compared their toys and darted about in general — showing them off to all and sundry.

Anyway, keeping something on hand is a good idea particularly at this time of the year and  so easy with these two simple recipes. I usually whip them up quickly and put them aside to have whenever friends drop by:  it just makes life easy. There is generally enough in the freezer to cater for surprise visits and using up the leftovers, rehashing these and the sauces, is a breeze. Usually enough in the garden for salads and so on, and of course, this leaves time to spend catching up on all the latest — with little attention needed in the kitchen.  Carefree summer days as they should be.............

This recipe is absolutely delicious with a cuppa.


STICKY GINGERBREAD

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 160 C
Combine boiling water with golden syrup and baking soda. Leave to cool slightly.
Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix in the golden syrup mix and then add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Pour batter into a lined loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes or until cake tests cooked.
Serves 12

Another old favourite. Craig reminded me to throw this together yesterday. Mmmm...... delicious.



GINGER CRUNCH


 
185 grams of soft butter
¾ cup of sugar
2 ¼ cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of ground ginger   

Method:
Preheat the oven to 190degC.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.
Sift the flour, baking powder and ginger together and mix into the creamed butter.
Press the crumbly mix evenly into lined 20×30cm sponge roll tin.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly brown.

Ice with the following while the base and icing are still hot:
  • 75 grams of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of ground ginger
Melt the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan.
Sift the icing sugar and ginger and add to the butter and syrup stirring constantly until well combined.
Pour over the base while still hot and leave until almost cool before cutting into 24 squares.
Makes 24 pieces

Well, I'm sure you are enjoying the festive season as much as we are. We wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year...........

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So much for just swanning about........


The past week has been fraught with annoyances, starting with a visit to Bunnings to buy a new spark plug for the lawnmower, and the thingy to remove it. It also seemed like a good idea to check out a suitable file in order to keep Corban's nails clipped, and on the way, I came across self-adhesive tiles for the upstairs loo. I learned that one packet covers a metre and a half, I think it was:  time to pace it out on the floor.  But I've had better ideas in the past, and this wasn't one of them.


This wasn't one of them either...

Anyway, as I stretched one foot out, the slippery floor simply --  did the rest: there was an impromptu can-can, followed by a clumsy attempt at the splits, before going, head-over-turkey, and being literally floored by my own rendition.

So, is it all there on camera...........?  Hopefully, a power surge took care of that lot.

Anyway, after fitting the spark-plug and no joy, it ended up being some sort of carburetta problem and required a new part, and a few other bits and pieces. All which Craig footed the bill for, thank heavens.

So, now that is sorted out, peace-perfect-peace........... Not quite -- can't get online. Time for a chill-pill...........!

After phoning my ISP and arranging for a replacement modem, I filled the next two days with gardening and finished off the book I was reading. But --  after installing the new modem -- same problem..........Two chill-pills!

Another call to my ISP, and after a thorough process of elimination, it turned out a double adapter was causing problem. A clumsy apology, my offer to pay for the replacement modem, kindly declined, and now I have two modems.   Whoopee........................!




"What a stupid idea, think I'll just sleep on it instead."









Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Easy, delicious and so effortless......................

Here is a real favourite in my household, and flung together in no time at all:  just the way I like it.

CURRIED EGGS
Serves 4:  ready in 10 minutes


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
8 boiled eggs, sliced in half  (I prefer the yolks to be slightly runny, so would only boil for 5 minutes, or so).

Method:
Make a white sauce by melting the butter, stirring in the flour and salt and leave the roux to bubble for 1 minute or so. Then gradually add the milk, curry powder, and continue to stir over medium heat until thickened.  Finally, add the halved eggs. Garnish with chopped chives, or parsley if you prefer.

Delicious served on toast for a quick and easy lunch, or as an accompaniment to other dishes, whether meat, chicken, fish or just whatever comes to mind at the time.  A crisp salad with a variety of lettuce, tomato, spring onion, radish and avocado, sprinkling of seeds and nuts will definitely tantalise the taste-buds.