Cooking rules that is.
I usually 'eyeball' the ingredients for whatever
I'm cooking. After 50-odd years in the kitchen I can mostly guess the amount I need. I know that baking, cakes and bread, is supposed to be more scientific and knowing how many grams you're using 'may' make or break your baking. However..
This Christmas was a time of change. I followed the rules. I weighed. A cup of something wouldn't make the grade. Grams were the order of these many cooking days. Luckily I have a digital scale and it came out of the box and stayed on the bench.
But that wasn't all. I actually followed recipes, well mostly followed. And I, we, kept it simple. None of that Jamie Oliver crap, boiling chicken wings and carrots to make the gravy.
Our gravy was made with the scrapings from the dish that the chook was roasted in, a bit of brussels water and some bisto to thicken. Flour would have done just as well. It was the best gravy in years. One thing I learnt was that you do really need to get rid of the fat and oil that's in there along with the scrapings. The gravy just would not come together till I let it rest and tipped off all the fat and oil that came to the top.
The stuffing was good old kiwi chook stuffing made with dry breadcrumbs, lots of grated onion, just the right amount of dried sage and this time I added an egg and beat that with a tablespoon of oil. Not our best olive oil either. Perfection. Luckily my daughter thought the stuffing to be on the stingy side so I quicky made another lot and put that in some baking paper in a corner of the baking dish. It was also the best we've had in years. I've never added an egg to stuffing but I know some friends in NZ who use an egg. Yes, that is definitely going into the recipe book.
Naturally the greek side had another menu for xmas day and they still have one Helluva lot to learn. It was pork done three ways at their end of the table. Two ways too many.
I have started a recipe book for a traditional English Christmas in this Greek house and am printing out descriptions of our xmases past to add to the folder as well. Some of the feasts we 'enjoyed' before the economic crisis are way, way over the top. 8 years of austerity have done us a world of good. We came through a period of western richness, then austerity and now it's back to simple and we all seem to be enjoying that freedom from over indulgence, food and otherwise.
We've come a long way in our 'learning to live with less' but we've still got a long way to go, especially the natives.
I heard how they reduce rubbish in South Korea. Besides the recycling and adherence to strict rules for removal of household waste they also have separate bins for food waste and are fined for every ounce extra that is thrown away. What a brilliant idea. It would save us so much money, by adhering to the policy, make us slimmer and healthier and protect the environment.
Win - Just about every town in New Zealand has a lotto store. Either it's a section in a supermarket or in a smaller shop (4 Square). Very very popular but mo...
28 minutes ago
And have compost heaps! For food stuffs, which are not meat. This then, makes a lovely 'stuff,' to be spread on your soil for growing.ReplyDelete
Past waste, feeds ground, for present growing.
We have two compost heaps. Both getting full of clover at this time of the year. Great fertiliserDelete
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I think smaller meals mean less waste too. Especially when we are getting older. We often buy one portion of fish and chips and share them between the two of us.ReplyDelete
We eat less when eating out but when cooking at home the traditional person buys for a family of 10!!Delete
Because, maybe, someone will pop in and need to be fed. Gr culture
I can't be bothered with all that Jamie Oliver cr@p either, and I seem to be mentally unable to follow a recipe to the letter. I always seem to just read through it then make it up as I go along. Sometimes it turns out to be rather unusual, but mostly it is just fine. I would have loved some of your Kiwi chook!ReplyDelete
The chook was delicious. My daughter and I cooked the perfect roast dinner this year. My Xmas recipe book will have only these 'simply the best' recipesDelete
I cook by instinct and it comes out alright.ReplyDelete
That's what I usually do but this year I thought I'd try something different.Delete
My mum is the same with gravy, she uses the juices from the roast veges and meat - it really is yummy.ReplyDelete
Mums know best!!Delete
I always add an egg to stuffing and the gravy was always with bisto although now I have to use a gf gravy.ReplyDelete
I had never tried it and loved the result. There really was a difference. It held together much better for a startDelete
I'm afraid my cooking is all by recipe - I tweak each recipe until I get it how I like it, and then record it in my book.ReplyDelete
I dislike sage, so make my poultry stuffing with breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, salt and pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, and sometimes some lemon zest, then bind it together with egg.
You have to be very careful how much sage you put in but I do like the sage. I used to add oregano and mint too but this year stayed traditional.Delete
I only use a recipe the first few time’s then wing it. If it’s one I likeReplyDelete
I rarely measure unless making my big batch of cookie dough and even then it’s fill the cut throw it in quick. No tapping or scraping
I guess I’ve been raised by Greeks and this is just the way we do it.
You need to feel the food.
I also love to experiment in the kitchen. Which is sad if everyone loves it as I can seldom remember exactly what went in lol
I’m glad you can see the good side to a crisis.
Greek housewifes definitely go by the feel of a recipe. Instructions like 'as much flour as the mix will take' are quite common.Delete
I can finally see a bit of light on the horizon as far as the crisis is concerned. And it did us a lot of good!
I tend to repeat dishes on roughly a two week rota, and can now cook with eyes closed. However, my collection of cook-books and TV cookery shows (Rick Stein mostly) are extensive. There is a very simple local Chicken stuffing that uses bread, eggs, bacon, and the Chick' liver. It's very good.ReplyDelete
I get ideas from cookery books and hardly ever used the recipe as written but we've had a few failures especially with the gravy so that's why we went back to basics this year.Delete
A 2 week rota is what I would like but k keeps on bringing in something he's found down in the market or from a friend and the rota goes out the window again.
My stuffing recipe is similar to yours, only I add mixed herbs and always use an egg. OMG!!! You just left a comment while I was typing this one. That's creepy!ReplyDelete
Hi Chris. lol thinking of each other over thousands of miles! I liked that egg. Made it more like my Mum's.Delete