Told you I signed up for the Store Cupboard Challenge, yup? Well, I decided that a daily update of what I was eating that day would not exactly be exciting blogging so I'm just going to pop in and out with this topic when I had anything worth saying. Today, for instance, I decided not to buy puds, bread or snack food for the kids and do a biggish baking session instead. Out came the trusty Be-Ro book, ovens on (the cats like this because the fans blow hot air along the kitchen floor, brief pause to go and buy another battery for the kitchen scales (which I do use every day, but which give you no warning when they're going to conk out)
Have to say, the cats behave like a couple of over-excited toddlers when I start baking. Especially Oliver, but when Paws sees Oliver trying to get up onto the worksurface to investigate the crinkly packets and chase the eggs then naturally he thinks he's missing out and tries to get up too. The kitchen worksurface is the one place in the house they're really not supposed to go, of course, mainly because of the cooker hob being set into it but also for hygiene. So it does take a little time to persuade them of this. Then they go and sit on the dining table instead and watch the mighty Kenwood Chef in action, which is not a good idea either of course. Then when they sulk off onto the floor they get under my feet. I must have stood on Oliver half a dozen times today.
After all that it wasn't that exciting a baking session. I was trying to use up storecupboard items and have plenty of flour and other baking ingredients so I made Eve's Pudding, using some cooking apples that had been in the bowl for a looooong time, Rock Buns for the kids to use up some of the cheap dried fruit mountain that lurks on the top shelf of the larder and a loaf of corn bread made from a mix that I bought on impulse in Lidl. This last looks a bit suspect, have to say, but bread dough never looks that exciting in the early stages does it so there's hope for it yet.
Just a comment on the trusty Be-Ro book. I learned to bake from this book 40+ years ago and most of the basic recipies have hardly changed. Margarine, butter, sugar, salt, white flour, high calorie dried fruits, syrup, treacle and suet. Eeek. Why weren't the previous generations fat as pigs, eating that lot every day? Well, it's simple. Portion sizes. For example, the Rock Buns said "Makes 16". I dutifully did and as you can see they're not large. In fact they are more the size that modern shops nowadays sell as "snack size", where the implication is that you eat several to make a portion. If I went to the bakers round the corner and bought a Rock Bun it would be at least three times the size. As to other bakery items, a standard seven inch cake would be cut into eight slices, not the four that would seem reasonable now. And back in the '60s when I were a lass you only expected one scone or teacake or slice of cake with your drink when you went to visit somewhere. I can see my kids' faces if they were confronted by plates of home baking and only allowed one thing and that a tiny (in their eyes) one. Portion sizes have definately increased hugely since I was young, if the Be-Ro book is anything to go by.
Oho though, talking of cakes, I didn't show you the cake I made for Princess when she had her birthday party a couple of weeks ago. Be-Ro recipe, of course, and probably should serve about 50.
(Yes, there was something in the treasue chest. A pendant in the shape of an "M", for Princess M.)
Anyway...a small dent was made in the storecupboard ingredients, and to help things along we're having lamb steaks (from freezer), couscous (from sample packet that came free with a mag) and cauliflower cheese made woth freezer cheese and a cauliflower that was in need of using up. So a good day for shopping from the larder.