3 November 2014

Moose Milk, an Endangered Cake and a Moving Quote from Guy Fawkes.


I’d like to start this with a moving quote from Mr. Fawkes himself ...

'downe with the king'
'light you buggre light you buggre'
'alas we are discover'd'
'ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch'
Guy Fawkes

I'm not sure if this is historically accurate and don’t know where I first read it. I have tried to find out because it is so very, very lovely. If anyone know the origin can you please let me know.

And now a few ideas for Bonfire Night which I am posting a day and a half early so really a little late, if you know what I mean!

Moose Milk

A lovely quick easy warm drink, mainly for adults but you could leave out the good bit and add some vanilla or a little coffee or something.

I have read all sorts of recipes for this from just condensed milk in hot water to ice cream mixed with rum and Kahlua to a liquid that comes out of a mummy moose’s nipples, would you believe!  My version is really easy; just 50:50 condensed milk and dark rum (although I’m pretty sure Kahlua would also be good) topped up with hot water.  Absolutely perfect to keep your hands warm whilst watching the fireworks and good to drink too!

Mulled Ale

This is taken from my grandmother’s copy of Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book which now lives with me.


'Nuff said!

Bloody Mary Soup

Basically add some vodka and Worcestershire sauce to tomato soup!  Here is a great recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup but you may have a favourite which you’d rather adapt. 


Incidentally ...

Studies find top 3 most stressful moments in people's lives: death, divorce, and properly pronouncing "Worcestershire sauce."
Tony Hsieh

But here is some useful information for American chaps – in the UK we usually just say Wooster Sauce which makes life much easier.

Baked aka Jacket Potatoes

These are traditional and a good idea but I have to say that cooking them in the microwave really doesn’t do them justice so cook them in the oven if you can.  And another thing, if you wrap them in foil they will end up with soft skins but if you do them this way they will be crisp and salty.

large, clean dry and evenly sized potatoes
(floury potatoes such as Maris Piper, King Edward or Desiree are best)

~   Preheat oven to 220ºC/425ºF/200ºC fan/gas 7.
~   Put a little olive oil and a little sea salt in a bowl and rub each potato thoroughly with this mixture.
~   Prick the potatoes several times with a fork.
~   When the oven is hot either lay the potatoes directly on the oven rack or put them on a baking tray, this second way results in an extra crispy bottom.
~   Bake till soft in the middle and crisp on the outside – timing depends on the size of the potato but say 45-60 minutes.

Serve with a selection of fillings – butter, sour cream, grated cheese, chilli, bacon beans, crispy bacon pieces; whatever you and your guests fancy really.

If you cook too many rejoice - lots of ideas for leftover baked  potatoes here.

Sweet potatoes are also lovely cooked this way, good toppings for them include all the above plus sweeter things such as apple sauce, toasted nuts and caramelised onions. Leftover sweet potatoes make great Fartes de Batatas!


Turf Cakes

These were traditionally baked in a covered pan in the ashes of the fire and, cooked this way, are now considered to be an endangered species! An example of a turf cake is Fat Rascals from Yorkshire

225g self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
60g cold butter or margarine
25g caster sugar
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp milk
the finely grated zest of half an orange
the finely grated zest of half an lemon
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
75g mixed dried fruit
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt – to glaze
a few slivered almonds and glacé cherries to decorate

~   If you are using the oven (which I wholeheartedly recommend) preheat it to 200°C/400°F/180C fan/gas 6.
~   Prepare the dough adding the zests, spices and fruits together with the sugar.
~   Mix to a soft dough with the egg and milk.
~   Divide into 6-8 portions, roll into balls and place on a lightly greased baking tray.
~   Brush with the egg and water mixture.
~   Decorate with almonds and cherries.
~   Bake for about 15 minutes till risen and golden with hollow sounding bottoms!

This recipe appears in “The Secret Life of Scones” which gives all sorts of delicious ideas based on one key recipe.




Here’s a quick, easy idea which you could conceivably cook in the embers if you are careful.

A Banana Gently Opened and Stuffed to Within an Inch of its Life 

Don’t peel the bananas but open up lengthways, fill with coarsely chopped chocolate, wrap the whole thing in foil and bake in a hot oven or hot embers for ten minutes or so. Unwrap carefully and spoon the melting chocolatey flesh directly from the skin into your mouth. (I've sold a fair few of these!)


So have fun, keep warm and take care.

Two Things about Free Books

1.  Don’t forget that “Easy Festive Food for a Stress Free Christmas” is free on 5th and 6th November on Amazon.
2.  And this, of course, which even includes a link for another free book! 





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