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When my mother recently passed away, because we are a scattered family, one of my younger brothers had the great idea of setting up a private Facebook page for the immediate family to talk in – mainly about funeral arrangements but also just in general.
One topic, which I inadvertently started, was about her cooking. It’s fair to say, and she would agree, that cooking was not her forte. She was able to feed us but it was never exciting. That’s me being respectful.
So we were joking amongst ourselves about that when the subject of her two most ‘original’ recipes came up and we each tried to remember exactly what was in them. Here, to the best of our ability, is what we agreed on.
Pasta. This had to be Marshall’s macaroni, a Scottish speciality and the only pasta I ever ate until I was about 18 years-old, apart from tinned spaghetti, usually in the form of spaghetti hoops.
Bacon. This would normally be unsmoked Ayrshire back bacon. Not American bacon!
Onions. White onions. We didn’t know they came in other colours.
Tomatoes. Scottish tomatoes are surprisingly good.
Salt. Common iodised table salt. You know. Natural salt. None of your fancy sea flavoured salt nonsense!
Pepper. Black pre-ground and stale.
Boil pasta according to pack instructions. Or a bit longer if you get distracted. Drain.
Cut bacon into pieces. Chop onion approximately finely. Chop tomatoes into eighths. Fry bacon and vegetables. When ready add drained pasta and mix. Apply seasoning if you remember. Even if you remember, under season.
During WWII, around 17,000 Polish soldiers were stationed in Scotland, first temporarily in the border areas but later in east Scotland where my mother lived. (Her elder sister married one of them). Family lore has it (from my mother) that she learned this recipe from one or more of those soldiers.
I’m fairly certain that there was little if anything Polish about it, but suppose its possible it was those soldiers’ attempt to recreate something from home without really knowing the recipe and having to use whatever they could find in the way of ingredients.
If anyone here is Polish, of Polish descent or just knows more about Polish food than I do knows of any Polish dish that this could even vaguely resemble, I’d love to know. It was memorably distinctive - bright purple. I'm sure it glowed in the dark.
Hard boiled eggs
Pickled beetroot (store bought and pickled in malt vinegar)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Brown Sauce, preferably HP Sauce.
Chop all the ingredients except the ketchup and brown sauce into small pieces and mix together.
Mix ketchup and brown sauce in a 50:50 ratio, and fold into the other ingredients. If too dry, add a little of the beetroot pickling liquid.
Father's 'recipe' coming up next.
i had a whole post typed up, but alas, it's been lost.
i searched the forums but didn't find a thread dedicated to fried breads, thus.
yesterday, i fried up some toutons to go with a beet soup. toutons are the popular newfoundland version of fried bread, historically made with bits of dough left overnight and fried in the morning with salt pork fat. like in the south, they were/are often served with molasses, butter, and/or beans. on the rock you'll find any number of restaurants serving them, some of which have a whole touton menu with various toppings or spreads. a lot of restaurants deep fry them instead of pan fry them out of ease of cookery, which has become a point of contention among many newfoundlanders.
i had a bowl of leftover dough in the fridge from making khachapuris a couple of days ago, so i portioned out a couple of balls, patted them flat, let them proof for twenty minutes or so, and then pan-fried them in a mix of rice bran oil and butter.
fried breads have a long history all over, often but not always as a sustenance food for cold weather climes. the navajo are known for their version of frybread from the 1800s, but it's commonly believed that first nations groups of north america also had their own forms of bannock made with local ingredients before it was re-imported from scotland.
anyway i'd like to investigate fried breads more; post your own favourites and experiments here.
I've already polished off half a box of Harvest Crunch Granola today. I haven't really eaten cereal in years, but these crunchy granola clusters are hard to resist.
What's your favourite cereal, and what do you eat with it?
(Big bowl, big spoon, and 2% milk for me.)
ALMOND CUSCUS WITH CRANBERRIES AND PINEAPPLE
I hate getting up in the morning. My household knows that before 8 o'clock I'm unbearable, and because almost every day I wake up much earlier, I tend to be unbearable more frequently than I want. Every extra five minutes of sleep is priceless, so I appreciate a good breakfast that is not too complicated and is quick to prepare.
Recently, I have been preparing breakfast with groats and flakes. This time I chose cuscus. This product is a cross between pasta and groats, and it doesn't need long to prepare. It is enough to add hot water or milk and leave for a few minutes. I added some fresh pineapple, cranberries and banana. I spiced it up with some hot chili pepper .
Ingredients (for 2 people)
125g of cuscus
400ml of almond milk
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
2 slices of fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon of minced chili pepper
150g of fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of flaked almonds
Wash the cranberries and put them into a pot. Add two tablespoons of water and the brown sugar. Boil, stirring gently until the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened. Boil the almond milk with the vanilla essence. Pour the milk onto the cuscus and leave for 5-7 minutes. Slice the banana and roast the almond flakes. Peel the pineapple and dice it. Mix the pineapple, chili pepper and honey. Add the pineapple to the cuscus and mix it in. Put the mixture into two bowls. Put the cranberries and banana on the top and sprinkle with the almond flakes.
Enjoy your meal!
A SANDWICH TO GO
Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a snack which you can grab and eat "on the go". I know that it is unhealthy. We should celebrate eating and eat calmly and with deliberation. However, sometimes the day is too short for everything on our schedule and we still have to eat. Admittedly, we can sin and go for some fast food, but it is healthier and tastier to prepare something quickly in our own kitchen.
Today, Camembert cheese and cranberries in a fresh, crunchy roll take the lead role. It sounds easy and yummy, doesn't it? Try it and get on with your day . Today I used a homemade cranberry preserve which was left over from dessert, but if you like you can buy your own.
2 fresh rolls (your favourite ones)
150g of camembert cheese
1 handful of lettuce
2 teaspoons of butter
2 teaspoons of pine nuts or sunflower seeds
100g of fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
100ml of apple juice
Wash the cranberries. Put the cranberries, sugar and apple juice into a pan with a heavy bottom and boil with the lid on for 10-12 minutes, stirring from time to time. Try it and if necessary add some sugar. Leave to cool down. Cut the rolls in half and spread with the butter. Put some lettuce on one half of the roll. Slice the camembert cheese and arrange it on the lettuce. Put a fair portion of the cranberry preserve on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with the roast pine nuts or sunflower seeds and cover with the second half of the roll.
Enjoy your meal!
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