Saturday 4 April 2020

Use Your Loaf!

Things looking much brighter round here- Bob's appetite has mostly returned, and he is heaps better than he was. I'm very grateful.
Liz made a wise suggestion - that I use the breadmaker to make the dough - but then I do the final prep myself, and bake it in the oven. So I made a batch using 500g of flour as usual, then split it between two loaf tins.
These have turned out really well. Thank you Liz! 
Long term readers of this blog know that I abhor food waste. The recent breadmaker efforts have occasionally left me with some very tough crusts. I decided to make a chocolate pudding, as cheaply as possible, with stuff in the cupboard.

First cut your crusts into rough 1" cubes and put into a pyrex bowl, along with any small crumbs. Now get a jug, and mix up 1heaped dessertspoon instant drinking chocolate [I have cheap sainsburys basics] 2 tsp sugar, and 2 tsp custard powder. mix to a paste, with cold water. Slowly stir in boiling water from kettle till you have 250ml. Pour this over the crusts and crumb mix.
Leave to soak [30 mins fine, but the longer the better. Now bake. [Either in the oven along with other cooking, or 7 minutes on medium low in the microwave.] Serve with custard, ice cream, yogurt... whatever you have to hand. 
I dotted the top of this batch with blackcurrant jam for extra fruitiness.
One very successful lockdown meal was this sausage and lentil stew - courtesy of Jean's blog here. I had all the ingredients to hand, and found a tiny bit of parsley to garnish the dish. Thanks for this one Jean.
I'd cooked the entire pack of sausages already. We had some with swede** the night before, but this was a lovely filling meal. **I don't usually buy swede, but a friend left me a 'stewpack' containing one. I cubed it and tossed in a mix of curry spices [coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger] then roasted in the oven as I cooked the sausages.
Please note - just because it is there and it is free and it is edible does not mean you must eat it. The Guardian had an article about nettle and dandelion chips. We have a plentiful supply of young dandelion leaves. I made one small batch of 'chips' alongside something else in the oven. Yes they were crisp - but that's all I can say about them. Bob said they tasted of "oil, salt and essence of crispness" We won't bother with them again!
I'm continuing to follow #JackMonroesLockdownLarder on Twitter at 5pm each evening.
As they keep reminding us, this nation's healthiest time, diet wise, was during WW2 rationing. We can do this, people.  Please share your best recipes!


  1. Glad Bob is starting to feel better. Love the idea for chocolate pudding.

  2. Thanks for the recipes I’ll definetly be trying them both. Hesther

  3. Those two loaves of bread look so delicious! The sausage and lentils stew looks interesting. I have lentils, but, no sausages, so if I make anything with lentils, it will be a curry, I suppose. :) Thanks for the warning about the dandelion greens chips! I had been eyeing the strip of side yard where all kinds of dandelions and other weeds have been growing, but, I don't think I'll bother to harvest them! :D

  4. So glad Bob is on the mend.Dandelion chips..... I feel dandelion leaves should be saved for the nation's rabbits and Guinea pigs! We enjoy Swede mashed with a little butter and sugar, as a winter veg, usually with a rich beef stew.

  5. Those two loaves look amazing!
    We use our breadmaker sporadically but it's come into its own lately. Also just got a supply of bread flour and fast yeast from the pet shop as it doubles as a corn merchant. Luckily the locusts that have been clearing the shelves of flour in the supermarket seem to have overlooked it!
    Another good sausage dish is here but it would work with bits of bacon or leftover chicken as well I think.

    1. It looks very shakshuka like! I have some frozen spinach in the freezer. But only one egg at present!

    2. That looks very shakshuka like. I have frozen spinach in the freezer, but only one egg at present!

  6. I'm so glad to hear Bob is improving! He's been on my mind a lot. I absolutely could not sleep last night. I lay awake from 12:20 to 3:30am, wide a wake and was reminded of Lydia, the lovely wife of my old vicar at my church who used to say that God urgently wants you to pray for something and someone. Bob was one of my prayers.
    The pudding sounds intriguing. So happy that the milkman delivered a chocolate loaf cake and chocolate brownies this morning ! Was the pudding nice? I use young dandelion leaves in a mixed salad.

    1. Well, I think your prayers have been answered . He is SO much better today, up and about pottering around doing odd jobs, and eating properly too. The pudding was delish. I shall sneak some dandelion leaves into the next salad


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