Monday, 6 June 2016

Belgians And Xenobaths

I did some baking on Saturday - in my recent tidy-up of the pantry cupboard I found a jar of mincemeat hiding amongst the jars of jam. So out came my old Cranks book and I made a Belgian Cake. I also decided to use up the leftover bits of cereal to make HFW's 'Cupboard Flapjacks'. I had enough mincemeat for 2 cakes [one for the tin, one for the freezer] and I also froze some of the flapjacks. 

Belgian Cake using leftover mincemeat from the Cranks Recipe Book [pub 1982].
  • 100gms butter or margarine
  • 75gms dark brown sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 150gms self-raising flour
  • 225gms mincemeat
  • 1 tablespoon water.

Cream fat and sugar until creamy and fluffy, add the eggs, then fold in the flour, then the mincemeat, finally the water. Spoon into a greased and lined 20cm square shallow cake tin. Level the surface. Bake at 170ºC/325ºF for about 30 minutes until risen and golden. Cool in the tin. [you can bake the mixture in muffin cases too]
HFW’s Love Your Leftovers Cupboard Flapjacks.
  • 50g honey or golden syrup
  • 175g butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 150g leftover cereals of your choice
  • 25g dried apricots/prunes/dates chopped
  • 25g raisins/sultanas
  • 25g seeds – pumpkin/sunflower/linseed
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 170ºC [150º fan]
Grease and line a 25x20cm baking tin.
Melt the butter and syrup in medium sized heavy based pan
When melted, remove from heat. Stir in all the other ingredients. This is a very free and easy recipe- use up whatever bits and pieces you have around! Tip into prepared tin, press out firmly, push into all the corners. Level the mix.
Bake 25-35 mins. Leave to stand 5 mins, then mark into bars. When nearly cold, cut into pieces and finish cooling on wire rack. Will keep in tin for a week or so. HFW says 12 bars - I cut mine into 15!]

Also I made some of HFWs chilli beef noodles for our evening meal [sorry, no picture] using lots of fridge leftovers, plus homegrown mint and coriander. Thrifty and resourceful! And all the time, I was listening on the i-player to "The Kraken Wakes" from Radio 4

It is more than 60 years since John Wyndham wrote this chilling tale of aliens from the ocean depths [xenobaths] who threaten to destroy all human life. This production is a brilliant contemporary re-telling of the original story. Val McDermid has transferred the story of a radio producer and his wife [and co-worker] who witness something very strange, whilst on a honeymoon cruise. It is the beginning of a chain of events which will threaten civilisation. The original book [Bob's 1976 Penguin copy is on the bookshelf] feels dated now - but VM did a great job of bringing the tale bang up to date, with global warming, the Syrian Refugee Crisis and President Putin all getting a mention. The First Minister For Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon was there too, and had a 20 second cameo appearance! 
The main characters were played by Tamsin Greig [Green Wing, and of course, The Archers] Paul Higgins [The Thick Of It, Utopia] and Richard Harrington [Hinterland, Poldark] Background music was played by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and certainly added real atmosphere and tension. 
An enjoyable afternoon's listening - with good food at the end of it. 

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