What a week, crazy weather all mixed up, days of warm sunshine, lashing rain and then winds to make Kansas look positively calm. Battening down the hatches and waiting for weather to arrive, can seem quite exciting. Mountain living is a guarantee that we receive extremes of all weathers and seasons, and within the ‘Expat online’ community always a great talking point, well we are British after all 😉
Number 1 daughter returned home from a very wet Herefordshire for her half term break, hoping for her cockles to be warmed and her pale skin to be rosied but we can’t always provide !! So it’s home fires burning, hot bots in bed and 2 pairs of socks to keep her tootsies warm. Candles are always at the ready at La Rosilla , baskets filled with tee-lights to be lit in every room, normally to create a cosy ambiance but at this time of year for necessity too. With wind and rain comes the power-cuts, all part of the adventure of our lifestyle.
Food for family and friends we can provide, nothing beats gathering around the dining table when there has been a week of conversation topic making. So I set the table, invited friends for supper, scoured my cook books for my week 6 #cookfromthebooks challenge, for family friendly recipes, ( our guests not quite so adventurous as us in food tastes 😉 A homely Chicken, Bacon and pea pie would see fit, chosen from Rachel Allens ‘favourite food at home’
I find this cook book, uplifting, clear and easy to follow. Good hearty recipes, beautifully captured in photos. Family favourites, dishes for occasions and basic must know tips for all cooks.
The Chicken pie with bacon and peas wasn’t a fast throw it all together affair, but worth the time and effort. Like normal I adapted it to suit our tastes and and what I had in the fridge. The pie in the recipe can be topped with mash or puff pastry, I used a filo topping, to add a slightly more sophisticated pie, to serve for supper guests. I also used pancetta, instead of ham, which added an extra richness. I served this with roasted butternut squash cubes, in caraway , not all guests were willing to try ‘Can’t do orange veg’ they said !!! and for green, french beans sauteed in butter & garlic.
No photos this week of my ‘Pie’, with power on & off, candles lit and my wine glass full, this rare I know, slipped my mind 😉
Pud was a comforting cherry crumble or La Rosilla chocolate Brownies, the children all bagsied the Brownies so I sneakily hid a butternut squash cube in them, but the devils caught me out 😉 – The crumble topping was unusually made I thought. I always rub my flour and butter together to make bread crumbs then add sugar , oats and cinnamon – but in Rachel Allen’s recipe for Rhubarb, plum & cardamon crumble, she prepares her dry ingredients then pours on melted butter and quickly mixes – It did provide a dense crumble topping but I found quite clumpy – I think in future I’ll stick to my usual, on saying that with the bowl placed dangerously near to my place, I did manage to secretly have a few portions 😉
To finish the week an event we knew was looming on the horizon, but hoping it wouldn’t and not knowing when it would, came to fruition. For many Ex-pats living in Spain, we have a guilty pleasure, or for some of us a necessity to watch UK TV to keep us up to date of our home-land, receive world wide news in our own language, or for me the obligatory watching of the many ‘Foodie’ programmes . Never have I watched a ‘Soap’ in 9 years but Saturday Kitchen, Masterchef & my ‘Jamie’ these are my moments of weakness and now they are GONE !! The UK have changed their satellite position, and now we can no longer tune in to our favourite channels 😦 . There are ways and means, and options being advised, sold, hawked as days go by, but as in sit, switch on and watch NO ! I know we’ll get used to it, and maybe find that life we actually came to live on a mountain for. I have a pile of books to get through, jigsaws to make, and DVD’s to watch, so once I’ve finished sulking and got my head around it, all will be fine….Hurry up summer, when late night terrace sitting, and the only thing we watch is the night sky for shooting stars.
Until then a plateful of home-made ‘Melting Moments’ from my treasured, well thumbed, Nan’s ‘Bero’ recipe book, will do the trick.
MELTING MOMENTS RECIPE
140 g S.R Flour
80g caster sugar
120g Margarine / butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Oats, dessicated coconut & cranberries to decorate.
- Cream togwther butter & sugar, add vanilla.
- Stir in flour and mix well.
- With your hands bring dough together.
- With wet hands divide mixture into 36 balls and roll and coat with coconut or oats.
- Place on a greased baking sheet slightly apart and flatten a little add a dried cranberry to some.
- Bake at 160c for 12-15 mins until golden.
FAMILY RATING 10/10
If you would like to join in this years challenge of #cookfromthebooks I would be delighted Just add the hashtag #cookfromthebooks and add the logo below & link to this site.