Woke up late this morning after a late night at the neighbours. Felt like pancakes. So easy:
1 cup of flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 egg 1/4 cup of sugar 1 cup of milk
More or less a 1:1 ratio (flour, egg, milk), so even I can remember how to make it without consulting the recipe book. Double or triple as you require. The only thing to remember is to beat the sugar and the egg together first until thick, add the milk and mix again, then add it all to the flour etc.
I had bananas with golden syrup (in lieu of maple syrup, keep forgetting to buy some). The kids love icing sugar or nutella!
I posted last week about the Italian cookbook I found at the brocki, 'Puglie in Bocca' by the food historian Luigi Sada. I love his recipe for 'Vermicelli in a sauce of fish that swam away', faithfully presented here in its entirety, charming English and all:
"Vermicelli" in a sauce of fish that swam away
'Shining evidence of the inventive mind of the poor. The sauce made with with stones covered with sea-weeds keeps a genuine taste of the sea. Hunger excites one's wits and the contrivance of people with little money and no fish can fully satisfy everyone. This recipe from Bari originates back to the XVIII century. It doesn't present any difficulty of preparation. If you want to prepare a sauce of sham fish, take about 1 kilo of shells, or else of sea stones, covered with sea-weeds, and put them into a pot with 3 litres and a half of water, leaving to simmer gently in order to remove the scum. After skimming, put into the white part of 1 celery, some basil leaves, 1 cleaned onion, 4 peppercorns, about 1 kilo of tomatoes, 100 gms of oil; turn up the heat and leave to cook. Pass the lot through a sieve and keep it piping hot. Boil the needed quantity of "vermicelli", place them on a serving dish and pour onto the boiling sauce of fish which swam away. Drink a nice wine like the "Verdea" of Taranto, soft and fresh, at 10 degrees celsius.'
There's nothing quite like a big hearty bowl of homemade vegetable and barley soup with a dollop of yoghurt and fresh bread when you get home late at night from a long tiring day navigating the Italian train network. Oh, and a glass of wine, of course.
found this cardboard-covered cookbook at the brocki yesterday. It was written by a noted Italian food historian, Luigi Sada, sometime in the 1800's (this book looks to be a recent reprint). it covers the food of Puglia, and has a number of eccentricities. My favourite recipe so far is "vermicelli in a sauce of fish that swam away' (vermicelli with a sauce made of stones and seaweed!)
Tonight I am hosting my book club's inaugural potluck dinner. We meant to have a Christmas dinner, but everyone was so crazy busy that we couldn't find the time. So here we are in the New Year, finally sitting down together.
As we are quite an international bunch, we asked everyone to bring a dish from their home country. So this is what we've got so far:
Thai chicken curry (that's from me, I'm no ace when it comes to cooking Asian food despite my heritage, but it's easy to make for the masses)
A potato dish called 'Debbelabbes' - could be either German or Swedish, as it's from the wonderful Monika
Cheese and pretzels (german)
Sauerkraut and vodka (Polish)
Fried rice (Chinese)
Vegetable curry (indian, via Oz)
Homegrown salad (international!)
Apple strudel and vanilla sauce (Austrian)
a pasta dish (italian)
Trifle (English - I am so looking forward to this, I loooove ttrifle)
Carrot cake (yes, yes, I know, it's from me, I'm so predictable)
An Indian sweet (a custardy type treat I'm told)
It all sounds fab! Check back tomorrow for a report on the festivities.
I've made this cake quite a lot recently. It's delicious, simple and
the 3 cups of carrots it requires makes it easy to fool oneself that it
is also really healthy. Actually, it is pretty healthy, except for the
cream cheese frosting (and I use the word 'frosting' here even though I
usually avoid American English, because 'icing' doesn't seem to fully
capture the thick creaminess of it, so fantastically cream-cheesy!)
trowelled on top.
Underneath the cake you can see a sheet of baking paper, cut into 4 and then placed underneath the cake while icing. Once you have finished icing, or indeed, frosting, the cake, you can then pull each individual piece away, and voila! a clean serving plate or whatever underneath. This particular cake was on it's way to my dear friend Monika's birthday party. I also made it for the lovely Gabriella's birthday recently, and she asked me for the recipe, so here it is, especially for her.
Carrot cake, taken from my trusty Edmonds cookbook
1/2 cup light vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
grating of fresh nutmeg
3 cups of grated carrots
Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (I don't put in walnuts cos I don't like 'em)
1 tsp orange zest
1 apple, finely diced
Icing (I'm a bit vague about this, sorry)
A tub of cream cheese - we have a nice yoghurt one here that I use. Sometimes if I don't have enough cream cheese I add some marscapone and/or yoghurt, but watch the consistency as it can't get too runny.
a little fresh orange juice
espresso spoonful of vanilla paste
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Grease and line a 23cm tin (sometimes I use a square one, other times a round one. It's all good!)
- Beat the eggs together until really thick - this will take 5 minutes or so, believe me!
- Stir in the oil, then sift flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into the egg mixture and fold in to combine.
- Fold in carrots, walnuts if using, orange zest and apple until nicely combined. If the mixture looks a little dry, you can add a little fresh orange juice (from the orange you zested).
- Bake the cake for at least 40 mins, more like 50 or 55 mins most likely. Check the cake at 40 mins and keep an eye on it thereafter. The cake should be a beautiful brown and have an almost nutty smell from the carrots.
- Leave in the tin for 10 mins or so before turning out on a wire rack to cool.
- ice the cake when cool. Beat the cream cheese together with a few tablespoons of sifted icing sugar. add a very few drops of orange juice and the vanilla paste. Make sure it doesn't get too runny! It should be wonderfully thick, so add liquid carefully. Don't forget to taste test - surely no hardship. It should be thick, creamy with the taste of cream cheese, nto too sweet and with a touch of orange from the orange juice. Remember that the icing sugar doesn't make it thicker, it dissolves so actually makes the icing runnier. Lather on the icing and swirl about nicely with a palette knife (stand the knife in hot water for a few minutes to make for really smooth smoothing - I love this bit!!!). Take a few curls of orange zest and throw them on top so that they sit in an attractively-mussed heap.
- Tip: This cake tastes great the day after it is made, as the flavours develop beautifully and the textures comes together into a gorgeous springiness. Once it is cool, wrap it up in foil overnight and ice the next day.