On having beans-around-toast for dinner

There are some days when I go shopping on the way home from work and come back with a bag full of ingredients and a head full of ideas for dinner. Days when I look forward to peeling and chopping and frying and mixing.

And then there are days like today.

A day where I get home, fall into a chair and only think about moving when I realise it’s dark and I’m hungry.

A day when washing up a saucepan* in order to heat up a tin of beans feels like too much work.

A day on which sitting at the table with a knife and fork trying to keep the beans from flying across the kitchen is a daunting prospect and wielding a cheese grater something unimaginably difficult.

On days like today I cheat.

I tear the toast into pieces, dropping them directly into the saucepan** with the beans, and crumble a piece of cheese on top with my hands. Then I stir it with a wooden spoon until everything is a big sticky lumpy orange mess. And then I go back to my chair and eat it. Out of the saucepan.

And then I call it a day and go to bed, leaving the unwashed saucepan on the counter in the kitchen..

Night all! πŸ™‚

* edit: one I didn’t wash up after using it last time..

** For anyone wondering, yes, I washed the saucepan first, before I started cooking. :p

On chopping onions

K: how do you want me to chop these onions?

KC: I don’t care. I don’t know how to chop onions in multiple ways. I think just stab them to death..

K: so little squares are ok?

KC: yes.

Love it πŸ™‚

On making the first mince pies of the season (or ever)

I don’t remember the last time I waited until this close to Christmas to start making mince pies…

Last night, a friend came over. She’s German and had never even heard of mince pies, let alone thought about making one. That obviously had to be rectified. Here’s the process of rectification:

Pre-rolled puff pastry. It was supposed to be specially amazing with extra butter, but it was sticky and soft and just generally hard to work with – next time I’ll stick to the usual stuff πŸ™‚
Normal sized tray – miniature moulds
6 rolls of puff pastry later there was still mince meat left in the first of 6 litre-tubs…
No way I’m going to faff about with a pastry brush – I dunk the lids in a mixture of milk and beaten egg, push one side into the top of a pile of sugar and hope they land sugar side up when I throw them towards the cases…
The first plateful (proper sized) – mostly straight out of the oven

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I think she done good πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
(Photos feature my friend’s hands – I was wielding the camera :))

On making mincemeat of it – part 1

Every year, I make a load of mincemeat, for myself, my family, and anyone else who wants some.

Every year, I make it up as I go along, and no one’s complained yet.

This is part 1 of the recipe – insofar as it can be called a recipe – for 2015.

***

A word of caution to anyone who wants to actually use this recipe:
Please wait until I’ve finished and got it into jars, BEFORE starting. I tweak recipes as I go, and that’s probably annoying for people who follow instructions… (or who live further away from shops than I do).

***

Take one huge saucepan…

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…the rind and juice from 8 oranges (ca 2kg) and 8 lemons (ca. 1kg)…

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…16 grated apples (or half grated, half chopped) (ca.3kg). I took the cores out, but I suppose you could leave them in…

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…6-8 packets (ca.1,5kg) of raisins/sultanas, checking for bits of twig first…

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….a tub of chopped prunes/dried plums…

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…a tray of dried figs…

…4/3 cup of soft light brown sugar and 4/3 cup of soft dark brown sugar. (It probably doesn’t matter what kind of sugar, and I might add more tomorrow)…

…and a lot of allspice (2-3 tablespoons).

Stir well, and leave to sit overnight.
(A couple of pictures are missing – I’ll add them later)

On improvisations on a swede

I found a swede in my local supermarket last week.
That is a big deal here in Berlin where people generally don’t eat them.

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A picture for RosieSmrtiePants (Stolen from http://mkalty.org/swede/)

Anyway, I didn’t eat it last week because I wasn’t home in time to peel, chop, boil and mash it before my DB died of starvation.

Yesterday was my chance.

I spent almost 10 minutes noisily looking for the peeler (and sorting out the drawer it should have been in but which was full of Schneebesen* instead) before DB came and dug it out of a different drawer so he could go back to watching TV in peace.

It only occurred to me once I’d strained the water (and reopened and messed up the schneebesen drawer) that my masher was still in a box marked ‘kitchen’ in the depths of my in-laws’ cellar.

I like to think I’m open minded and easy going. Sometimes I convince other people to think so too. Yesterday wasn’t one of those days. I assume one can eat swede cubes without mashing them. I can only assume because I always eat mine mashed and I wasn’t prepared to change my swede eating experience just because I hadn’t got round to unpacking yet.

I armed myself with a spatula and set upon the arduous task of squishing 3 million cubes against the side of the saucepan.

I was approximately a third of the way through when DB started prowling. He has a special kind of prowl reserved for when he’s hungry and I haven’t finished cooking yet, and this was that kind of prowl.

He asked if he could help so I pushed the saucepan in his direction.

This is what happened next:

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I was speechless.

I’ve seen (and participated in) a lot of improvisation, but I’ve never seen (or thought about) anyone mashing a swede with a cup.

It worked though, so I was also very impressed.

I truly have a man of many talents

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

* Schneebesen literally means snow brooms but physically means handwhisks… And DB says English is a silly language πŸ˜‰

On patience and pizza dough

I’m kneading pizza dough when DB walks into the kitchen…

DB: Did you put herbs in that?
Me: Yes
DB: Then it’s not dirt after all…
Me: ??!!

– 2 minutes later –

DB: Shall I turn the oven on?
Me: Not yet, I haven’t finished kneading, and then it’s got to rise and I still have to cut the toppings up and…
DB: How long’s it gunna be?
Me: Dunno. Maybe an hour?
DB: Don’t take this the wrong way, but can we buy ready made dough next time?
Me: ?!!!

It’s a jolly good thing I wasn’t making scones.

On a roll

I have a new job!! πŸ™‚

I start in February πŸ™‚ Gives me time to move house, go skiing and visit my folks before people expect great things of me πŸ˜‰ and that in spite of being stuck in the current job until Christmas.

Actually, that’s not bad either – it means I get paid Christmas money on top of my usual salary and there’s never much work on in December because everyone’s too busy partying πŸ˜‰ (Glass Things still get broken, just not the sort I have to fix)

And the powers that be are going to write me a super reference πŸ™‚

And my MeisterstΓΌck is finished and I passed at least 2 of the 5 theory exams – the other 3 haven’t been marked yet… Just got to finish the project and sit the practical exam…

And the DB’s marmy is cooking for us tonight to celebrate my new job πŸ™‚

Things couldn’t be better at the moment πŸ™‚

On priorities

I have a problem with priorities.

Take today for example.

I came home cold, tired and hungry. Also my hair was skanky and my house was a mess.

The Mental To-Do List said:

  • Sleep
  • hot bath (+wash hair)
  • cook+eat
  • tidy up.

However.

The main problem with this list was the order. If I went directly to bed, I would not only forfeit Β£200, I would also not achieve any of the other things on the list. The same risk hung over the bath.

Besides. I was hungry.

So I braved the kitchen.

Actually that’s a lie. First of all I sat in a heap on the sofa for almost an hour until I could work up the energy to brave the kitchen. If I’d had any milk I would have eaten muesli and ignored the rest, probably falling asleep on the sofa. As it was I emptied and filled the dishwasher and made the best easy-dinner I’ve made for a long time – not that I’ve really cooked anything in ages: Onions, Mince, Vap* and Fresh Tagliatelle. Frying onions has to be one of the best smells ever :).

Now that I’ve eaten (at the computer :S) I suppose I’d better tackle the rest of the things on my list.

But I don’t wanna.

I have 37 ideas for interesting writings in my head. And the computer’s on, and the keyboard’s warmed up. And my computer-blanket is good for snuggling into. And tidying up is dull.

Except I know I’ll regret not-doing-it tomorrow.

So I’d better peel myself off my rocking stool and get my cleaning hat on.

ARGH.

No.

I don’t really have a cleaning hat.

Sorry.

* short for ‘evaporated milk’