Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Cookery Calendar Challenge - January

Hello, I noticed that Penny at The Homemade Heart is back with her Cookery Calendar Challenge! I'd taken these photos a while ago, shutting myself in the kitchen to do some serious cooking. That's me, doing what I love without thinking about ironing and cleaning etc. I bought this cookery book, 1000 Freezer Recipes a very long time ago, whilst living in Hampshire.

For anyone living nearby, I've lived in Purbrook, Southsea near Portsmouth and Cowplain among a few other places too. I've holidayed frequently in The New Forest, both as a child and with my own family. I loved Staunton Park, though as kids we called it Leigh Park Gardens, Langstone Harbour and Bosham, which was M favourite place.

At one time I worked in Petersfield and visited a book shop. I came across this particular cookery book when requesting the set books to begin my Open University learning adventures. After a few years I took a break from learning, later completing a teaching assistant qualification and continued the higher level through the OU. I then finished my BA degree some 20 years later. The courses themselves were a lot of work, I've not looked at any study books since but this book has been consulted many times.


The book has cook, freeze and thaw guidelines for each recipe. The contents page has the usual sections to tempt you such as, vegetable dishes, hot and cold deserts, cakes, cookies & tea breads. My copy has been well and truly marked and thumbed through. It cost only £2.50 at the time and is surprisingly still available. There are no photographs artfully styled and presented beautifully, instead the recipes are on cream paper with a smattering of line drawings of food, pots, pans and utensils throughout.

I've chosen 2 recipes to cook from, both are ideal comfort food for this time of year. The first is in the soup section - Leek and Celery Soup. I must confess to being a bit of a Delia Smith fan and have cooked many of her recipes. I had misgivings about this recipe in terms of flavour, not a good start but I'd set out with the makings for Leek, onion and potato soup on my shopping list. Trying to ignore Delia's instructions engraved in my mind that would've had me sweating the veg for 20 - 30 minutes in butter with plenty of salt and pepper, I cut and cooked the vegetables for this soup for only 5 minutes. Soon it was time to simmer until soft in the stock then season and blend it smooth. Perfect for a Saturday lunch.

I can't say I particularly liked it but the family did. Unable to buy fresh watercress at this time of year, I'd bought a watercress, spinach and rocket mix in the salad section. I threw it in and blended it the next day. The spinach gives a strange taste but I thought the peppery watercress improved it in flavour.   


Sauteing with a red onion
Leek and Celery Soup with lots of salt and pepper (fancy pepperpots from my brother)


The second recipe is in the poultry and game section, Chicken and Wine Casserole.



This recipe has a fruity tang with the wine, grated rind and juice from an orange and sweetness from the sultanas. The onion is fried gently first then the seasoned, coated chicken portions. Once everything is in the casserole dish, liquid is added and it cooks for an hour in the oven. Wanting to avoid the barley malt in Worcestershire sauce I swapped that for balsamic wine vinegar.


After clearing the kitchen of the washing up and sorting laundry (as you do, whist dinner cooks) soon it was time to dish up.


Served on a bed of rice with vegetables, it was delicious. You could thicken the sauce with cornflour and add cream to make a richer sauce. I would definitely cook this dish again. 



The rules for the Cookery Calendar Challenges are changing, allowing you to cook anything in future. I'm going to cook from Peter Sidwell's Simply Good - Family Food cook book next time. I've only cooked a few things from this book, so it'll be nice to try something new.

Thank you for visiting the Cookery Calendar Challenge, I'm off to visit the others.
Cx




11 comments:

  1. Hi,I have been making lots of soup of late.I did Butternut Squash and Red Pepper the other day it was lovely,with a few added spices,then we had Leek and Potato with a Courgette thrown in too.I am going to make that Casserole it looks so yummy.Stay warm.x

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    1. Your soup sounds tasty Lee. Sometimes we just need inspiration, it's too easy to cook the same old thing. That's what I've liked about doing this challenge, it's made me try new things. Some people aren't keen on fruit in savoury dinners but I love it. I can't eat apple and any stoned fruit which is a pain but there are many alternatives. Cx

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  2. I am a great fan of soup at this time of year so regularly make it. I did like the sound and indeed the look of the chicken dish, certainly one I might give a go.

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    1. I used to always buy cup of soups by the box. I'd have one for lunch with my sandwiches each day. Most cup of soups have soya or barley in so I need to start making more of my own now. I won't be making this particular soup again, it's too lacking in flavour, Cx

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  3. I'm afraid we're not regular soup eaters here, I always enjoy it when we do have it but the rest of the family aren't that keen so I don't really bother much. The chicken dish looks lovely, that's definitely something we'd all enjoy. It sounds like a good cook book but I'm all for the photos, when I use a recipe book I like to be able to see the food. I suppose that's because I'm not so confident in the kitchen.

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    1. Yes, it's a shock when you don't see photos in a cookbook. Cookery books have taken off in an impressive style of their own, the last 10 years or so. Celebrity chefs write witty and entertaining information about more than mere cooking. I suppose we want to 'know' more than 'how to cook' now, preferring to know 'how they cook it' and see where they eat it and with whom etc. I suppose the fact many read a cookery book for pure enjoyment proves that. Cx

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  4. The cookbook looks good! I just got a new one, too. I love making soups more than eating them.
    Thank you for sharing!

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  5. I know what you mean. It's frustrating making soup and it's lacking in flavour. Enjoy your new cookbook. Cx

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  6. That dis looks delicious. I think I can smell it all the way over her, yummy!

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    1. Thanks Meredith, I think the chicken dish will definitely be on the dinner menu again. The combination of fruit with meat is pleasing, especially in the winter. Cx

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