under the influence

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Sausages and Onion Gravy with Mash kit
Sausages and Onion Gravy with Mash kit

I’m under the influence, no, not of alcohol, I never touch a drop if I’m driving, or drugs regardless. In the kitchen, I’ve been known to sip a glass of wine when making dinner plus use it as an ingredient, and it’s not even that. I’m under the influence of bloggers, some named below and others who also have a knack with good food such as ArdysMeeks, roughseas, Marianne of East of Malaga and Sandra of Notes on A Spanish Valley.

I cobbled together a kit (potato scrubbing gloves, ricer and bottle of Madeira) under the influence of Roger of Food, Photography & France in my quest for the ultimate version of one of the G.O.’s favourites – Sausages & Onion Gravy with Mash. I did taste the Madeira and found it most appealing. It’s almost due to be replenished as it has become a go-to ingredient in early Autumn meals slow cooked in the big Chasseur pot, and the tagine used for the first time ever influenced by Glenda of The Passion Fruit Garden. When the weather cools right off I have plans to make ChgoJohn from the Bartolini Kitchens’ Beef Cheeks. Read the rest of this entry »

an entreaty for stale bread

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Poor? Eat stale bread” … I was amused yesterday to see this news headline, (I’ll read anything these days so long as it isn’t about Australia’s upcoming Federal election) reporting Jamie Oliver once again making controversial statements during a Radio Times interview. What he actually said was “…The fascinating thing for me is that seven times out of 10, the poorest families in this country choose the most expensive way to hydrate and feed their families. The ready meals, the convenience foods…”.

Personally, what I find fascinating and perplexing is the richest families choose it also.

The article coincided with me making meatloaf for dinner only the night before. A goodly component of my meatloaf recipe is what would pass for stale bread. The G.O. and I don’t eat a lot bread but there’s always a loaf of sourdough in the freezer, which I use regularly as a cooking ingredient… bread & tomato salad, meatloaf, sometimes rissoles, meat sauce if I want it thick and unctuous, chicken stuffing, breadcrumbs, occasionally bread & butter pudding, plus the odd slice of toast with cheese, avocado or eggs for a weekend breakfast, and toasted sandwiches with pumpkin soup.

We eat white bread occasionally. When we drive up the coast we’ll hit the shops before the last leg to Taylors Arm at lunchtime with 6 hours of driving behind us, plus an hour or two more ahead cleaning and unpacking. The G.O. will look longingly at the white sliced loaves in the shop, so we’ll take one home to make cheese/sliced turkey & salad sandwiches with good butter, mayo & mustard, washed down with a cup of tea to keep us going.

But it’s white bread lust not love. Occasionally I’ll get an on-my-way-home-from-work call from the G.O. who asks are you near the shops? I feel like bread. I know he means the white sliced stuff, so I grab a $2.50 loaf because he will eat 2 or 4 slices then say this is awful stuff, and it will go in the bin, one of the few things we waste. I hate waste and could use it up but the bin is the best place for it.

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