Monday, January 16, 2017

Cooking from the books - Cordon Blue Cookery book

I don't know about you, but I have a pile of cookbooks and magazines for inspiration. But a lot of the time I just don't get around to using the recipes that I mean to. But I have decided to occasionally cook one of the recipes.

The first recipe is .... Berry fruit flan - Pate Sucree... from Cordon Bleu Cookery book page 389
sweet pastry

Page 389
Page 390
Years ago when I did my OE in my 20's I completed the Introduction to Cookery course with Cordon Bleu at 114 Marlybone Lane, London, England. At the time there were only a few places you could do Cordon Bleu courses and Marlybone Lane was the original school. I loved it. This is my cookbook from my time there. This sweet pastry we turned into Tarte aux Fraise. (Strawberry tart). Today I turned it into a raspberry and strawberry tart and glazed it with some sieved left over raspberry jam, instead of the traditional apricot.
Although the cookbook advises to use a pastry board or slab, I have only ever used the kitchen bench and there seems to be no impact to the sweet pastry because of that. You use the first two fingers and your thumb held together to blend the sugar, butter and eggs before gradually bringing in the flour. 
Chilling in the fridge is mandatory. Do not miss that step, or make the pastry the day before. 
When rolling out the pastry I put it onto the baking paper that will sit directly on the oven tray and I use the cling film from refrigerating the pastry on top so that it does not stick to the rolling pin. You do not want to add any flour when rolling as it will completely change the pastry.

Watch the cooking time. I forgot mine and it became a bit beyond golden but was OK.
Once the pastry has cooled, brush it with a thinned jam. This seals the pastry and stops it getting soft. Cordon Bleu always taught us to use sieved apricot jam thinned down with lemon. But I had leftover raspberry jam which I used and it accentuated the berry taste. Place the fresh fruit on top and then use your brush and jam and glaze all over. It was as delicious as I remember and I can't think why I have not been making this, I think the last time I did it was when in London while on the course.







Saturday, January 14, 2017

Scrap quilt for charity.

charity quilt
 In October I finished this scrap quilt top for the Orphanage that we support - Hope Homes International. I am calling it "red line". Most of the materials are donated bits and pieces from people who I quilt with on a retreat once a year.
The red material was cut to 1 inch strips and I nearly threw it out. But then sometimes scrap quilts need some sort of item making it cohesive and I decided that would work. Now I need to sandwich, quilt and bind it. But really happy with the outcome.
Linking to these places and crazy mum quilts

Friday, January 13, 2017

Raspberries and more

















The  berry abundance led me to make some gorgeous raspberry jam, a favourite in our family. Then one thing turned into another. The little bit of jam that would not fit in a jar got sieved for a glaze and delving into my old cook books I made a recipe I had forgotten. The tart was scoffed by the family in seconds flat - no left overs, Oh I had forgotten how delicious it was.
 As the tart uses egg yolks I had some egg whites left over, so of course I made meringues. It was a busy afternoon in the kitchen but what a great result, Jam, Tart and Meringues.






Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 Finish A-long

I am joining the 2017 FAL (see button and link below) and this year I am hoping to get some finishes in. I started the 2016 FAL but with study and operations I could not keep it up. So these two items were meant to be Christmas PJ shorts for Eli - Hoping to get that done.

These men's shirts needed to be new nighties as mine are wearing out. I was trying to get it done before my last operation to take to hospital, but no had to take my old ones. So get this done.

This scraps quilt I finished in October and want to get batted, backed, quilted and bound. So we will see how this all goes.

2017 FAL


Sunday, January 8, 2017

The best way to pick berry fruit

There had been a lot of discussion in my family about how to pick the berries. My tried and true methodology is "one for the bowl, one for me". The boys system is "pick one, completely dissect it to check for bugs and foreign objects, the throw it out anyway just to be sure.
Today a new and productive method arose. Pick when on "nil by mouth" as required on the day off an operation. It has proved to held the highest pick ever.
Had a lovely morning outside picking etc before heading in to be admitted.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Moving Machinery

Over the New Year the boys and Aaron camped with our friends on their farm. They are so welcoming and allow us to park our caravan on their property any time. It is a wonderful gift to us as we do not like the crowded camp sites and noise of new year.

A lot of work is happening in the yards and this old seeder needed to be moved as a landscape feature. All hands to the deck. But I was designated cheerleader and not allowed to help. Got to keep the bones mending.

It actually took quite a bit to move as the seeding prongs kept digging into the ground or the old gears locked in.
One of the things I often make is English Muffins when we are camping. Easy to rise the yeast in warm weather and lovely and fresh.
When we got home I headed out into the garden to pick the berries which ripened while we were away. That is the problem with summer, all the garden comes on and yet we head away to make the most of the great weather.



Friday, December 30, 2016

Using scraps

I met Heather at my annual stitching retreat and she has been generous enough to give me her scraps. The materials are gorgeous. I need some eye masks for camping and hospital, so I used some of her gorgeous scraps to make a couple. The bias binding was from another person but the red fleece on the back was my cupboard. Very comfy and effective to keep out the light while sleeping
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