Tag Archive | recipes

Date and Banana Cake


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This is a delightful cut and come again cake using healthy main ingredients, i.e. dates and banana.

Here are the ingredients:

8 ozs self raising flour

pinch of salt

4 ozs of soft margarine

4 ozs caster sugar

1 large banana

4 ozs of chopped dates

1 large egg

4 tablespoons milk

For the topping:

1/2 oz of chopped walnuts (optional)

2 level tablespoons demarara sugar

Method:

Measure out the self raising flour and put into a large bowl.

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Measure the soft margarine and add it to the flour.

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Take the stones out of the dates and chop them up.

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Then measure out the sugar and add it.

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Rub the flour mixture into the fat and the sugar until it looks like breadcrumbs. I usually add the sugar after the fat.

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Mash the banana and add it to the mixture with the chopped dates.

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Add an egg.

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Add 4 tablespoons of milk and mix together all the ingredients with a fork.

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Put a paper lining into a 2 lb loaf tin. No need to grease.

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Smooth the top with the fork or a knife and sprinkle with the demarara sugar and/or the chopped walnuts.

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Bake the cake for one hour at gas mark 4 or equivalent on the medium shelf of the oven.

When it is done it should look like this:

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Leave to cool, then turn out onto an oblong plate.

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We like to eat ours with a cup of tea on Sundays. The outside of the cake is crisp and the inside is soft. This cake will keep for two or three days under cling film or in a tin.

Have a wonderful Sunday; Oma

Spotlight on… hagelslag!


This is something I was very familiar with when I was growing up. My mother, being Dutch, used this product a lot and so I thought it was normal. It wasn’t until much later on that I realised that English people didn’t use Hagelslag so much, only really as a cake decoration!
There are lots of different sorts of Hagel including a very delicious aniseed variety. It’s called gestampe muisjes, which translated means little mice stamped on! because the aniseed seeds are crushed into a powder and then spread on bread.
I had to be careful when I was small not to sneeze or blow too hard when eating the gestampe muisjes because otherwise they would blow up my nose and into my eyes.

Dutch Community

If there’s one grocery item that the Dutch simply cannot do without, then it has to be hagelslag – delicious chocolate sprinkles that come in a variety of interesting shapes and tempting flavours, and are typically sprinkled over a slice of fresh bread and butter. But did you know that you can also use this popular Dutch treat as an irresistible ingredient in some of your favourite recipes? You’ll find a few mouth-watering examples below!

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Chicken and Ham Pie


This pretty little porcelain bird is just waiting for a pie to sit on.

My father-in-law gave me the pie funnel many years ago and I’ve managed to keep it without breaking it thus far…

Lardons are required.

Here they are again, waiting to be cooked…

First I fry them off in their own fat.

Then I mix them with some chopped up chicken which has already been cooked.

Next I add a tin of Campbells condensed mushroom soup.

Put the mixture in a pie dish with the pie funnel in the middle.

The purpose of a pie funnel is to let the steam out of the pie while it is cooking. This prevents the pastry from going soggy.

 Put a prepared pastry lid on top of the mixture, opening a breathing hold at the top of the funnel.

I painted the top of the pie with an egg wash and cooked the pie in a hot oven for half an hour.

Once, ready to serve, I put the little bird on the top of the pie funnel and take the pie to the table where hungry people are waiting to eat it.

We ate it with new potatoes and mixed vegetables.

There wasn’t much left afterwards!

This is a recipe from Oma’s kitchen.

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Bedfordshire Clangers


So what’s in the pot? Can you guess?

This is a recipe very local… It’s called Bedfordshire Clangers.

Here they are cooking…………

Two little beauties boiling in their muslin parcels.

Every 40 minutes I have to top up the water, so I set the alarm so I don’t forget. Don’t want the puddings to go dry.

After 2 hours boiling, I take them out of the pan, using the string rope so I don’t burn my fingers and set them aside to cool a bit.

Where the string meets in the middle, the pudding will divide naturally. So I will have four puddings all together or two for greedy people. Traditionally there would be meat at one end and jam at the other but I have only meat and onion in mine today. The idea was that you started up one end with the meat, gravy added and then you worked your way down to the jam end which you would eat with custard.

I served mine with mashed swede this time. My son and I love mashed swede with butter in.

It’s advisable to open the dumpling up as soon as possible to let the steam out so it can cool down a bit. We like to pour HP sauce over it. American equivalent would be steak sauce but it’s not the same. HP sauce is available in Fresh Market.

After all that cooking and eating, it’s time for a mug of tea to wash it all down and maybe a snooze.

This is a recipe from Oma’s Kitchen.

The main ingredients are as follows:

1 lb of self raising flour

8 ozs of suet

cold water to make the dough

a pinch of salt

one onion, chopped

a packet of lardons, added to the onion

some fresh herbs to taste

Method:

Make up the dough by adding the suet to the flour in a large bowl. Add the water until the dough is pliable (you can roll it out)

Roll out four circles.

Cook the onions and add the lardons.

Put herbs in with the ingredients, either in the meat or in the pastry.

Put the mixture in the centre of the circle and close the dumpling up.

Roll it into the muslin square.

Hint: If you flour the muslin square first, it will seal the dumpling as soon as you lower it into the boiling water.

When you have the dumplings tied up, leave one end of string dangling so you can grab it later on and lower the dumplings into the water.

Get it back to boiling and put the lid on, half cock.

Keep the water topped up and the pot boiling for two hours.

Good luck if you want to try it.

It’s not for the squeamish and it is very high in cholesterol BUT

it is very delicious!

Oma

Home-made Tomatoe Soup from Oma’s Kitchen


In the winter months I make a lot of this soup. It tastes great and if you make enough of it, it will feed the family for four or five suppers.  Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients:

Tomatoes, quantity dependent on how many you’ve got or how many you want. The best ones to use are the Italian tomatoes because they have the most flavour. They also taste best if they are ‘going over’ a bit because then the sweetness is released.

1 large onion

1 red pepper

1 green pepper (optional)

flat dessertspoonful of salt (don’t overdo it.)

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 small tin of tomato paste (optional). I put one of these in if the boiled mixture looks a bit insipid. I like the soup to look really red.

1 squirt of tomatoe ketchup

a grind of pepper

1 teaspoon crushed chillis (optional). Do this if you want an extra kick in the soup.

Half pound of pork meatballs (optional)

Handful of rice, long grain

NB if you add the meatballs, bear in mind that the soup won’t keep for as long. I keep the soup in the fridge between eatings. Always boil the soup every day, whether you eat any or not. This will kill any bacteria and keep the soup safe to eat.

Method:

Put the tomatoes into a pan, large enough that the tomatoes come up to the middle of it. Add cold water to cover. Add other chopped ingredients and boil gently for half an hour.

Smells delicious at this stage.

When the boiling is done, leave to cool with a lid on.

When cool enough, put the mixture through a blender to purify, leaving a few bits of vegetable to chew on in the soup.

Return the soup to a large pan, add a knob of butter and if desired, some meatballs.  Pork taste best.

Ten minutes before serving for the first time, add a handful of long-grain rice. This will thicken the soup and soak up some of the flavours. Each time you reheat the soup, the rice will become thicker.  You may need to add more liquid (water) as the days go by.

Enjoy with crusty bread.

 

 

Date and Banana Cake


This cake has always been very popular in my cottage and because it’s got bananas and dates in it, it’s one of the more healthy cakes on the list.  It is very moist so it keeps for a week, if you don’t eat it up first. I just keep it on its plate with some cling film over it.

Ingredients as follows:

8 ozs of self raising flour

pinch of salt

4 ozs of soft margarine or softened butter

4 ozs of caster sugar

4ozs of dried dates, chopped

1 large banana, sliced thinly

1 egg

4 tablespoons of milk

Method:

Weigh out the ingredients ready to start.

Oops, forgot the banana!

I start with the flour and the margarine, rubbing the margarine into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Then add the sugar, dates, banana, pinch of salt, egg and milk and amalgamate together. Don’t overdo it or the banana will turn to mush.

Put the mixture into a lined cake tin. I use a loaf tin. Sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds or walnuts on top. If you want, you can also sprinkle some demerara over but I think this makes the cake too sweet. Remember you have banana and dates in there already.

Cook in the centre of your oven for one hour 15 minutes at Gas Mark 4 or equivalent. After that time, test the cake to see if it’s done. It should be brown on the top and a skewer should come out clean if you prick the middle of the cake.

Take the cake out of the tin and put it on a pretty plate. You can remove the paper if you have guests coming or leave it on to keep the cake fresh if there is just the two of you.

Serve with a nice cup of tea and a couple of hot buttered crumpets.

Let’s have a closer look at those.  Delicious!

Cheese and Onion Casserole


This dish is one of my favourites and will serve four hungry people.

For the ingredients you will need:

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled, washed and sliced (not too thickly sliced).

2 medium sized onions

8 ozs of mature Cheddar Cheese

salt and pepper (you won’t need much salt because there is plenty in the cheese). Just sprinkle a little over the potato layer.

1 pint of full fat milk (I never use anything that says ‘light’ on it)

2 dessert spoons full of Bird’s Custard Powder (available from English stores in America. I go to World Market when I am there).

Method:

Butter an oval shaped dish generously.

Layer the potatoes in an oval shaped dish with the sliced onions and cheese.  It is better to slice the onions and the cheese thinly. I start with potatoes, then onions, then cheese, then potatoes again, onions and cheese.  That does it.

Keep back some of the cheese, e.g. 2 ozs, for grating and putting on the top.

Make up the custard powder as explained on the side of the box. If you can’t get Birds Custard Powder, you could use cornflour but then it will be white, not yellow.  I like yellow. It looks more authentic. It also tastes delicious. Whatever you do, DON’T add any sugar.  This is a savoury dish. Most of the time custard is used for pouring over cherry pies or such like. This is different.


See, it’s a nice yellow colour.

Pour the custard mixture slowly over the potatoes, onions and cheese and sprinkle the remainder of the grated cheese over the top.

Bake in a medium oven on the middle shelf for 2 hours. Eat with salad.  Delicious.

I can guarantee you will come back for more.

Afterwards, wash up the dishes whilst gazing out of the window…