Kitchen Disaster Averted

When cooking curry, I often like to cook a bit extra, so that I can put some aside and freeze it to eat later – I normally label and date the boxes.

Not long ago, I had invited a friend over for dinner. I didn’t feel in the mood for cooking from scratch, so, knowing he likes curry, I looked in the freezer and pulled out a couple of food boxes of two different chicken curries which I had cooked and frozen recently, and labelled accordingly.

Then, just before said friend arrived, my partner said why don’t we ask our neighbour across the road to pop over for a meal at the same time, so she could meet our friend. I phoned and she said she’d come over shortly…. So now we didn’t have quite enough food.

I scuffled around in the freezer and found a third curry, unlabelled, with plenty of greenish coconut sauce and onions, and decided it would do.

curry frozen cropped

I half unfroze the three curries in the microwave, and then, whilst the rice was cooking, I got out my wok and chucked in the three curries, thinking that, although the sauces were each slightly different, they would still taste nice all mixed in together, as I usually use similar spice and herbs.

I began to stir the curries to combine them, congratulating myself on being able to throw together a gourmet(ish) meal in 15 minutes. Then, to my horror, as the sauces finished melting, I discovered that two of them were indeed chicken, but the third coconut green curry was a fish curry. Can you imagine? Lumps of chicken, and a few lumps of fish floating around on top? Thinking quickly, I carefully fished out the fish pieces, popped them back in one of the boxes, and hid the evidence in the fridge. It was too late to remove the sauce, which had blended in with the chicken sauce.

I tasted it:Unusual, but not unpleasant – fish taste somewhat disguised by coconut, chilli and spicy flavors.

I said not a word: Just served it over the rice, and presented it to my friends with my best hostess smile. And they ate it all up without a murmur, one of them even stating that it was delicious.

Moral of the story?

(a) Always label the food you freeze; and

(b) In the event of pending disaster, don’t panic – just act as though nothing has happened, and people will have faith in your ability.

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Do you think we throw away too much food?

plate of leavings1100 2014-09-08 19.05.31

What a Waste – I’m Not a Mathematician, but if you Multiply This by 365 days, You’d Have Enough to Feed One Person for a Month

And are supermarket “sell-by” and “use-by” dates a bit of a con to encourage us to buy more food, and throw out perfectly edible stuff?

Are you worried about exceeding these dates, or do you just use them as a guideline, but no more?

Have you been ill because you re-cooked chicken? If so, has it stopped you?

Have your habits changed during the recession? If they stuck to the rules, how would poor people such as beggars and the homeless fare – would they relax the health rules a bit, and, if so, would they necessarily become ill from food poisoning?

Would You Eat Any of This Cheese or Would You Throw it Away in Disgust?

I would cut away the greeny bits and eat the rest, which would be very ripe, and therefore  very strong, which is how I like my cheese.

Whilst on the subject of thrift:

A new very cheap foodstore has just opened in North West London on 3rd February 2016: It’s owned by founder of EasyJet, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and is called easyFoodstore.  Apparently it is selling everything at 25p as a promotional gimmick, but nothing will later be sold at more than 50p. and it doesn’t sell fresh food.  It is intended for people on a very low income and the papers say it sold out completely today – empty shelves and disappointed customers all round before closing time, and it had to close early as there was nothing left.

 

 

Ovente Glass Electric Kettle with Flashing Blue Lights – a Fun Present

kettle russell hobbs review copy

The Photograph Above is my Own Russell Hobbs Illuminating Glass Kettle With Flashing Blue Lights – isn’t it fantastic?

The kettle with blue flashing lights which I have is English, and although Amazon.com is displaying that model (Russell Hobbs 15082-10), it is very expensive because it is being imported from the UK.

After a search, I would say that the Ovente KG83B Glass Electric Kettle shown below is the nearest equivalent in the USA, and, as well as being much cheaper, it has many 5-Star reviews from verified purchasers (“verified purchasers” means that they are genuine purchasers on Amazon, and not just friends of the manufacturers!).

Ovente KG83 Series 1.5L Glass Electric Kettle

Ovente KG83B Glass Electric Kettle, 1.5-L, Black

Ovente KG83B Glass Electric Kettle, 1.5-L, Black

The Ovente KG83 Series 1.5L Glass Electric Kettle has a capacity of 1.5 liters – about 6 cups – and comes to the boil rapidly as it has 1100-watts of power. It is called a cordless kettle because, although the base naturally has to be plugged in, the actual kettle lifts off the base, so isn’t connected to the electricity whilst being filled or pouring.

Because it has a swivel base, the kettle can be used either right-handed or left-handed. The water heating element is concealed, so no mineral deposits build up; the lid flips back so that it is easy to fill and also to clean, and there is a removable filter on the spout, to prevent loose pieces of limescale dropping into your hot drink. The glass is stain-resistant.

For ultimate safety, the kettle shuts off automatically when it has boiled, and there is protection from the kettle boiling dry, as well as a lid which locks shut, and an indicator light when the power is switched on.

The kettle comes with a 1-year limited guarantee

The illuminating Ovente KG83 Series 1.5L Glass Electric Kettle will give you pleasure every time you use it

It comes in black, white, green, yellow and red.

My glass kettle is very similar to this. It emits a flashing blue light when it starts to heat up, and I absolutely love it. Maybe I’m just a child at heart, but little things like beautiful translucent colors and flashing lights give me great pleasure – there must be other people like me, or it wouldn’t be so popular.

How to Make Dumplings or Kneidlach for Soup and Stew

This is a traditional Dumpling recipe, very easy to make,

suitable for beginners

Dumplings, also known as kneidlach, add another dimension to soup, and are a delicious alternative to croutons.

 Dumplings 2

Dumplings Cooking in Soup

Cooking Time:

Preparation – 5 -10 Minutes,      Standing – 20-30 Minutes,  Cooking – 20-25 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Matzo Meal
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or Chicken Fat
  • ¼ Cup of Water
  • Pepper and Salt
  • Optional flavourings: Cinnamon, Chopped Fried Onion

 Method:

  •  Beat the eggs well until they have fluffed up
  • Add all the other ingredients and stir them all in to make a stiff batter – stir them well to aerate them, as this is what causes them to fluff up
  • Let the mixture stand, preferably refrigerated, for 20-30 minutes – this makes it easier to shape the dumplings.
  • Then roll them into balls about the size of a golf ball.  Wetting your hands before you start will prevent them sticking
  • Add them to the Soup or Stew and cook for 20-25 minutes with a lid on the pot. As they will absorb some of the liquid, you may need to add a cup of water to the pot.
Dumplings in Soup - Kneidlach

Dumplings in Soup – Kneidlach