We’ve been in and out of the kitchen these past few weeks. My motivation lurches from Martha Stewart levels of housewifeliness with only the smudges of actual cooking all over my apron (Cath Kidston, naturally) keeping me from the threshold of Stepford yummy mummy mash up to I’m-shattered-just-put-it-in-the-oven-for-20-minutes and back again within days. We’ve only had to have takeaway once because I forgot that I hadn’t taken anything out of the freezer until we were about to walk through the front door and I’m counting that as a serious achievement.
But if you’re feeling culinary, autumnal, or in need of inspiration, I have a few things you should try, and one that’s on this week’s menu.
The recipe you really should make
Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Pulled Pork from The Guardian.
There’s a certain commitment required to make a good pulled pork. I started this on a Friday and we ate it for Sunday lunch. Shoulder of pork roasted slowly until it falls off the bone and then marinated for 24 hours. Well most of it was. It’s entirely possible that small mouthfuls of pork disappeared from the bowl in the fridge along the way – just to test that it was still OK of course.
It was more than OK, it was completely delicious the first time, the second time, the third time as a topping for burgers and even the fourth time, and has been unanimously placed on the request list for Christmas.
The slightly experimental recipe
H is at heart a traditionalist. And just as this means that roast beef always comes with Yorkshire puddings, so too must steak come with a nice crispy onion ring. I know they sell them ready made at the supermarket but we’ve been having a go at making our own, prodded in some way by the glut of onions in the bottom of the veg drawer. The first few times I just used a slightly thicker version of my Yorkshire pudding batter (flour, eggs, milk, pinch of salt) but as Elma seems happiest with minimal dairy in her diet I’ve been looking around for dairy free replacements of some of our standards.
This onion ring recipe is the genesis of our latest version. It’s self-raising flour, fizzy water, chives and a pinch of turmeric, minus the chives in our case because we didn’t have any.
When I make it, I need to add almost double the water called for in the recipe; I just keep adding until it’s a nice gluey wallpaper paste consistency and go from there, and the results are crisp, light and fluffy – and incredibly moreish.
The “I really don’t have anything in the cupboard for teatime do I” recipe
We went to the park. We scooted, we ran, we climbed, we splashed through puddles, we came home happy tired and hungry and opened the cupboards. We didn’t want fruit.
Enter Oatmeal apple raisin muffins. I weighed and measured and chopped, Kitty stirred and performed the vital task of choosing and laying out the muffin cases and Elma supervised.
The muffins were delicious and filling, the house smelled wonderfully autumnal, and somehow, most mysteriously, they all disappeared before I had the chance to take a photo!
And for this week’s supper
This Beef Stew, from one of my favourite cooking blogs. Because if Kacie can make it with a newborn and a toddler, I’ve really no excuse. It looks both delicious and simple, and I can’t wait!