Sunday, 27 June 2010

Almost mellow fruitfulness...

My tomato plants are fruiting! I noticed the first fruit a week or two ago. Exciting times.

Perhaps I will make a chutney when they are ripe, as preserving them will make them a special treat come winter.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Dinosaur cookies

While in London, we also visited the Natural History Museum, mostly so my fiancé could gaze at the dinosaurs. Obviously, we went to the dinosaur shop while we were there and I managed to pick up a set of awesome dinosaur-shaped cookie-cutters for only £3. Because my fiancé loves dinosaurs and because I love my fiancé, I ended up spending a large chunk of my Sunday making dinosaur cookies.

I decided not to use the recipe on the back of the cookie-cutter packet because I didn't have all the ingredients, so I found this recipe instead. And, yes, while these claim to be "christmas cookies", I can confirm that you can used this recipe for any kind of cookie and the world doesn't collapse in on itself or anything. This recipe actually worked pretty well for my dinosaurs. Here are my cookies before going in the oven:

Once they'd been cooked and cooled, I set about icing them (after we'd eaten the broken ones, of course). I'd never iced anything before and found it rather fiddly and annoying. It's also the first time I've used food colouring in anything and I don't really want to make a habit of it, but it did look cool.

The oval-shaped shiny balls are dinosaur eggs. My fiancé helped me decorate them. Ironically, although the decoration was cute, we thought the cookies tasted better without it - they're so buttery and lovely (almost like shortbread - yum!), that it was a bit of a shame to have them coated in anything. Perhaps next time I'll just leave them plain.

As experiments go though, this was a good one!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Ministry of Food

Last weekend, my fiancé and I visited London, and one of the things we did was go to the Imperial War Museum - specifically to the Ministry of Food exhibition. I already have the book, but wanted to see the exhibition for myself. One of the things I loved was the film reel of short 'food flashes' from the Ministry of Food - you can see some of them here on the website. They had some great displays and it was a fascinating insight into what it was like on the homefront during the war.

Here are some pictures I took at the exhibition.

 I love how the propaganda that was used focussed on winning the war through not wasting food! 

 An example of a war-time shop.

Another fine example of some propaganda. Who needs lipstick when you have cabbage?!

We could follow a few of these hints and tips today!

Imagine trying to do all your cooking on this!

An old recipe book and a thermos and gas mask - very useful for air raids.

The exhibition runs until 3rd January 2011. On certain days they also do cookery demonstrations. Please go here for more details.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Flowering tomato plants

Just a quickie today: life is busy, busy!

Let's hope my tomato plants will also be getting busy producing fruit in the near future! They're looking pretty good so far, although I have planted too many in one pot. Slight underestimation of maximum growing size there - what can I say, I'm a novice!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Booster Bars

Hugh, Hugh, Hugh. Why do you make me do crazy things like decide I'm going to make my own cereal/energy bars? The recipe was from his book River Cottage Everyday. If you go here you can find the recipe and see someone who did it much better than I did.

Here is my version just before it went in the oven:

I actually did the banana variation and used a mashed up banana instead of the peanut butter, because I don't like peanut butter: peanuts are nice, butter is nice, but the two mushed together make my tastes buds individually die a little death. I also used just pumpkin seeds instead of a mixed batch because I couldn't be bothered to buy lots of different seeds from the supermarket.

Having seen the picture accompanying the recipe I linked to, I do think mine could have done with a bit more baking. My bars are very gooey. So gooey, in fact, that they didn't slice up very well and now I have a mound of gooey oats in a tupperware box which I pick bits off when I'm hungry. I'm too embarrassed to show it to you, although it is very, very tasty. Gooey and sweet and yummy.