A Rather Good High-Protein Winter Soup…


Had a bad day when I made this, and also dropped a plastic jug. What did it land on? My bloody ulcer! A mere 137g of plastic has never caused so much pain! Plus, the plumbing, hidden deep inside a wall, decided it had had enough, and let go, so the plumber was here searching for the leak’s actual location (eventually found it – they’re coming back today to fix it).

Anyway, amid the chaos, I needed soup, but with all the buggeration it had to be something fast and simple.

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A surprise loaf…

Having run out of supermarket sourdough bread (which really isn’t sourdough, but it was a decent loaf until, inevitably, they screwed with the recipe), yesterday I was pretty much forced to make a loaf. And was horrified to discover that my yeast had trundled past its BBE date 4 years ago, which means I bought it about 6 years ago – that’s how long I’ve been too ill to be able to make bread on a regular basis. Pretty damn scary, especially when you consider how much worse I am now than I was then, in almost every respect.

Anyway, I needed bread so I had no choice. To be honest, making bread really isn’t physically demanding when, as I do, you use a stand mixer (a 1kW Kenwood Premier Chef). It’s getting the kitchen ready that’s daunting – clearing space on the worktop plus scrubbing and drying it before I start. Housework might be way down my list of Spoonie priorities, but cleanliness in the kitchen is essential.

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Foodie Ramblings, Part 372…

Feed 4 for a tenner…


The Guardian is running an article, first published in the Observer Food Monthly at the weekend, in which they make a big deal of a bunch of foodies and chefs presenting a range of one-pot dishes that will feed 4 people for under a tenner.

Not wishing to appear boastful but if I couldn’t do that I’d hang up my knives. With that sort of budget you could feed a multitude and do a bloody sight better than a few loaves and fishes.

No way that “feed four for £10” and “budget” should even appear on the same page – just ask Jack Monroe.

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Want the Tories out in May? Only one way to do it…

I can understand people not wanting to vote Labour – while Ed’s in charge I don’t want to, but I will – but the sheer wrong-headed stupidity of those who think not voting, or spoiling their ballot paper, will, in some magical way, punish the Tories (or possibly Labour – I’m not entirely sure what the logic is, if there’s any logic at all), displays a terrifying lack of political acumen. Voting for parties who have no chance of winning the election is no different to not voting/spoiling the ballot paper.

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An espresso tamping aid…

Orphan Espresso used to sell a tamping aid they called the Slap Shot – a rubber puck (hence the hockey connotation), on which you tapped the portafilter to settle the grounds (video here). It wasn’t cheap as I recall – their custom-made stuff can be pricey which might explain why most of it has vanished in the 5 years since I last looked at their website** – and now they no longer sell it. Which is a pity, as I wanted one, so I set out to make one, which turned out to be quite easy.

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More lifestyle changes…

One brought about because some things are getting beyond me, the other which should enhance my life.

The first is a kitchen trolley.

Not for use in the kitchen, but for two tasks that routinely reduce me to a gasping, wheezing, wreck. One is moving the bucket of warm water I use for disinfecting my leg ulcer at every dressing change, from the kitchen to the living room, and thence, when finished, to the bathroom for disposal, and the other is moving my grocery delivery from the door to the living room. In both cases we’re talking about single-figure yards, and in both cases they wipe me out.

The trolley will solve that problem.

The other item is an overbed table.

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This is what I’m up against…

NB: Ulcer photos – don’t click through if squeamish.

I’ve enhanced the colour to make it a bit clearer. The ulcer is mottled yellow, the leg below and the foot above, pink. Between the two, on the left, there’s a semicircle of deeper pink tissue at which the arrows are pointing – that’s blood. Some days it’s more obvious than others.

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Mock Chicken Soup…

I’m not posting the recipe just yet, as I found I’d run out of the ingredients needed for chicken stock. I had a little Knorr Touch of Taste Chicken – and that’s all, so it really doesn’t taste very much of chicken at all. However, the principle is sound and, of course, it would make a perfectly good veggie soup. And, as befits the current weather, it’s rather robust – though most of my soups tend to be anyway.

I think what I’ll do is just list the ingredients for now, and if you want to try it, use whatever stock-making products you have, and I’ll come back with the proper “chicken” version next week. The method follows my normal soup format.

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