A Culinary Experiment…

See also A Culinary Experiment Update.

Winter looms, and the soup season is soon to be upon us, though the more perceptive among you might have noticed that, here at least, it’s never entirely gone away.

I’m quite partial to leek and potato soup, not least because of its simplicity – leeks, spuds, stock, herbs, seasoning – what’s not to like?

But because the arthritis in my hands has recently gone from inconvenient to WTF???!, peeling ice-cold spuds straight from the fridge is something best avoided, so I wondered – how would it be using Smash instead?

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Frozen Vegetable Soup…

Well, OK, soup made mostly with frozen ingredients – not actually frozen soup.

I was waffling, the other day, about Sainsbury’s frozen soup and casserole veggies and, since I’ve bought some, this seems like a good day – I’m absolutely wiped out – to put them to the test.

See also this post.

In the freezer I have a 700g bag of Sainsbury’s Finely Chopped Vegetables, frozen beans (I know I have soya beans, might be some pinto beans too**), frozen, cooked, streaky bacon, chopped into shards so it can be tossed straight in, frozen stock – soya bean, so that probably decides the bean choice if I use it. I also have frozen green beans and baby spinach.

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Induction hob update…

Well, I still have absolutely no idea why the induction hob caused me so many problems 2 years ago when I first got it. It is, in fact, very easy to use, will simmer nicely, if a tad gently (which, of course, contributes to the food not sticking and burning). There is simply no problem with it.The problem was with me.

The only thing I can think of, based on how, recently wiped out by pain, I just couldn’t remember how my digital camera worked (when I’d been familiar with it for well over two years), and looking at the date I bought it (the hob, not the camera), October 1, 2012, I was already deep in the crisis that would put me in hospital the following March. I was just too sick.

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Kitchen Lifestyle Revision…

As my disability increases my attempts to remain independent are looking increasingly expensive.

My cooker – out of warranty – sucks. The solid electric hotplates are more random hotspots than anything else, although they still suck up as much juice as ever. That’s what sent me back to my induction hob a few days ago, because if I can’t cook – even at my current minimal level of once a week or so – then life is going to get difficult. I’ve been in the position where I’m utterly dependent on ready meals and, for someone who enjoys their food as much as I do, that’s purgatorial.

Like many chronically sick and disabled people, my life is basically crap, and one of the few high spots is good food. Deprive me of that, and there’s sod all left to look forward to…

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Induction perfection…

The induction hob does work!

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The main problem was that, when I bought it, I was seriously ill with undiagnosed Addison’s Disease and, frankly, getting to grips with this new technology – which really isn’t that hard now I’m functioning properly again – was impossible (well, OK – maybe not 100% properly, but comparatively so – I’m still in a pretty parlous state much of the time), and the problems that defeated me last time have now gone away.

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Induction hob revisited…

A couple of years ago I bought an induction hob, see here** and here, in the hope that it would cut my energy consumption. I wasn’t best pleased to realise it didn’t have a simmer setting (80C or 100C, nothing in between), and, after fulminating about it, consigned it to the back of the cupboard.

**I’ve since found out that root veg cooked in a tomato sauce takes forever but, even so, 14 hours!

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Spoonie under pressure – addendum…

I got my new pressure cooker yesterday, and today I tried it on my solid-ring electric cooker.

I’d assumed that the cooker would be too sluggish in its response to the controls, as solid rings are cast-iron and retain a lot of heat, to be able to use the pressure cooker safely, but I got past that by Continue reading

Spoonie under pressure…

One thing that gets in the way of my cooking is the time it takes. For, example, cooking a joint to freeze, when finished, as sliced beef in gravy is a 2-day event** if I use my slow cooker, which leaves me with a heavy, and hard to handle, earthenware crock to wash. Trouble is, I can’t often get two good days together.

**About 5 hours to cook in the slow cooker, plus an overnight cool-down – cooling meat in the cooking liquor is always a good idea – then sliced and portioned the next day.

Then there are things like soups and stews, which need regular attention to ensure they don’t stick and burn when simmered on the hob.

A few weeks ago, I bought an induction hob, thinking that this would Continue reading

The Spoonie Kitchen – and how to survive in it…

Apologies, in advance, for the length, a tad over 5,000 words – you could always copy and paste it into your word processor, and either print it and/or read it at your leisure. Or not 😉

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I hope what follows is some help to those who find themselves spoonless all too frequently, but who can, on probably rare occasions, muster sufficient spoons, even with a disability, to cook properly.

The following lists represent what I have in stock as I write. The absence of something you think should be here means little except that I don’t have any right now.

Having been a fully-paid up spoonie for some years now, at the top of my personal what-the-hell? list is what to eat when I’m too buggered to even make cheese on toast.

Emergency food:- Continue reading