A Spoonie’s Day, Cooking…

Apologies if you find any discontinuities in what follows. Even though it’s only a little over 1,000 words it’s taken me almost 4 days to finish – an indicator of just how crappy things are right now.

When I write about cooking I’m often moved to include a disclaimer, pointing out that this is the exception, rather than the rule, and that most days cooking is way beyond me. So, on the occasional days when I am able to cook, I make stews and casseroles, which can be frozen against the times – most days – when I’m unable to do more than reheat something.

As this is the 7th anniversary of my blog it seemed an apposite time to show why this is.

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A normal cook will belly up to the workspace, sharpen his/her knives, get stuck in, and leave when the prep’s finished and the dish is cooking, at which point it can often be left more or less to its own devices.

For Spoonies – this Spoonie, at any rate – things are very different.

My workspace always has a restaurant-standard mise en place setup – all ingredients and utensils needed are assembled in and around the workspace prior to starting, as it’s the sensible way to go – it means I barely have to move from the spot once I start. Except, of course, when I need to rest.

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Adding protein, not carbs, to  my standard soup…

Getting ample protein in a veggie diet isn’t hard – just a matter of ensuring that your diet includes both grains and pulses, the amino acid content of which complement each other (details in this post).

For me, though, that’s a not a great idea, as carbs, in both grains and pulses, don’t just make me drowsy, they render me unconscious (a doctor who knows why would be extremely useful), but, right now, I need to bump up my food’s  protein content as my right leg has started leaking again. Actually, what it’s currently leaking is blood, copiously, but I suspect it’s only a matter of time before my protein-heavy and corrosive  lymphatic fluid makes another bid for freedom. If I then have a repeat of last year, I’ll be making a bid for oblivion – I won’t go through that again.

Obviously, then, I needed an ingredient that would add Continue reading

Epic failure…

Or why I can’t cook every day…

Tonight I did something I’ve not been able to do for years – I cooked a meal entirely from scratch. Nothing fancy, just bubble and squeak, with added onions softened in butter.

Normally I batch-cook casseroles for the freezer, or make soup and stash a large pot of it in the fridge** – both make much more sensible Continue reading

Vegetarian “mince”…

First, a little back-story…

Time was when Cadbury’s Beanfeast soya mince came in a basic “Mince and Onion” flavour, and with a little tweaking (adding fresh onion and carrot, handful of frozen peas), was actually quite good. Then, for reasons that will forever elude me, they stopped making it. Now they just do the slightly dodgy Bolognese version, and the dire Mexican chilli – dehydrated kidney beans? Seriously? You might as well boil gravel…

I also tend to tweak the Continue reading

A slow cooker that might actually get used…

A slow cooker should be a Spoonie’s best friend, especially as many Spoonies are on benefits and need to economise – they’re cheap to run** (and can be cheap to buy if you shop around***). However, they have a major design fault – they’re heavy buggers!

**Current models are nowhere near as economical as the early ones, as the low power, a few years ago, was deemed Continue reading

A new recipe is on its way…

So what? I hear you muttering at the back. Simple, my foodie posts are among the most popular these days, so as long as I’m still able to cook occasionally, there will be (hopefully original), recipes.

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Well, it’s 04.10 and here I am back online as sleep is even more elusive than usual, so I thought I’d tell you about a new recipe I’m working on.

Those with good memories might recall that I tweeted it from hospital, at the time when I thought I’d be out in a few days. The tweet was intended as an aide memoir, but I was in so long it just vanished down my timeline beyond all hope of retrieval. Should have favourited it – ah well.

Anyway, I’m going to make a Continue reading

A sausage casserole recipe from hospital…

Today, because for a whole raft of reasons, I feel like hammered shit and can’t walk more than a few paces, I decided to hit the kitchen. Perverse or what?

Anyhoo, the first thing I did was knock a glass off the worktop, hacking a bloody chunk out of my foot. Damn good job my glasses are plastic, for just this reason – had it been glass, and shattered, I’d be typing this in A&E, and quite possibly emulating the Pobble (look it up, don’t be lazy!).

Anyway, this is the first dish I’ve cooked from scratch since some time around Christmas, the Aunt Bessie’s pre-prepped beef stew doesn’t really count.

First thing – aside from clumsiness – I noticed, was that I have lost Continue reading

Pressure cooking for newbies…

Which, effectively, means me, even though I used a pressure cooker extensively, in the 80s, the world, and pressure cookers, has moved on. The basics however remain the same – just enough heat input to maintain pressure, but not so much that you vent steam excessively.

Right now I’m cooking a Continue reading

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