So far so good. Lazy Sunday morning. Phil has gone out early cycling and has made a start on the bag of porridge. I left some of the mashed potatoes last night to have as potato pancakes with an egg this morning. I even treat us to a rasher of bacon each.
We get on with our usual Sunday activities with a toasted sandwich for lunch.
By the evening we are looking forward to our roast chicken dinner. I think we are really starting to get a bit obsessed by food now it’s rationed. We make the stuffing using the vegetables and breadcrumbs from the crusts no one eats in our family. I usually breadcrumb these up and freeze them. Then forget about them so I don’t cook anything that needs them for ages and end up with a whole shelf in the freezer full of bags of breadcrumbs.
I use some herbs from the garden and an old lemon I had leftover to stuff the chicken for extra flavour.
Phil prepares the cooking apples for an apple pie while I make the short crust pastry. I can’t do the apples as I’m too squeamish in case of maggots. I’m really proud of our custard as I’ve never made real custard before with egg yokes. I’ll have to make meringues another day with the whites.
Eggs, bacon, toast, potato pancakes
Cheese and tomatoes on toast
Roast chicken and stuffing, with roast potatoes and parsnips carrots and cabbage with gravy
Home made apple pie and custard
Breakfast Potato cakes
Bowl of cold mashed potato
Pinch of salt and pepper
Mix the cold mash with the eggs in a bowl and season.
When the mixture is sloppy heat a frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil.
When hot spoon the mixture into 4 separate piles and cook until golden on both sides. Don’t turn too soon as they will break up.
Serve with an egg and toast and a piece of bacon each.
Roast Chicken Dinner
Ingredients for the sage herb stuffing
1 stalk of celery
1 medium carrot
1 medium onion
4 x crust slices from the bread
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
Mixed chopped herbs plus a few
Whole sage leaves if you have them
Pinch of salt and pepper
Ingredients for the Roast dinner
1 whole chicken
4 medium carrots
5-6 medium potatoes
Half a cabbage
handful of frozen peas
Gravy granules if you have
Set the oven for 180°C / Gas mark 5
Take the outer skin off the onion and chop the vegetables finely, Then soften in a pan with the oil for about 10 minutes.
Let the vegetables cool down a little while you grate the bread into crumbs by hand or in a blender.
Once cooled mix in a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs with the vegetables and an egg, the herbs and some seasoning with your hands, until it has a doughy feeling. Add more breadcrumbs if you need to.
Grease a loaf or cake tin and press the mixture in. Place a few smears of butter on top and the sage leaves.
Next put the chicken on a roasting tray and stuff some thyme stalks into the carcass. If you have a lemon prick the outside of the skin a few times and add this too.
Lightly drizzle some oil on the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
Put the chicken and the stuffing in at the same time. You may have to take it out earlier depending on how deep the tin is.
While this is cooking. Prepare your potatoes by peeling them and par-boiling them with a little salt. Then put a few tablespoons of oil in a roast tray in the oven to heat up.
After the potatoes have boiled for a couple of minutes drain them and give then a shake in their pan until they just start to go a bit fluffy. Then take out the hot oiled roasting tray and carefully tip in the potatoes. Give them a little mix in the oil and put back in the oven to roast.
While the chicken, stuffing and roast potatoes are cooking in the oven, prepare your carrots and cabbage. Then you can start boiling the carrots in slightly salted water. And put the kettle on to boil for the cabbage.
When the chicken is cooked, take it out and cover with foil and a couple of tea towels to rest and keep warm. This will make it nice and moist. The stuffing should be ready too.
Using the tray that the chicken was cooked in scoop out the oil, then with the chicken bits left in the pan you can make delicious gravy.
Heat the tray on the hob and use a bit of the boiled carrot water to loosen the chicken flavour, crumble the oxo cube and add a tablespoon of granules. You can add a bit if wine too if you have it. Add more water or granules until you get the flavour and thickness right.
Your carrots and potatoes will now be just about ready, so you can pour the boiling water over the salted cabbage and peas, and simmer until cooked.
If you need to warm up the stuffing again now is the time. When the green vegetables are cooked it is ready to serve up.
Save some chicken to use in sandwiches with leftover stuffing. and pick the chicken bones for dishes later in the week.
Ingredients For the filling
500g cooking apples
2 tablespoons of sugar
A squeeze of lemon juice and lemon rind if you are using real lemons
Ingredients For the pastry
125g plain flour
pinch of salt
55g butter, cubed
2-3 tbsp cold water
Sugar and lemon to glaze
Quarter, core, peel and slice the apples about 5mm thick and lay evenly on the baking sheet. Put paper towels on top and set aside while you make and chill the pastry.
Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.
Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining.
Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before using.
After the pastry has chilled, heat the oven to 180°C / Gas Mark 5.
Lay the apple in a shallow pie tin of about 8-10 inches and sprinkle on the sugar and lemon juice and rind.
Roll out the pastry and lay this on top of the apples slightly overlapping the dish. Wet the edge of the dish to help the pastry stick to it.
Brush over a little beaten egg or milk to help the pastry brown. Then sprinkle over some sugar and cook for 30-40 minutes. Check to make sure it doesn’t burn.
275ml whole milk
a few drops of vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp caster sugar
Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan on a gentle heat. Stir, then bring to a very gentle simmer: do not allow it to boil.
Meanwhile, beat the yolks and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl.
Pour the hot milk on to the yolk and sugar mixture, stirring vigorously as you do so.
Turn the heat right down, and pour the custard back into the pan. Stirring continuously, heat until it coats the back of your wooden spoon – the longer you cook it, the thicker it will get. Add the vanilla essence and stir.
Decant into a jug.
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