Cookbook time

Started by Spell Chick, January 30, 2018, 03:05:45 PM

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Mark Hoffmann

Salt hardly seems a substitute for honey! What about jam?

Have you read any RR Hayward? His zombie books are brilliant* AND started out as self-published. He's also written some sci-fi which is not quite as good as the zombie stuff, but readable.

Yes, I do have a point if you will just be patient!  ::)

In one of Hayward's sci-fi books there's a great bit of satire on the impact of marketing. A bloke called Sven runs a restaurant called Sven's Eatery and all he serves is porridge and jam. A hacker uses social media bots to create hundreds of posts about how fab the porridge and jam is. A few social media influencers think they are missing out and repost the posts and soon Sven's porridge and jam is the hottest thing in the fleet.

* Here's book 1 (of the zombie books).
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK -
US -

FB Author Page -


Made a dozen wholemeal cheese scones today, and they turned out rather well.  Two kinds of cheese in there, Extra Mature Cheddar, to give them a bit of 'bite' and Red Leicester for the taste and a hint of colour.

This batch jumped in the oven far better the the last few batches I've made.  Found out why when I read the date on the baking powder I've been 'using up'...

Best before June, 2014

It has a reasonable shelf life, but eight years is asking a lot.  Fortunately I have some more which has a few months left to run.

Left click to enlarge.



Anything you can make I can make smaller!

Also... BEHOLD!


This takes a lot of effort to make, but it will assault your taste buds with PURE AWESOME!

1 lb-13oz can cling peach slices
1 1/2 lb round steak
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1 (16 0z) can tomatoes
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Hot buttered noodles

Drain peaches; reserve 1/2 cup syrup. Cut steak into 2x1x1/2-inch strips. Combine flour, 1 teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper. Dust steak with flour mixture. Brown steak in oil, reserving remaining flour mixture. Add reserved peach syrup, remaining paprika, tomatoes and caraway seeds. Simmer 1 to 2 hours until tender. Mix reserved flour mixture with small amount of water; stir into steak mixture until thickened. Add peach slices and heat through.

Serve over BUTTERED noodles. ...srsly, make sure you butter them noodles or you're just gonna screw it all up!

Don't try and squeeze a calorie out at the expense of taste or my grandmother will reach down out of heaven just to slap you silly with a stick of butter!
Absurdist - Shitposter Class
Artificial Deity of Indeterminate Origin
Prosthetic God
Celestial Scribe
King of Jackasses


   Wholemeal Fruit Scone Experiment

   Wholemeal pastry flour    8oz
   Margarine                       2oz
   Moist Brown Sugar           2oz
   Baking powder                1/2oz (heaped teaspoon)
   Milk                                4oz (by weight)

   Fruit  (Sultanas)              2oz

   This makes a slightly wet mix.  If planning to use cutters then reduce liquid a little.  But okay for a rough 'round', divided into four on the tray before baking.

   Egg wash the top if you want.  I prefer it left 'as is'.

   Bake at 200 C/400F for approximately 25-30 minute.  (All ovens vary a little, especially smaller domestic ones, so I suggest turning the tray around half way through.

   If cut into individual round scones yield is about 6.


   Flour used was Shipton Mill's Wholemeal Pastry flour.  Other flours may take either more or less liquid.  If you use bread flour your scones will be tougher and may need more liquid.


   Verdict:  Turned out to be rather tasty.  If you really like fruit you could up it to 3ozs, but 2ozs is plenty for me.  This is a crumbly scone, so if you insist on cutting it in half to add butter, (not necessary in my opinion, I  just eat it like a cake), let it cool properly first.

   A handy 'quick something' to knock up when you have an unplanned guest or two.  You can use the same recipe/ratios with white flour if you prefer.

        Left click to enlarge photograph.


    If you're a baker and a writer there's something bizarre about a grain/flour called Spelt.  It's likely to be irresistible.

    Spelt is one of those 'ancient grains', dating back to at least 1700 BC.  A little more recently than that the Roman Legions marched on Spelt bread.  Modern wheat, as we know it, is largely a child of the fifties and mass production techniques..

    There is a  lot said about Spelt flour, much of it contradictory, but I had to try baking with it.

    Most of the  recipes out there call for a sourdough starter, and a production method  which spreads over two days., including letting it sit in the fridge overnight to prove slowly.  Most of the YouTube bakers add about 30-40% modern bread flour, plus malt, plus honey, etc.  All of which is supposed to 'bring out the natural flavour' of the Spelt.

    I, being contrary,  having bought a one kilo bag to play with, resolved to treat it just as I did my ordinary modern wholemeal flour and see what happened.  Instinct told me not use quite as much liquid as normal, but it still produced a very wet dough.  But not sticky.  It came away from the bowl very cleanly without me having to even scrape down.  It was a bit like handling a water-bomb which didn't burst.  Or a silicone breast implant if you've ever handled one outside its designated home.

    In texture it reminded me of puff pastry before you add the fat and start laminating it.  There speaks an old school baker, from before the days of prep-sheeted puff on a roll.

    I use a fast acting yeast, and the Spelt batons, which were very easy and soft to mould, took about ten minutes longer to prove than my ordinary wholemeal.   The traditionalists would have had me 'knocking it back' repeatedly, but gently so as not to damage the fragile gluten,  before even thinking about moulding it to the final shape.   

    They didn't 'jump' quite as much in the oven, but they still had a reasonable volume.

    The noticeable difference was when I cut and tested one of them after it had cooled properly.  It had a very open texture, and was very 'short' eating.  A bit like biting into a brioche.

     Left click link at the bottom to see a picture

    Cut into half a dozen small half inch thick slices and smeared with a bit of set honey they made a nice 'finisher' after my evening meal.

    I think I'll use the remaining half of the bag to make some Spelt shortbread.  That could be fun.



Found a great deal on bulk shrimp. I'll be making shrimp cakes this winter.. the only 2 differences I'd make is boiling them first and leave them unpeeled. In lieu of panko breadcrumbs,I'm gonna try strovetop turkey stuffing 👀

A food processor is handy...

End note: I prefer the taste of unpeeled shrimp.

Servings: 6 Author: Dinner at the Zoo
1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons sliced chives plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 tablespoons olive oil
Optional: sour cream and lemon wedges for serving
Place the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped - do not grind into a paste.
Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl and add the panko breadcrumbs, red bell pepper, chives, salt, pepper, eggs, and lemon zest. Stir gently to combine.
Form the shrimp mixture into 6 patties.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the shrimp patties in a single layer and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Serve immediately, topped with additional chives and sour cream if desired. Garnish with lemon wedges if desired.