Monthly Archives: November 2014

See my “Recipes” page for more recipes

Bread and Dripping circa 1900-1955

This sounds disgusting, but I remember eating this as a kid and relishing it.  Mind you, we were practically starving in England at the time this was popular, so that probably had a lot to do with our enjoyment.  I don’t know if this was primarily a Yorkshire dish or if people ate it in other counties.  Lancashire, maybe, was a bread and dripping county.  Anyhow, here’s the recipe.

Pour into a small china bowl all the left over fat and liquid from anything fried or roasted during the week.  Let it sit by the stove and go solid.  In our heated houses, it may have to sit in the fridge.  Scrape the brown  jelly and bits that settle on the bottom onto plain bread, and if you like, some of the brown fat as well.  Salt and enjoy!  The white fat can be used to fry again!  What economy.  Needless to say, this doesn’t work if you fry with oil.  It has to be saturated fat.  Yum!

Note:  After eating this, and to prevent immediate hardening of the arteries, go for a brisk two-hour walk in the Yorkshire moors.  Alternatively do 8 hours down a coal mine or on a trawler.


Naan Bread

???????????????????????????????Yesterday I went shopping to my local organic grocery store, which while not full of inexpensive food, at least provides some bulk buying options from which I can make inexpensive recipes.  Hmmm, does that make sense?  This blogging makes you think!  Anyway, to buy naan bread there was hyper-expensive so I decided to make my own.  Here’s the recipe.

2 cups of flour (I used organic-natch-white bread flour with the germ in)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

a pinch of baking soda

3/4 cup of tepid water

1 tsp of baker’s yeast

2 tbsps oil

2 tbsps yoghurt (see yoghurt recipe on this site)

First, pour your 3/4 cup of tepid water into a small bowl and sprinkle the tsp of baker’s yeast over it.  Mix a little with a spoon (or finger).  Put all your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.  Add the oil and yoghurt and mix around a bit.  Add the water + yeast and mix with your hand.  Don’t worry the stickiness will go as you proceed.  Mix it all with a kneading motion until it forms a nice springy lump with no extra bits of dough falling off.  Knead it a few time with one hand and leave, covered with a cloth for about 4 hours, or until doubled in bulk.  This step is really easy, so don’t be put off by a lot of step-by-step instructions.  Each step takes about 2 seconds, except for the kneading, which takes about two minutes.

Go away and do some shopping (for bargains) and when you come back after about 4 hours, and about 15 minutes before the final step, put a pizza stone in the oven on a lower shelf and turn the oven up to 500 degrees (I don’t know British and Australian oven temperature systems, sorry).  Leave it while you get organized.  Note:  After watching a You tube video of someone baking, I saw she didn’t use a board for rolling out pastry but plastic wrap.  Great idea!

To continue, roll out a sheet of foil on your kitchen counter, and your shouldn’t need to flour it.  Put some extra flour in a small bowl or plate, divide your dough into six equal size pieces and, after putting a bit of oil on your hands, roll each piece into a ball.  Roll it into the extra flour and pat the dough flat.  Put it on the foil and roll out to about 4 or 5 inches long and about 3 or 4 inches wide.  I should be about 1/4 inch thick or slightly less.  When you have 3 done, open the oven door (and with gloves on) slide out the shelf with the pizza stone on it and slap the 3 pieces of dough on it.  Close the oven door.  Bake for 3 or 4 minutes, depending on your oven.  The dough will be ready, nice an browned on the bottom and puffed up like pita bread.  As soon as you take it out, brush with melted butter.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Now, although these instructions may seem long-winded, I’m following a suggestion from a friend who thought my last couple of recipes were not comprehensive enough.  So there we are.  It takes longer to read this recipe than to make it.  I’ve attached a picture of my finished product.  Hope you can see it.

Added suggestions:  You can experiment with different types of flour, flavourings, and oven shelf heights.  Let me know if you do and what the result is.  Enjoy!



Very inexpensive (cheap) homemade yoghurt


Milk (however much you need)  I like to use organic 1%, but you could use any.

Yoghurt starter — I used freeze dried L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, and L. acidophilus, but you can also use 2 to 3 tbsps of plain yoghurt, apparently.  I shall experiment with this method and post the results.

Heat up your milk slowly–I used approximately 2 cups–until a skin forms.  Turn off the heat and let it cool down.  Remove the skin.  You can put the pan in cold water if you’re in a hurry.  While you’re doing this, turn the oven on to 170 F and heat up a bowl or appropriate size to hold the yoghurt mixture.  Turn off the oven and leave it to cool down a bit and take out the bowl.

When the milk is lukewarm, mix a little of it with the yoghurt starter powder (or plain yoghurt if you’re trying that). If the bowl is cooled to the touch, but still warm, pour the milk/yoghurt starter mixture into the bowl.  Wrap in a cozy tea towel (not too thin) and put in the now lukewarm oven.  Leave it there for anywhere from 7 to 24 hours; then refrigerate it.  It should be thick enough to hold its shape when spooned out.  Lovely, and a lot cheaper than the $5.99 a carton they’re charging in the stores now!

Eating cheaply but well!

Since this is my very first ever post in history, it should be momentous.  It’s not, though.  I’m merely posting a recipe I tried tonight that was cheap to make and totally delicious!

Moroccan Chick Peas (for two)

  • 1 or 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • Half a yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • One big carrot, chopped in chunks
  • One biggish potato, chopped in chunks
  • Chiffonade of some green leafy veg (about 1/2 a cup)
  • A jalapeno pepper (or some other hot pepper, even dried)
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • A couple of tomatoes
  • Tomato paste (about a tbsp, or to taste)
  • Chick peas cooked (easy to cook  yourself or use a can).  Use about 1 1/2 cups
  • Chick pea water/liquid
  • Some dried mint, if you have it
  • Juice of a small lemon

Heat olive oil in the saucepan you’re going to cook the meal in.  Toss everything in the ingredient list up to the salt into the hot oil and saute for about 6 minutes.  Keep stirring.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and about a cup of the chick pea liquid they were cooked in.  When everything’s mixed well and bubbling, see how thick it is and add a bit more water if you need it.  Add the dried mint, if using.  Cook until the potatoes and carrots are properly cooked, about 15 minutes, give or take.  When it’s ready, the flavours should be well blended (taste it) and the liquid thick.  Turn off the heat and squeeze a lemon over it.

Very nice served over brown rice and topped with homemade yoghurt (recipe follows)