Saturday, 30 August 2008

Lemon squash

1 orange
3 lemons
3 pints of water
4 lbs sugar (or less?)
2 oz (50g) citric acid (or less)
1 oz (25g) tartaric acid (or less)

  1. Put the sugar and salts in a large plastic bowl
  2. Pour boiling water onto the sugar and salts
  3. Stir till dissolved.
  4. Grate the rind of the fruits.
  5. Squeeze the fruits and add the juice to the bowl
  6. Leave overnight.
  7. Strain into a jug and pour into bottles using a funnel
Ordinary bottles will do, but make sure they are well cleaned. Screw the tops on.

Use as squash, diluting with water. It keeps well.

Elderflower Wine

2 heads of elderflower
2 lbs white sugar
2 lemons, rind and juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 gallon cold water (8 pints)

  1. Put all the ingredients into a large plastic bowl or bucket and allow to stand for 24 hours.
  2. Strain the liquid into a jug and pour into the bottles, using a funnel if you have one.
  3. Bottle in strong bottles (bottles designed to hold pressurised liquids, e.g glass cider bottles. The tops must be sturdy as well as the bottles). Tighten the caps again before putting away for storage.
  4. Leave for 2 weeks at least. If the bottles stay airtight this will be drinkable for at least a year, probably many years later.

White Bread

3 lbs of strong white flour
1 oz salt (six full-size teaspoons, but actually a bit less would be better)
1-2 oz lard
1 oz of fresh yeast
1 tsp of sugar
1 1/2 pints of warm water (for instructions on temperature see below)
  1. Put the yeast into a teacup and add the teaspoon of sugar. Cream well.
  2. Weigh up the flour into a large bowl
  3. Add the salt and rub in the lard
  4. Make up the warm water as follows: boil the kettle. Fill the measuring jug with one third boiling water and two thirds cold water from the tap. This should give you the sort of warmth that yeast likes best. Pour one pint of this warm water into your bread mixture and stir with a knife.
  5. Make up the remaining half pint of water to the same temperature.
  6. Pour a little of this warm water into the cup with the yeast (which should by now have become liquid). Stir it and wait until the yeast starts to bubble merrily.
  7. Pour the yeast liquid and the remainder of the half pint of warm water into your bread mixture. Stir well with the knife and then knead it by hand until all the flour is absorbed and you have a springy ball of dough that leaves your hands clean.
  8. Lift it out onto a clean smooth surface and knead it hard to stretch the proteins.
  9. Form it into a ball and put it back in the bowl. Put the bowl in a large plastic bag and leave in a warm room for an hour to rise.
  10. An hour later, take the bread out again and knead it on the smooth clean surface as before.
  11. Grease two large bread tins, or three 2 lb tins, or some mixture of tins and a baking sheet (if you're intending to make a weird shape of loaf or rolls).
  12. Divide the bread into suitable portions, by pressing it with the side of your hand, rolling it back and forth, until you've cut right through it.
  13. Put the dough in the tins. To make a plait loaf, cut one of the portions into three (rolling it with the side of your hand as before), pull/roll the three pieces into sausage shapes, and plait them on a greased baking sheet, securing the ends well together. To make a cottage loaf, divide the portion into two unequal lumps. Put the larger lump on a greased baking sheet, and put the smaller lump on top. Stick a metal skewer down the middle through both layers. To make rolls, cut the dough in the same way into halves, quarters, eighths, and place on a greased baking sheet.
  14. Put the loaves into the large plastic bag and leave to rise for 45 minutes to one hour. When they are risen and puffy, brush the top with milk or beaten egg and bake them in a hot oven for 42 minutes.
450º F, Gas mark 8, 220º C, Fan oven maximum temperature.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Choc Orange Bars

For the bottom:

4 ozs butter
2 ozs granulated sugar
4 ozs Self Raising Flour
3 ozs rolled oats
2 rounded teaspoons of cocoa powder
pinch of salt

For the icing:
4 ozs icing sugar
2 rounded teaspoons of cocoa powder
About 2 dessertspoons of undiluted orange squash or orange juice

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Weigh up the dry ingredients together and add them to the hot butter. Mix well.
Grease a 7 inch square sandwich tin.
Press the mixture into the tin.

Bake for about 25 minutes in a moderate oven, 368º F, 185ºC, Fan oven 175-80.

Now make the icing. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into a small basin. Mix to a coating consistency with not much orange squash/juice. Orange squash gives a better flavour. If using orange juice, add about four drops of orange oil if available.

Spread the icing over the hot cake.

When almost cold, cut into fingers.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Kota Kapama

To serve 5

One chicken cut into serving pieces or five chicken pieces
Juice of one lemon
Some chicken fat, oil or butter, about 3 tablespoons
a glass of dry white wine (optional)
a can of plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste diluted in 4 fl oz of water
1 large stick of cinnamon
3 whole cloves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley or watercress for garnish

  1. Rub the chicken pieces with the lemon juice. Allow to stand for a bit.
  2. Heat the fat in a heavy braising pot.
  3. Sauté the chicken till it's a light chestnut colour, turning with tongs.
  4. Warm the wine and pour it into the pan.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Bury the cinnamon stick and cloves among the chicken pieces.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Simmer over the lowest possible heat for 1 1/2 hours or more (or transfer to a medium slow oven to finish the cooking).
Serve warm with rice or mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley or watercress, and with a side dish of vegetables or salad.