Category: kitchen

new toy!

morphy richards 501021 soup maker

A friend served us some lovely tomato soup last week, and told us he’d made it with a soup maker. He bought it from Lakeland, so I went and had a look there and it was £50. So then I went to eBay and found one at £40, with free postage. And I looked at it again on Friday, and it was down to £36, so that made it a no brainer. The seller was AO, and they were an absolute pleasure to deal with. It’s a Morphy Richards 501021, and Amazon also sell it at £40.

It arrived this morning, delivered by two cheery chaps – It’s quite sleek, and takes up very little room on our crowded worktop, and to honour it, we are having soup for supper, with home made rolls from this everyday bread recipe. I bake these in silicone mini loaf tins, and they’re always nice. 125g per roll, should you care – best to weigh the dough, as otherwise the rolls are all different sizes (trust me on this).

In the soup maker in readiness are two leek tops, one cabbage core, a broccoli stalk, a teaspoon of Marigold bouillon, and some seasoning.

We eat a lot of soup at lunchtime in the colder weather – we either have a big pot on the go, or we (sorry) have cup soups. If this machine will make us nice fresh soup from scrag ends of veg in half an hour, it’s a win in my book. I’ll let you know!

a chicken-y … thing

Cooking has been conspicuous by its absence chez Jordan for the past couple of weeks – we’ve been eating out of the freezer, or takeaways, but I did have a final fling with my ancient gas cooker Sunday before last, and roast a chickie!, with Yorkshire pud and roast potatoes.

By the way, in case you didn’t know, Yorky batter freezes perfectly well – I didn’t know, so I tried it out, and it was fine. That’s useful for us, because one egg’s worth of batter is too much pudding for two of us.

We had cold chicken with baked potato and red cabbage (from the freezer) one night, and then it languished in the fridge, because the cooker had been disconnected. On Friday, Pete dismantled the carcass and there was a fair bit of meat left. The bones went variously into the freezer and into the cats, and I bore the meat into the Makeshift Kitchen. I had a tub of veg left over from Sunday – carrots, leeks and green beans cooked in my ever faithful Marigold veg bouillon, so I thought I could fashion something from it all.

I set my big Le Creuset sauté pan on the halogen hob, and fried off a pack of bacon lardons in some olive oil. Then I added the veg, then two heaped teaspoons of grain mustard and some flour, and fashioned a sort of white sauce affair with milk. In went the chicken meat, and it was all stirred together till it was warmed through.

We had it with rice (our method is 13 minutes on the hob and 13 minutes off, so this chicken affair cooked in the second 13 minutes). It wasn’t terribly special – was lacking something in the flavour – but it used up the leftovers, and there’s another tub of the mix in the freezer: I shall fashion it into a pie when I have a kitchen again.

Today the plumber came and did his first fix, and so now we have no water either. However, we do have dry rot in the kitchen floor; isn’t that nice? So we’re waiting for Mr DryRotMan to tell us when he can come and rip it all out and charge us a fortune before the kitchen can be fitted.

Lend us a tenner?

more tales from the makeshift kitchen

The fitter came round to do the final measuring, so fitting will start either in two weeks or three, which is manageable. I think.

Meanwhile, here’s some of what we’ve been eating:

  • courgette and tomato pasta bake: this was OK, but it took absolutely ages – cook onion and courgettes, add tomato and wine, cook some more. Set aside, cook pasta (remember we only have one working ring), mix together, top with mozzarella, cook in Remoska for 20 minutes. Late supper than night.
  • lentils with chicken and spinach – the lentils and chicken came out of the freezer, and the half bag of spinach was tipped in and wilted at the end. This one was easy – we do our basmati for 13 minutes on the heat and 13 off, so the lentils could cook while the rice was resting
  • cauliflower cheese, with my first microwave cheese sauce – this was OK, though I’d rather do it on the job
  • couple of cabbage meals – easy one dish ones

We’ve discovered that the ring on the induction hob is really too small for a lot of stuff – Pete made some drop scones on the cast iron griddle, but it didn’t heat up at the edges, so they took much longer than usual. Also, we have to start cooking a lot earlier than usual – everything takes so much longer when you have nowhere really to chop, etc.

We still have the sink plumbed in, thankfully, and that will stay until it’s replaced, and we still have the gas cooker, but it has stuff piled on top of it, and we’re only using it to roast potatoes and so forth.

So we soldier on – today we had some lamb shanks from the freezer, that I cooked a couple of months ago. They went into the gas oven, and we roasted some spuds, and steamed some broccoli on the induction hob. We had a takeaway on Friday, and we were out last night, but we can’t afford to do that too often.

Not too long now though!

chaos ensues

Makeshift kitchen

This blog should probably be temporarily renamed as Tales from a Makeshift Kitchen – we are having a new kitchen installed, which has involved knocking out the dining room window and replacing with French doors, making a bloody great hole in the kitchen dining room wall, and at the weekend, removing the current units. Now we just have to wait until Martin from Zenith has built the new units and installs them.  Aargh.

There’s an ongoing gallery of photos on Flickr, should you care to see.

We have set up a sort of field kitchen, consisting of:

  • a microwave / grill / oven combi
  • a single ring induction hob
  • a Remoska
  • a slow cooker
  • two saucepans and a steamer basket
  • two cast iron saute pans with lids (one large, one small)
  • one cast iron griddle pan
  • a folding table

We also have a small subset of kitchen equipment, most of the herbs and spices, and some of the utensils.

Last night, I constructed dinner of chicken pie (bought, I’m afraid), with boiled potatoes and steamed sprouts, and that was OK, though I need to find somewhere else to chop veg.

This morning, Pete decided to have a bash at one of our staple breakfast foods, drop scones. We have a cast iron griddle, and the induction hob – how hard could it be? We located scales, pyrex jug. We found a different tablespoon to the one he likes. We excavated a fish slice from a box of Stuff. Off he went.

Hmm … it never occurred to us that the point of induction is that it heats the pan. The part of the pan that is *on the ring*. So they took a while, and were not as nice as usual, but hey – scones. It worked.

More tales of tribulations to follow.