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Sunday, 28 March 2010

This Week

I've had a busy cooking week this week

This week I made some peanut cookies and jammie "bodgers" from the Cookie and Biscuit Bible. The peanut cookies were delicious but the jammie bodgers were a bit sweet for me - went down well with Mr D though, who said they were much nicer than the originals. They were fun to make though and looked very cool.

I also made some plum jam which was very easy to make and had a nice firm set. My mum used to make plum jam when my sister and I were growing up, but I can't remember the last time I had it and I'd forgotten how delicious it was. It's a beautiful ruby red colour and looks gorgeous in the jars too. Felt a bit guilty though as I used imported South African plums rather than waiting for the season and using English ones.

Friday's made-ahead tea was fish pie and I didn't use a recipe so I can say how I did it:


Cod, salmon and smoked haddock (Asda sell this as a fish pie pack with small pieces of each which is about the right amount for two people)
Approx 25g butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
Pint semi-skimmed milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 leek
5-6 medium sized potatoes

1. Put the fish into a large pan and cover with milk. Poach for a few mins, until cooked through
2. Meanwhile melt the butter in a small non-stick pan and add the chopped leak. Sweat gently until soft, then stir in the flour. Gradually ladle in the milk from the pan with the fish and slowly bring to the boil until it thickens. You can add some cheese if you like. Stir in the parsley.
3. Flake the fish into bite-sized pieces and put into the bottom of a large oven-proof dish. Pour over the sauce
4. Cook and mash the potatoes according to your own preferred method. I like to use a potato ricer as it gives a nice smooth texture and I add some milk and butter.
5. Spread the mash over the fish and sauce - you can use a piping bag to do this if you're in a Fanny Craddock kind of mood or want to be reminded of school dinners!
6. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 20-30 mins

I like to make this on a Thursday up to stage 5, then leave it in the fridge until I get home from work on Friday. I usually take it out of the fridge for an hour or so to allow it to return to room temperature before putting it in the oven.

On Sunday I made a simnel cake from a recipe given to me by my dear friend Kate who got it from her grandmother Esther who sadly passed away earlier this year. It's so lovely to have well-loved family recipes. I must confess I altered this one very slightly; I'd seen another recipe earlier this week which included dried apricots and crystallised ginger so I replaced half of the dried fruit with those. I won't be cutting the cake until Easter Sunday so will update with the results at that stage.

On the knitting front I have started making the Easter duckling from the Simply Knitting magazine. I'm not going to make the hats though. I've had one attempt at assembling the duckling and it looked really weird so I unpicked the sewing and am going to have another try next week.

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