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Shrinking Violet

My ability to get onto this MB let alone post on it is becoming more hit 'n' miss by the day!  My posting yesterday disappeared without trace!

Oh, well - it wasn't that exciting.  But I did report that, a first for this household, we had haggis yesterday.  Admittedly it wasn't home-made but was bought from local supermarket. General concensus was that it was edible.  Just.  Home-made meatloaf would be far preferable.  (So that's New Year's Eve dinner sorted insofar as we know what we won't be having )

Good old-fashioned Toad-in-the-Hole tonight, with local butcher's "chorizo flavoured" sausages.  That's his description, which basically means that he added lots of paprika.  Actually rather nice, and with a thick onion gravy, it was  heart-warming! Not quite so sure about the heart-healthiness, however - but lots of veg to compensate, so my conscience is (almost) clear. 

Highland Jeannie

I knew somebody who thought that if their visitors knew exactly what was in haggis ("awful offal") they wouldn't have eaten it - however they did enjoy their "special spicy mince"

My mashed swede never tastes as good as if I have it out - they probably add butter/cream, etc which I don't.

Highland Jeannie, if you are talking about Neaps then yes you add butter cream and seasoning, we had haggis and neaps every new year and I am talking about 100 people or so, very few refused, probably the Dram o single malt helped or by the time we ate it several with some wild dancing to get up an appetite.
Posh try dicing an onion into the meat dish and I use lard not oil then pop in the sausage to brown a little and turn up the oven to 210 fan for a couple of minutes then in goes the Yorkshire pudding mix with chopped herbs in it close the door leave it shut timer on ten minutes when it rings turn down the oven to 180 fan and time another ten minutes meanwhile the onion gravy should be well on its way. Potato and carrot boiled together then mashed adds more flavour and as you are not eating it every week add some butter and cream or milk to the mash, a nice Savoy cabbage lightly cooked makes it a nice rounded meal.
Have you tried signing out and back in to the board, when I was having trouble that is how I did it, be prepared for it to refuse your pass word a couple of times although it is correct then stay signed in.
Got your carrier pigeon mail will reply.


Shrinking Violet

Jennie:  offal does't bother me, so it wasn't the ingredients that I was less keen on - it was the overall taste.  Spicy/peppery which was good, but not much else to recommend it, I'm afraid.  Perhaps it would have been better after a dram or three of a single malt as recommended by Frank   Not sure about the wild dancing though!

The toad-in-the-hole had onions and bacon lardons sizzling in the dish before the sausage and batter were added, Frank - and you're right that it makes all the difference.  Because of the starch of the Yorkshire, I didn't serve potatoes, creamed or otherwise, but extra large helpings of carrots, broccoli and leeks.  Very tasty.  Who says the British can't cook? 

Having been brought up on a small holding and farms, offal was often what we looked forward to, it was fresh tasty and a welcome addition to the meat ration. Cooked properly by cooks who handled offal on a regular basis and who were also adept in using spices and herbs it was good food. modern cooks tend to over cook offal, liver and bacon where the onion goes in first then the bacon and lastly the liver (lamb's though we also used pigs) which goes in the pan a quick sear whip it over and done in a couple of minutes, pour some cream in the pan a minute and you have a nice creamy sauce. At my age posh I just eat less but cook it all fresh no made up supermarket dishes in this house. We killed an animal and ate everything that came out even heart and sweetbreads.
In Tospots yesterday I looked at a very sad looking Shepherd's pie and read the ingredients, I know a bit about chemicals having worked at ICI and it was not good news, making a batch yourself and freezing some down would be cheaper and healthier by far.



Shrinking Violet

I'm with you all the way on that one, Frank.  Stuffed baked lambs' hearts are delicious, and liver and bacon is a real treat.  It's years since I made brawn which had the most superb flavour, like pressed pork.  I wonder what happens to all those pigs heads nowadays?  Probably scraped clean and used in supermarket "value"pies, I guess.

My freezers (one upright in the kitchen, one chest in an outhouse) work very hard for me, and various dishes are frozen down for future use.  Why make one when you can make two, is my motto - which means there are always ready meals, home-made, that can be re-heated when required. 

Tonight it's ballotine of pork wrapped in pancetta.  Redcurrant and red wine sauce will make it extra yummy.   


Tonight cod from Lidl-creamy mash from Tesco potatoes- peas from a tin


I have made toad in the hole with onion, and I often put herbs in the batter, but not  with bacon lardons. Will try it next time I make it.

Tonight spag bol and WW fromage frais with fruit. Had enough of apples!


Dear Palaisglide, is Tospots possibly the same shop that I call 'Ispiton'? Have only just dicovered this thread and am thrilled to read that so many of us make proper food, though of course we would after growing it. Jamie Oliver is doing a programme on food waste in a month or so; my local farm shop was visited by the TV company who are doing the programme  to ask if his customers would buy misshappen carrots, he thought not; I suggested that he market them as ideal for juicing. He also tells me that the local primary school have to provide salad, and the cook says that ALL of it is binned every day as the children won't eat it. How sad is that?

Caz W

Sausage casserole (carrots, mushrooms & onions) and roast potatoes.  Had a box of those belgain chocolate seashells which we are not really fond of so I melted them in the microwave and stirred in some fruitty, nutty muesli and a few cornflakes and set them in paper cake cases - turned out very nice

Artjak, As I refuse to advertise I give my own interpretation of the supermarket names hence S&M reverse it although to me shopping must be similar Dingleberries a large southern lot Clopshop once in every town co-operating number 14956 for the divi how could you forget if you got a thick ear for not getting the little ticket and Tospots a large concern who have suddenly taken a dip.
Tonight I cooked lamb chops from my local butcher sweet tasty tender and no more than a pack of skinny tasteless chops from Tospots. We have a farm shop a quarter of a mile away and though we have all suffered from the weather their own produce still tastes far superior.
Of course with the modern folk being in one heck of a hurry at all times the big concerns will prosper selling rubbish fast food with more chemical content than is good for them.
My daughter told me the kids would not eat meat, I cooked Sunday lunch for them and they ate the lot, my grandson putting his foot in it by saying "why can we not have good food like this at home mum" that did not go down well.
We form the eating habits of the next generation and being brought up during rationing we learnt to make the best of what we had, I am afraid the next generation will be dropping off the planet a lot sooner than we are.


I am going to upset some on here but this is starting to annoy me-I thought this was going to be a nice little thread about what people were having for tea -just a few lines-instead of which it seems to have turned into a crusade of how awful supermarkets are-calling them silly names, what we did in the past,and how bad some people are because they don't cook what is known as "proper food".

Some of us are on low fixed incomes and poor wages-we cant afford food from the local butcher or the farm shop -farm shops are overpriced anyway-we may eat frozen food, and there is nothing wrong with it,grow what we can, also we may may buy the odd ready-prepared meals .

Please don't come over all superior -just tell us what you had for tea- briefly-is that too much to ask?

Buy the way it is Tesco-not Tospots-I work there and feel insulted-it is Marks & Spencer-M&S- not S&M-that is something completely different.

I am now off to do a shift-have a nice day everyone-I will decide what to have for tea after work.

"Oh dear"  If you say good morning on some threads it will upset somebody and then others will say what was the point of being so brief "good morning how are things the weather is not up to much is it" and on.
If we say briefly Cottage pie, or Chops, or even cheese and tomato sandwich finish we will soon come to the end of interest and another thread closes.
Some of the interest is how we cook what we eat and this is often different region to region, north and south.
A lot of us saw our mothers produce good nutritious meals  On little money from what modern cooks would throw away hence the "offal" chat, good food easily cooked but thrown away or sneaked into some of those cheap pies sold by "err" Tospots and others. They took advantage of things available and yes I do use frozen food as a back up but add taste to it as i go. Ready meals? read the label, it may be quick and easy but my grand kids would not get them from me.
If you can afford proper butchers bakers greengrocer food shops fair enough use them and I find everything I buy gets eaten not so when I do one weekly shop at Tesco where all the girls know me and we have a good laugh, "Hello, it is nice to see a smile there have been some right grumps through here this morning" and there are lots of things I get there impossible to get elsewhere.
Cheap? I would compare my shop around bill with a one stop shopper if they wished so would question that.
Tonight, Braising steak which will cook slowly for two hours then the veg put in the pot and another hour, or is that too much information.


Shrinking Violet

Hi Lazy Gardener.  I'm sorry if you find some aspects of this thread difficult.  As Frank has said, I do find it interesting to learn from others, regional variations etc.  Just a simple thing about toad-in-the-hole has inspired one contributor to consider doing what I do - ie put bacon lardons in the dish before adding the batter.  Now - that's a very simple thing, but because of a short discussion about the dish, someone has a slightly different idea that they can, perhaps, adopt (or adapt) for their own cooking.  I don't see that as a problem.

Re the odd names for supermarkets - it actually makes me smile, and, as one who has patronised Tesco for years, who finds their quality reasonable and consistent, and who retains an open mind about it all, I think it's perhaps not helpful if I am mde to feel that I'm patronising anyone else.  I certainly don't mean to.

(For the record:  ballotine of pork about which I spoke yesterday:  Tesco's Finest pork fillet picked up from the cheap fridge section where things are sold at a discount because they are nearly out of date.  Pancetta - was on special offer the other week - two packs for £3 I think it was, with a long shelf life and sitting in the fridge awaiting use.  And very tasty it all was, too).

For all I know, that may just inspire someone to try something similar.  Or not.  But it is no more than a record of the food I cook, and enjoy cooking, more to the point.  I was brought up in the fifties - rationing was still in place at the beginning of the decade, and thrift (how long is it since you heard that word?) was commonplace.  Waste was unheard of - and still is in this house.  I buy wisely, use food carefully and balance the cost over the week.  I budget, and am smugly pleased with myself when I save on costs but not at the expense of taste.  And all this on a fixed income - and a local butcher whose prices are often cheaper than the supermarket, and the quality vastly superior. 

I won't even begin to talk about my calling the meal "dinner" rather than "tea" incase I am castigated for some perceived insult .  But I, for one, enjoy reading about others' meals, the range, the diversity and the cooking methods.

(Frank - braised steak - I've never got it as good as my mum - slow cooked, all day, in the cool section of the Rayburn oven.  It just melted.)


Posh I know what you mean, the steak went in the side oven in a cast iron pot, the heat would probably be around 130c, just steak with water and a stock cube. The veg added later and moved to the main oven 160c for an hour or more and melt in the mouth it did. I start it by browning off add shallots or onion and leave a couple of hours or more add the veg for the final cooking with herbs seasoning and a shot of Yorkshire relish.
The meat was from my local butcher on offer, I had to go to the supermarket for more things and checked, I had got it £1.30 cheaper.
One shop will be good for somethings and they make on others, I had to get some potato's there as I was out, they were rotten, may take them back today.




Sorry Frank and Shrinking Violet I am go to have to disagree-I too thought that this thread was just a brief "what I am having for tea"-or "dinner" thread instead it has turned into a cooking masterclass

I understand that brief messages are not you forte-fair enough each to his own -but it has worked on the weather thread-so it would have worked on her

Anyway this is an open forum there are no rules-as I said last week on another discussion- it is what you make of it

Just throwing my pearls of wisdom in-but can soon take them out again.


I won't be cooking tea this evening, we are having fish and chips from the chippie.( needs must, we are having some plastering done)

I buy whatever I can from the independent shops, but use supermarkets as well especially if they have things that are close to their sell by date. It doesn't matter how much money you have it makes sense to buy good quality at the lowest price. Well that's what I was taught. Surely there is room for everyones opinion?

Sorry if anyone is offended



We also buy where we can get quality at a reasonable price. I use the garden as much as I can - Curly kale time now I think. I use local butcher/greengrocer because food is good and if you don't use them you lose them. We are also on a fixed budget 

Geoff each to their own and I rarely use the "Fork Handles" as to understand the one liners you need to read pages of it. A little explanation goes a long way.
My Late Mother in law cooked the same thing on the same day for years, Tuesday mince and dumplings?? the thread would end after one week.
We can ignore this thread and start a cookery one or continue it is up to the posters, if they want to end this I will start one people need not read if they do not wish to.

Best laid plans, the braised steak is out of the oven cooling for tomorrow, my Daughter had gone mad in the kitchen when I got there so feasted on home made bread and home cooked ham followed by Frangipani. I have half a cake and half a curd tart for tea so it will be scrambled egg to start then cake and pie.

PS if you wish to drop this and start a cooking baking "master class" according to Geoff then we will and say how we use our own food and herbs, or even flowers in cooking.


Variety is the spice of life so they say. I like to read about how people cook. It gives you different ideas, so if you feel like starting a new thread Frank, go ahead, though I can't see anything wrong with what is posted here. I'll visit both.