Sunday, July 29, 2012

Student's Apple Crumble

As I said before, cook to impress.  This is easy and homely. Great with supermarket basic instant custard, ice-cream, or squirty cream.

2 cooking apples (makes enough for 4 people)
2 tablespoons (serving spoons) water
4 oz flour (plain or self-raising)
2 oz butter or hard margarine eg Stork
1 oz + 2 oz normal granulated sugar (for the apple and the crumble respectively)

Mixing bowl
Casserole (medium)


This needs to be done in an oven, not a microwave.  Turn on at 220 deg Celsius to preheat.
  1. Make crumble by cutting fat into little pieces then rubbing into the flour with your fingertips, so it's like breadcrumbs.  If you have a pastry blender, use it.  (I was married 24 years before I got mine ...)
  2. Stir in the 2 oz sugar.
  3. Set aside while you peel and slice apples.
  4. Put apples in casserole with water and the 1 oz sugar.  Stir in sugar to disperse.
  5. Pour crumble mix over apples - try to keep it fairly even.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 45 mins or until browned on top.
  7. Save recipe to your Diigo social bookmarking account.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Student's Steamed Sponge Pudding

For kitchen kudos, why not make a pudding?  (If you can't spare 10 minutes, save this to your Diigo favourites and make it another day!)

Health Benefits:  a nice hot, carb-rich pudding makes it almost impossible to feel stressed.  Even if it's only a temporary solution, it might help you face that essay crisis. 

You need: a medium-sized mixing bowl and a medium-sized casserole (without lid). You're not actually going to STEAM anything, but you do need a microwave.

Right, here are the ingredients (serves 4):-

4 oz (100 g) soft margarine or butter
4 oz caster or granulated sugar
4 oz self-raising flour (or 3 + 1 oz cocoa powder, for chocolate pudding)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons milk (serving spoon size)
3 tablespoons jam, lemon curd or golden syrup
(Instant custard goes well with this.  If you go for the 'Basics' range, you'll find it very cheap indeed.)

Mix everything (except the jam) together in the mixing bowl.  If you have no electric mixer or whisk, you might prefer this way:-
  • use a wooden spoon to cream the fat and sugar first,
  • add eggs - stir 
  • fold in flour (as though your hand is drawing a recumbent figure of 8)
  • gradually add milk and stir after each addition.
Use greaseproof paper and minimal margarine/oil, or an empty butter packet, to grease casserole.
Spoon in jam.  Pour in sponge mixture.

Microwave uncovered for 5 mins.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Parenting skills revision exercises

Been getting lessons in parent power from SuperNana. This morning saw the 'Lunch Will Be At Noon' stand-off. This evening, she reclaimed the telly. Offspring still reeling....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Wearing my Blog Title with Pride

I got it right for once! We had set off for Norwich guitarless on Thursday. (Apparently my fault - I hadn't realised that what I took for a rhetorical question had actually been a leading one.) Anyway, by Friday evening, I knew. This afternoon, I did a bit of battling at Cash Converters, and emerged with £15-worth of guitar. Result! I can reclaim my title of PseudoSupermum! Oh, yeah!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ho-hum, humdrum

So, what have I done today?  Called the dishwasher maintenance people at 8 am.  Laundry (fourth load in machine just now), ironing (mine), supermarket shopping.  Trips to post office, bank, charity shop, petrol station, and uni library (let's face it, I won't be reading about Iolo Morganwg much in the next few weeks).  Does this sound like a relaxing holiday to you?  Why is it (she asked, shrewishly), that when I'm on holiday, I'm expected to run around doing all the stuff that a Proper Stay At Home Mother would have kept going all along?!  That's why I didn't do everyone else's ironing.  They've got oodles more holiday than me!

Receipt of my latest article submission was acknowledged today; I also got news that my book is in editorial/production.  That's actually quite exciting!  So the inner bluestocking is modestly happy, even though she knows she hasn't DONE anything intellectual all day.

Three of us are heading down south tomorrow to visit my family.  I need to get packed and organise the boys to sort their own stuff out. Surely I'm not procrastinating because I don't want growling and grumbling to begin? Surely that can't be it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Student's Sausage Casserole

1-2 packs sausages (this determines how many friends you can serve!)
1 onion
2 carrots
Jar sweet'n'sour sauce
Pudding (if hungry) - 'Basics' steamed sponge pudding.  (Follow instructions.  Remove from tin and microwave AFTER you've eaten first course.)

  1. Chop onion, fry with pricked sausages.  Don't burn them!
  2. Peel and slice carrots lengthways, like chunky matchsticks.  Add to pan.
  3. Once everything's a little browned, carefully drain off any extra oil before the next step, or you'll have a casserole with too much oil floating on top.  Which you won't want!
  4. Add sauce, bring to boil, put in casserole and oven-cook for 30 mins 180 deg C. Or turn down heat and just simmer in pan.
  5. Meanwhile, peel, salt and boil spuds.  

Friday, July 06, 2012

Boy fell off a bike

The story of Cello-Man's graceless fall from his bike is too mundane to repeat here.  However, he returned from college a couple of weeks ago, with two suitcases FULL of every stitch he owns, all needing washing.  Amongst them were the trousers and hoodie which had borne the brunt of his tumble, muddy, oily and torn.  

Tee-hee!  I never actually create anything these days, but I must admit I'm proud of my machine-zigzagged darning over the iron-on-inside patches.  Both garments are now clean, fragrant-smelling, and certainly still wearable even if not 'for best'.  And who would wear a red hoodie and beige chinos for best, anyway?

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Thomas the Hardy geranium

Long story, but basically, Mother said I needed geraniums in my front garden border.  I bought geraniums. Mother said, no, they were pelargoniums, and annuals rather than perennials.

The label in B and Q said they were geraniums.

Mother insisted they weren't.  (They died at the end of last summer, so she was right.)

This year I bought more, but from the Boys' Brigade garden plant sale.  Again, the label SAID -- but they weren't.

Taking the air at Grantham
I returned via Cambridge from Norwich yesterday. With a Norfolk geranium from Mother - probably the only geranium ever to spend an afternoon in the University of Cambridge Library.  Recognising its privileged status, I called it Thomas.  (Thomas Hardy ...?)  Thomas the hardy geranium.  Right now he's sitting outside in warm drizzling rain, not yet planted but probably quite contented in himself.