Wednesday, 22 September 2010
What's in Your Fridge, and a Giveaway!!
Good morning on this early autumn day. We are having a dry spell at the moment and I am enjoying every minute of it. We are taking Mitzie for her last shot this morning and hopefully after that we will be able to begin taking her for walks. Not sure how far we will go at first as at the moment she jerks around on the end of the leash like a Mexican Jumping Bean, but hopefully she will soon get the idea that she is supposed to walk . . . preferably forward!
I thought it would be fun this morning to show you what is in my fridge. I know, I am a brave woman! I am always fascinated by the types of things people have in their fridge . . . but then again, I think a walk through a grocery store is great entertainment! (I know, I'm just plain old sick!!) Anyways, whether you want to know what I have in there or not, you're about to find out!
Now you have to understand. I have two fridges. One is a small larder fridge that is out in the shed, and the other is a full American size fridge that is in the kitchen. (I also have a big chest freezer out in the shed) Today I am going to show you the American size one in my kitchen. (The one in the shed is boring, boring, boring . . . all that’s in there is eggs, milk, bread and some veg . . . and some things like capers, a variety of mustards and some different kinds of jams)
The big fridge is one that we bought when I was first living in Chester, some almost ten years ago. Having come from North America, I was sorely frustrated with the small larder fridge Todd had when we first got married. It was too dinky and hardly big enough for this serious cook to cram with the necessary ingredients to prepare the culinary feasts I love to prepare. (Todd was a "can in one hand, opener in the other hand" kind of cook before we met!) And so, after a few months I marched him off to Iceland and we bought the huge Bosch fridge that we have now. It has a freezer section on the bottom with four drawers that are stocked full of meats and frozen veg. I have not bothered to take a photo of that because a). it didn’t photograph well and b). there’s not much to see but some frozen packaging of meat etc.
Here is the view on the inside door of the fridge. On the top shelf there is a jar of Harvey Nichols grainy mustard, some M&S cream cheese (that I probably should get using soon!) and not one, but two jars of Hoisin sauce. I opened the second one, one day when I couldn’t find the first….and them promptly found the first . . . sigh. Next shelf down you will see a couple tubes of tomato puree . . . normal and sun dried (the cook’s delight! Well, this cook’s delight anyways!) Then there’s some sweet chili sauce that I love and a big container of Apple Juice. (the fresh squeezed type) Next to that in the butter bin is, surprise, surprise! some gourmet aged Cheshire cheese that I bought in order to do a particular recipe, but can no longer find the recipe, and so it sits there . . . waiting. In all likelihood, by the time I find the recipe I wanted it for, it will have gone off. Maybe I should throw it in the freezer just in case . . . hmmm . . . under that is some more cream cheese and a delicious bar of Green and Black’s milk chocolate, this cook’s secret indulgence. (shhhhh . . . Don’t tell Todd) and under that is my box of Trex vegetable shortening, which is what I use most of the time for my pastry’s and other recipes that require vegetable shortening. Down on the bottom shelf we have (from left to right) Canadian Maple Syrup, Heinz Salad Cream, light whipped cream (left from when Eliza was here, better get rid of that too) a jar of Duchy honey mustard salad dressing, and some delightful French mayonnaise, some white flora and embarrassingly . . . yet another container of . . . Cream cheese!
Now on to the real meat of the matter . . . the actual inside of my fridge proper . . . the top shelf is a mess of jars of various condiments such as Branston pickle (something I had never had before coming over here, but I now love, especially with cold meats) a huge jar of American style sweet pickle relish (A must for on hotdogs and hamburgers!) some pickled jalapeno peppers, a huge container of double cream (probably out of date) and twocontainers of buttermilk. In behind are various other delights such as pesto, olive paste etc. oh and a huge jar of American style Dill pickles that I am hoarding and dishing out to myself as treats when I am a good girl!
Next shelf down you will see a huge jar of black olives, behind which are jars of mint sauce . . . both jellied and regular. Next to that is a can of A&W diet root beer that I am saving for the night when I actually MUST have a root beer float. I found it at the LDS bookstore the last time we were there and just had to buy it. Now I’m afraid to use it, for fear I’ll never find another one again . . . next to that is a huge package of butter with a package of soft breadcrumbs on top and next to that a container of leftover celery soup and yet more butter! In behind I can see a large container of Crème Fraiche peeking out and some broccoli . . . or is that cauliflower??? I know there was about 4 packages of celery in there before, but I have made good use of about 3 of them now!
Shelf three . . . this is where I keep my cheeses and a few vegetables and fruit. There’s feta, and gouda, and emmenthaler, plus some good cheddar and some raclette cheese. Oh, look . . . there’s also some blue cheese and a package of white stilton with cranberries! (that’s a treat I have to look forward to. I just love digestive biscuits with white stilton and cranberries!) There’s another package of soft bread crumbs. I know . . . lazy me, but sometimes you are, aren’t you . . . lazy, that is. Hence the puff pastry and vacu packs of cooked beetroot. One . . . most chef’s buy their puff pastry. It is such a faff to make and the bought one is just as good as home made and Two . . . Cooked beetroot is the ultimate convenience food . . . your hands don’t get dyed red and it’s always on tap and ready to go, no fussing with having to peel it etc. In North America you can buy tinned cooked beetroot, but there is no such animal over here!
Bottom shelf, veggie and fruit bins. In here you’ll find my lettuces, lemons, spring onions, carrots, swede, parsnips, cucumber, radishes and some lovely tomatoes for a nice salad. Under that there is a long open shelf that has my fresh meats on it . . . which consists of a lovely packet of dry cure smoked streaky bacon, a piece of beef brisket and a lovely roasting chicken that I am going to be cooking soon!
And there you have it! I have no secrets anymore . . . you now, know it all! Are you up for the challenge? Come on . . . show us what's in your fridge! If I can do it . . . you can do it!
I did a sweet little painting for a card yesterday of a cute little Witch. She made the sweetest card. I have decided to give away some of my cards! I am going to give away to one of you a set of five of my hand designed cards. All you have to do to get in on the Giveaway is to hop on over to my Art Page and sign up as a follower. I will be picking a winner next Monday, so hop on over to The Artful Heart and sign up now!
I went to a ladies' luncheon yesterday and made some lemon squares and some chocolate brownie bites to take. When it came time to go I thought it might be too much and so I only took the chocolate brownie bites . . . besides Todd doesn't like chocolate and I thought he would appreciate me leaving the lemon ones behind much more. These are really, really good!
*Lemon Squares with Jam Filling*
Makes 15 squares
These delicious squares combine a buttery shortbread crust and a tangy lemon topping, all sandwiched together with sweet and fruity strawberry jam. Delicious!
2 cups plus 3 TBS plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp salt
8 ounces chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest (I use un-waxed lemons, if you aren’t using these wash your lemons well in warm soapy water)
¾ cup good quality strawberry preserves (you can also use raspberry)
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Grease and flour an 11 X 7 inch baking pan. I then line it with greaseproof paper lengthwise, leaving a one inch overhang either end so that I can lift the squares out after baking for ease in cutting into squares.
Stir together 2 cups of the flour, 1/3 cups of the icing sugar and salt. Rub in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the prepared baking pan evenly and bake for about 16 minutes until just firm.
Stir together the sugar, 3 TBS flour, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice, mixing well.
Remove the pan from the oven and spread with the strawberry jam evenly. Pour the lemon mixture over top and return the pan to the oven. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven. Let cool in the pan before removing and cutting into squares. Lightly dust with more icing sugar before serving.
Over in The English Kitchen today, Itty Bitty Brownie Bites. Small enough to be imbibed in just a few nibbles, tasty enough to be dangerous!