Thursday, 6 June 2013

Very Easy BBQ Spare Ribs

I have been going round and round in circles before sitting down to write this and I'm still not particularly happy with it but the sentiment is there. 

I started this blog purely as an online record of my recipes, I hadn't read many blogs prior to starting this and didn't imagine that I would enjoy writing. As it turns out I have enjoyed the writing aspect, particularly the ability to simply write whatever I think about whatever first springs to mind.

This realisation coupled with the fact I have finished my life as a student and am about to embark onto the next stage of life, otherwise known as the world of work; has meant that I have stopped and tried to take stock of what I want this blog to be. Do I want it to be simply a record of recipes or do I want it to be more of a record of my thoughts and deeds? The blogs I enjoy most are definitely the ones which couple recipes with snippets and anecdotes of the authors life. But does that make this blog a purely selfish endeavour? Am I writing for me or for people to read? How do you get that balance right, between contextualising your life and over sharing? Do I want to commit to my blog weekly, monthly of fortnightly? If I commit to it does it become a chore of I don't commit will I tail off and eventually give up?

So many questions so few answers. I have spent the last couple of days trying to read more blogs in an effort to discover what it is I enjoy about reading others blogs and gain an idea of what I want to get out of my blog. Incidentally this week seems the perfect opportunity to do this, as fingers crossed in two weeks I will be starting my new job meaning I won't have much time, whilst right now I am house sitting for my parents. House sitting is usually as simple as feeding the chickens and walking the dogs, however on this occasion my mother has not only left me with her pedigree Lavender Pekin Bantum chicks hatching but also a working Cocker Spaniel with a broken pelvis.

After much consideration I have reached the conclusion that the reason I enjoy the blogs which I read, is because they provide a snapshot into someone else's life.  So for those few moments that you are reading you can escape into someone else's world, compare your life to theirs and gain the inspiration to achieve your goals with a sense of belief that it is possible because here is someone who has done it. Be they small goals bake this, sew that, travel there or large ones such as transitioning from one stage of life to another. I guess what I am trying to say somewhat inarticulately is that for me a blog is kind of journal, sharing your trials and tribulations with you both know and don't. That no matter how exciting it is to receive invitations from PR's as your blog has now "made it" you need to be very careful that these don't take away from the essence of your blog, which should be a reflection of who you are and what you stand for. For me a blog is a personnel thing yes written to be read so reviews and recommendations are an important part of that, but primarily it is written as a cathartic reflection on the authors own life. Ultimately then a blog for me must be organic growing and changing as you do.

Anyway now on to the more important part the recipe.

This is truly one of the easiest recipes.

4 Racks or pork ribs 
5 Inches of ginger
1 Bulb of garlic
100ml Soya sauce
3 tbsp Dark brown sugar.

Simply finely chop or grate the ginger and the garlic. Mix together all of the ingredients and marinade in the fridge for at least an hour but ideally over night. Cook on the BBQ for about five minutes on each side, you will need to watch them as the sugar will mean that they do catch. Then serve, if you are felling super lazy you can use one packet of chopped frozen garlic and one packet of chopped frozen ginger from Waitrose. 

Monday, 27 May 2013

GBBO 1:1 Victoria Sponge

I must admit that I have been very bad about blogging recently. I thought that I would blog a huge amount whilst lodge cooking last summer, but when you are cooking four meals a day, seven days a week for three and half months the last thing you want to do is write about food. Not to mention that there was no signal at all and Internet was very hard to come by. Since returning from cooking I have been graduate job hunting and desperately trying to avoid all forms of procrastination. Something, which both blogging and twitter definitely qualify as. Then as more time passed it felt as though blogging again would either be admitting defeat on the job front or tempting providence.

As I have now secured full time employment in London pending contract shenanigans; now seems to be an opportune occasion to update my blog. I started this blog purely as an electronic record of my recipes in preparation for lodge cooking. However, now that I am about to embark on adult life as opposed to student living I feel as if I need to challenge myself to keep baking. Having contemplated cooking my way through a cook book aka Julie & Julia but I decided that not only will I not like a lot of what I would have to cook but I wasn’t sure how much I would actually learn. I have therefore decided to try and cook my way through all of the challenge bakes from The Great British Bake Off. This way I not only make sure that I keep baking once I am living on whilst learning a huge amount by having to try my hand at a variety of bakes. 

As I can't promise that I will have time to bake every week I am going to try and commit to attempting a bake off challenge every two weeks. If you have baked any of the bake of challenges then comment with a link to you recipe and I will add it to my post. In time I will work out how to make a widget or something like that work.

The challenge from episode one series one of the bake off was a traditional Victoria Sponge cake. This is a basic 2oz ratio cake which I would presume that most bakers have made at least once. My Victoria Sponge actually won the village bake off which was held in aid of the Queens Jubilee last summer, I piped a the royal cypher onto the top of it. 

The Victoria Sponge or Sandwich was named after Queen Victoria's who was fond of cake at tea time. According to the WI (Women's Institute) it can only be called a Victoria Spong if the filling is raspberry jam alone and the only icing is a dusting of sugar. However in our family a Victoria Spong always has not only jam but cream and own fresh raspberries as well.

3 Eggs
6oz Butter
6oz  Caster Sugar
6oz Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Milk
3-4 tbsp Raspberry Jam
1/4 pint Whipping or Double Cream

Pre heat the oven to 180C or 160C fan. Grease and line two 8inch round cake tins. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour and baking powder. If the mixture is a bit stiff fold in 2 tbsp of milk to slaken it off. Divide the mixture equally between the two tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. An inserted skewer should come out clean. Allow them to cool in the tins before filling with a layer of raspberry jam and whipped cream. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Thai Crab Cakes.

This is an old recipe of my mothers it is super easy to make as it does not require mash potato. It also works just as well with tinned crab as it does with fresh, if you are using tinned make sure you buy the ore expensive tins which are only white meat. This makes enough for a large started for four or a small main course.

450g cooked crab meat this is roughly two cans.
1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
handful of coriander
2 heaped tbsp mayonaise
2 small red chilies chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
75g bread crumbs

Put ingredients into food processor and pulse it. You don't want to end up with a paste. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes. Shape and dust with flour. Fry in hot oil for about 4-5 minutes until crisp.