Day 14 – Cooking away the blues


This made me sad

The day started on a low.

I got a reminder to pick up the tickets for our Paris holiday. The Paris holiday to mark a landmark birthday for me. The Paris holiday we’ve been planning for a while now. The Paris holiday we had to cancel. I am sad.

Something’s cooking

I had always planned for today to be a kitchen day, which worked out well really as I would have had difficulty not thinking about Paris while gardening.

So trying out two new recipes has been the perfect distraction.

Raised pork pie and a date and walnut loaf

Raised pork pie and a date and walnut loaf

It must be a good 45 years since I last made a raised pie. Hot water pastry we called it back then in Catering College. It’s an odd pastry to work with as it’s very soft and warm to handle. As the name suggests, you make it by melting lard in boiling water.

In college we had to raise it by hand i.e. not using a tin/mould, so it was a luxury to have one to hand today.

I went for a traditional pork filling. I’m rather pleased with the result. Although the proof of the pudding (or pie in this case) is in the eating, which will not be until tomorrow.

I also tried a new recipe and method for a date and walnut cake. Melting the butter in hot water with the dates seemed odd. But it work really well and the cake is lovely and moist. I used muscovado sugar, which has given the cake a lovely, warming treacly taste.

Tomorrow I will be back in the garden. My rhubarb plants have arrived and I just need to decide where to put them and prep the area with some well rotted manure. “Your dad always put manure on his rhubarb,” Mother used to say. “I prefer custard,” I would always reply.

When this virus thing is all over we will have a holiday. Paris? Maybe. Or just somewhere more local like Thetford Forest, I care not. I’ll just be ready to have a total change of scenery.

Stay home and stay safe.

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