Archive for the ‘Menu plans’ Category

Dinners for the home – Week 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday

Baked white fish with boiled potatoes, fresh parsley sauce and green beans

Fruit salad and cream

Tuesday

Home-made burgers with baked potatoes, sour cream and chives.

Ice cream and chocolate sauce

Wednesday

Gammon steaks with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Greek yoghurt with honey

Thursday

Vegetable stew with hidden eggs

Baguette

Microwaved chocolate cake

Friday

Pork stir fry with rice noodles

Mango fool

Saturday

Chile con carne with rice

Banana split yoghurts

Sunday

Roast beef with horseradish sauce, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, carrots and peas

Clafoutis

Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dessert recipes for Week 3

Dessert recipes for Week 3 menu plans and shopping list.

Microwaved chocolate cake (with acknowledgements to the Toshiba Book of Microwave Cooking)

  • 4 oz/125g vegetable spread
  • 3 oz/75g self-raising flour
  • 4 oz/125g caster sugar
  • 1 oz/25g cocoa
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Whisk all the ingredients together until you get a smooth mixture, and put into a microwaveable bowl or soufflé dish and cook on high in a microwave oven for 6 minutes. Good served as a sponge pudding with cream, ice cream or custard.

Poached pears and marscapone

  • 1 pear per person
  • 100g sugar
  • Glass white wine
  • Juice of half a lemon

In a heavy saucepan bring wine and sugar to boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes to burn off alcohol. Add lemon juice and pears. Cook for 10 minutes over medium to low flame. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or tablespoon of marscapone.

Boiled fruit cake

  • 12 oz (300g) value mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants and candied peel)
  • 4 oz (100g) butter or vegetable spread
  • 4 oz (100g) sugar (preferably brown)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ¼ pint (100ml) water
  • 8 oz (200g)self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice or ½ tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger

Heat the fruit, butter, sugar and water in a saucepan until the butter has melted, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Leave to stand and cool for 20 minutes for the dried fruit to swell. Add the eggs and stir again, before adding the flour and beating thoroughly. Pour into a 2lb (1kg) loaf tin lined (silicon, non-stick, or lined with baking parchment) or 2 x 1lb (500g) loaf tins. Great for packed lunches or to give as presents, or eat it Yorkshire style with apples and cheese for the ultimate supper by the fireside. An optional dash of whiskey or brandy in the mix adds to the flavour, especially at Christmas time, and then it makes a lovely present.

Chocolate mousse

  • 12oz/320g strong dark eating chocolate
  • 1 oz/30g unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs

Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Add the butter and allow it to melt with the chocolate. Stir occasionally and take off the heat when they are done, allowing to cool for a moment. Separate eggs into yolks and whites. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks. Stir the yolks into the chocolate and butter mix. Fold in the whisked egg whites very carefully so as not to lose the air. Pour into a dish and refrigerate for a few hours until it is set.

Dinners for the home – Week 3

MONDAY

Lasagne and green salad

Greek yoghurt and honey

TUESDAY

Salmon steaks with boiled potatoes and carrots

Microwaved chocolate cake

WEDNESDAY

Grilled lamb chops with new boiled potatoes and green beans

Poached pears with marscapone

THURSDAY

Baked potatoes with ham and cheese

Ice cream and chocolate sauce

FRIDAY

Beef stew and rice

Fruit salad and cream

SATURDAY

Omelettes and salad

Home made fruit cake

SUNDAY

Roast pork with apple sauce, roast potatoes, carrots, peas and broccoli

Chocolate mousse

Image: Catherine Hadler / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dessert recipes for Week 2

Simple, quick desserts to treat the family with. Links to Week 2 menu  plans and shopping list.

Banana split yoghurts

  • 1 banana per person
  • 1 pint/500 ml natural yoghurt
  • Chocolate sauce

Divide the yoghurt into bowls. Chop the banana and put in on the top of the yoghurt. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. This has to be yoghurt Nirvana.

Rice pudding

  • 1 pint/500ml whole milk
  • 1-2 oz/50g short grain pudding rice or risotto rice
  • 2-4 tsp sugar

Boil 1 pint milk and add 1-2 ounces of rice and 2-4 tsp sugar. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is soft. Serve with jam, honey or rosehip syrup.

Mango fool

Peel and chop a mango and puree in blender. Pour in 1 pint thick Greek yoghurt and puree briefly until all mixed up. Serve in little glass dishes with a mint garnish if you have one.

Pear and almond crumble

  • 4 oz/250g plain flour
  • 4 oz/125g vegetable spread (suitable for cooking)
  • 2 oz/50g sugar
  • 2 oz/50g ground almonds
  • 8-12 oz/250-375g chopped pears

Rub together the fat and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and ground almonds. Put pears in a ceramic baking dish and sprinkle crumble mixture on top. Bake for about 20 minutes at 170C, until the mixture is browned on top and the pears are soft.

Dinners for the home – Week 2

The second week of my economy menu plans, linked to the Week 2 shopping list and dessert recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY

Spaghetti bolognaise

Banana split yoghurts

TUESDAY

Cottage pie

Courgettes

Mango fool

WEDNESDAY

Sausages

Mashed potatoes

Carrots

Onion gravy

Fruit salad and single cream or yoghurt

THURSDAY

Turkey stir fry and rice

Yoghurt with blueberry jam and elderflower cordial

FRIDAY

Baked trout, herring or mackerel with boiled new potatoes and green beans

Rice pudding

SATURDAY

Lamb curry and rice

Ice cream and chocolate sauce

SUNDAY

Roast chicken with roast potatoes, green beans and broccoli

Fruit crumble and custard

Fruit salad and single cream

Image: Catherine Hadler / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Week 1 Fish Stew recipe

Said to be the poor man’s bouillabaisse. A caution about food hygiene here – don’t try to be clever and a) re-freeze the fish, or b) cook the seafood mix or prawns from frozen, otherwise you might get ill.

 

 

 

 

 

Fish stew

  • 1 piece defrosted white fish per person (value/basics/essentials frozen fish fillets are good)
  • 4-8 ounces defrosted prawns (value/basics/essentials prawns) or bag of defrosted frozen seafood mix
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes with herbs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Chopped onion
  • Black pepper

Fry onion in a little sunflower oil until soft. Add fish and seafood and cook for 1-2 minutes until opaque. Add chopped tomatoes and crushed garlic. Cook until fish becomes flaky. Season lightly with black pepper. Serve with rice and/or baguette.

 

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Week 1 dessert recipes

Use these recipes in conjunction with the Week 1 menus

 

 

 

 

 

Rice pudding

  • 1 pint/500ml whole milk
  • 1-2 oz/50g short grain pudding rice or risotto rice
  • 2-4 tsp sugar

Boil 1 pint milk and add 1-2 ounces of rice and 2-4 tsp sugar. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is soft. Serve with jam, honey or rosehip syrup.

Microwaved chocolate cake (with acknowledgements to the Toshiba Book of Microwave Cooking)

  • 4 oz/125g vegetable spread
  • 3 oz/75g self-raising flour
  • 4 oz/125g caster sugar
  • 1 oz/25g cocoa
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Whisk all the ingredients together until you get a smooth mixture, and put into a microwaveable bowl or soufflé dish and cook on high in a microwave oven for 6 minutes. Good served as a sponge pudding with cream, ice cream or custard.

Poached pears and marscapone

  • 1 pear per person
  • 100g sugar
  • Glass white wine
  • Juice of half a lemon

In a heavy saucepan bring wine and sugar to boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes to burn off alcohol. Add lemon juice and pears. Cook for 10 minutes over medium to low flame. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or tablespoon of marscapone.

Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Week 1 Fruit Torte recipe

This must be the easiest fancy dessert in the world. Acknowledgements to my mum, doyenne of the creative dessert solution.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • Sponge flan base from the supermarket
  • 8-12 oz (250-375g) strawberries, raspberries, loganberries or tinned mandarins
  • Green’s Quick Jel jelly (for flan topping – choose a colour that matches your fruit)
  • 5 fl oz (125 ml (whipping cream)

Lay the berries or mandarin slices on the base in a decorative and artistic manner. Following the instructions on the packet slavishly, prepare the Quick Jel and pour over the whole thing, taking care to make sure any gaps are filled. Whip the cream and using a piping bag (disposable ones are very cheap), make attractive patterns with the cream all over the base in the form of rosettes and squiggly lines, until the whole thing is covered. Serve fairly soon afterwards otherwise the base runs the risk of going soggy. (The picture is a similar cake and not the exact same torte, by the way, but I never claimed to be much of a photographer).

Image: savit keawtavee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dinners for the home – Week 1

Here are some incredibly straightforward meals that will please most omnivore families at minimal costs. No fancy names, no fiddly ingredients, no exhortations to spend time arranging food in dainty piles on large white plates, just traditional family fodder and nothing else. Look in the accompanying posts for the more unusual main course and dessert recipes, otherwise everything else should be freely available via an internet search or by rummaging in your cookbooks.

MONDAY

Baked chicken portions with boiled new potatoes and carrots

Rice pudding

TUESDAY

Fresh stuffed pasta with tomato and basil sauce, grated cheese and mixed salad

Fruit salad and ice cream

WEDNESDAY

Fish stew and baguette

Microwaved chocolate cake

THURSDAY

Baked pork chops and mashed potato and green beans

Cheese, biscuits and grapes

FRIDAY

Mince and vegetables with rice

Yoghurt with blueberry jam and elderflower cordial

SATURDAY

Steaks and baked potatoes and mixed salad

Poached pears and yoghurt or cream

SUNDAY

Roast lamb with roast potatoes, mint sauce, peas, carrots and broccoli

Fruit tart and whipped cream

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Healthy diets, the 1910 way.

As you have probably read on other pages of this blog, my starting point for investigations into housekeeping practices and their effect on family wellbeing started with a series of home management books produced for schools in 1910, written by Wilena Hitching (previously a headmistress and school inspector). These books were designed to give a thorough, almost scientific introduction to the study of housekeeping to girls between the ages of about 11-14, with a view to preparing them for lives as wives and mothers. While some of the advice she gave sounds dated today, most of it has surprisingly significant relevance for men and women a hundred years later, particularly in times of financial constraint. My focus today will be what Miss Hitching considered to be a healthy diet for families, viewed through a 21st century lens.

Breakfast options (served at 8am)

Porridge

Bread crusts soaked in warm milk

Brown bread and butter and an egg

Bacon

Smoked Finnan haddock

Hot milk for children

Cocoa for adults

Most of these are high in fibre and protein, with very little sugar evident and comparatively little fat (with the exception of the bacon). This is clearly an idealised diet – Miss Hitching does permit the drinking of tea and coffee, but regards it as somewhat stimulating and less preferable than cocoa.

Luncheon (which took place mid-morning, around 10.30 am, and was really for children)

Hot milk and a biscuit

Brown bread and butter and a banana

Dinner options (which took place in the middle of the day, around 1pm). A good housekeeper would prepare a two or three course meal, depending on the weather and the type of work family members were engaging in.

Pea soup

Lentil soup

Haricot soup

Roast meats, leftovers minced or served in shepherd’s pie (for example)

Chops or steaks

Offal

Poached fish

Vegetables

Potatoes

Savoury Yorkshire pudding (served alongside roast meats or before the meal with gravy as a kind of appetiser)

Savoury or sweet suet puddings, such as steak and kidney pudding or jam roly poly (but not both in the same meal!)

Macaroni or rice pudding

Stewed fruit and custard

These are high protein meals, comparatively high in saturated fat, but the amount of sugar used in the desserts is comparatively low – a teaspoon of sugar here, a little bit of jam there. There is ample use of fruit, vegetables and pulses, simply prepared, meaning the meals are comparatively high in fibre as well.

Tea (served mid-afternoon, around 4pm; again, mainly aimed at children)

Bread and butter

Watercress, lettuce or radishes

Stewed fruit (apples, rhubarb, prunes, etc)

Once again, this is a high fibre meal with more fruit and vegetables, designed to maximise satiety (feeling of fullness). Watercress is packed full of vitamins, iron and other minerals, representing a kind of Edwardian superfood.

Supper (served before bed, around 7pm) – one or more of the following might be served.

Bread and butter or bread and dripping

Hot milk

Porridge

Boiled onions

Cream crackers, butter and cheese

Simple fare, and perhaps less extensive that in modern times for the time of day. This is presumably because the bulk of the calories needed was taken in during breakfast and lunch, and the family had had the opportunity to gather together for a hot meal during the middle of the day as well. The need to give the stomach a rest from meat overnight is emphasised in Miss Hitching’s book.

I look at all this food, and wonder whether personally I could plough my way through all of this every day, even taking out the ‘luncheon’ and ‘tea’ on the basis of not being a growing child. It is also intriguing to wonder what might happen to the body, were we to start eating like this regularly. Given that the calorific intake is probably higher than we are used to today, would we end up fatter? Or would the simple nature of the food allow our bodies to process the fats and sugars more effectively than we tend to now, leading to fewer metabolic problems such as diabetes and obesity. I think I have an inkling as to the answer, when I think about rationing that was to come thirty years later during World War II, which involved a diet not too far removed from what we are seeing in this 1910 list, albeit with less meat. This led to an improvement in the nation’s health, so perhaps the answers to the obesity epidemic lie in what our grandmothers already knew about choosing food for the family?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 339 other followers