Tag Archives: onions

A delicious Sausage Stew

This is a recipe for a delicious, nutritious, easy and cheap sausage stew which is just the job for warming you up on a chilly day.  This recipe serves 6 easily and uses storecupboard ingredients.  If, as in my case, there are only 2 or 3 of you, eat the stew with the sausages on day one, then eat the rest the next day either on its own with bread and cheese or add some lamb chops, chicken legs or bits of black pudding.

SAUSAGE STEW

Utensils:
1 x large saucepan or casserole dish suitable for the hob
1 x chopping board
1 x vegetable peeler

Ingredients:
a little oil
8 good sausages
1 medium onion – chopped
1 small swede or half a big one – peeled & cubed
3 medium parsnips – peeled & cubed
3 medium carrots – chopped into chunks
2 medium potatoes – chopped into chunks (I leave the skins on)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 pint of stock – I made half beef and half chicken
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 flat tablespoon paprika
1 tin of baked beans
seasoning to taste

Method:
Heat the oil in a saucepan
Add the sausages and cooked until nicely browned
Add the onions and soften a little, adding a bit more oil if necessary
Add all the other ingredients except the baked beans
Cook on a low heat until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally (probably about ½ hour to 40 minutes)
Add the baked beans and cook for a further five minutes
Serve in big bowls

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Filed under Food, Leftovers, Recipes, Seasonal, Storecupboard

Tyneside Floddies all mine, all mine…

Bacon Floddies, a sort of potato cake, are a tradition part of a Tyneside breakfast and would be served with eggs and sausages.  Apparently they originated on the canals where the navvies would cook them on their shovels over the fire.

TYNESIDE FLODDIES

Utensils:
1 x potato peeler
1 x grater
1 x tea towel – clean!
1 x mixing bowl
1 x large frying pan
Kitchen roll (paper towel) to drain

Ingredients:
10oz / 300g potatoes – peeled
1 large onion – finely chopped
6oz / 180g bacon – rinds off and finely chopped
2oz / 60g self raising flour
2 eggs
oil for frying

Method:
Grate the potatoes onto the tea towel
Gather it up and squeeze the liquid out of the potatoes
Put the chopped onion into a bowl and add the potatoes, bacon and flour
Season to taste
Beat the eggs into the potato mixture
Heat the oil in the frying pan to a medium heat
Put ample tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the frying pan and flatten them out to form round cakes
Cook on each side until golden brown and cooked all the way through – about 4 minutes each side
Lift out of the pan and drain the oil off on the kitchen paper
Serve immediately with fried eggs and good sausages and shovel it down!

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Filed under Food, Recipes, Regional, Slider

Lancashire Hot Pot

I was listening to Desert Island Discs on Sunday morning and it featured the wonderful actress Betty Driver who plays Betty in ITV’s ‘Coronation Street’.  In the programme, she is famous for her ‘Ot Pots and her presence on the wireless prompted me to give you this recipe. 

Some time ago, I gave you the recipe for Cumberland Tattie Pot which is a regional variation which includes sausages and black pudding.  The great thing about this sort of dish is that it’s so versatile; see what’s cheap or on special offer at the butchers and throw that in, or see what you have in the freezer.  Substitute kidneys for liver, use pork shops or different type of sausage (look at Rate My Sausage for advice on different types), try mushrooms, carrots or thinly sliced swede.  Be wild and free!  

Betty's 'Ot Pot

LANCASHIRE HOT POT

Utensils:
1 x large frying pan
1 x large casserole dish with a lid

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil
8-12 lamb chops
6oz / 180g lamb’s kidneys – cored and cut into pieces
2 medium onions – thinly sliced
a few sprigs of rosemary
2lb / 1kg potatoes – thinly sliced (I leave the skin on)
1 pint / 600ml lamb or beef stock
3oz / 90g butter

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 / 350 / 4
Heat the oil to a high-ish heat in the frying pan
Brown the chops quickly on both sides to seal, remove from the pan and set aside
Put the kidneys into the frying pan and lightly brown
Remove from the pan and set aside
Layer the chops, kidneys, onions, herbs and potatoes in the casserole
Season if you wish
Finish off with a layer of potatoes
Pour over the stock and dot the top with bits of butter to brown it nicely
Put the lid on and pop it in the oven for 2 hours
Remove the lid and turn the heat up to 220 / 425 / 7
Return to the oven and cook, without the lid for another half hour until the potatoes are crisping nicely

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Filed under Food, Recipes, Regional

Garden Update 2

From the pot to the pot in 5 minutes

Today I had the pleasure of harvesting the first of my carrots which were grown in pots.  I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to prepare my garden properly for vegetables earlier in the year, but I did manage to get in a few rows of onions and potatoes, one row of cabbages and a few pots of carrots.

I inherited my garden with a small raised bed and I got very excited until I discovered that it was just a large lump of clay with a couple of old railway sleepers round the edge.  Hence the spuds which are starting to break the soil up a little.  My onions are now in and waiting to be plaited into a neat hanging thingy; they are so crisp and full of flavour they make me weep.  Oh hang on…. But joking apart they really are lovely onions.

I planted my potatoes much too close together which made them difficult to earth up and they completely overshadowed my cabbages and I forgot about them until about two months ago.  Consequently, the cabbages got a bit sluggy and the last but one has bolted, but the others were all nicely tight-headed and delicious.

As I mentioned earlier, the soil in my garden is very heavy clay and therefore completely unsuitable for carrots.  If you attempt to plant carrots in clay, all you will get is clumps of fanged, knobbly monstrosities which are neither use nor ornament, unless they grown into amusingly genital shapes, but even this has limited entertainment when the family is crying out for Sunday lunch! 

I didn’t have time to organise different areas of soil, or to improve all the soil in time for planting, so I did my old trick of planting in large plastic pots.  I made a mix of half compost and half sharp sand and filled three giant pots with it.  I then carefully and thinly sowed carrot seed as per the instructions on the packet and left them to it.  I’ve just had my first crop and I can’t tell you how delicious they were and you can’t get any fresher than taking them out of the ground and into the pot five minutes later.  Do try growing things in pots if you don’t have much garden – you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

Vis a vis the other things I planted, I had a grand total of ten tomatoes, the neighbour’s horse ate the pumpkin plant and the pepper just stared at me very hard as I walked past, but did nothing.

I have grander plans for the garden next year.  As my landlord stole half my garden, there is no longer any need for the badly made and un-membraned gravel path that cuts across what remains of my lawn.  I shall remove it, use the wooden planks to edge the front flower bed, move the pathetic box plants to in front of the fence, where hopefully they will eventually form a nice hedge.  I will then be left with a decent, vaguely rectangular lawn which will be easier to mow.

I can then move the tatty sleeper edged bed, which is at the moment full of mint, and use the remaining sleeper to extend the vegetable patch.  With hard work and a following wind I may even have room for the garden swing which I bought and promised to put up for the boys two years ago.

This is not as much work as it sounds and, to be honest, I far prefer diggin’, choppin’ and ‘ackin’ work to poncing about with plants.  The Aged Parent can do that – it’ll keep her joints supple.

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Filed under Food, Plants, The Garden

Natural Home Remedies – Part 2: Colds, coughs, flu, indigestion and thrush

In which I discuss digestive, throat problems, phlegm, colds, coughs and thrush in both men and women.

Plants on windowsil 08.09.09Natural medicines seem  to be very much in demand, judging by your visits to the Wartime Housewife recently, so I will tell you about a few more. But before I do, I want to have a little chat about alternative and complementary treatments. 

I am a qualified Massage Therapist and Aromatherapist (oh how I loathe that term) and I have a special interest in nutrition.  I tend to see people with chronic illnesses such as Parkinsons, arthritis, shingles, depression, but occasionally people come to me with acute conditions such as back pain, muscle spasms or because they feel run down.   I take a full medical history, listen to their heart rate, take their blood pressure and, most importantly, listen and observe very carefully while they tell me about their condition.  Sometimes alarm bells ring and I refer them straight to their GP.  If they have an acute condition such as a muscle strain I can generally make them better, providing they do as they’re told.   With chronic illness, I can support circulation, immune system, nervous system, muscle tone, digestion and promote relaxation.  This ‘me time’  helps people to feel better able to cope, so that although I can’t make them better, I can help them to feel better.

But what I always tell people with more long term health problems is this.  It has taken a long time for you to become unwell and if you really want to get better it will take a while for your body to right itself. And it will only do this if you change your behaviour, your diet and how much you move about.  This can be very hard these days as we put ourselves under enormous pressure at home and at work, but part of the ethos of The Wartime Housewife is to re-examine how we live our lives.  Food is our fuel and if we don’t nourish our bodies properly we will break down.  Exercise keeps us fit, speeds up our metabolism and releases endorphins which lift our spirits.  Our families and friends provide us with love, support, entertainment and physical and intellectual stimulus so we must nurture them and make time for them and for ourselves.  We must learn to understand how our bodies work and look after them appropriately.

I am not anti doctors, but we have to give them a fighting chance.  The NHS is massively burdened with people who become ill  because they eat rubbish, don’t move about enough, and generally abuse themselves.  GP’s are asked to work longer and longer hours in the interests of accessibility, when I can’t help feeling that if people genuinely need medical advice, they should make the time to visit the doctor during reasonable surgery hours. 

The whole issue of work, illness, trust and personal responsibility will have to wait for another article.  In the meantime, The Wartime Housewife says ‘Eat proper food and not too much of it, move about more, get regular fresh air and have a decent night’s sleep’.  In case of malfunction , here are a few remedies to help you out.  (Remember if symptoms persist, consult your GP – at a respectable time!)

Indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, wind

Get a large handful of fresh mint leaves or a flat tablespoon of dried mint and put into a jug or teapot.
Pour about ¾ pint of boiling water
Leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.
Strain and sip gently and slowly until it is all gone
Repeat when necessary.

You can also use peppermint essential oil if you have it.  2 drops to 1 pint of very hot water, stir well and pour out the required amount into a glass.  Sip gently until completely gone.

PHLEGM IN THE THROAT OR SINUSES

As above but use an equivalent amount of thyme instead of the mint.  Thyme is a very effective anti-mucolytic – if you really don’t like the taste add a tablespoon of honey which has the added advantage of being an anti-inflammatory.

COUGH MEDICINE

Chop 1 medium onion very finely and place in a small bowl
Pour 2 tablespoons of honey over the top
Cover and leave overnight.
Strain off the juice and take a dessertspoonful every hour or two until the cough is easing

BRINGING OUT THE FEVER OF COLDS AND ‘FLU

Obviously, I only recommend putting the whisky in for teenagers and adults.  And use your common sense and use a painkiller that suits you, don’t exceed the stated dose etc etc. 

Put into a tall glass:
1 bulging tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of whisky
Top up the glass with very hot water and stir well until the honey has dissolved
Drink it all before it goes cold.
Take 2 paracetamol or ibuprofen. 

If there is any fever lurking around, this will bring it out and usually guarantees a good night’s sleep at the end of it.

THRUSH TREATMENT FOR LADIES OR GENTLEMEN

Firstly, make sure that you keep your bits and pieces very clean indeed and wash with a non-fragranced soap.  Wear cotton underwear.  Then thoroughly mix:

1 tablespoon of zinc and castor oil cream with
1 drop tea tree oil

For women, apply gently to the external area.  Put some of the cream (1/4 teaspoon) onto the end of a tampon, pop it in as usual and leave for a couple of hours, then do it again.

For men, apply gently to the whole end of your willy, making sure you get it under your foreskin where micro-organisms roam free.

Both:  Keep treating until symptoms subside.  If it doesn’t clear up within about 48 hours, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Filed under Family and Friends, Natural Home Medicines, Nutrition & Sensible Eating

Huntingdon Fidget Pie

This pie was originally made around harvest time, to feed the hungry farm hands.  It’s lovely served with seasonal vegetables (I like dark green leaves) and a nice sweet puree of swede and carrots.

Utensils:
1 x rolling pin
1 x pie dish (approx 1 pint capacity)
1 x chopping board
1 x pastry brush
1 x small bowl of measuring jug

Ingredients:
1 packet shortcrust pastry
8oz (240g) lean back bacon – roughly chopped
1 medium onion – chopped
8oz (240g) cooking apples – peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 tblspn fresh parsley (or ½ tblspn dried parsley)
¼ pint (150ml) medium cider
1 flat tblspn plain floor
egg or milk to glaze

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to190 / 375 / 5
Mix together the bacon, onion, apples and parsley in the pie dish. 
Mix the flour, a little at a time, with the cider into the dish
Roll out the pastry to about ¼” (1/2cm) thick
Moisten the edge of the pie dish with water
Place over the pie dish and trim off any excess.
Make a few slits in the pastry to let the steam out
Brush the top with beaten egg or milk.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

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Filed under Food, Recipes