Rip Van Who?

I'm sure I can't be the only 'silly blogger' who goes to sleep one day, and the next time they look it's over a month since they posted the last load of codswallop on their blog!

So what's happened in the meantime? Well the horse-meat scandal is still going on... ...and on... ...and on; added to that, we're told that they've been putting naughty things in our sausage! Not only that, but some bright spark, no doubt funded by tax-payers' money, has proved what was already obvious to all but the most stupid of people: if you eat things that are known to be bad for you, you may not live as long! That said, given that everything that tastes nice seems to be bad for you, maybe people who avoid them, don't actually live longer, it just seems longer!

Better news is that the great forum at has had a full overhaul and update of its software. It's shortly going to have a cosmetic update as well. Thanks must go to forum member Vagrays, and the forum owners web-designer Andy, for these changes. If you're interested in curing or making sausages, smoking meat or fish, or just want information about how to make these goodies, get on over there and join in. They don't bite...

One of the reasons I've not written much is that I'm on a diet and so we're just not eating the amount of sausage and cooked meats that we used to. Combine that with the fact that Pauline does so much already, helping me in my daily life, and that I need her help more and more nowadays when I make anything, and you'll see why I try and keep things to the minimum. That said, I have been working on some new recipes, albeit mainly 'in my head', but with a bit of reading, online research, and a few drafts and revisions of previous unpublished trials.

At the moment I'm working on a Cumberland sausage made to the standards in the Cumberland Sausage Associations successful PGI application; well, apart from where they'll be being made, that is! I'm also looking at making a lamb Merguez sausage, whether it'll be like the true North African ones, or of the French variety, which I've at least had the advantage of tasting, remains to be seen. I'm also hoping to 'tinker' with my Polony recipe, which I've never been 100% with, and with my smoked Polish sausage, which has an aftertaste that I'm not keen on. I also bought a load of minced turkey that was 'going cheap' (make your own joke up and insert it here...!), so there'll possibly be something with turkey. I may even follow my own advice for once and make a Leicestershire version of turkey, feta and spinach: maybe turkey, spinach and white Stilton? We'll see. Whether they all happen next time around, remains to be seen.

I'm naughty really, I forget that there are people who don't know how to cook to any degree, and would appreciate recipes and instructions for the things we make everyday without thinking. I'll try to remember to take photos and put the recipes online. One I did take a picture of is this filled Yorkshire Pudding:

Filled Yorkshire Pudding

I was somewhat surprised to be asked for the recipe, as it's just 'Yorkies'! To save me having to use my brain twice in one day, I'll quote what I wrote on the forum:

I'll measure it next time, but my 'diet' version's roughly:
3oz plain flour (3-ish heaped tablespoons)
1 egg
about 7fl oz milk (semi-skimmed in this case)
S & P
(non-dieters can use 2 eggs)

Plus leftovers from Sunday dinner.

I mix the flour, eggs, and about ½ the milk and whisk till smooth, then add the rest of the milk. The mix wants to be the thickness of double cream. I used a silicone baking dish pre-heated until really hot in an oven set to 190°-200°C, before adding the mix; using silicone means that you don't need to add fat. If you cook it in a tin you'll need very hot lard/dripping to cook it in.

It's not low calorie by any means but the one in the picture, in a 20 cm (8 inch) tin, used about 2/5 of the mix - about 200 calories. To be honest, using half the mix would make a better job, the sides would be higher, but you'd be looking at 250 kcal. Note: calorie figures are 'ish'.

Now I'm eating less bread as I'm trying to lose weight, I've started to make a slightly different style of bread. I needed a loaf that wasn't too high in fat, but which keeps well - I'll write more about that another time though.

/* */