Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Hang on a cotton picking second...wasn't it July literally yesterday? How has December managed to swoop in with such stealth that none of us noticed until it was sitting in our laps?
As we all gear up for Christmas, Jew's the world over have been making preparations for Hanukkah (which has actually been and gone now since it landed on the 8th of December this year).
If like me, you're a total ignoramus whose knowledge of Hanukkah stretches as far as the Friends episode in which Ross dresses up as a giant armadillo, here is the very rough and very short version of the story of Hanukkah.
After the Maccabees's (a Jewish rebel army) reined victorious in 165 BC, the Jew's returned to Jerusalem to find that the Maccabean's (the nasty buggers) had desecrated their temple by polluting the oil used for burning the lamps, leaving only enough oil for one lamp to burn.
When they did a stock take of all the oil they found there was only enough left for one day, but after pouring it into the lamp it happily lasted eight days, meaning they could give the temple a spruce up and re-stock their holy oil supplies (no next day delivery in those days).
Hanukkah is commemorated with an 8day long celebration, 'The Jewish Festival of Lights' and usually falls in November or December.
The upshot of all this is that the miracle of the oil is celebrated via the medium of food, and the deep frying of.
These yummy little potato cakes, called Latkes are only a teeny part of the glorious fried delights eaten during this holiday. This recipe is adapted from Nigella's How to Be a Domestic Goddess and these Latkes are the ultimate in stodgy comfort food, but they'd be perfect as little canapes if you were having a party or as part of a meal with maybe gammon and a pineapple relish, there really is no end to what you can do with these and eat them with and the recipe is so straight forward that once you've made them once you'll be gagging to whip them up again...just remember who let you in on the secret...
- 1 Small white onion
- 700g Of potatoes (fluffy types like Maris Piper are perfect)
- 1 Egg (I use free range)
- 2 Tbsp's of self raising gluten-free flour (My flour of choice is as always Doves Farm)
- Salt and pepper to season
- Sunflower oil,and plenty of it
- Food Processor
- Frying pan (heavy based if you've got it)
- A big wodge of kitchen paper
- A tea towel
- Start off by peeling your spuds and then halving them.
- Use the grater disc attachment your food processor to push them potatoes through. If you find yourself sans grater disc its time to get grating the old fashioned way and shred your 'tatoes using the coarsest side of the grater.
- Tip the spuds into a sieve and drain off all the starchy potato juice. Dump the lot onto a clean tea towel and dry them off, too wet and the Latke mixture will be too runny and soggy for frying and it'll spit like a cat unleashed from hell when you come to put them into the hot oil.
- Swap your grater attachment for the double blade and blitz the egg and self raising flour in the mixer.
- Peel and roughly chop your onion and feed it to the mixer, adding salt and pepper to taste and then give it all another quick whizz.
- Next throw in your dried off potatoes to the mixture, this time giving it a longer whizz. You want the mixture to be well Incorporated with the texture and consistency of porridge, don't puree it into oblivion.
- In your pan heat a decent slug (around 1cm deep) of the sunflower oil over a medium heat. You want the oil lightly bubbling but not eye wateringly smoking. A good tip I learnt recently for knowing when oil is done is to pop the end of a wooden spoon into the hot oil, if little bubbles appear around it then you're good to go.
- The Latkes are traditionally use around a tablespoon sized amount of the mixture, but you can easily halve that amount and make the potato cakes more bite sized.
- Tablespoon sized cakes take around 4-5minutes on each side, halve that for the smaller sized Latke's. When you're ready to fry, plop your mixture into the hot oil and let the cakes fry for around 4-5 minutes before flipping them.
- *TIP* Don't try and slide a spatula under the cakes as soon as they hit the hot oil,they'll stick. Wait a minute or so before trying as the mixture will have started to cook, automatically unsticking itself from the pan as it cooks.
- Once cooked, the Latke's should be golden and yummy looking. Spoon the cakes onto a few sheets of kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
- Cook under the cover of darkness, when nobody is around to stop you impede on your taking the plateful and polishing the lot off yourself.
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Pumpkins. As a nation us Brits probably only encounter a pumpkin when Halloween rolls round and even then I doubt many of us eat the innards after we've finished hacking a face into one. I know Pumpkin Pie is a Thanksgiving staple in the U.S but we don't have anything like that here and I think a lot of people are a bit daunted about where to start with a pumpkin and what to do it, and most of the time pumpkins are generally bigger than the International Space Station and unless you have a meat cleaver it's a bit of a battle trying to slice them to bits.
Anyway, there's a pumpkin farm in Slindon close to where we live and every Halloween that put on a massive display of all their different breeds of pumpkins, and it really is a bit mental how many different types of pumpkins there are..although I kept walking past a grey coloured one which I thought looked a bit rank but which then turned out to be a cat. For anyone as ignorant as me, pumpkins are part of the squash family and they literally do come in giant mahusive size and teeny tiny size. We chose a fairly small medium sized stewing pumpkin (the green one) and a smaller 'onion' pumpkin (the orange one).
My dad has been a member of the British Heart Foundation for almost two years now and every quarter they send out a newsletter with loads and loads of heart healthy recipes (if you have heart problems or know someone who does get yourself signed up to be a member because they're a brilliant charity) and in the last issue there were a couple of recipes Dad and I thought we could tweak and change so they were gluten-free and utilised the pumpkins we'd scouted. Sorted.
- 'Onion' pumpkin or small squash of similar size (around 6oz/175g)
- 1Tbsp of rapeseed or olive oil
- A small onion
- 1 Tsp of ground cumin
- 2 Eggs
- 2oz Of feta cheese crumbled (or Cheddar grated)
- 100ml milk (I used semi skimmed)
- 1 Pack of Dietary Specials Shortcrust Pastry or if you fancy making your own pastry here's my recipe
- Pinch of paprika
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 cupcake tray or if you want one big pie a flan tin
- Rolling pin
- Baking parchment
- A big baking tray
- A wicked sharp knife
- Pop your oven up to around Gas mark 5 and grease your baking tray/tin
- Roll out your pastry fairly thin and then use it to line the tray, before lining each with some baking parchment and weighing it down with baking beans or rice. Pop in the oven and blind bake for around 8-10mins then remove from the oven and leave to one side.
- Whack your oven up to gas 7 and start chopping your veg. The pumpkin/squash needs to be deseeded,skinned and then diced up to roughly the size of a sugar cube. Repeat with the onion but dice it to half the size of the pumpkin.
- Throw the onions and pumpkin in a bowl with the oil and the spices and give it a good mix so its all well coated in the oil before you scatter it on your baking tray. Pop the lot in the oven, it should take around 20minutes to cook and you'll need to give it a bit of a stir and poke about half way through. Turn the oven down to gas 5 again.
- Spoon the veggie mix into the tart cases (removing the parchment first!) and crumble a small amount of cheese onto each tart
- In a bowl whisk the eggs and milk together and the pour an even amount of the milk/egg mixture over the top of the veg mix.
- Pop the tarts in the oven for around 15-20mins, they shouldn't take any longer than that because they're so tiny so keep a good eye on them. They'll be set and the pastry should be starting to golden when they're ready.
- Take them out the oven and wait until they've cooled down a tad before you try and fish the tarts out of the tray.
- Warning: These are deceptively moreish, make and eat at your own peril!
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 2 white medium onions
- 1lb/450g of pumpkin (or butternut squash)
- 1 1/2 pints of veggie stock
- 2 large sticks of celery
- 2 Tsp of ground cumin
- 2 Tsp of ground coriander
- creme fresh (optional)
- Food processor or blender
- Large baking tray
- Big frying pan
- Peel and deseeded your pumpkin/squash and chop up into cubes, then pop in the oven at around Gas 6 for around 20minutes until soft.
- Chop up your onions and celery, slug your oil into the frying pan and then throw in your onions and celery and cook until softened. Add your spice and let the whole lot stew for about a minute before adding the pumpkin and stock.
- Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer, pop a lid on the pan and cook down for around 20-25minutes, giving it a poke every now and then.
- Once cooked, throw the whole lot into the blender and whizz up until completely smooth and pureed.
- The soup can be frozen and lasts for about 3 months in the freezer (bonus) but if you want some then and there, pop however much soup you'd like in a pan and heat gently until hot.
- Plop in some creme fresh or enjoy sans creme.
Monday, 19 November 2012
Doesn’t time fly when you’re being pumped full of drugs with an NHS blanket on your lap and a junior doctors finger up your bum? I’ve no idea what they’re looking for, but if it’s the lost treasure of Sierra Leone they’re going to be sadly disappointed.
So. As it stands. Obama is back in the Oval Office, I’m a Celebrity
is on our screens yet again, and I’m officially in love with that James
Arthur kid with the tattoo’s and the swagger on X Factor.
It’s been a long time since I last posted, about 5months now and I’ve missed it far more than I thought I would.
In June, after 7years together my ex left me (don’t worry this isn’t going to be a bitter break up story because quite frankly I don’t want to waste the oxygen), which came at a bad time (if there is ever a good time for someone to leave you for someone else.).
My depression had been slowly percolating in the background since the start of the year and being dropped on my arse was just the kick off the ledge I needed to make me completely lose my shit.
I’ve talked about my old friend D.Pression on here before, but this time things were significantly different, and although I don’t credit Steve leaving me as a catalyst but his exit to stage left was just the olive floating in the cocktail of crap.
By the time Friday arrived 5days post break-up, I looked like I’d been rolling around in a sty, I wasn’t really speaking and shuffled about like a cry for help with hair like Worzel Gummidge, in leggings with a hole in the crotch the size of my fist and a sweater so grubby it could have walked to the washing basket by itself.
I was being a twat. I knew I was, and even now,looking back knowing I was up to my knee’s in it and that my depression was to blame for 90% of how I was feeling I’m still organ cringingly, desperately embarrassed by the fuss I was making. My depression was like trying to juggle a hot spud with my feet and TOBP’s (always consistently badly timed!) were getting worse.
I saw a lovely doctor in A&E, who was, of course, gorgeous because it’s in the NHS rule book that when you have to go anywhere medically related and its concerning anything to do with your bowels or poo they wheel out a good looking doctor from a room next door to cupboard where they keep the blankets.
I was moved down to another ward where a doctor who we shall call Dr.Trevor (because that was his name) and another doctor who we will call Dr. Nobhead (because he was one) waved TOBP’s problems off as gastroenteritis and referred to my depression as ‘emotional problems’ whilst using inverted comma fingers. Bastard. I’d have kneed him in the groin if I weren’t dragging an IV stand around with me like a border collie.
I would have been discharged but the nurse who was looking after me must have taken pity on me or must have looked at the state of my hair and judged that it hadn’t seen a brush in a week and he rang the on call physiatric nurse to come and see me.
It sounds an exaggeration (of which I am aware that I am prone) but I’m not sure where I’d be if the nurse hadn’t made that call for me. I was given some diazepam to tide me over until I was to see the physiatrist on Tuesday and I was sent home in a daze and totally addled like when you come out of the Debenham’s New Year sales.
Tuesday rolled round. I was hoping for the whole leather couch get up and ink blot tests, but instead I got a bloke with an accent and trousers so tight I could make out several parts of his anatomy and who listened to his voice messages the entire time I was there. He asked me if I thought I’d hurt myself and at the time, horrible as it sounds, I honestly didn’t know that I wouldn’t if pushed to my limits and I said as much, to which he winked and said ‘best to hide the pills from you then, no? ha-ha! ….”. I’m always happy to take the piss out of myself and laugh at the many delicacies of my various health problems but at that moment if I’d had the energy and will I would’ve snapped his shitting iphone over my knee. He sent me away with anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. His one saving grace.
By the evening my supposed ‘gastroenteritis’ had got much worse and my Dad and I made the trek to a&e to wait in a packed waiting room until I was seen by a doctor who took one look at my veins which are now become so small they can’t be seen by the naked eye that he physically ran for the phone faster than the speed of sound.
I have regaled the many times the collective staff of the NHS has tried to get an IV in me. Even getting blood from me is like getting it from a HD telly, having it taken from my femoral vein (groin) in the past (although thank cheese on chips I’d done a bit of landscape gardening with the Venus that day)
This time was no different, the poor Matron attempted for 40mins to find a vein big enough for a line that would last longer than a fart. By the time she found one my Dad was the colour of a 70’s bathroom tiles and the Matron had a bit of a dab on but she managed to get a cannula in the underside of my wrist which pinched like hot hair tongs on a naked thigh, and lasted a fairly impressive two hours.
The nice young doctor who came in to examine me attempted another search for a vein. I’d been soaking my feet in hot water to raise a few veins (since my arms and hands were shot to shit) and to my acute embarrassment Mr. Dishy Dr (in all his floppy hair, snug trousered glory) took my feet from the bowl and proceeded to dry them with a towel and then massaged (massaged. I’m sure if I was anatomically able, I’d have had a hard on) them to get the veins up a bit more. While this was going on I fought the urge not to die on the spot. Suffice to say he got it in. The line. He got the line in.
The line lasted 24 hours and my foot swelled up to look like something not unlike a pigs trotter, and it was decided that it would be best for me (but I suspected more for the poor bugger's hunting for a vein) that I would have a PICC line inserted. A PICC is basically a very thin catheter inserted in a big ol’ vein in your arm, which leads to your heart. The beauty of the PICC is that they can take blood from the line and while a normal IV has to be changed every 72hours, the PICC can stay in for months. What a marvellous invention. Every modern home should have one!
In the end I was in hospital for a week while they tried to sort out the inflammation in my bowel with a 7day course of Officially The Worst Antibiotics In The World Ever, which made me feel as rough as arse holes and made me so sick that I wondered if it was at all possible if you could in fact die from nausea.
Although I would usually prefer to eat my own kidney than go into hospital (I usually have to be backed into a corner like a wild animal trying to dodge a tranquiliser dart) but this time it was different. It was probably the best thing to happen to me both physically and mentally. With my depression reaching new heights (or lows however way you want to look at it) my health lurching from one disaster to the next quicker than the Waltzers I was definitely on the want for some structure and shape to my life. And the hospital in all its army style rigour and routine gave me the structure I needed to be able to gain back the reins of my depression.
|Tootsie IV, Hard drugs, potassium, Best Plasters In The World Ever.|
My health is ticking along as it always has done (I’ve been in hospital three times since the admission in June) and my depression is significantly improved for which I am pant wettingly grateful.
I’m currently attending group sessions as part of my ‘recovery’ from depression (you can't see my expression, but by 'eck its dubious). I say ‘attending’, but I haven’t actually attended a session yet after someone told me they make you blow bubbles. Proper bubbles. I’m not sure I’m ready for a One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest type scenario so I’m still trying to decide what's best for me in terms of moving along with my depression, something that doesn’t include listening to Mumford and Son’s on repeat or eating my body weight in Tangtastics.
I’m still getting there but how things are now to how they were makes me feel optimistic that I’m moving on however gastropodically slow it may be.
So, thank-you for reading this very self-indulgent post and for being the best and most patient readers a blogger could have, thanks for sticking around.
Also a few other thank-you’s to people who have helped me pick myself up and dust myself off, again, and who deserve lots more than a mere ‘ta for that’; Skye, Suz, Anna, Caz, Jo, Bun’s, Hazel, Cal, Soph and Tom.
Saturday, 9 June 2012
So come the weekend its always nice to pull your finger out and make a bit more of effort.
This was a bit of a spur of the moment thing, I only had a basic recipe which I changed and embellished and this was the fruits of my labour, or not as the case may be as its a super quick and really easy recipe with loads of ways you can customise it to your tastes. Plus its ridiculously yummy. Fact.
So dig your frying pan out sharpish and get cooking...you can thank me later.
- 8 Slices of gluten free bread (2 slices per person)*
- 1 Tsp cinnamon
- 75g Butter plus extra for frying
- 4 Eggs (free range)
- Maple syrup
- Icing sugar for dusting
- 2 Tbsp of caster sugar
- 2-3 Handfuls of mixed fruit (I used raspberries and strawberries but you could use banana's, blueberries or whatever fruit you like)
- Frying pan
- Shallow dish
- Start off by slicing your strawberry tops off and halving them, throw them in a bowl with the raspberries (if you're using bananas you won't need to do this stage) and sprinkle over the sugar and give them a stir and put aside while you get on with Frenching your bread.
- Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the cinnamon. In your shallow dish crack in your eggs and whisk them until well beaten. Pour in your cinnamon/butter mix and whisk the whole lot together thoroughly.
- Throw a large knob of butter into the frying and melt over a medium to low heat until the butter starts to froth. Keep the heat on the lower side, whacking it up high will burn the butter which smells and tastes beyond rank.
- Dip your bread in the egg mixture, laying them down into the dish soaking one side before turning it over and repeating the process on the other side.
- Lay the bread face down and fry for around 30 seconds, pressing the bread down with the underside of a spatula. Once golden brown, flip over and repeat the process on the other side and then with the other slices of bread.
- Dish the bread up onto a plate covered with a few sheets of kitchen towel to soak up any excess grease and then dish up onto a clean plate.
- To serve, pile a good old heap of your fruit and a little bit of the fruit liquor over your French toast, dribble over some maple syrup and sieve over a light dusting of icing sugar.
- If you don't find this breakie yummy I shall eat my shoes. And my hat. Eat, enjoy and don't tell anyone..we don't want everyone knowing..
Sunday, 6 May 2012
|Image sent from a friend originally from tumblr|
At this point you will most probably be thinking 'Eh up, who's this chick rolling up into my Reading List?' for which you'd be forgiven.
But its only me, back from the depths of illness..whoever suggested I had expired (is a cheeky bugger) was a tad misinformed, because like Britney Spears virginity this is nowt but urban myth, I'm alive, struggling to get well and have spent the last few months shuttling back and forth between the hospital and my leopard print onesie.
Since the start of December last year up until now a flare up of The Other Bowel Problems have kept me firmly ensconced in a groundhog day of A&E, collapsed veins, numerous personal questions about my bowel habits, a litany of interrogations by various doctors, trundling around various wards dragging drip stands with wonky wheels, hospital meals I wouldn't feed my dog, endless days of reading old copies of Take a Break and Woman's Own and eavesdropping on whats wrong with the other patients on any given ward.
Thankfully it hasn't been one long hospital stay and I've mostly got away with only spending a few nights there at a time, thank all that is holy because if id have been in that hospital since Christmas I would probably be dictating this post to someone outside my padded cell rather than typing it up myself from the comfort of my own bed.
TOBP's (like Eamon Holmes presenting skills) have been in a steady state of decline for months (but feels like its been going on since the year dot) and have been dragging my mental down the dunny with it.
This aggravates the absolute eye teeth out of me, because the last thing anyone wants when they feel rough as arse-holes is to feel mentally unhinged as well..but this is just my bodies way of heaping a pile of cream on top of the a crap sundae I was already being dished up.
I have been enjoying (this is lies, there has been no enjoying) various tests on my bowels with varying degrees of invasion into my privacy and dignity.
A few weeks ago I had an MRI for which I had to knock back 2 litre's of some very funky tasting jollop and then had to try and clamber up onto a glorified tea tray and arrange myself face down on it with as much dignity as I could muster in a hospital issue gown (Versace it wasn't) while the doctor and MRI technician pretended not to notice my older than time itself knickers which once beheld diamante studs spelling out S E X Y across my bum but which now only have the E and the X and part of the Y left and none of the elastic.
I'm assuming this fresh battery of tests is part of my gastroenterologists 'Lets Get Kate Well So I Don't Have To See Her On My Ward Every Week' master plan.
At least I'm hoping so, because at the moment there seems to be an awful lot of standing around looking at the steak dinner and no actual eating of it.
All I seem to be doing is knocking back tablets which seem to just slightly dilute my symptoms down to less ball achy versions of themselves...which feels like my doctor has given me a plastic hammer to bang in iron nails with.
Around New Year I always have a last ditch attempt at shelving my cynicism and naively hoping that this will be the year I finally clear all the crap out from underneath my bed// They find a cure for cancer...and its Cadburys chocolate// I finally tell my friend it was me who put my hand in the coat of paint she'd just spent ages doing in her bathroom// That George Lucas finally stops twatting about with the Star Wars films// and that is will be the year my doctor pulls his finger out and TOBP's become manageable enough that I can start getting a semblance of a life back together (oh but isn't woe me?).
Its obviously never come to fruition (although if Anna is reading this I'm sorry about the paint job!) but every year I do a secret finger crossing because its no real skin off my nose...except however much I try to act like making a new years wish is just a bit of silly arsing about there's still the teeny tiny, corny Disney wishing percentage part of my brain that hopes George Lucas will stop trying to find things to ruin in Return of The Jedi and that when I say 'This will be the year I get better' I actually will.
But this year I didn't bother to do my customary attempt at Healthy Eating during the first week of January, nor did I attempt to put a lid on the potty mouth and stop saying shit, bollocks or wanking-nora, and I certainly didn't bother wasting wishes or New Years resolutions from my Pigs Might Fly Fund on hoping 2012 would be The Year I'm Healthy.
Well the wish fairies obviously did not take kindly to my attempt at thwarting them with a bluff this year and hence this has been the worst year for TOBP's in living memory...and also a new kick in the taco health concern which shot into my life to spice things up at Easter...
So...the long and short of it is that as of this week I'm being treated for Epilepsy.
My doctors still don't know if that's definitely what it is (because trying to get a straight answer out of a doctor is like trying to get a cat to bark) but its a safe assumption after looking at my tests and observing my seizures over the last week.
I had my first fit about a month ago on Easter weekend (I had up til that point never had a seizure in my life) I remember absolutely nothing about what happened but came to in my bed to find my poor mum standing over me wearing her best 'That's 20 more grey hairs you have just given me Kate' look and a paramedic that looked like Right Said Fred stood next to her...unable to remember much the first sensible question to ask seemed to be 'so whats the crack?' , and it turned out I'd had a seizure and not just a little twitch either, a full blown legs-doing-the-can-can-fit and since I couldn't even say what day it was ('what day is it Kate?' 'Thursday' it was Sunday) much less make a decision myself it was decided that I should probably go to A&E (because I hadn't been there enough apparently)...and all this in my skankiest pyjama's...the only saving grace is that I didn't tiddle myself.
Anyway, since then I've had over 30 seizures of varying seriousness and this week my neurologist decided it would be safer for me to be in hospital than at home so that's where I've been until I came home on Friday.
I wanted to write this post just to explain where I've been for the past few months, I've felt awful for ignoring my blog and abandoning twitter but I felt like any posts I did while I've been as ill as I have been and felt as mentally done in as I was would have been halfhearted, half arsed pieces of crap. This is categorically not a 'give me sympathy give me attention' post, because I don't want any of either, quite frankly any attention for being ill is not what I think of as well earned, I'd rather be the eye of the storm for doing something of interest rather than something of interest happening to me. It was important for me to tell you where I've been and why there has been a distinct lack of posts around the place.
While Crohn's (TOBP's) and Coeliac's have been my life since I was 20 and I know the ins and outs of a ducks arse where they are both concerned I have little to no knowledge of epilepsy or seizures so if any of you guys are epileptic, if you know any good websites, could recommend treatment medications etc or just tell me anything about it that I won't squeeze out of a doctor I'd love to hear from you and if you don't want to leave a comment for the rest of the rabble to read you're more than welcome to email me email@example.com.
I've really missed your mushes...the blog and being part of twitter has bought some UH-mazing people into my life and all your tweets, emails and texts have been more than lovely and the support you've given me has left me lost for words sometimes (which you will probably know by now is a virtual impossibility without a balled up pair of socks and some duct tape).
But even with all the health bollocks I'm a very lucky girl indeed, Thank-you to all the Katie-Boo babes who stuck around, from the bottom of my heart.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Sorry in advance to any male readers or those with severe aversion to pink, I just couldn't help but do another pink Christmas post...it's as involuntary as wanting to smack Lee Evans in the face. So sit back and feast your eyes on this little lot (including the gorgeous Skye's beautifully made knitted headbands from her shop 'i am hand-made').
|From left-right: Via weheartit.com , i am hand-made , John Lewis, Paperchase, Paperchase, Via weheartit.com , Sainsburys, Via weheartit.com , John Lewis.|
|From left-right Sainsburys, Via weheartit.com , Via Etsy, Via weheartit.com , Via weheartit.com , Accessorize , Paperchase, Paperchase, Via weheartit.com|
Saturday, 10 December 2011
I've got to be honest and say I'm not keen on traditional X-mas desserts like Figgy Pudding, and since I became chef de jour at casa de Jeffs the responsibility has fallen to me to do the pud for Christmas day, and the past few years it has gone well (although we shan't mention the disaster with a Jamie yule log recipe...I'm still bitter).
Last year I made these Eggnog creams and they were yummy and not massively heavy either which you don't want when your so full to bursting with turkey and 'tatoes that you couldn't even wedge a sprout in. So if you fancy something different from the run of the mill Fig-Pud or X-mas cake give these creams a go, you won't regret it.
- 300ml Double Cream
- 500ml Milk
- 60ml Brandy (if you want to make the pud alcohol free skip the brandy)
- 1/2 Vanilla extract
- 1 Vanilla Pod
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Tsp of nutmeg
- 4 Large egg yolks
- 110g Caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Sheets of gelatin
- Electric whisk
- Around 8 glasses or bowls that will hold around 150ml worth of the creams.
- Split your vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Throw the pod and seeds in a nice big saucepan with the milk and the cinnamon stick and simmer over a medium heat until just below boiling point (Don't boil it!). Take it off the heat and let it all stew away and infuse for about an hour.
- In a bowl beat together the egg yolks, brandy, sugar, the salt and vanilla extract with your electric whisk (unless your a glutton for punishment and want to do it by hand). Keep whisking until the mixture is pale, stiff and thick.
- Next reheat the milk mixture that's been infusing for an hour over a the lowest heat and then sieve it over the egg/brandy mix. Give it a ruddy good stir.
- Get yourself a clean pan and pour in the milk and egg mix and cook over an uber low hear for about 4 minutes to make your custard which should be smooth and lump free (don't overcook).
- In a bowl soak your gelatin leaves until they're soft. Ring them out to remove the excess water. Throw in with your custard and give it all a good stir until the gelatin dissolves.
- Get yourself a big bowl or fill the sink with iced water and pour your custard into another bowl and then place it into the iced water, giving it a stir every now and then until its cooled down and has thickened up, (you don't want it to set).
- Whisk your double cream until its thickened and peaking. Fold it gently into the cooled custard until well mixed and spoon into your serving glasses or bowls.
- After around 4hours the mixture will have set and will be ready for the eating...dust them with an arty farty grating of nutmeg and after a couple of glasses of mulled wine try not to let it end up in your lap.