On the breakfast menu today, Chez Moi, were American style silver dollar pancakes, with banana, bacon and maple syrup.
Yesterday morning a blog I like, Kath Eats, had some fun with breakfast and made banana people to top her french toast with. I thought Harvey and Herbie would enjoy some banana people on their breakfast pancakes. Sebbie came round in the morning but had already eaten so he just had a drink. They looked so gorgeous, sitting eating nicely,
I decided I deserved some banana people too.
The eyes are dried blueberries, the noses are chunks of cashew or pecan nut and the mouths are dried cranberries.
If you go down to the woods today,
you’re sure of a big surprise.
But not of the teddy bear variety!
The cheeky boy type 🙂
I love how boys play. They just get on with it. In a wood, there are endless ways to be amused; stick fighting, climbing trees, swinging on branches, playing it/tag/chase, exploring ditches, jumping over small streams. The possibilities are endless. I had that momentary dilemma; should I stay with them and make sure they are safe or should I do my walk with the dogs and leave them to it. Leave them to play, free from prying adult eyes, to make up their own games and have the freedom to inhabit their own little world for a brief hour. I chose to leave them.
There is a loop I walk which Harvey is familiar with by now. He knows to not go far off the track and actually, he doesn’t need to as there is plenty to do within the loop. I walk it twice, once in each direction. So I passed by the boys after half an hour and saw that they were fine. Occasionally snatches of their laughter reached me as I walked in the lovely Autumn sunshine. 3 happy and hungry boys, 2 happy dogs and 1 happy Mummy walked home for lunch.
Lunch time. The boys had cold meats, pasta, pesto and cheese. I warmed through some falafel and some of the Hugh F-W oven baked tomatoes with garlic I made a couple of weeks ago. I ate that with some lettuce and fresh tomatoes from the garden, slices of roast chicken leftover from Sunday and some leftover avocado dressing. It was really good. The oven baked tomatoes were fantastic warmed up and they went brilliantly with the falafel which I really like but which can be a bit dry.
Eula’s Carrot and Butterbean Soup
- About 6 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into thirds
- One Leek, cleaned and chopped
- Fresh Rosemary – a good sprig, chopped
- A sprinkling of dried chilli flakes to taste
- 2 pints vegetable stock
- 1 x Can Butterbeans
- Olive oil and a little butter
- Roast the carrots in a hot oven in some olive oil, sprinkled with some salt and pepper, for about 20-25 mins
- Meanwhile sweat the leek in a little butter for the flavour and some olive oil with the rosemary and chilli flakes until just golden
- Add carrots and stock and bring to a simmer for about a further 20 mins until carrots soft.
- Add butterbeans and warm through.
- Whizz in a blender until smooth.
- Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt – I always use whole milk as it has the best flavour and is still only 4% fat anyhow.
I didn’t have a leek so used an onion which I roasted with the carrots rather than cook separately, to save another pan. I sprinkled the rosemary and chilli on about 5 minutes before cooking time in the oven finished. I had made a chicken stock with Sunday’s left over carcass so used that instead of vegetable stock.
It was delicious. I would say it made 2 portions, which Harvey and I had. We both really enjoyed it. We didn’t add the yogurt; I only had dairy free ones with fruit in and I wanted to save my points/calories for pudding. If you are dieting, it is delicious without anyway. The texture was velvety smooth, the flavour was sweet and creamy with an undercurrent of warmth from the chilli and the colour was fabulous. It was a comforting and happy bowl of Autumn. Wonderful. It was worthy of being eaten in my favourite bowls with my recently polished silver spoons. Thank you for sharing Eula.
Last night, 3 of my “sisters” sent me a photo which I shared on FaceBook of their version of one of my food photos. I shared it but only my FB friends would have seen it and even they would probably not have had even a hint of the hilarity that would have gone in to the photo. After all, no one could begin to know quite how crazy (but wonderful) my “sisters” are. It was similar to this photo below but even their lighting was poor (deliberately so). I missed them all and wanted to be there with them, laughing and giggling and tucking in to one of Trev’s lovely crumbles. So tonight, as a treat for us and in gratitude for having such wonderful “sisters”, here is a crumble I made. Not for one upmanship, as the taste of mine would at best only be as good as theirs, and they are perfectly capable of taking good photos but chose not to. But because we are kin. Well, some of us are (but don’t tell Caz she’s not really a sister).
Make the topping first. The basic recipe I use is:
- 100 g butter
- 175 g plain flour
- 75 g demerera sugar
But I play around with it depending on what’s in the cupboard and what I fancy. Tonight I used:
- 100g butter
- 100 g wholemeal flour
- 75 g rolled Jumbo oats
- 75 g demerera sugar
I mix the butter with the flour and oats in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs and then stir in the sugar. After years of rubbing the butter in to the flour, the way my Grandmother would have done, I realised it is quicker to wash up the food processor which blitzes the flour and butter in to “breadcrumbs” in seconds !
I then prepare the filling. I picked about 8 apples from the tree, peeled and cored them and put them in the baking dish (I use a deep dish to keep a high ratio of fruit to topping). My apples are quite sweet for cookers so I don’t need to add much sugar. I sprinkled on a very heaped tbsp of the fabulous cane sugar I brought back from Barbados last year and which I reserve for special treats. It has a wonderful caramel flavour. I had some raspberries in the fridge so added them, now that blackberry season is over. I like oats with raspberries too. I think the Scots got that right as they are a great flavour and texture combination.
I press the topping down and sprinkle on a little more of the precious sugar and then pop it in a hot oven, 200 ° C, for 30 – 40 minutes. It is cooked when the apples are soft which will vary depending on the variety and freshness of your fruit.
We loved our pudding. It seemed a real treat and should clearly not feature on a diet blog but now and again it needs to be done. While I enjoyed my crumble with tinned custard, I thought about my lovely family having some good times together in Uplyme, Devon/Dorset. It’s on the border and I always forget which county it really is. Uplyme is next to Lyme Regis and was on Hugh F-W’s Veg! programme twice on Sunday !! Once when he went to the Uplyme and Lyme Regis Cricket Club and then again when he went to the Uplyme Horticultural Show.
Thank you sisters for including me, albeit slightly bizarrely, in your meal last night. For breakfast tomorrow, make some banana people 🙂