Last night I was given a carrier bag of apples by an elderly friend of mine. He said proudly "They're James Grieves'".I obviously gave him a strange look be3caquse he followed up with "That's their name and they're regarded as culinary apples".
With around a dozen large apples to utilise I decided on a Tarte Tatin and some small apple pies. I've come across a recipe by James Tanner for a 'cinnamon cream' which looks interesting so I'll give that a go.
These past few days I've been left with a dilemma. The Test match is on at the Oval and I love to watch so that means snacking here and there unless it rains or we have the designated lunch or tea.
Today was a struggle.My wife has been planning all week to go out with some of her girl friends.I ought to point out that Tracey doesn't get out much so this is a bog occasion so she's really been looking forward to it. I've been the supportive husband and she suddenly announced "I need to take a plate of food with me cos we're meeting at Kays house for nibbles and drinks before we go out on the town!"
I racked my brains for something she could easily carry around the corner that would be reasonably filling because you don't really want to be drinking on an empty stomach. I decided on a vegetable quiche which was mainly courgette,onion and sweetcorn and garnished toward the end of cooking with some halved cherry tomatoes, finely diced sweetcorn and a spronkling of cheddar. It looks and smells gorgeous. As for the taste,I'll never know.
My day consists mostly of get up in pain,do the necessary and take all the prescribed medication and then relax.
This is what some doctors tell you to do and others say 'keep as active as possible'.
I try and follow the latter advise and as I've said 'if it wasn't for my love of cooking I'd have given up long ago'.
Before bed last night my wife asked if I was ever going to get around to making the Chunky Bran and Banana Muffins that she'd seen on a programme called Barefoot Contessa which is hosted by Ina Garten who lives in the luxurious Hamptons part of the USA.
This morning I did just that and here they are along with Ina's recipe which I urge you to try.
Chunky Banana Bran Muffins 2007, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved Serves: 10 to 12 muffins
Ingredients • 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran • 1 cup buttermilk (shaken) • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature • 6 tablespoons unsulphured molasses • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt • 1 cup raisins • 1 cup large-diced bananas • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place paper liners into 1 (10 or 12-cup) muffin tin. Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses, orange zest, and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled.) Add the bran/buttermilk mixture and combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined. Don't overmix it! Fold in the raisins, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula. With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups to the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
I'm 42 and married to Tracey with a gorgeous 23 month old son called Leo who's named after my late Father.I have two great daughters from a previous marriage called Laurenne who's 14 and Danielle who's 13 and they live with their mum in Scunthorpe which is 160 miles away.I don't see the girls as often as I'd like but that's down to financial restraints as much as anything.