I love to cook, good food is really important to me. If you are anything like me you spend a large amount of your life in the kitchen preparing good nourishing food to eat, so this is what has been going on in my kitchen this month. If you would like to join in you would be most welcome, leave a link in the comments section.
It has been a really exiting month in my kitchen so many things that I have been pondering over for a while have happened. I am, by nature, a ponderer. I don't rush into much, I think things through, do mountains of research which sometimes becomes displacement activity. I have read many posts about water kefir grains, they sounded interesting and something that I thought might do me some good. I had considered buying them but hadn't got any further than that. I casually mentioned, in a conversation with a friend who had just been given some, that I had been thinking about giving them a go. A few days later I had my own small jar of grains. I knew that, like a small child they could not be ignored but I hadn't considered that I might end up with some quite so quickly. I dived right in encouraged by my initial research which suggested that you can't really go wrong. My grains are on their second batch of food and multiplying rather quickly, it will soon be my turn to pass some on, we are enjoying the first batch which is on it's second ferment and fizzing up well.
It wasn't just my kefir grains fermenting in my pantry this month. These past few weeks I have felt like an alchemist in my kitchen mixing up weird and wonderful concoctions, never quite sure how they will turn out. I have been wanting to make sauerkraut for years. When I was fifteen I went on an exchange to Germany the family I stayed with made their own sauerkraut which they seemed to eat with every meal, I loved it so much they sent me home with a jar. It is so simple to make that I cannot believe I haven't tried it before. I love it and know that this small batch won't last long.
Breakfast is an important meal, probably the most important of the day, and yet it is the one I pay the least attention to. I have been eating my own take on Bircher muesli for a few months now, long enough for me to no longer find it appetising. I started making oatmeal pancakes again, soaking the first two ingredients over night. They take a bit more organising as I make my own yogurt which always seems to unexpectedly run out. I am sure I have yogurt eating fairies in my fridge. I don't want to get fed up with these as well so I am on the hunt for a few more tasty recipes and switch between them. What do you have for breakfast?
It's not just food I have been making in my kitchen this month. I ran out of toothpaste and deodorant both of which I make myself. I have am using a different deodorant recipe to the one I previously posted and I don't seem to have shared my toothpaste one, I shall have to rectify that soon. I have also made a few more beeswax food covers. The first batch I made were mainly a gift for a friend, I only had a couple which wasn't enough. When I posted about them several of you asked if they kept their shape when you cover food with them, I hope the photos above demonstrated how beautifully they do that! They are covering my soaking pancake ingredients and the leftovers of a meal that I didn't have room in the fridge for!
I dont know whether it is the lighter evenings, the warmer days, or the increase in sunshine but I have cooked so many new, to me, recipes this month. Each Thursday when I sit down to plan the meals for the week rather than the same old again, I have been reaching for the recipe books. I also had a go at making one up when I couldn't find what I wanted in my books or online. I fancied a burger/pattie with cashews and lentils, this is what I came up with
Cashew and Speckled Lentil Patties
1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight)
1 cup speckled lentils (soaked overnight)
1 onion '
2 garlic cloves
1 tbs hemp seeds - optional
1tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Preheat the over to 180°C/350°F
Fry the onion in your preferred choice of fat, when they are transparent add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
Add the lentils and stir to mix, add just enough water to cover and cook gently with the pan lid on.
Put your soaked cashews into a food processor and whizz, add the cooked lentils and the remaining ingredients and whizz.
The mixture will be very sloppy at this point and look rather unappetising!
Using both hands place handfuls of the mix on a baking tray and flatten slightly. When all the mix has been shaped, wet your fingers slightly and smooth and shape the patties. (the photo above shows the patties smoothed on the left and not on the right).
I made nine with mine, but you can make more or less depending on the size of each one.
Cook for about twenty minutes in the oven.
We enjoyed ours with a dressed green salad.