Sunday, 17 August 2014

Saturday 16th August - Soup and Scones and Meatballs

Back when we were first married we had a food budget of £10 per week.

If I go back to my old diaries of the time, I can see exactly what I spent the money on. Every week I would plan all the meals and list what I needed to buy, and the cost of each item. We would have either a small chicken or a half shoulder of lamb for three meals (roast, curried or in sauce, carcass pickings with rice) and then a repertoire of other recipes to see us through the rest of the week; scrag end of lamb, streaky pork slices, and, of course, mince.

One thing that never featured on the list was bread; we always ate scones. Not the big, glossy, slightly chewy scones that you get with a cream tea, but smaller, crumbly ones, best eaten on the same day. We used milk that had "gone off", kept specially for the purpose. You can use milk that it is anywhere from smelling slightly odd, to all lumpy. But once it has separated it has Gone Too Far. I think of this as a northern recipe, from Scotland, via Northern Ireland, rather than the Home Counties or West Country version.

I used to make up a big bowl of the dry ingredients to last the week, and just take out what I needed each day. It's the same recipe as drop scones, but with much less milk.

Preheat oven to 200C

For 8 small chunky scones;

Weigh out 8oz SR flour (white, brown or a mixture), 1 oz sugar (light brown, dark brown or white) and 2oz butter (back in those far-off days we used marg)

I don't add extra bicarb, so these won't rise as much as posh scones. I don't use eggs, or added salt, either. Or glaze them. These are everyday, rough and ready scones.

Combine these ingredients by "rubbing in" until the butter has completely disappeared and the texture is fine and cumbly.

Add enough milk - around 5 tablespoonfuls - to bind the mixture into a dough. Work it together lightly with your fingers, and then turn it out onto a board. Gently shape it into an oblong and cut into eight squarish pieces.

Put on baking tray (either flour the tray, or use baking paper to stop them sticking) and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden on top.

Best eaten warm!

Soup

We had soup and scones for lunch yesterday as we hadn't been shopping after a week away. In the freezer I found a tub of home-made tomato and vegetable sauce, a tub of chicken stock, and a bag with six meatballs. Heated together, that made soup.

Meatballs

Preheat oven to 180C
Take a packet of decent premium sausages, skin them and put the meat into a bowl. Add a packet of quality minced beef and combine until thoroughly mixed. Shape into little balls the size of a walnut and arrange on baking trays lined with baking paper.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes. When cool, freeze them loosely in labelled plastic bags. On the assumption that you started with around 900g meat in total, divide the number of meatballs you made by 8 to know how many to serve up as a portion with gravy or pasta sauce.



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