Tag Archives: basic

Down to the basics

Once upon a time I was an avid viewer of Martha Stewart’s TV series. Yet, despite my avidity, I think I have only  incorporated a couple of Martha’s ideas into my household ways.

The first idea was Martha’s method of stacking cups and saucers.   (http://www.marthastewart.com/275482/kitchen-organizing-tips/@center/277007/kitchen-design#end )   Although my cup and saucer collection is paltry compared to Martha’s, her system worked exceptionally well for me…..until….. the earthquakes, when I decided that stacks of cups/saucers were not the way to go. To be fair, my small monuments to Martha’s organizational genius didn’t even teeter in the first big earthquake. They remained rock solid, but I thought they looked too precarious to survive any further assaults on their structural integrity, so I deconstructed the stacks and rearranged my cups and saucers in a plain and simple fashion. Like this.Plain, simple, secure

Very bland, and hopefully very secure and safe. (Particularly safe if I remember to latch the cupboard door. Before the earthquakes, I had a reputation for leaving the contents of kitchen cupboards fully exposed. I have improved my lax ways.)  I am sure Martha would give me points for clean and tidy, but  would she be compelled to roll her eyes over the uncoordinated nature of my china? I fear so.

The second Martha ‘idea’ to enter my life was in the form of her recipe for Potato Frittata. As with the cups and saucers, I have adapted the idea/recipe to suit my circumstances but it is a frittata that I make regularly.  It is completely delicious and completely easy. I love it.

Here’s Martha at work on the frittata ( http://www.marthastewart.com/254051/potato-frittata), and here is my handiwork. Not bad, if I say so myself.Fantastic Frittata

Four ingredients; onions, olive oil, potatoes, eggs; a pinch of Martha and me and there you have it; a good basic meal. A salad, and a crusty loaf of bread on the side, make for mouth-watering perfection. Hungry?

© silkannthreades

Sustained by Chocolate

After the mayhem of the past few days, I decided that a hefty dose of restorative chocolate was required to repair my weary physical constitution. Happy thoughts are all well and good for the spirit and the brain but, in times of stress, the body needs something more sustaining….like chocolate.  So, yesterday, I made a fortifying dessert called “Boarders’ Favourite”. Others may know it as a chocolate self saucing pudding or fudge batter pudding but, in my world, it is “Boarders’ Favourite”.

I first met this chocolate pudding at boarding school. Most of our food was typically awful boarding school fare but, every once and  awhile, our ever hungry boarder appetites were treated to the utter deliciousness of what was known as “Boarders’ Favourite”.  How the cooks managed to make this dessert so well and almost everything else so terribly I have no idea, but such are the mysteries of life.

Look at this photo collage and imagine yourself as a ravenous teenager falling in to the depths of chocolate love, and feasting your senses on the taste and sight and smell of ooey, gooey chocolateness.Boarders' Favourite

Believe it or not, I didn’t much like chocolate before I went to boarding school. And, believe it or not, it wasn’t till I was in my late twenties that I realised that this chocolate pudding had any other name but Boarders’ Favourite.

The recipe I use for my Boarders’ Favourite is a slightly grander version than the one that our cooks used at boarding school because it includes walnuts. However it is still, despite its richness, a very simple and economical recipe. I found it in a magazine type recipe book that I purchased in the one and only bookstore in Gaborone, Botswana. I thought it was wickedly extravagant to spend almost four Pula (dollars) on a recipe book back in those long ago days, but that purchase has served me well over many, many years. It has travelled with me all over the world.  And, because the ingredients of Boarders Favourite are so basic, I have managed to bake it wherever I have roamed. Now, here I am, still baking it, but back in the city where my chocolate obsession  began.Sweet Treat

Footnote: My favourite baking cocoa is from a New Zealand company called Trade Aid which sources and sells Fair Trade organic cocoa.

© silkannthreades