What’s in my pantry? Well, everything really. I have a food shopping obsession. For the one or two of you who read this post on another site, this isn’t the same post but a version of it. That one I accidentally deleted with no way of getting it back, so I’ve started again – elsewhere! Mine is not a blog whereby I go out and post pics of restaurants/cafes etc although I will do that occasionally. Mine is a home cooking experience with lots of the inner workings of my mind thrown in for your amusement.
My obsession began when I watched Nigella Lawson for the first time, many, many years ago and fell in love with her pantry. She kept saying such things as “Oh I always keep Chaar Magas, Mace & Kasuri Methi in my larder…you know…just in case!” It was the way she said that last bit that made a little voice in my head go: “why haven’t you done that?”
The fear and anxiety this created in me was too much to handle. How was I living all these years? What had I been thinking? Why don’t I bloody well have Kasuri Methi in the pantry? The simple answer to this was that at the time I didn’t know what bloody Kasuri Methi was!…and what the hell was she doing putting Mace in her food…wasn’t that what you used to spray in someone’s eyes if they tried to attack you?
The room spun and voices echoed all around me – all my voices actually – too much to think about. I gathered all my cook books and an A4 exercise book and crammed 6 pages worth of ingredients I may one day need – you know – just in case…damn that Nigella!
I slept soundly that night knowing that my pantry would be healthy, groaning with pleasure after being filled with so much goodness and guilty little treasures and secrets – Good God I was even beginning to speak like her!
I was safe – if war broke out we could live on curry spices – and maybe char sui sause for something a bit different. I am impulsive and could quite easily decide at midnight on any given night to make the best Butter Chicken you have ever had or moreish pakoras or sticky bbq pork ribs…so a full pantry is a must. No way do I want to read a recipe and run my finger down the list of ingredients and stop and scream “OOOHHH NOOOO, I DON”T HAVE THAT!!!” then find tufts of my hair strewn all over the house over the next few days. So, the squid ink sacks nestled between the something else stuff in the freezer and the pantry was full of the smell of cassia bark and cinnamon quills and sugars and spices…
When I moved 3 years later I threw it ALL out! Thank goodness that silly phase was over. New house and new beginnings. Nothing was ever going to make me go back…stay on the wagon I kept telling myself. And now…Well…Yep, that’s right…I fell off…Big time! I’m right in the middle of the biggest pantry crisis of my whole life. Nothing else will fit in there. So I have filled the fridge and freezer in order to satisfy the urge to shop for food. It doesn’t seem to be working as I’m constantly baking and cooking in order to make room for more shopping. Vicious cycle…Catch 22…stuff…going on here!
My family aren’t too happy right now. My daughter just wants to be able to find the Salada Biscuits and my partner, he just wants white squishy soft bread with jam. They are in there somewhere. You just need to know where to look. Between the 6 bags of flour and 4 bags of sugar, below the assorted bags of chocolate buttons and to the right of the jars of pickled stuff and containers of oily anchovies…not hard really 🙂
Baking! I don’t bake. Too many measurements and precise instructions going on. It’s a Science and I well and truly failed that in high school. However I have bought so much chocolate, butter, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda, cream of tar tar, and sprinkles and baubles and trays that I have been teaching myself to bake. Quite successfully really!
So here’s to food “pantryobsession” and eating frenzies…
Yo Yo Biscuits and Scones…Just awesome!
Here are the recipes and pics…Happy Food Dreaming People 🙂
Yo Yo Biscuit Recipe
135 g (1 cup) s.r. flour …(or 1 cup plain flour…your choice…works with either – I used plain)
1/2 cup (60g) custard powder
1/3 cup (50g) icing sugar
3/4 cup (185g) butter
1. Set oven at 180 C
2. Sift flour, custard powder and icing sugar
3. Beat until the ingredients have become a stiff dough (use beater attachment)
4. Roll into balls – approx 1 teaspoon – and place on oven tray. Usinf a fork, flatten each ball a little.
5. Bake at 180 C until a pale fawn colour – approx 15 mins (mine took only 10 mins so keep an eye on them).
6. Cool on a wire rack and join together using the following butter icing mixture.
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons custard powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Use the beater attachment to cream all ingredients together. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl to ensure all ingredients have been incorporated
- plain flour, for dusting
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 80g butter, cubed
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk
- jam and whipped cream, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly dust a flat baking tray with plain flour. Sift self-raising flour into a large bowl.
- Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the centre. Add 1 cup of milk. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until mixture forms a soft dough, adding more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth (don’t knead dough too much or scones will be tough).
- Pat dough into a 2cm-thick round. Using a 5cm (diameter) round cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Press dough together and cut out remaining 4 rounds. Place scones onto prepared baking tray, 1cm apart. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm with jam and cream.TIPS: Ensure butter is cold and only use the tips of your fingers to rub the butter into the flour. Cut the butter into mall cubes and rub in a little at a time. Also, when measuring the flour, ensure you level off the cups so they are not heaped…sifting all dry ingredients together, twice, helps evenly distribute and aerate them. Hope this helps 🙂