Whilst in covid19 confinement many Brits have turned to home baking and have got themselves out of the evening meal rut. Our home baking endeavors have been so great that we have encountered flour shortages on the shop shelves.
I’ve enjoyed not only my own kitchen experiments, but also reading about other people’s kitchen experiments from making bread in slow cookers to cooking favourite dishes with pantry staple substitutions. I think we are all guilty of cooking a small repertoire of tried and tested recipes, especially when we get short on time. I have found myself cooking recipes that I haven’t cooked for a long time and getting creative with ingredients.
I love cooking and I have relished the opportunity to experiment with new recipes and revive old recipe ideas, but I must confess I do miss dining out, mainly because I enjoy eating in new surroundings and I love getting inspiration from dishes prepared well by chefs. However, dining out for me has always been a lovely treat as most meals I have always cooked for my family at home. I’m hoping for people that have taken up cooking during lock-down that they will continue as I believe creative home cooking is not only better for health, but also better for the bank balance and stress relieving.
Indeed I predict that even when restaurants resume normal service that many people will continue to cook more at home, because it is enjoyable and let’s face it far quicker and satisfying than ordering take-away. I hope that the Coronavirus lock-down has sparked a real food and cooking revival that will stay way beyond the stay at home restrictions.
I’ve really relished the time I’ve had to dust off some of my trust cookbooks and cook dishes that I don’t normally get time to attempt, but more than anything I’ve enjoyed home made bread puddings and fruit pies. I can say that it is the first time I have ever made mince pies in May, but they were delicious all the same and I’ve never made bread using just flour and beer before, but it works really well.
Well, I hope that lockdown has taught many of us to get more creative in the kitchen and that it has inspired those that didn’t cook much prior to lockdown just how enjoyable home cooking can be.
Well, off to get my bread pudding out of the oven, but I’ll leave you with the recipe
Bread Pudding Recipe
8oz old bread , brown with crusts removed
1/2 gold top milk or use a mixture of half cream/half milk
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp brandy
2oz soft brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
Break the bread into small pieces and put into a bowl
Pour over the milk and leave for 30 minutes
Heat the oven to 180C
Beat the bread and milk mixture together with a fork
Grease a 7″ tin
Add all the fruit , brown sugar ,eggs, brandy and spice to the bread and mix really well to combine
Pour into the prepared tin
Bake in centre of the oven for 1-1.5 hrs
Leave to cool in the tin.