Progress with the kitchen is slow and we are still trying to survive without an oven. Whilst it is frustrating it has also been enlightening. We have two amazing pieces of equipment that are seeing us through. A slow cooker and a bread machine. Admittedly we could carry on buying bread but it wouldn't be half as much fun nor as tasty, not to mention how much cheaper it is to make it at home.
The bread maker came to us in a flurry of other cast offs, I assume because we now have a larger kitchen. M made the first loaf a while ago and it was eaten and appreciated, but since he spent what seemed like a whole day reading the manual I was rather put off having a go myself. I've since discovered that with the ready mixes for bread machines it's just a question of throwing it all in with a bit of water and sometimes oil and pressing one button. Three hours later and with the house smelling like a bakery, one deliciously fresh loaf of bread.
Even Jake wanted me to talk him through the instructions 'just in case he ever needed to make one by himself'.
Not so easy was locating a gluten free bead mix for breadmakers. I orderd a triple pack of Mrs Crimbles from Amazon in the end. Our bread maker does not have a gf programme but we found a site that suggested using the 'sweet' cycle. The bread that resulted is certainly edible (see below) but I feel it could be improved, so I will probably try the next pack on a different programme.
We've mislaid the manual but when it turns up it will no doubt have recipes that will mean we don't even have to buy the bread mixes, though at 80p for a huge loaf it's already economical.
Yesterday we had a fantastic winter warming chicken stew. I did it myself, a rare occasion indeed. Tonight we have a sausage casserole slowly cooking; m's creation before he want to work. I've been reading our slow cooker cook book and there is even a recipe for lemon sponge cake can you believe? You make the mix, put it in a bowl and stand it in water in the slow cooker. A bit like those steamed puddings you cook in the tin. I remember a chocolate one boiling dry and exploding all over our kitchen ceiling when we were kids. Mum trying to do too many things at once!
Oh and did you spot my fabulous Downton Abbey egg rack in the background there? As seen in Mrs Patmore's kitchen no less. Holds two dozen eggs. M said it was a b****r to make. Me and my clever ideas huh?