We woke up to discover that the Cornish winter had arrived in the middle of August. It was pouring with rain and the wind was howling and clawing at every south facing window it could get it's paws on. I felt sorry for the holiday makers in the nearby campsites. At least we had a warm, dry house to hide in.
After about half an hour of hiding beneath the duvet reading I decided I needed to retire to the kitchen and take the opportunity to 'cook up and stock up'.
Phil was already in the office 'surfing the net' to see whether surfing for real was a feasible and less wet option than just stepping outside the door today. I requested he found some sunny music at least to confine the gloomy weather to outside the window and he duly found some dub to induce some bounce into the morning with bass lines to drown out the rain and wind.
Culinary inspiration was not far behind; encouraged by the desire for a winterised menu of delights.
First off was seitan sausage. I had the idea of having a sausage casserole later, delicately thrown over a delightfully crisped outside, yet fluffy inside, baked spud with a pile of freshly picked home grown French beans on the side. With that in mind for dinner later, it wouldn't matter if it rained all day. That's what you call planning for a rainy day!
Today I decided to not only cook seitan with the traditional method of boiling (see previous post for ideas re this) but also to try rolling it up in foil and baking it for 60 minutes. The methods gave totally different results so I recommend experimenting with this. The baked results were going to go in the casserole later and the boiled version stowed away in the fridge for Ron (later on).
Phil surfaced from the office at the moment that I was starting to think about formulating a shopping list. I informed him we were out of chilli powder, which is indeed a minor misdemeanour in our household. He was suddenly caught up in my rainy day 'stocking up' moment and informed me that we did however have quite a few dried chilli's hanging around. So our newly acquired spice grinder was duly put into action to delay the purchasing of said food essential. I nearly had to 'citate his ass' as for the next 30 minutes or so the kitchen was infused with a cloud of sneeze inducing chilli powder as a result. Ah-choo!
I gallantly soldiered on under the cloud of chemical warfare that was filling our kitchen. Whilst the oven had been on for the baked seitan sausage, I had decided another batch of kale chips was in order (after equally gallantly diving into the watery garden to harvest the required kale) and, in addition, a big old loaf of banana, almond and carob chip loaf had to be produced.
Let's just say that the morning of culinary production made it easier to laugh in the face of a rainy day.
Banana, Almond and Carob Chip Loaf
250g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250ml soya milk
100ml veg or rapeseed oil
3 ripe bananas (mash 'em up)
2 tsp vanilla extract
60g carob chips
90g almonds (bash 'em up a bit)
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease up a big old loaf tin.
2. Stir the flour, baking powder, bicarb and sugar together.
3. In a separate bowl mash up the bananas and then add in the soya milk, oil and vanilla extract.
4. Stir the carob and almonds into this mixture good and proper and then add this juicy mixture to the dry stuff.5. Stir it up.....little darling!
6. Pop it into the greased loaf tin and bung it in that nice old hot oven for 50 minutes.
7. Give it a poke with a knife to see if it comes out clean. If it doesn't give it some more. If it does, take it out and leave it for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
Enjoy! Rain or shine.