Friday, January 04, 2008


Edited to add pictures

My mother sent me some stock cubes with my Christmas present, the closest thing I'd been able to find here were cubes to make soup and frankly that didn't wash with me. I never thought I'd be so excited to get a package full of bras, underwear, and stock cubes in all my life. It's funny how that changes, when you're a kid the presents that feel like cloth are disappointing (well, until my family got all crafty and started wrapping clothes in boxes, which really isn't all that much better when you're eight, but they seemed to enjoy it). Now, unable to buy anything in my size here and with a washing machine that likes to ruin clothes, they're right at the top of my wish list. But back to my stock cubes.

I just put a casserole in the oven and pretty soon my apartment is going to smell like my childhood, Granddad's house after school. When I was in primary school my mum used to drop my sister and I to his house every day. Now I look back it's amazing how much we enjoyed ourselves in a pensioners apartment, but we loved it. We would listen to the stories he wrote for us and check the crockery hen sitting on the sideboard to see if it had laid a kinder egg along with the regular ones for us. He always had something on the stove or in the oven, and to this day some of my best memories are my my sister and I sitting either side of him on the counter top, watching him mixing cake ingredients in his old heavy crock bowl, with a stew simmering on the stove behind him. His cooking is very much of it's time, traditional fare like stews, shepards pie, roast meat (with dripping sanwiches while it cooked), and casseroles the next day made from the leftovers of the joint. It doesn't matter how old I get, there is always going to be something about that slow roasting smell of meat, onions, carrots, of boiling potatoes and the memory of playing kitchen with one of the tiny saucepan sets he kept for me to pretend with, that will always scream home to me.

I've made a few adjustments to this one. I've used 100g of lean pork instead of the leftover fat and meat of a lamb or beef roast, and I'm eating it with a side of broccoli instead of my Granddad's home made mashed potatoes and peas, but as the smell fills my apartment that feeling, that feeling of 'you're home, you're home' is still there, one I can carry with me wherever I go.

I've just tracked it on my Daily Plate and was amazed to find that the massive bowl was only actually 227 cals, I'll have to take a picture and edit this entry once it's cooked to show you the size but I'm in complete shock. I suppose I shouldn't be, once you've taken steps to control the amount of fat then it's just veg and gravy, but still I was surprised. Expect a picture once I get it out of the oven. At home you'd but it in a wide shallow dish and leave it to roast slowly all day, but with my not having a proper oven, I'm having to amend it to fit in my convection oven.

This whole thing was only 227 cals! (well I added an extra stock cube, so I suppose techinically 260, but still!)

Mmmm, dinner...


Once Upon A Dieter said...

MMMMMMMMMMMMM. Now I'm hungry.

The Princess

Grumpy Chair said...

That does indeed look very tasty. I really enjoyed ready your memories of staying with your grandfather after school.