The disappointment of the quick and easy

This week Fanny and I followed a recipe that had been highly rated on the net by several people. It was followed carefully and it was really rather ordinary. We don’t do ordinary. And we don’t rave about ordinary or bland recipes either. So we are redesigning it our way, and yes it will take longer to produce but if you tried both in a taste testing I would guarantee that the one that had that little extra thought put into it would attract your vote.

lemon orange lime candy peel

So today I started to make candied lemon, orange and lime. I have never made candied fruit before so it’s been a learning curve. The recipe that I followed suggested it could all be accomplished with 15 minutes preparation. We see a lot of this and this is the sort of nonsense that irritates us and I’ll be quite blunt about it. Preparation and craft are ignored and overlooked in the attempt to delude time-poor people that they can do a Marco Pierre White in a jiffy. It’s wrong and I wish the writers, producers and chefs that do this would stop colluding with each other and tell it like it is:

lemon orange lime candy peel

And that is that good food, -really good satisfying food takes time. And that should not be a cause for embarrassment. We live in a world where we have to be at the gym and getting Masters degrees, having children, climbing mountains, breaking records, surfing, being cool and going on fast paced action holidays which we endlessly photograph and put on unlimited social media accounts and generally living a life for everyone else.

lemon orange lime candy peel

Well I can’t do that I’m afraid. I can however tell you this: that I guarantee that I will try to make the best of a recipe and to make it as delicious as my inspiration allows. And I will share it with you. BG

Toss that pancake !

mushroom pancake recipe by Brenda Gateway
I really am remarkably modest at the best of times, and indeed Brenda Gateway could take a leaf out of my book where general good matters and taste are concerned. However some are born into it, others strive their whole lives to live up to the naturally talented, and indeed Brenda does strive. Being naturally talented I know when to stop and enjoy myself and so today I decided to pamper myself and go and see the beautician.

“Good, if I were you I would” shot back Brenda a little bit too quickly when I informed her that I was off to be gently beautified. I’m not the malicious sort, and it’s a good thing I don’t hold grudges. I looked at her witheringly and informed her it was pancake day and would she kindly make the batter. Although I asked her, it was indeed rhetorical and any objection would have led to an immediate call to the undertakers.  I think it dawned on the dear withered old Tamworth that  it would be better to think before she muttered.
mushroom pancake recipe by Brenda Gateway

I swanned off in my fake fur and had a lovely time, leaving her to come up with a suitable pancake recipe. And I have to say that she did  well considering her questionable level of imagination. Here is her very pleasing recipe.

mushroom pancake recipe by Brenda Gateway

Mushroom Pancakes

mushroom pancake recipe by Brenda Gateway
Ingredients to feed two
100g of plain flour
2 large eggs
10fl oz full fat milk
A large knob of butter
Punnet of mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic peeled and pressed
2 knobs of butter
Handful of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche

mushroom pancake recipe by Brenda Gateway

Measure out the required amount of flour and sieve it into a bowl
In the middle create a well for the eggs and add them
Whisk the eggs into the flour adding the milk a bit at a time

You should find that you attain a creamy consistency. Leave to stand for a short while

For the mushrooms:

Chop reasonably finely and fry gently in a knob of melted butter
Once you start to see them brown and crisp add the garlic and another knob of butter. Once you have fried for another two minutes add the parsley and fry again for a minute or so. Then add the creme fraiche, stir, and then leave to stand.

For the pancakes

mushroom pancake recipe by Brenda Gateway

Melt the knob of butter in the pan and pour a small amount of the batter in the pan. Hold the pan and move it around so that the batter covers the base of the pan in a fine layer. Now cook gently until brown. Toss the pancake and cook until you are happy, then put it on a nice warm plate.

Add the mushroom mixture to the centre of the pancake and then fold.

mushroom pancake recipe by Brenda Gateway