Sunday, 22 November 2015

Discovering new comfort foods

November is upon us and we have had more grey, damp days, making it the season of comfort foods.  Admittedly the days here have a better daylight/darkness balance (to the tune of 1 & 3/4 hours more daylight on Dec 21st!) and though so far it is mostly mild, the heart still yearns for tasty warm snacks and filling meals.  I fear that the chilly weather is not far away now. (I actually started writing this entry mid-week and by the weekend the nights had indeed turned frosty.)

My younger son's desire for UK style Heinz tomato soup has been fulfilled (just) by a similar tasting offering from Trader Joe's, which is also where our breakfast cereal is now sourced as they have a good choice of products which are neither sugar-laden nor garishly coloured.

Bread is almost exclusively homemade, thanks to our bread machine and the following recipe from Steve's grandmother:

Lily's Bread Rolls

1.5 lb / 680g / 5 cups strong bread flour
15 fl oz / 425ml / 1 3/4 cups mixed milk & water  
2 oz / 56g / 1/4 cup vegetable shortening or lard
1 dessertspoon / 10ml / 2  tsp of salt
2 teaspoons / 7g / 2 tsp of dried yeast
(or one packet of bread machine yeast)
 [UK/metric/US measures]

Put all the ingedients in the machine and set it going on the dough cycle or knead by hand in the traditional manner, cover and allow to rise in a warm place.
Just before the dough cycle is complete set oven to 425F/220C/Gas Mark 7
Once the dough cycle is complete shape the dough into 12 rolls, 
place on 2 baking sheets and cover with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel. 
Leave to rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning the trays half way through if necessary.
Place on a cooling tray and try not to eat them while they are still too hot.
Best eaten within 2 days of baking - if they last that long! 

Here is a batch made by my elder son: 

One of the few things I do buy bread for is grilled cheese sandwiches, a newly discovered snack, which are neither grilled under a grill/broiler nor on a BBQ/grill (more vocab with opportunity for confusion), but are actually fried in a heavy based frying pan or skillet. This week was the first time since April that I felt the urge to make them.

Method: Sandwich one slice of "cheese food" (like a slice of plastic "cheese" for putting on a burger) and one slice of American Munster (a very melty cheese  - could maybe substitute Port Salut?) between 2 slices of bread. Butter the outside of the sandwich on both sides or brush with melted butter. Fry on each side in non-stick pan or skillet until the outsides are golden brown and the filling is all gooey.  A slice of ham can be included in the filling, if desired.

On the quilting side of things I have continued mining my scrap tub (yes I packed it up and brought it with me!) and have made some more 6.5" crumb blocks to add to the hundred that made it safely across the Atlantic Ocean.


I also made two crazy pot holders in autumnal colours as a little gift for the friend who has invited us over for Thanksgiving.

This week I am linking up with Quilting is more fun than housework


  1. I've made crumb blocks, but hadn't thought of using them for potholders. Clever idea! Claire aka

  2. What great way to put all those extra blocks to use. Practical and pretty.

  3. Those crumb blocks are so fun! I never know what to do with the tiniest and odd-shaped scraps, but I should try these!

  4. Great use for all those scrappy crumbs. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

  5. Those potholders are lovely - they'll make a wonderful gift!