A little belated by now though, this week just flew by in a whir of celebration, cooking, cake, cards, chocolate and... codeine, for my recurring back pain. Monday saw our 13th Wedding Anniversary and we had lovely cards, chocolates, and some money that we'll use for something when Mr G is back on his feet. I had gorgeous flowers from Mr G as well, apparently I am not the only one who can sneak around and arrange things! We'd bought each other a small anniversary gift when we went to The Hand a few weeks ago, he bought me a new dowsing pendulum, and I gave him the horn... *drum roll and cymbal clash*. It was a Celtic pendant, a unicorn horn. Ah, no matter how I phrase it, it looks filthy to me.
They say 'The way to a man's heart is through his stomach' and my husband is definitely testament to that fact. If I wasn't such a good cook, he probably would have left me long ago (clarification needed there, Mr G?). He's also spoilt rotten, pretty much anything he wants, he gets. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a blue eyed boy. So our 'special' meals are catered to him, 99% of the time. I know he loves Steak Pudding (or 'Babbies yeds' as they're known in Wigan), I can't abide the shop bought ones, slimy and horrible, but a homemade one, a homemade steamed suet pudding? Now that's different. That was our main course sorted, and I decided to cook that with homemade chips and mushy peas. For pudding, I remembered that the other day he had randomly muttered 'I shouldn't have thought about that then'. When I asked him what, he told me 'Scones'. So that was dessert sorted too!
When I woke on Monday it was snowing! Not excessively, but just enough for the boys to get so excited that I had to give them a snow day. On our anniversary. Yeah.
It looked like I was spending the day in the kitchen anyway, so...
I didn't really follow a recipe for the Steak Pudding, I had 400g of diced stewing beef, and a pack of mushrooms. I cooked these with onion in a pint of Guinness and beef stock, in the slow cooker until the meat was really tender. I (for shame) then thickened the mixture up with Bisto Best Roast Beef gravy granules. I made the suet pastry as normal, half suet to the amount of self raising flour, bit of salt and water to make the dough. Steamed for 2 and a half hours or so.
These were absolutely lush, but far, far too big. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, definitely. One of these would have easily served two people with the chips and peas, or one of these would have done on it's own with no chips.
For afters I'd made scones and we had these with clotted cream and strawberry jam...
The recipe I use for scones can be found here. It's ridiculously simple and they're so good. I have made them with cherries and sultanas in the past but this batch I left plain, as most of the children just end up picking the dried fruit out anyway...
Ordinarily on our birthdays - we have a takeaway as a treat. With Mr G being unable to drive, this left us with very few options, only the takeaways that deliver. Knowing the children would pull a face at this, and whinge about wanting KFC or McDonalds, he asked me if I would do a fakeaway for him, a Beef Curry and Fried Rice. So, I went off to the Asian Supermarket in Upper Bangor and bought some curry pastes. I also bought a new Maneki Neko - couldn't resist, it was huge. I won't post a recipe for the fakeaway, it's the same as the last one which you can find here, only this time I used thinly sliced frying steak, with thickly chopped onion and peas. The only other difference being that for this curry, I used the Goldfish brand of curry paste as opposed to the Maysan. The Goldfish paste will give you the 'brown' Chinese curry, I find this more suited to beef, even if it is just aesthetics, and the Maysan will give you a 'yellow' Chinese curry.
|Chicken Curry made with Maysan brand|
|Beef Curry made with Goldfish brand|
Mr G reckoned that it was the best Chinese Beef Curry he'd ever tasted, and would never buy another one from a takeaway. I enjoyed it so much that I'm tempted to make it again tonight... it was one of those meals that I think I could happily eat every day for the next month.
And for dessert on his birthday, he had asked me (with big blue puppydog eyes) if I would make him a birthday cake, his favourite Victoria Sponge. How could I say no. Even though I had mislaid my preferred cake tins, I found a way.
So, that was what we scoffed this week as we celebrated two very special occasions. Next up - Valentines Day, Pancake Day and Chinese New Year! Best get my thinking cap on for those!