I'm taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks. There are a lot of things I have to attend to and never seem to have or find the time to do so. This, too, of course, is the start of the "silly season" for us all with the run-down/lead-up to Christmas.
In the words of Douglas McArthur, "I shall return", or later in the words of the now governor of California, "I'll be back!"
Before I disappear o'er yon horizon, I'll leave you with a couple of recipes to tempt your taste buds.
Shed no tears, for all too soon, I'll reappear to tease and torment you!
1 1/2 lb. lean beef (rump or sirloin work well)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, sliced
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups beef bouillon or consomme
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 tsp. dry mustard (or Dijon mustard)
3 Tablespoons dry sherry or brandy
2/3 cup sour cream
Remove all fat and gristle from beef; cut it into narrow strips about 2 1/2 in. long, 3/4 in. wide and between 1/4 and 1/2 in. thick. Dust strips with salt and pepper; set them aside for about 2 hours, but not in the refrigerator. When you are ready to prepare the dish, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy skillet and saute the mushrooms until tender. Then remove them and set aside. In the same butter, saute the onion until brown with a little crushed garlic; set aside. Add the last tablespoon of butter. When it is hot put in the strips of beef and sear them on both sides, but leave them rare. Remove them and set aside. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and blend it with the remaining butter, browning it well. Then slowly add the beef bouillon, stirring well to form a smooth gravy. Next add the sherry (or brandy), tomato paste, and dry mustard (or Dijon mustard), blending well. Now return the meat, mushrooms and onions to the pan and let the whole thing simmer very slowly over the lowest possible heat for about 20 minutes. About 5 min. before serving add the sour cream and blend thoroughly.
Double Chocolate Brownies
125g chopped chocolate
200g butter (unsalted)
1 cup of flour plain (sifted)
2 tablespoons of dutch cocoa (sifted)
2 cups of caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder (sifted)
Extra 100g chocolate chopped into chunks to add to the prepared mixture
Extra cocoa or icing sugar for dusting over brownies before serving.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Lightly grease a 20x 30cm rectangular cake tin and line with baking paper. Melt the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl over a medium sized pot with a small amount of water simmering (not boiling), keep stirring until melted smooth. In a bowl combine the cocoa, flour, sugar and baking powder. Add the melted chocolate mixture and the eggs one at a time, stirring well between each. Pour into the prepared pan and poke in the extra pieces of chocolate into the brownie mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer, the skewer probably won't come out clean, however the mixture should easily form into a ball when rolled between your fingers, not crumble. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Slice the brownies into squares and dust with cocoa or icing sugar.
And just for the fun of it, here's a bit of nonsensical verse! (I must have had nothing more important to do that day!)
Jack and Jill didn’t go up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Tho’ they thought they oughta
Jack had other things on his mind
So Jill followed close behind
To see what she could find
At the top Jack looked around
Much to his surprise he found
Our Jill had arrived before him
And was lying prone on the ground
Had a lot of gall
Humpty Dumpty was after a brawl
When the crowd left
He became quite bereft
In finding himself all alone
And all that Humpty could do was groan
Little Bo-Peep has had no sleep
And doesn’t know when she’ll get any
When she left home
She forgot her comb
Now she has tangled hair of mahogany
Jerry found a little clam
When the tide was low
And every time that Jerry looked
On a rock he surely kicked his toe
Airy fairy out on the prairie
Strong does the wind blow
Where nobody dwells
And there are no hotels
And definitely no maids in a row!
When Jimmy Buffett
Went to the banquet
He couldn’t get his way
He picked up a cider
And felt like an outsider
He wasn’t having a very good day
The little fluffy friend above will watch over you while I'm away! The original pencil drawing by me hangs, framed, upon my wall.