Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend well-spent

Generally, I spend my weekends pottering around the house - doing a bit of housework, reading a book, just making the most of not being at work. This weekend was an unusually busy one, but I still managed to fit in a couple of Edmonds recipes.

I'd hoped to have some baking ready when my brother Anthony arrived from Blenheim on Saturday, but the morning ran away from me and I didn't manage to greet him with anything other than a cup of tea. Later that day, however, I got myself into the kitchen to prepare a Greek Salad (p150) to take to Leah's Mid-Winter Christmas dinner.

My mental image of a Greek salad is just tomatoes, cucumber, olives and feta. The Edmonds version has quite a few more ingredients, including a whole lettuce, a green capsicum, an onion, and some celery. By the time you've got all these ingredients together, it makes quite a big salad! Even before I'd added the feta and olives, I had my biggest mixing bowl two-thirds full.

I mixed up the dressing of oil, spiced vinegar, garlic and sugar, and tossed it through my salad. I would have preferred to dress the salad just before eating,a but since I was taking it with me, I couldn't add the olive and feta on top before I'd dressed it.

I reckon there was about twice as much dressing as it really needed - some of it remained in the bottom of the mixing bowl when I transferred the salad into something more suitable for serving, but the salad itself still seemed to be swimming in dressing. I added the feta and olives, packed it up and headed off to Leah's.

The Greek salad supposedly serves four: well, there were at least a dozen people eating at Leah's, and I still came home with the bowl more than half full (admittedly there was plenty to choose from, so noone would have taken a huge serving). It was a perfectly good salad, but I'd definitely reduce the dressing next time.

On Sunday morning, I managed to do what I hadn't managed on Saturday, and got into the kitchen in time to throw together some apricot muffins (p30) before Mum and Dad arrived from Timaru for the day. This is another variation of the plain muffin recipe - you just add chopped apricot to the mix. I have to admit to a little cheating at this stage: I didn't have enough dried apricot to make up the full 1/2 cup I needed, so I topped it up with apricot jam, and slightly reduced the liquid to make up for it.

It seemed to work - the muffins came out ok, and we increased the apricotty flavour by spreading them with apricot jam as well. They're a very basic little muffin, but that doesn't mean they're not a tasty little accompaniment to a cuppa.

I was quite pleased that I'd managed  to knock off some more recipes, despite having to squeeze them into the busy weekend. I even managed to feed most of the leftover salad to the visiting family - starting to get a bit on the soggy side by this time, but still crunchy enough to be edible. It's always a pleasure to feed family, but even more when they're helping consume something that might otherwise be thrown out!

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