This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Friday, January 09, 2009

We had roast chicken on New Year's Day cooked by my husband. I was getting quite nervous by the time dinner was nearly ready but it was a lovely meal. I'm really glad there was a gap of a few weeks between doing the deed and having dinner, though. The chicken had a lovely flavour and I was amazed at how different the texture was - far more "meaty". Possibly because he was just turned 21 weeks old instead of the supermarket 5 weeks for cheapo chickens or 12 weeks or thereabouts for the free range organic. Or maybe it was because there was NO added water. Anyway, I know he had as reasonable a life as I could give him and he had good food and felt the sun on his back (and the rain...). We had roast dinner the first day then sliced meat with leftover roasted veg for 2 meals. I stripped the carcass and put two bags of pieces of meat in the freezer which will go into a pasta or rice meal. I put the remains of the carcass in the slowcooker and made stock and there were lots of little bits of meat too. That has gone in the freezer too and with added veg and maybe a handful of barley and/or lentils, will make probably three meals. My husband is partial to dumplings with soup or stew so that might make it stretch to four meals. I feel I had to do my cockerel justice so that would be the basis for eight meals or possibly nine for the two of us.

I don't like dumplings with fat in them and many years ago I came across a recipe for Jamaican dumplings in a little booklet from Friends of the Earth that somebody lent me. These use 1 tablespoon of flour with one teaspoon of baking powder. Mix together with a pinch of herbs of your choice and enough cold water to make a dough - about the same consistency as scone dough. Drop teaspoonfuls into the soup and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. This produces wonderfully light and fluffy dumplings which my husband loves. When I first read the recipe, I didn't think it would work because I thought I would be able to taste the baking powder but decided to give it a go. I am glad I did! That quantity of flour is plenty for dumplings for two people.

Labels: ,