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Day #24 – Toad in the Hole

When I was growing up, money was tight. Coming from a family of four kids in a primarily single-income home, we didn’t go without but we certainly didn’t have a swimming pool full of cash like Scrooge McDuck. My Mum was a master when it came to making little food stretch a long way. Toad in the Hole was one of those meals that cost little and went a long way. Ah yes, a childhood favourite. We all know how much I love Yorkshire Pudding and Toad in the Hole is essentially just sausages baked in yorkshire pudding batter. And, while traditionally you make this with whole sausages, my mum would cut the sausages up which seems to make them go further. This is how I did it as well.

Side dishes. Tonight I really struggled with this one. I opened the pantry, closed the pantry, opened the fridge, closed the fridge, opened the other pantry, closed the other pantry … and repeated. Twice. With zero inspiration. I settled on couscous which was nice enough, though didn’t really “go” with the Toad in the Hole. *shrug*.

Toad in the Hole

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6 Sausages

250ml Milk (I used Soy Milk)

4 Eggs

225g Flour

Oil

Fill a roasting dish with oil (about 5mm deep) and place the sausages into the pan. Preheat the oven to 200C and then put the pan in. Let the sausages and oil heat for 10 minutes (or until the oil is smoking). While these are cooking, make up the batter – mix the flour, eggs and half the milk up, then slowly add the remaining milk to form a smooth batter. Carefully remove the roasting dish from the oven (I can’t stress this enough – it has boiling hot oil in it, you do not want it to spill!) and pour the batter over the sausages, ensuring they are all covered. Put it back into the oven and let it cook until the batter is crispy and brown.

Couscous

Couscous

Vegetable Stock

Put the couscous into a bowl and cover with vegetable stock (go about 2cm above the couscous). Cover the bowl and leave for 5 or so minutes, until the stock is completely absorbed into the couscous.

Verdict

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I think this was a bit dry to be honest – I think I could have used a bigger dish, less oil and less sausages (I have modified the recipe above taking this into account). Nevertheless, it was yum. The kids loved it, Mr T *liked* it and I thought it was pretty good. The couscous was really nice, it was BabyGirl’s first taste of couscous and she loved it. So much that she coated her entire face and arms with it. Ode to be able to eat like a baby. I put sweet chilli sauce on my couscous which I liked. I also served with the same garlic stir fried veges that we had the other night. It was, all-in-all, a decent meal after a tiring day.

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Here’s hoping my dear children sleep tonight.

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Day #20 – Sweet and Sour Pork

Before embarking on this journey of cooking meals from scratch and not using packets or buying takeaways, our grocery load was more or less the same every week. There were some very basic items that I simply never bought.

  • Onions. I have an intolerance to onions if they are even moderately undercooked, so I tended to avoid them.
  • Herbs and Spices. I started this challenge using the dregs from whatever I had in my pantry.
  • Potatoes. Seems like a strange thing not to buy because they are such an integral part of whatever I’m cooking at the moment.
  • Fresh veges, such as capsicum, courgette, cauliflower etc.

As I was retrieving the onion required for tonight’s meal, I realised that I am nearly at the end of a 1.5kg bag of them. After accusing the kids of eating raw onion (yes, I heard myself too as I said it, but in my defence, BoyChild eats chalk), I realised that I have been using them! In my cooking! Stop it! And, we have no more potatoes left! I’ve used them all. Goodness. This cooking thing must be working. We are also nearly through a bag of carrots, all the capsicums have gone and I needed to pop out to buy Cornflour from the dairy (because, apparently, I don’t own that either).

I have had a tin of pineapple in the cupboard for a long time and Mr T’s favourite Chinese takeaway meal is Sweet and Sour Pork so I decided to cook that up tonight, served on rice (also, nearly run out).

Sweet and Sour Pork

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Lean Pork

1 Capsicum

1 Carrot

1 Onion

1 T Soy Sauce

1 1/2 T Vinegar

1 1/2 T Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 T Brown Sugar

1 tin of Pineapple Pieces – reserve the juice

1 T Cornflour

Cut the pork into slices or pieces and stir fry until cooked. Add in the diced capsicum, diced onion and sliced carrot. Stir fry for a further few minutes. In a bowl, mix together the pineapple juice, tomato sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Add in with the pork and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes (until the veges are tender). Dissolve the cornflour and add to the pan, then add the pineapple. Serve over rice. I added Crispy Noodles, because, well, Crispy Noods are awesome.

Verdict

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Win 100%. Mr T was very happy, he said it was brilliant. And, BabyGirl loves pineapple, we learnt today! This particular dish I was pretty proud of, because it was entirely from scratch, healthy and packed full of everything we want/need in a meal. Very pleased with oneself.

I should mention, Crispy Noods is not a typo – I used to work with someone who called them that and, well, the name stuck. Now you will forever call them Crispy Noods as well. You are welcome.