Good morning and welcome to the May edition of my Green Kitchen… I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am to be back with a brand- new column at Smorgasbord Magazine… and how welcome you are making me feel.
I am passionate about cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, the environment and ensuring that the food I make for my family is clean and as chemical free as it can possible be…I would also love to know that instead of counting calories and cost that more people counted chemicals as it is the chemicals in processed foods which affect our health and wellbeing.
Just to recap for those who are new here…This monthly post will cover sustainability, news on food production…changes for the better and maybe a villain or three…haha, a recipe or two including some plant- based recipes, hints and tips on making my household a little greener…aka recycling and composting.
It isn’t easy …in theory we know what we should do …THEREFORE I have looked at what I can do gradually…every small change is a bonus.
This Month’s Recipe…Dinner rolls.
For anyone who shops in M & S and buys their dinner rolls the texture of these is the closest to them a softish crust and centre you can pull apart…Thye definitely received the thumbs up from lot and they can be very hard on me and my harshest critics…
• 1 cup of milk
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter
• 1 large egg
• 2 tsp instant yeast
• 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (unbleached)
• A very scant 1/4 cup of sugar
• 1 tsp of salt
• Extra softened butter for the dough
Mix the egg and melted butter into the milk then add the dry ingredients.
Bring the dough all together and then let it sit for 20 minutes just cover loosely with a clean cloth.
Then brush the dough with some softened butter and knead for 10 minutes or until nice and smooth.
Shape the dough into a round and leave to prove in an oiled bowl for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
Now you can punch out the gas and see the dough deflate if you are making round rolls cut into 16 or as I did for my finger rolls cut the dough into 12 pieces.
Shape your dough and put into a lined tin and this is important to leave no gaps…I did the first time and the rolls spread a little rather than rise upwards and as these are batch rolls and you pull them apart this is what you want…
For 12 finger rolls, I think a 9-inch square tin would be perfect..my 8-inch square tin was just too small so I used a rectangular dish which meant I had to add two at the bottom…
Now cover and leave to rise for 30 mins and then brush the tops with an egg and 1 tbsp of milk.
Cook at 180 C/350F for 18-20 mins…or until nice and golden brown.
Did you know?
It’s a given that processed foods can save you a little time. But what you gain in convenience, you lose in money, environmental impact and maybe even health.
That’s because processed foods require more labour to convert them from their natural state to something that fits in a box, bag or tub.
You’re also paying for the chemicals added to the processed food to keep them fresh.
You’re paying for the packaging, too, which is totally worthless once you get it home. Indeed, $1 out of every $11 you spend at the grocery store you spend on packaging you throw away.
It is however important to note that for the time you can spend in the kitchen if it is something that you buy very rarely it’s up to you but, sometimes I just buy it however if it is something that you and your family love to eat then it is worth creating it at home.
Does it matter?
If you deseed your chillies? actually yes it does.
Any recipe which tells you to deseed your chilli may as well say don’t use chillies…the idea of deseeding a chilli makes any Asian laugh…I mean why would you? Just leave the chillies out…
In Asia they are chopped, sliced or pounded and added to dishes or used as condiments, seeds and all. If you want less heat, you would simply use less chilli.
Deseeding a chilli is a fiddly job. You don disposable gloves, slice the chilli in half lengthwise and then scrape out the seeds and importantly, the attached white ‘placenta’, sometimes called the membrane.
This is actually the hottest part of the chilli…it is also when you stand more chance of wiping your eyes or anywhere and feeling the chilli heat…I never wear cloves when chopping chillies as I don’t deseed and come into contact with hottest part.
A tip when cooking with chillies is if you want more heat then I pound chilies with the garlic if I want less chilli heat I just slice them finely or use fewer chilies…
Growing Your Own:
Spring Onions/Green Onion…can be grown in the tiniest space or a pot among your flowers just pop them in any tiny little spaces they take up very little root space…Spring Onions are a staple in my kitchen used in salads, stir fries, as a garnish so many uses and so easy to grow…
From seed... This is dead easy! I save mine from previous crops by waiting until the flower head matures, then chopping it off and leaving in a paper bag until fully dry (about 2 weeks). Then simply shake the seeds into the bag, scoop them out and store in self-seal bags in a cool dry place.
Or in water …this is so simple…you will never have to buy spring onions again…
The seeds of change …the shock of walking into a supermarket and seeing row after row of empty shelves has forced some of us to make changes…there is an upsurge in seed sales and more people are growing their own …saving seeds…many producers of open-pollinated seed in the UK saw their sales skyrocket – up 600 per cent, 700 per cent.
That is a massive increase not only are we becoming nations of bakers and home cooks but home growers it seems…
This is backed by Sinéad Fortune, programme manager of the Seed Sovereignty UK and Ireland Programme
Covid-19…has rampaged through the world…many have unfortunately died, many have lost their jobs, schools have had to close…BUT there have been positives… a negative which has turned into a positive…it seems that littering and just discarding facemasks wherever people see fit…has become a problem…
A start-up found a fitting use for worn face masks,
Proving that it’s possible to get nostalgic about almost anything, it was announced this week that a new exhibition in London will look back on a year of wearing face masks.
By contrast, a Cornish social enterprise looked forward, finding a novel use for blue plastic face coverings left behind by the pandemic: melting them down to make litter-pickers. And the project will even save the NHS money. The Kickstarter Campaign
I hate waste and am always on the lookout to utilise what I can…my current project entails apple skins and cores I am having ago at making my own Apple Cider Vinegar…
I have started by collecting Apple peels, cores and any browning/discoloured flesh but not rotten or mouldy flesh from pesticide-free apples I make sure of that by cleaning the skin thoroughly before I peel my apple what you need is (approx 6 large apples) and a quart sized jar…
I am collecting the peels and cores in my freezer and when I have enough, I will start the process which means by June the next issue of Carol’s Green Kitchen my Apple Cider Vinegar should be well on the way…The entire process takes anything from 2-6 weeks.
Sometimes I struggle to find Apple Cider Vinegar here and have to order it online so fingers crossed it works …it is certainly warm enough here to start the ferment…
Until next time when I will update you on my progress or the finished ACV…
Sustainability is on the agenda…Food and jobs are on the agenda…a healthy world is on the agenda…
Are you ready to join me in making your kitchen and garden a little greener, are you ready to cook from scratch more often and to count chemicals instead of calories and cost? Love Carol xx
About Carol Taylor
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US
Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor
My thanks to Carol for another fascinating post about how we can make a big difference to our health and that of the environment.. do head over to her blog to follow her and take your appetite… thanks Sally.