Sunday, March 29, 2020

Loafing around

Thanks to really lucky timing, the renovation of my 24-year-old kitchen was finished the week before we all went into lockdown. And thanks to having my son and also Pauline, the very kind young mother from the flat up the drive who offered to get things for us when she does her own shopping, we're well provisioned (though I did break into the earthquake supply of baked beans this morning).

The one thing missing from the shelves for quite a while has been flour. But my neighbour, who doesn't bake, had an unopened bag she could leave on my doorstep. So I've been making good use of it with very simple recipes, and leaving a share of the results on her doorstep. But as a baker, I'm far from fantastic, so I stick to super simple, tried and true recipes. I thought I'd pass on a couple of these, just in case you do have some flour and you're looking for something different you or your kids could make, one of these rather long days...

Mandarin Muffins
The first thing I made - and I made sure Pauline got some - was mandarin muffins. They do have 200 grams of whole mandarins in them, so I reckon they're practically health food.

And they're so easy to make, your kids really can do it. Here' s the recipe from the blog:

Ryda's Fruit Loaf
Today I made my mother's incredibly easy recipe for fruit loaf.

1 cup dried fruit (one kind or a mix, whatever you're got - I added a bit of preserved ginger to my raisins)
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 dessert spoon melted butter (about 18 g of butter but it doesn't have to be exact)
1 tsp vanilla
2 heaped cups plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
a good pinch of salt

Set the oven to 180C, or 160C fan forced.
Grease a medium loaf tin, or better, line it with bake paper.
Put dried fruit in a large bowl and pour 1 cup of boiling water over it.
Add baking soda, stir well and leave it to cool.
Mix in, one at a time, stirring well after each one, the egg, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla.
Measure flour into a separate bowl and stir in baking powder. Add to wet mixture and stir gently to combine.
Spoon mixture into prepared loaf tin.
Check after about 50 minutes by sticking a skewer or thin knife into it to see how much of the inside is still uncooked. It usually needs to bake for about 1 hour or a little bit longer, depending on your oven.
Cool on a rack and eat, with or without butter. (Yours will be a little larger, as I used some of my mixture to make a separate little loaf for my neighbour - correctly transferred to her without any actual contact, of course!)