Ok, here’s a bit of fun.
You can’t seem to get away from lists these days. Listmania! has taken over the whole world. Apparently 30% of the internet is taken up with lists. My top ten this and that.
So I thought “if you can’t beat em…”
The thing with this list is that anybody is free to add to it and join in… so PLEASE do!
I’ve started it off but I had to stop myself otherwise I would have exhausted the list. When somebody asks what my favourite food is I can go on and on and on!
So here it is!
[listly id=”a2G” layout=”gallery” show_header=”true” show_author=”true” show_sharing=”true” show_tools=”true” per_page=”25″]
So 2014 has been an interesting year…
‘Ome Made went from being a blog to a business. After many years of thinking about it, talking about it… we went and did it!
‘Ome Made products are now in some shops and we have a couple of markets under our belts. We are now looking forward to building on the successes we’ve had in 2014 and have some fantastic ideas for 2015! And I can guarantee this time that there will be products to buy online through the site.
We acquired another chicken… Leia! The other chickens and ducks don’t seem to be laying quite so well at the moment. If they don’t buck their ideas up soon their numbers could be depleting early 2015!
We also decided to get a puppy… yes, we know… yes we are mad!
Withnail is now 7 months old and definitely part of the family. She fits in just fine, yes, she’s mad too!
It’s been a really challenging year on the whole, the whys and wherefores we don’t really want to go into. Our firm beliefs and our strong sense of family values has seen us all pull through together ….
So here’s to 2015!
We would like to wish all our readers and people who have supported us over the past year a happy, healthy and prosperous new year…
Happy New Year!
‘Ome, Kit, MissT, Dj, CurlyE, Lil’MrM, Withnail and all the rest of the menagerie!
So apparently Fusion Food is now a dirty word with those that are in the know… or care! It’s now called ‘Modern cooking’.
So ‘Modern Cooking’ consists of taking flavours from one country and mixing them with another. For instance Korean seems to be a modern trend at the moment along with American style BBQ flavours which means there are a lot of burgers being served with a side of Kimchi at the moment. And why not?
Apparently in China British/Spanish combinations are all the rage!
I personally love experimenting with different flavours and experimenting with spices and herbs so I don’t see it as a particularly bad thing, providing it’s done tastefully and not just for the sake of it. I mean there’s nothing wrong with some Chicken Tikka on top of a pizza if you have some to use up but cook it to go on a pizza especially… erm, NO!
The thing is though what makes using different influences in food ‘Modern’?
Surely cooks and chefs have been doing that for years,decades and even centuries?
Think about Christmas. A traditional English Christmas Pudding, Cake or Mince Pie just wouldn’t be the same without a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon. So 300 years ago were chefs and cooks going about saying they were into ‘Modern Cooking’ or ‘fusion food’? I don’t think so.
I think adding new flavours and techniques to classic dishes is great! It’s just the terminology and the way that food writers and chefs go on about it as if they’ve created the wheel!
Anybody is capable of experimenting with food. You might not always get a fantastic result but it’s all good fun and makes food a little more exiting.
Don’t think that it is only the place of Michelin starred chefs to tell you what x & y go with… have a go yourself, the general public have been doing it for years!
What are Your favourite fusion… sorry, modern cooking dishes?
Or have you tried some combinations that really didn’t work?
Let us know, we would love to read your triumphs and disasters!
So what’s been happening on the ‘Ome Made front?
The ‘Ome Made products have started to be seen on shelves in certain outlets and I did my first Food Fair, which was great fun and I had some fantastic feedback on the products. I also met some great fellow local producers and MissT & Dj ate nearly all of their samples! It’s a food fair Kids… not an all day buffet!
During the summer holidays we played host to a girl from Belarus as part of the CCLL Sheffield link. Unfortunately that is probably the last time we will be involved with that particular charity.
I went for a trip round the local park with the Kids and we came back with another chicken, as you do. The Kids decided to call it leia (as in princess leia off Star Wars!), madness!
And then it was the usual pottering about with the kids. Picking bilberries and blackberries. Eating pots of curry sauce with French Bread on the top of Blackamoor (you should try it!).
Then to cap the summer holidays off we went and got a puppy!
Yes I know, four children (8,7,6 ,5) five chickens, three ducks and two skinks why would we want to go and do that?
Erm… because that’s just how we roll. Conventional? NO WAY!
So yes we now have a puppy called, a-hem, Withnail (as in the film Withnail & I, if you haven’t seen it please do. It is fantastic!).
Withnail is adorable and so far has been very well behaved. After only a few weeks she feels like she’s been part of the family forever.
So what’s next?
Well, getting the ‘Ome Made Business well and truly established. Writing more Blogs and possibly some guest Blogs for another local business.
And that’s about it. Although I have a few ideas buzzing around my head…
I can’t see any other furry or feathered friends being added to the household in the near future! Ha! Famous last words!
Now if you’ll excuse me Whitnail & I are going for a walk…
We don’t do diets in our house. Or at least I didn’t think we did. Then I Googled ‘diets’ out of interest.
We have the 5:2 diet, Dukan diet, Paleo diet, Atkins diet, Alkaline diet, Cambridge diet, South Beach diet, Slimming World diet, Slim-Fast diet, LighterLife diet, WeightWatchers diet, Rosemary Conley diet and Jenny Craig diet and that’s just for starters
I then Googled ‘Eat what you want diet’. I was surprised to find page after page of differing ‘Eat What You Want Diets’!
Now I have nothing against diets. I’m sure for some people they are the right thing and possibly the only way they will lose weight.
However the people that seem to be on a never ending circle of diets do make me laugh. Because that’s the thing. They do one diet, lose some weight, start eating ‘normally’, put weight back on and then start another diet. And then there’s someone making a lot of money out of these people!
The funny thing is we eat what we want. No. Not the eat all what you want diet. We just eat what we want.
However, we hardly eat any processed food. We don’t eat ready meals… at all (even the microwave has been shut away in the loft!) and if we or the Kids want to have something to eat between meals it’s usually a piece of fruit, not a chocolate bar, bag of crisps or bag of sweets.
We saw a video that someone had posted on You tube. It was a talk by Michael Pollan. If you are interested in food and diet I recommend looking at some of the things he has written.
Michael Pollan Books
One of the things he says is “you can eat as much junk food as you want… as long as you make it yourself”
And it’s a really good train of thought. It’s easy to go and buy chips, pizza, burgers and southern fried chicken from the take-away, you could go every day. However to make these things at home requires time, effort, quite a bit of mess and subsequent cleaning up! Which is why we only have these things occasionally as a treat, even then chips are usually baked in the oven as opposed to deep-fried. Making them yourself also means you don’t get the hidden nasty ingredients in there.
The other thing that Michael Pollan mentions is the amount of sugar, salt, chemicals and hidden fats in processed foods and ready meals. Again something which we don’t really eat.
So it’s funny when you look at the different diets and see that the majority of them say to cut down on processed food and eat more fruit and vegetables.
Well that’s what we do and it’s also what Michael Pollan advocates (although I have given a very simplified version of his advice).
We enjoy food. We cook nearly everything we eat from scratch. We eat fruit. We eat vegetables.
We don’t eat ready meals and we don’t eat a lot of processed food.
We eat what we want… does that mean we’re on a diet? If we are we’ve been on it for over eight years and still enjoying it. Now that must be some diet!
Just please, please don’t give it a name… I would be mortified to Google diets again and find ‘The ‘Ome Made Diet’!
Those that know me will know I have always been a bit rebellious. Not for any reason. I just didn’t like doing as I was told or what was expected of me. A rebel without a cause!
These days I still like doing my own thing. Not following the crowd. Not following the latest trends.
Kit is the same and I guess it’s rubbed off on our children too.
And as for commercialism… Grrrr!
The constant bombardment on what we should be buying, wearing, watching, listening and… EATING!
I am very proud of my Kids. They are not constantly demanding we buy them this, that and the other. One Direction? You’ll not hear any of that in our house!
Sure they like their Vans and Converse shoes but at least they are a little alternative.
As for food, well to put it simply… they love it… all of it. They will eat absolutely everything!
However suggest(jokingly) to them that we go for a McDonalds or KFC and we get a resounding NOOOOOO!
We have explained to our children how fast food is made and the type of ingredients that go into it. They have even watched ‘Supersize Me’, they loved it and even demanded to watch it again and again. It really put them off McDonalds.
MissT tucking into a ‘Ome Made burger
The thing is, are we depriving our children? They have home-cooked food on a daily basis. Plenty of fruit. Plenty of vegetables and salad. They have sweet treats occasionally and the odd bag of crisps now and again. If they are hankering for something between meals they usually help themselves from the fruit bowl.
No they don’t eat from fast food establishments but they have freshly made pizza, home-made burgers, kebabs and even Southern style coated chicken. Not to mention the curries complete with pilau rice, popadums, chapattis and Nan bread.
And can they eat! They absolutely love their food. Sometimes they haven’t even finished breakfast before they’re asking “What’s for tea?”
Deprived? I don’t think so!
They are outside a lot too. On scooters, bikes or just larking about. They walk to and from school every day. It’s not far but it all helps. Then there’s the swimming at the weekend and more recently a bit of a run on Saturday mornings (yeah! That one’s killing me!). Yes. They get plenty of exercise.
The thing is, they are a healthy weight, even skinny by todays standards. They look like me when I was younger (Yes I was skinny once!).
So when did not eating a proper balanced diet of home-cooked food and not getting plenty of exercise as a child become the norm?
Well I’m still a rebel because I don’t want myself or any of our family to be normal if that’s what being normal consists of these days.
Maybe now I’m a rebel with a cause!
It was a nice sunny day in the summer holidays. We had said our good-byes a few days before to our child from Belarus that had been staying with us for a few weeks healthy respite. So it was just Us and our Kids. Time to chill out and relax.
Our Kids had been eager to get their bikes out and have a ride around the local park. And that’s exactly what we did!
Off we set along with a bag of stale bread to throw to the ducks.
Our Kids had a good ride, plenty of exercise and fresh air on their bikes and the ducks were well stuffed.
On the way back home we decided to do a bit of foraging. On the way into the heart of the park we had noticed a patch of brambles with a few Blackberries peeking out that maybe warranted further investigation. And I am glad we did. After 30 minutes of scrambling about in the bushes and us shouting the kids “Don’t pick the ones near the ground… a dog may have peed on them!”, we returned home with just short of a kilo of plump, juicy blackberries.
Blackberry crumble seemed like a good idea but then I remembered I had a bit of leftover shortcrust pastry in the fridge but only enough for a base. Hmmm, what to do?
I’m pretty sure someone (Kit!…She has all the good ideas….) mentioned ” Bakewell tart but with blackberries” and there it was. Decision made.
I can’t call it Blackberry Bakewell tart though because to be honest it bears no resemblance to a Bakewell Tart!
So here is my recipe for:-
Blackberry Frangipane Tart.
Ingredients for 1 large or 2 smaller tarts
Shortcrust pastry (500g/1lb) Click the link for a recipe.
Strawberry Jam (enough to coat the bottom of your tart… Ooo er!)
Blackberries (700 – 800g)
Caster sugar for sprinkling over the tart.
For the Frangipane:
100g/4oz butter at room temperature
100g/4oz caster sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
100g/4oz ground almonds
30g/1oz self raising flour (a traditional frangipane uses plain but I wanted mine to rise into the blackberries)
Roll out your pastry to about 1/4″ thick and line a well greased flan tin/dish with it.
Slap on a good dollop of strawberry jam and spread to cover the base of the tart.
To make the frangipane cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then stir in the ground almonds and flour.
Spread the frangipane on top of the jam.
cover the frangipane with the blackberries and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/gas mark 6 for 40 – 50 minutes.
Let the tart cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. We had ours with some ‘Ome Made vanilla and Strawberry ripple ice cream. The leftover tart was nice cold, straight from the fridge.
I’m writing this and It’s making me realise… we are very, very lucky in this country.
Sometimes I don’t think we realise just how lucky we are?
Apparently it is my fault that we’ve all been poorly since May. All because one dinnertime I pointed out the fact that we are very lucky to have 4 very healthy Kids who at most just get a sniffle every now & then……
Then 3 days later Lil’MrM walked out of school with bright red cheeks.
Hmmmm, Slapped Cheek Syndrome. Not too bad for the kids but HORRENDOUS for adults!
After a few weeks of being ill & still suffering, I thought i’d better get my backside in gear & write a blog. But what to write about?
Well, ‘Ome & me were cooking dinner one day & I emptied a pan full of water down the sink & washed the pan.
‘Ome: ‘NO! NO! NO! I NEEDED THAT!!!’
Me: ‘But you left it by the sink so I thought it was for washing!’ (& thinking ‘IDIOT!’)
He was making Kimchi (pickled cabbage) & i’d chucked away the pickling brine. Well, to me it just looked like water…..
So that got my mind thinking back to all the disasters/accidents we’ve had in the kitchen. The scary thing is that there have been a few.
I remember the time ‘Ome had an all-in-one ‘thing’ in the oven, slow cooking all day. He went to get it out & dropped it. Chicken, veg & LOTS of stock all over the hob, oven & floor.
Then, when MissT was a baby ‘Ome made a lovely spicy chinese soup. He put a bowl full in front of MissT, turned round to ladle ours out & MissT started crying. She’d gone & stuck her hand in the hot soup. We definitely learned a lesson from that incident.
Having an opened bag full of lentils fall out of your kitchen wall cupboard makes for a great activity. ‘Spot The Lentil’ was a favourite pastime in our house for many weeks after.
If you’re saving any meat stock please don’t let me go near it whilst it’s cooling because you can be guaranteed it will end up decorating your worktops & floor in no time. How I managed to do that when I was just doing the washing-up I have no idea. (Are you all noticing who seems to do the washing-up?…)
Blenders are fantastic, useful kitchen gadgets…..if you remember to put the lid on when blending onion, garlic & ginger. ‘Ome walked into the kitchen, gave me a ‘how stoooooopid are you?!’ look & walked out.
I still to this day blame the manufacturers for putting ‘DO NOT RUN THE MIXER UNLESS THIS LID IS FIXED IN POSITION’ on the lid & not the actual blender. See it wasn’t totally my fault….
The ultimate disaster HAS to be ‘Ome’s jelly making skills. Lil’MrM wanted a jelly for his birthday. So, ‘Ome being ‘Ome had to ponce about doing fancy stuff instead of just making a basic jelly.
This involved the blender, pink jelly mixture & ‘Ome rushing as he had to pick our Kids up from school. He remembered to put the lid on but even he himself admits that there may have been a wee bit too much hot pink liquid in the blender.
Apparently the lid was only blown off a bit….but then landed back onto the jelly mixture that had started to fly vertically & therefore making it spray horizontally…360° around the kitchen at a trajectory of 6feet…..
This happened near the beginning of the year & i’m STILL finding pink splodges in places I didn’t even know we had in the kitchen. At least the floor has ceased to be sticky!
I don’t bother buying nice tea-towels anymore. They only catch fire when moving pans & heat diffusers around on the hob. We’ve had to resort to buying the proper heavy duty, full bifta catering types….they burn a bit slower.
At times you may walk into our kitchen & think there’d been a disaster but no… it’s just ‘Ome cooking & our kids are always pointing out ‘Daddy! You’re a messy cooker!’
So there you go, the fun times in our kitchen…..& i’m not even going to mention the day long argument & sulk over a chopping board….
After 21 years of working in the catering industry as a Chef/Manager I found myself… ‘in between’ jobs, shall we say.
After pondering about working for myself for a few years I decided to take the plunge.
And there it was… ‘Ome Made is officially a Business!
‘Ome Made available for your home!
The Blog is still going to be here with recipes, ramblings and all that but you may have noticed the addition of the Buy ‘Ome Made button on the menu.
So all those things like ‘Ome Made Curry Masala & ‘Ome Made Chilli Sauce and a whole host of other tasty treats are going to be available to buy through the website and through some (initially) local shops. It’s not fully up and running yet but over the coming weeks products will be made available on the website and we will feed you the information of who else is stocking ‘Ome Made produce as it happens. If you are local however we can probably sort you out with various products (Chilli Sauce, Curry Masala, Beetroot Ginger & Chilli Jam, Red Onion Thyme & Chilli Jam in stock) now.
I will leave it at that for now and update you all as the business progresses.
I hope you join us in this exciting journey!
If anybody has ideas for products they would like to see or buy, or anyone is interested in stocking ‘Ome Made products then by all means drop me an email…
Oh… and wish me luck!
‘Ome Made – Food Family Lifestyle
‘Ome Made Kebab
I have been fond of kebabs since my beer swilling teenage years… You could not beat that garlicky, salty meat stuffed into a pita with slice cabbage, grated carrot, raw onion, sliced tomato and cucumber then drizzled with lemon juice, yoghurt & mint and hot chilli sauce after a night out on the beer!
Of course once I had kids, nights out were a thing of the past and a greasy donner kebab became something I’d have once in a blue moon.
And then I noticed that when I was having them I was enjoying them less and less. The meat seemed to have less flavour, you got less salad,yoghurt and mint seemed to not be an option and ask for lemon juice and you got funny looks. And why can’t you get a kebab in a pita anymore?
It seems that a lot of takeaways standards have dropped these days. And to be fair there is a lot of dubious establishments out there selling things they shouldn’t be to make a bigger profit. Not that I want to tar all takeaways with the same brush… there are of course some excellent takeaways out there.
The thing is, sometimes you just fancy a kebab. So it’s handy to be able to make your own.
If I had my way I would have a big rotisserie spit in one corner of the kitchen but I don’t think Kit would approve!
So how do you get something that tastes and has the texture of a Donner meat?
I’ve found the best method is what I refer to as ‘The Big Sausage’ method!
So here’s how you make it;
You will need
1 kilo lamb mince (or beef, or a mixture)
3-4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Plenty of black pepper
1/2 tablespoon oil
Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The best way to mix is with your hands, so get in there and give it a good squish. The more like a paste you can get it the better.
Once all the ingredients are well combined get a large sheet of greaseproof paper and a large sheet of tinfoil.
Lay the greaseproof paper on top of the tinfoil and then get your meat mixture and lay it out in a line, round about 12” long. Now mold the meat into a ‘Big Sausage’ shape. Once you have a rough sausage shape you can roll it in the greaseproof paper to get it nice and round and compact. Wrap your ‘Big Sausage’ in the greaseproof and then the tinfoil. Lay the package on a baking sheet or dish (some juices may escape) and put in an oven at about 165°C (145°C for fan assisted)for around 80 – 90 minutes.
The meat will now be cooked. To serve slice the meat thinly and place on a baking sheet before giving it a flash under a hot grill.
The meat can then be served in a pita bread with Turkish Salad, yoghurt and mint and of course a good dollop of chilli sauce (preferably ‘Ome Made!) or as I’ve done here in a gigantic Naan bread which is then rolled up and sliced (and by the way if you wrap it tightly in cling film and put in the refrigerator overnight, it slices really nice and is ideal served cold on a picnic or as pack-up).