Winter’s here – yippee!!

There is only one reason to look forward to winter…….cold, dreary days are always a good reason to stay inside and cook (and eat) yummy comfort food!

It has been a truly miserable day here on the North Downs. The dogs and I went for a drab, grey, drizzley walk. You know, one of those walks where it’s not really wet out, but somehow you get absolutely soaked (and the dogs of course got muddy, but that might have been from the excessive squirrel chasing in the woods!) So, once home and dried (with dogs de-mudded), I looked for a bighter side to the day – I really am that ‘half glass full’ time of person at times! And where did I look? The Fridge of course!

I felt like I was in the  TV advert they had a few years ago for eggs. You know, the one where someone goes to their fridge and all there is left is a box of eggs and some peppers, which obvioulsy meant Pepper Omlette for dinner. Our fridge this evening consisted of: a box of eggs, butchers sausages, milk and potatoes, which didn’t mean a sausage and potato omlette, but Toad in the Hole and mash. Oh Yes!!!!!!

What could cheer you up more on a fowl weathered day, than a true British Classic? It’s not the prettiest dish to look at, but like the weather, it may be messy outside, but inside its warm and very cosy.

In other News, this Thursday will be the first of many Christmas Fairs I’m attending to sell cakes and biscuits. I am actually findng it difficult to believe it’s Christmas in just a few weeks, but all the same I have been dutifully cutting sparkly fondant snowflakes to top my cupcakes with. There will be lots of photos to show you next time of cupcakes, biscuits and other sweet delights.

Toad and Onion in a Mustard Hole – Feeds 3 or a very hungry 2

6 Good Quality Sausages

1 Onion (sliced)

1 Egg

75ml Milk

50ml Water

75gms Plain Flour (sifted)

1 heaped tspn Wholegrain Mustard (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1tspn sunflower (or vegtable) oil

Pre-heat your oven to hot – not top of the dial hot, but just beneath it.

Put the sausages in an oven proof dish, scatter the onions on top, and sprinkle the oil over the top. Cook in the hottest part of the oven for 10 minutes.

Now to make the batter. I watched John Torode make batter for Yorkshire Pudding on The Great British Food Revival the other day and decided to try his method. I didn’t use his recipe, as that would have meant using 8 eggs, but the method works pretty well.

Put the water, milk and egg in a bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually add the sifted flour whisking to get a lump free batter – it really works!!

Then mix in the wholegrain mustard and add salt and freshly milled pepper to season.

Some people say that leaving your batter to rest, makes a better mix, but Delia says don’t worry, and I believe her!

Once they’ve cooked for 10 minutes remove the sausages and onions from the oven and carefully pour over the batter.

Put back into the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes (or until well risen and crispy brown on top).

Don’t be tempted to open the door for at least 25 minutes. Batter likes a nice cosy oven to make it rise. Adding cold air, or banging the door shut will upset the cooking process, and instead of a Hole you might get a flat pancake instead.

I served with crushed new potatoes, peas and fresh gravy…..what could be more comforting and warming?

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