Monday, 13 February 2012

It's all about the planning

Knowing I wanted to make a corned beef and potato pie for tea (for 2 meals), I remembered to add extra potatoes to the pan last night. More importantly, I actually remembered to take some out before I mashed the rest! The tin of corned beef has been in the fridge overnight. It is easier to cut into chunks/slices that way.

I generally use only the lower, biggest half of the tin when making one of these pies (war ration training). The other half will either be used later on in a corned beef hash or sliced very thinly to have as a snack. Made some roast onion gravy to go with it.

With the oven going to be on to cook the pie, I also made some cheese scones to bake at the same time – using a BeRo recipe. This is the first time I have tried this recipe and had I cooked them at the temperature indicated, they would have been a little browner (see back left). My oven tray tends to burn things so I cooked them at a slightly lower temperature. The recipe said it would make 14 but I only managed to get 9. Still, they were light and fluffy and tasty.

With the pastry left over from the pie (using 12oz flour and 4oz lard) I also managed to make 6 mince pies and 6 blackcurrant jam tarts.

We had the last of yesterdays pea, bacon and tarragon soup with some poppadams for lunch. Always tastes better on the second day like most things.

We are now on the last basket of logs delivered in Autumn for use this year. After we have used those, we will start to use the 1/2 load from our new supplier. Hopefully they will last.

We are still managing on 1 1/2 hours heating per day (2 hours for bath day). Our Eon chart shows that we have used 14.9% less electricity than this time last year. Yes, we have used more logs but we have only used 1/4 of our oil. Normally, by the end of winter (still a way to go yet I know) we have usually used 3/4 if not almost all of it, as well as a lot of electricity to pump the hot water around.

With us due to have a few warmer days, we should manage on the heating side of things and hopefully, won't need to light the fire until later therefore using less logs each day.

Only using the tumble dryer for towelling has drastically reduced our electricity consumption. Normally, we would use it always at this time of year. Now, I wait until a day temperature of +1-2 Celsius or above plus a breeze and get the washing out on the line. It is finished inside overnight in front of the wood burner and has a lovely fresh outside smell to it. Far nicer than the chemical smell of conditioner.

Guess I will be catching up on the washing tomorrow and Wednesday.


  1. Your baking looks delicious, corned beef pie is one of my all time favourites. Re Bero recipes, I always find them a little skimpy and find using 1&1/2 x the recipe is about right for the amount they suggest.

    We have tried much harder this year with the gas and electricity consumption and to our delight when we printed off the graph comparing the last year with the previous one we found that it had reduced quite considerably so its been worth the effort. The tumble dryer just gets used to finish things off after a blow on the line. Lets hope the good weather comes soon.

  2. That all looks really good. I managed to make rolls while the kitchen was in disarray today, but nothing else. The water has been off so I didn't want to create lots of washing up! We are forecast some warmer weather this week too - up to 8 degrees I think, so I'll be able to get the bedding out for a blow on the line. I love the smell of outdoors on the washing too.

  3. That looks very good :) I would love to taste those blackcurrant jam tarts, yum :)
    During winter we have to tumble dry all the washing, and being a family of five that makes a lot of washing and spends a lot of electrisity... I hope for an early spring this year :)

    1. Well, I'm sure you are far colder than us. I've put washing on the line at 0C and +1C. As long as there is a breeze, they get half dry.

  4. Your pastry looks good! I love the smell of towels and sheets dried in the fresh air xxx


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