New Oven


A void

Having lost my trusty oven a few weeks ago it felt like there was a void in my kitchen if not my life.

I browsed the internet and fixed upon  suitable replacement. Sadly prudence got in the way (damn you Prudence!) which meant that my dream of either a Neff or Smeg was shattered. A BOSCH seemed like a worthy alternative so I went ahead and ordered this bad boy.



It comes with a touch screen control panel which makes it easy to use and has so far behaved itself. I shall let you know if any issues arise.


Coconut drops


No oven to work with I decided to use the stove top to create these ginger fuelled nibbles which instantly transported me back to my childhood. Growing up in Jamaica, with punitive import taxes and an equatorially high average temperature, chocolate was not a widely available sweet treat. As a result we had these ‘drops, (so called as there is a drop onto a surface at the end) along with tamarind seeds rolled in sugar, on a regular basis.

Jamaican Tablet

The coconuts were won by my son at the local school fair. These are very easy to make.

  • 3 cups chopped coconut (nuggets)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger (fine dice)
  • 1/2 cup water

Boil everything until you feel the sugar start to crystallise (30 mins), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. The pan will look like this after you’ve dropped dollops onto a baking sheet.  It should form and hold this shape very quickly, a bit like scottish tablet.

Nom nom!

Can’t wait to get my new oven though.

Dead oven

This is going to be a short entry. Friday evening, after a long day at work, I start roasting my marinated BBQ chicken. It’s been raining for 3 weeks so the outdoor BBQ is a no go area. I’m getting excited as I have put a lot of love into the marinade. 

  • Peri peri ketchup, 
  • honey, 
  • worcestershire, 
  • garlic, 
  • nutmeg, 
  • mango hot sauce,
  • lemon juice
  • Pimento (all spice)
  • Sugar
  • Salt & pepper

15 minutes in I’m prepping the rice when hear a deep ‘phut’ sound closely followed by an electrical burning smell. The kettle has not long boiled so I check it to see if it has fused. I couldn’t figure it out so went and watched a bit more tennis. On returning to the chicken to check on  the rice I hear 3 loud electrical thuds. I check the fuse box and note that it has tripped.

Upside is that I am now shopping for a new cooker and a smeg is under close inspection. I will post a photo with a replacement oven soon I hope. :0) Enjoy the christmas cake as a consolation :0)Image

Gooseberry Jam

This was a very spur of the moment addition to my Sunday routine. Spur of the moment – not something that you might associate with jam making! I was returning some desert dishes to my neighbour and noticed that she had left a large bag of gooseberries on her front step. I mentioned this to her just in case she had forgotten them to which she replied “do you want them? I was going to make jam but I ran out of time.”

A bag of sharpness

These were picked from her allotment and were just begging to be jammed up. I got my 13 year old involved by helping to top and tail them while I sorted through the strawberries that were thrown in as a last minute addition (some were too bruised).

Prepped and ready

I did not have a recipe to use so I just winged it. I added a cup of water and boiled for about 20 minutes then added about 1.5kg of sugar.

Ready for the sugar

Because of the high levels of pectin already in the fruit I boiled for about 15 minutes after I added the sugar. In hindsight I think that I could have done without the water as the end result is more of a compote than a jam. Not to worry, it tastes yummy on hot buttered toast.

Finished article

Not bad for a last minute addition to my sunday kitchen. I will be taking a jar to my neighbour to say thanks.