In our case, it took a while. You’ll know we moved into the loghouse in May 2012, but it took us several months to stretch our home-cooking wings.
It probably started when Rajmund went up to north-east Poland to do some work and came home with half a pig. Literally. Butchered, some of it made into sausages. Half a pig’s worth. It went straight into the freezer, and we ignored it for a month.
During that month we began experimenting. Actually, we ran out of bread one day and Rajmund did not want to go to the shop, so he dug out a recipe for milk-bread – a great success, but one John has neither been able to replicate nor persuade Rajmund to repeat. However, John has mastered American-style biscuits and manages, with rather less success, Irish soda bread.
Cheesy bicsuits are even better
Polish supermarket-bought bread, for the record, is pretty rubbish!
Autumn evenings meant a crop of apples off our tree and idle hands, so we checked out the recipes on line for an apple liqueur – chop apples, seep in equal quantity of wódka and brandy, sweeten after two months, remove and press apples, filter, leave to mature. Just coming ready as we write!
Apples also meant we could have a go at making apple chutney – the initial samples were delicious and the matured jars are ready to open – and apple sauce.
We had one test run, then for Xmas we made three meat dishes – a slow-roast pork joint in a tagine, beef stew, cooked on the log stove, and a big shepherd’s pie topped with strong cheddar.
Also for Xmas, we tried to get as close as we could to the cakes we’d bought in London – Dundee cake from Dunn’s in Crouch End. Their cakes linger in our memories, but OUR apple Dundee cake was pretty good, and HAS been successfully repeated.
And Rajmund made these, which were as delicious as they look.
Those goodies lasted a few days, except for the little biscuit-things Rajmund made, which we shared with the neighbours and were consumed in one night.
But is that the limit of our culinary horizons, or is there more to come? Only time, and the blog, will tell!
There’s a piece of pork under there – it was delicious after a few hours of slow roasting
Dunn’s Bakery, one of the best bakers in London http://www.dunns-bakery.co.uk/