Now for something completely different

Time to catch your breath too.   I’m sitting in the cool winter sun, enjoying the scents of hyacinths and freshly baked bread, knowing that its too late to post any more Christmas cards and that any forgotten presents are hereby relegated to obscurity.  The interminable list is fully ticked up-to-date and there’s nothing to do until the turkey makes its entrance.

In case you’ve moved on from roast potatoes, mountains of sprouts and stuffing balls, here’s a little recipe that I used to entertain friends last weekend.

We were all carefully Covid-safe, even lunching outside courtesy of an outdoor heater resembling a rocket.   Just handing out warm bowls of spicy but not too hot lamb curry was a good way of being hospitable without putting people at risk.   It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but this is mainly just the normal spices which I have handy in tins.  Easy to cook as, after the initial browning, the curry can just sit on the hob and gently glug away for a few hours without any further help.   This is a perfect dish to make a day or two ahead, chill well and then reheat for the non-party.   With a rice cooker filled to the brim, the whole meal fed at least 20 hungry people.

about 100g lentils.

10 pieces cinnamon

3 heaped teaspoons coriander seeds

3 heaped teaspoons cumin seeds

12 green cardamom pods

15 cloves

3 teaspoons mustard seeds

4-6 tablespoons oil.

7 onions, peeled and diced

8 portions GGG*

2.5kg lamb, diced.

5 heaped teaspoons garam masala

2.5 flat teaspoons chilli powder

2.5 flat teaspoons paprika

2.5 flat teaspoons ground black pepper

2.5 heaped teaspoons cumin powder

2.5 heaped teaspoons ground coriander

2.5 teaspoons turmeric

2 heaped teaspoons fenugreek leaves

6 carrots, peeled and diced

5 courgettes, diced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced.

4 tins coconut milk, plus 1 tin water from washing them out

tamarind paste and/or lemon juice.

 

Place the lentils in a bowl and fill with cold water.   Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Dry roast the whole spices and set aside.

Heat the oil and cook the onion until at least golden brown or even darker.

Add the GGG and lamb in handfuls, searing each until coloured on each side.

Add the ground spices and allow to cook a little.   They may stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the whole spices, carrots, courgettes and sweet potatoes, coconut milk and water and scrape the bottom of the pan clean.

Bring to a very gentle bubble, add the lentils and cook for at least 2 hours.

Adjust the seasoning by adding tamarind paste and/or lemon juice to balance the sweetness of the coconut and add a little salt to taste.

*(GGG is 4 parts fresh root ginger: 2 parts garlic: 1-part green chilli blitzed together in a food processor and then divided into 1 heaped teaspoon portions before freezing.   Defrost as many portions as needed.)

Check out the fresh videos on my new website: www.pennymelvillebrown.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obituary for Donna Treploy

I have suffered a bereavement this weekend.   For years, I have been receiving e-mails from Donna at my bank.   I realised that she was probably sending out vast numbers of e-mails to people she didn’t really know.   But she did give me the sense that I was dealing with a real person at the bank.   It was reassuring to know that there was a human hand at work somewhere.

But, over the weekend, I found she had moved jobs and I was getting her e-mails from a new location.   I tried to reply and discover what was happening but that e-mail was undeliverable.   I checked out her e-mail address and, with a screen reader, listened to each letter with care.   Imagine my chagrin and burst bubble on learning that she’d always been Do not reply.   Just shows what misunderstandings adaptive technology can create!

My last on-line cooking demo this year is at 1030 on Monday 13 December.   You can sign up here:

Eventbrite:

https://open-sight-humous.eventbrite.co.uk

or follow-on Facebook:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/289090496430530

If you would like a free copy of a simple and accessible Christmas recipe booklet  with links to video demonstrations (about 20 pages), just drop me a line at penny@laylands.co.uk.

 

 

There’s at least a billion of us!

A little video about the months and years surviving life-changing injuries on top of blindness: https://youtu.be/T_oQCLQyUpE

I’ve also just talked to George who is the leading light of blind cricket in India – here’s a link to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/eyeway/episodes/Eyeway-Conversations-with-Penny-Melville-Brown-e1avb82

You’ve guessed why I’m focussing on disability: about 20% of the world population is like me and 3 December is our International Day.

I wonder if the powers-that-be, the Governments, businesses, employers, IT developers and the global economic system remember that 1-in-5 of us have impairments.

Anyone trying to get through the financial impact of the pandemic would do well to remember the enormous potential of all of us shoppers and workers.   We could make all the difference.   Let’s de-bunk the perceptions that having a disability instantly renders you poor (not worth selling to) and incompetent (not worth employing).   I’m neither and nor are the thousands of other people I’ve met around the world over very many years.   This is a market and pool of talent that is ripe for the picking and the timing is perfect too.

Meanwhile, here’s a little recipe to spice up those autumn pears:

6-8 pears, cored and cut into chunks.

8 pieces crystallised ginger, chopped.

1 orange, juice only.

3 eggs, weighed.

Same weight butter, honey and self-raising flour.

2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger.

 

Place the pears, crystallised ginger and orange juice in an ovenproof dish.

Whizz the butter and honey in a food processor.

Add the eggs to the mix one at a time with a little flour.

Pulse in the last of the flour and ground ginger.

Pour the mix over the pears and cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C, Gas 4 for 40 minutes.

 

Hot and warming for chilly winter days.