NPME

Easter2019

posted by Natalie Paddick

EASTER IS ON ITS WAY

I find this celebration difficult now my children are grown up, long gone are the days of collecting 100's of chocolate Easter eggs to hide in the garden for them and their cousin to find. I always remember that the sun shone on these occasions and the children would run into the garden with the dog, Gypsy in hot pursuit madly chasing them, barking and wagging her tail in the vain hope that they might drop one of these edible morsels, which would mean that she would 'quick as a flash' steal the fallen egg from them, double back and running away, as they screamed at her over her blatant theft. Gypsy would eat the entire egg if you did not get to her in time including the silver foil...!

Once we had done that entertainment we would have a large buffet lunch, which I enjoyed creating, you know the type of thing - cold meats, the Paddick 'sausage plat', [a must otherwise there is complaints], cheeses, hearty salads and potatoes of some description.. Followed by a myriad of, [even if I say so myself], beautifully created cakes of all denominations ... Making sure the two Bengal cats were safely stowed away so as not to allow them to ram-raid the food.. They had a irritating habit of getting outside and following the guests around the room from their position on the window ledge, like some feline stalkers.. A quick note; for anyone thinking of buying Bengals... You should know that they come with a number of health issues, not theirs yours as they drive you nuts! Trying to stop them getting into the food is hard work; they are professional thieves, and far better than the dog as they are fast, dangerous, determined and prepared to fight for the food... And they jump... They also come with other even more disgusting habits, which I won't go into in this blog! But they are beautiful to look at if that is any compensation! .. Anyway these were just lovely big family occasions, there is about 20 of us the Paddick lot and quite often a number of friends would be invited too.. The day would meander into evening and usually the weekend too ... More games .. More fun ... More family ... I loved doing it, it was all about family to me... 

Now as these times are a beautiful memory, the older cousins have moved on and in some cases are newly married and our children have grown up too... Times are different ... This year now our daughter, pictured at 16, has finished her university degree she will return to the fold from London for a brief but welcome break, for both her brothers 21st Birthday and for the Easter festivities ... Such as things are now... The celebrations this year will be a 21st Birthday party organised by them in the house, which means loud music and alcohol in abundance... I am always very much included in these wild parties, dancing until the small hours; to be honest, it usually takes me a good week to recover! Whilst they all re-emerge the next day looking bleary eyed; but after a few cups of tea or coffee, the latter has to be drunk away from me as I can't stand the smell... And a few bacon sandwiches they all bonce back and are ready in the evening for round two of wild entertainment which here in Somerset, means pub, club and usually back to the house for more drinking ... And so it goes on .... 

I used to dress the table on Easter morning, with all the usual paraphernalia associated with chocolate, rabbits, chicks and painted real eggs for the egg game later in the day, where we smash eggs to see who has the last intact egg... Another Paddick tradition ... This year our three beauty's will emerge usually the youngest the seventeen year old first, who still finds it interesting to see what is going on downstairs Easter wise.. Followed sometime in the early afternoon by the older two... We will enjoy a quite Easter day.. Meander through bacon sandwiches, eating the chocolate displays and eventually sometime in the afternoon all sitting down to a big Easter lunch, listening to them tell us about the drunken antics of the night before... Then we will have the highly competitive Egg Game with real eggs.... It is believe it or not great fun and remains one of the only family traditions of the Easter day... But does not require much skill apart from choosing the thickest shelled egg.... At the end of the day it is cake possibly in front of the TV...  A pleasant sort of a day, but totally different from the past fun and memories of younger children..... So bring it on as I learn to embrace the change ... Easter is a coming ... I wish you all a very Happy Easter what ever age  ... Natalie xx

 

 

 

 


The Easy Life of Food!

posted by Natalie Paddick

The Easy Life of Food…!

 

I am blessed with three beautiful children, a girl and two boyz, this means a house full of teenagers, for some reason they do not live in the same time zone as us! Therefore once they are on holiday away from the confines of a normal timetable.. It becomes an epic to try and feed them all. So what can happen is the fridge gets raided at all times of the day and night, and their choice of food is what is ever easiest and quickest to quell their instant hunger! One will just fill up on cheese, another on crisps and biscuits and one on endless bowls of cereal… This is of course is fine for the occasional meal but not good on a daily basis… Particularly as their mother likes to cook!

So here is my tasty sausage and beans recipe, it can be cooked in advance left in the fridge and then reheated in the microwave at any time of the day …. And if you are going to serve this to adults look out for my tip below!

Sausage & Beans – My Way!

Sausages – any type you like

Onions – quartered

Baked Beans

Tined Tomatoes

Tomato puree

Squirt of Tomato ketchup

2-3 Garlic cloves

Paprika

Mustard powder

Salt & Pepper

This is a one pot cook, no ‘faff’ recipe. Cook the sausages in oil in the pan give them a good healthy colour, bung in the onions, and cook letting the ingredients stick a little to the pan, brings out the flavour. Don’t let the sausages and onion burn, when it looks like they are going catch, pour in a little water, stir making a sort of gravy out of the fluid. Once the sausages are cooked….

Add the rest of the ingredients. Heat through and Da-Da it is done!

This is how my children eat it!

In the mornings:- This could mean in the middle of the night in the wee hours!

Heated up with fried eggs on top… And crusty bread…

At Lunch or Dinner:- This is any time after 12 noon…

Heated up – Topped with grated cheese served with chips or fried potatoes and a crisp green salad…

Tip – Conversion for the adults!

Serve with roasted peppers and rice…. And for my husband …. Fresh chillies … You can of course roast chillies in the conventional way, heating them over a flame until the skins become black and then putting them in a plastic bag to remove their skin… But this is supposed to be an easy recipe … So for a quick flavoursome way of adding some heat… Cut the chillies into rings cover them with cider vinegar and add caster sugar to balance the flavours… Let the chillies rest for 20 minutes, to take on more of the flavour… Delicious sprinkled over the sausage and beans… This chilli recipe can be used with all sorts.. Really lovely with cheese …

To be honest with you … Anything goes with this recipe .. In terms of the ingredients … Whatever you feel in the moment.. I have ‘poshed’ it up on occasions for an easy adult supper… Adding chorizo sausage, chopped fresh herbs… Adding butter beans and kidney beans… If you reheat the recipe in the oven, it gives the flavours a much deeper expression. Just before serving sprinkle spinach over the top… Serve with crispy garlic bread and rice …. Delicious ….

And now for a Quick Desert …..

Banana Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

My son is either non stop eating banana’s or he leaves them in the fruit bowl to wither and go black! … Not to worry… ! This is the best way to deal with them…

250g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

125g butter or similar

250g caster sugar

4 black bananas – mashed into a bowl – Or what you have

2 eggs – beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175g chocolate broken into pieces

Heat the oven 180C (350F / Gas 4)

Mix and mash butter, sugar, bananas, eggs, extract.. Don’t over mix.. This recipe is better on the rustic side! Add the dry ingredients and chocolate with a quick mix and pour into an oiled loaf tin. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the skewer test works! Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes and then turn out… If your children happen to be around you can serve it warm …

In the mornings:-

Serve with butter … With a cup of tea or coffee….

At lunch time or Dinner:-

Serve a slice with vanilla ice-cream …

This cake really lasts well … Well it would if it was not eaten so quickly!

Enjoy …. X



Page 1