(Historical) Kitchen Goddess!

I've spent most of the morning in the kitchen!

I made some nut-and-cranberry flapjacks and I prepared tonight's dinner (Braised Asian style beef ribs) in the slow cooker. I do have to say that I played rather fast-and-loose with the ingredients though!
  • 2 kg rack of beef short ribs - I didn't get 2 kg, only 1.5kg, and I think they aren't really "short ribs" as they seem to have more meat on them than I expected. Oh well. What else do I need?
  •  190 ml hoisin sauce - well, I don't have any of that, but a website suggested an alternative of barbecue sauce + soy sauce + a smidge of Marmite + honey + some Chinese 5-spice. Okay then. But how do I judge 190 ml? Oh sod it - just guess!
  • 60 ml soy sauce - Hmm. I've put a goodly splash of soy in the alternative hoisin. So do I put in more? As my measuring jug doesn't start counting till 100 ml (It's really hard finding a good measuring jug here in France!!!) I'm guessing anyway. Throw a bit more in!
  • 60 ml of Mirin - whassat?! A suggested alternative is sweet wine, such as Marsala, or Muscat. Rats. I have run out. So, let's improvise. I have some orange blossom water - that's sweet. And there's some orange peel in the recipe, so an orange flavour would be okay...But the orange blossom water is also very perfumed. So I want to tone that down - so orange juice will do. Let's throw a glug into the mix - forgot to measure it! Never mind...
  • 2 x 3cm strips of orange peel - don't have my ruler handy. 5 x possibly smaller strips will have to do.
  • 90g honey - does that include the honey in the alternative Hoisin? In the end I throw in about 60g with my fingers crossed.
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated - I use ready pulped ginger. So a good teaspoon full gets plopped in.
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed - again I have ready pulped. So a good teaspoon of that.
  • 1 fresh red chilli - yes, you've guessed it! I have a jar of ready prepared...so about half a teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil. - Ah yes! I have that!!!
Let's hope it all works!!

I also made some Bosworth Jumbles. These are biscuits from my little book "Favourite Biscuit Recipes" that I was sent as a Ship of Fools Secret Santa (I think!!) one year. I forgot to buy any biscuits this week, so Mr FD had a bit of a grumble last night, so I decided to make these.

Apparently, it is said that the original recipe was dropped on the battlefield of the Battle of Bosworth Field, by Richard III's cook (who was planning on whipping up a batch if the King was victorious? I don't know!!) The name "jumble" is thought to derive from "gemmel" which was an interlaced finger ring,which these biscuits are believed to resemble. (Not mine!) Here's an article about them and here's the recipe:

Preperation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Pre-heat the oven to
180° C (350° F) Gas Mark 4
Ingredients for about 24 jumbles
300 g  self-raising flour (I used plain - here we go again with alternatives!!)
50g ground almonds
150g caster sugar
150g butter
1 egg
1 tsp grated lemon rind (I used grated lime rind - no lemons! - + a squirt of lemon juice
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg then the flour & almonds then knead for about 1 minute until the mixture forms a smooth dough.

Roll into a long sausage about the thickness of a finger. Then, curl into "S" shapes. Another recipe - much more complicated - says "Roll the dough out to form a panel about 1/8 in. (3 mm.) thick and 4-5 in. (10-13 cm.) wide. Cut across the panel into 3/4 in. (2 cm.) strips. With floured hands, tie some of these strips into loose, single knots. Form the others into rings."

Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden.

I thought they were okay, but a bit boring, so I melted some chocolate and drizzled it over the top.

Goodness me! You can even find a Richard III Lolcat:

                        Richard III thinking "Hmm, I'm a bit peckish. I could do with a tasty snack!"


  1. Hi Mouse! I DO love cookies (biscuits) so very much and I wish you'd bake some for me.
    Your meals always sound warm and yummy!

  2. I used to have that recipe book. I love the name of them but have never made them.

  3. Mmmmm, those biscuits sound delectable but I'm sad you.didn't include a drizzled chocolate picture!!!!! That lol cat is funny!!!
    I liked your improving on.the first recipe!!x

  4. You do make me chuckle! Did the ribs work out alright? Made my favourite meal last night of salmon with ratatouille , so yummy.


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