Wednesday, 23 November 2011
To my horror, a friend came round for coffee yesterday and on viewing our resident rodents, Noodle and Doodle, declared that they needed pedicures. I have come to terms with small rat-like things in The Pink Lovely's playroom but nail clipping was not really on my list! In fact it brought back fraught memories, as I am sure all mothers will agree, who can remember, the anxiety and stress of cutting a new born babies' and todlers' nails. For some mad hormonal reason we seem to forget that we have been giving ourselves manicures and pedicures for the past 15-20 years and go to pieces just at the thought of it,......pictures of missing fingers and toes!
Bribing my friend with a large piece of chocolate fruitcake, which alas, has not made it to Christmas as expected, she heroically clipped the little treasures nails for me. Saint or What!
The excitement of my days never ceases to amaze me as this morning, you would have thought yesterday was enough excitement for one week, I made a cup of tea and on discovering that we had no more milk, hastily retrieved my tea bag and plopped it into a tumbler with a bit of water in the bottom. Lurking in the back of my cupboard was some historic, almost neolithic milk powder and I made up enough to hopefully not poison me but to give me an acceptable cuppa. It tasted disgusting! So, I retrieved the teabag and left it to stew for a few minutes hoping to save the situation. One gulp and OH MY what a surprise, Vodka and tonic flavoured tea! Not a glass of water then but an unfinished tipple from last night! That will teach me to be so slovenly!
As promised I am giving you the recipe for bacon and cheese straws for all your hundreds of guests this festive season. Indeed I may even have a party myself!
I am entirely hopeless at making puff pastry and have never succeeded in making a gluten-free version so this is not an allergy-free recipe but I shall make amends in the next blog with another recipe that is and will certainly be helpful for Christmas entertaining.
One big tip: Always buy the most expensive all butter puff pastry you can find. The taste is superb and it is far lighter with crispier layers. The top Michelin Star chefs in the country use it and every chef I have ever met has admitted to baking with bought puff or flaky pastry. So, brazen it out and quote me!
BACON AND CHEESE TWISTS
Heaps of them!
1x large packet Tesco finest or other flash all butter puff pastry
for ultimate cheating use the pre-rolled out pastry sheets!
Very thin long strips of rindless yummy bacon and not the watery cheap stuff! You can use middle cut or streaky, smoked or unsmoked or maple cure is perfect, ditto Parma ham cut into long strips
Mature or Vintage Cheddar cheese,grated on to a huge pile on a plate
Your favourite mustard, Dijon or grain but not made-up mustard powder as it is too strong
1-2 eggs beaten until smooth
flour for dusting
Place the rolled pastry onto a floured board or clean surface and brush it with mustard. Use a sharp knife to cut very long strips from top to bottom about 1inch or 2.5cm wide.
Take each strip and place a line of grated cheese along it, place the strip of bacon over the cheese and then twist gently all the way up into secure straws. Cut into 3 or 4 lengths depending on your preference and how many mouths you have to feed. Brush them all with beaten egg and place on a non-stick baking tray. Bake them in batches, leaving room for them to expand until golden, puffy and crispy. I suggest 220C or 200Cfan oven or the hottest oven in the Aga. Serve warm or store overnight and then reheat for about 10 minutes in the same oven temperature the next day.