Sometimes it is hard to blog when you are feeling sad and you may have noticed that my posting has been rather remiss over the last week or so. My beloved Grandma passed away the weekend before last and we all miss her very much. I hadn't wanted to write about it for fear of making everyone sad, but, having had time to reflect, I have so much to be grateful to my Grandma for that it feels wrong to not mention her as she was such a big influence on my life.
When I was on Masterchef, my Grandma was sooooo proud and told everyone that she had taught me everything I know. Now although I am not sure that my Mum would agree with this (as she taught me everything I know), I certainly learnt a lot of cooking tips from my Grandma and thought that I would share a few of these with you now:
1. When you have cooked bacon, drain the fat into a tupperware box and store in the fridge. Cook scrambled eggs in a spoonful of this fat for the most delicious eggs ever.
2. Simmer peeled whole onions for 10 minutes and then add to your roasting tin with your roast. After an hour they have a delicious caramel flavour.
3. Grandma's Christmas pudding recipe is the best I know but I am of course biased - the recipe is here on an earlier post. I know that when we stir it and make our wishes this year, we will all be thinking of her
4. Roast halved red plums in the oven for 30 minutes with a few tbsp of water and a drizzle of honey. These are lovely hot with custard or cold with natural yoghurt. A super easy pudding
5. Rose and Violet creams are the food of the Gods - it was my Grandma who introduced me to these and I use rose and violet a lot in my cooking now so this is definitely down to her.
6. Grandma's rock cakes - these were scrumptious and made it into my book. I am so pleased now that the publishers have let me call them Grandma's rock cakes!
Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx