Hi I am back again I know I am slow but life goes so fast it is just not funny anymore.  One of the things I have noticed on my rounds of the shops is how expensive all forms of meat has become.  We live in a meat-eating country and it looks to me as if we are going to have to become semi vegetarians.  So I have been looking into alternative meals.  Split Peas, Lentils, beans, chickpeas and vegetables.  But vegetables and fruit are not cheap either so we will all have to grow our own and like they said in World War II – grow vegetables for the nation.  One of the dishes I made when I first started seriously cooking was Mushy Peas but not made with frozen peas but with split green peas which are similar to lentils.  The secrete is to soak the split peas in hot water for about an hour, then drain and do it again.  Then cook in lightly slated water until soft.  Mash or blend and add lovely butter and seasoining to taste   This is a light meal with toasted bread.

I have also come across more people than I can count who really don’t want to be in the kitchen and they seem to hate cooking with a passion.  So I will try to make being in the kitchen fun.

  1.      Look for a simple recipe that you know you will enjoy
  2.       Take a pen and pad and break it down into simple steps.
  3.        Starting with what has to be chopped, sliced and diced.
  4.        Place all these ingredients as you finish chopping, slicing and dicing in separate  bowls.
  5.         Now line them up in the order that you will need to use them in the recipe.
  6.          Now get your pot or saucepan out switch on the stove and follow the next step you have written down.
  7.         A few things to remember, don’t answer your phone, don’t answer the door and get the kids to help.  This way you will not be distracted from what you are doing.
  8.          If you do have to leave what you are doing for some reason or another.
  9.          Take the pot off the plate that is hot, switch off the stove.  It is easier to come back and continue than it is to rescure something that has burnt.  Trust me I know.
  10.          Make working in the kitchen fun and try and clean up once the food is simmering gently then you will find that by the time you eat you only have the dishes you have eaten off to clean.

I found some hints and tips for the preparing of Aubergines which I hope will be useful.

When cutting an aubergine, use a stainless steel knife as carbon steel will react and cause it to turn black.  Wash teh aubergine first and then cut off the ends.

Most aubergines can be eaten either with or without their skin.  However, the larger ones and those that are white in colour generally have tough skins.  So these you can peel before cutting.  The hard skin aubergines are the best for baking and then scooping the flesh out once cooked and turning into lovely dips and sauces.

To sweeten the aubergine flesh use salt. Cut the aubergine into the desired size or shape and sprinkle with salt and allow to stand for 30 minutes.   This process will also pull out some of its water content and make it less permeable to abosorinb any oil used in cooking.

Rinsing the aubergine after “swating” will remove most of the salt.

Hope you enjoy your kitchen more with these few tips. Enjoy your cooking.

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