Crunchies – Recipe No. 195

How simple and so very delicious is this authentic wartime recipe. They were so easy and quick to make and would cope with the addition of sultanas or aromatic spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg or black market chocolate chunks.

I haven’t baked biscuits or cakes for quite some time, simply because I have a rather uncontrollable sweet tooth but with porridge oats being one of the main ingredients, I convinced myself that these were “good for me”. Three biscuits later (had to taste test!) I can comfortably say these are wonderfully comforting and one or two won’t do you too much harm!

Crunchies

  • 5 oz plain white flour
  • 4 oz porridge oats (I used regular porridge)
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 oz lard
  • 2 oz butter or margarine (I used 4 oz of Flora plant based butter instead of lard and butter)
  • 2 oz golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I didn’t have any and it still tasted great)
  1. Cream the fats, sugar, syrup and vanilla essence together until well mixed.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.
  3. You can then divide mixture into 12 balls and press them onto the lined baking tray until they form round discs about 1 cm thick or you can flour a board, roll out the dough and cut out the biscuits.
  4. Bake at 180 c for about 20 minutes or so until golden brown on the edges.
  5. Remove from oven. Leave to cool on tray for 10 minutes then transfer to wire rack and leave to fully cool.

Makes 12 large biscuits, or 18 smaller ones.

You can listen to this recipe on Spotify: https://anchor.fm/carolyn-ekins

https://anchor.fm/carolyn-ekins

Coping with anxiety through nature and art.

We all try and cope with anxiety in different ways. Mine is eating lots of potatoes, and more recently, finding my love of nature once again.

I don’t have much free time, I grab a free hour in the evening before I go to sleep or at weekends, after all my chores are done, after I’ve visited Mum and Dad and completed all the other things that need doing, a few hours on a Sunday is treasured.

For most of us it is increasingly difficult to not be aware of the negative and worrying news we hear, read or see, each and every day. We may feel strong, like we are coping, but often, our anxieties slowly and sneakily creep up on us and can manifest themselves in many different ways.

In recent months I’ve turned to trying my hand at nature art and studying the beauty of the nature that surrounds us. I’m also starting to create short nature studies using video for relaxation and to also take my thoughts away to observing, creating and feeling wonderment at life’s beauty, not just negativity.

I’m sitting here typing this, drinking a cup of lukewarm tea and about to have a scrub and jump into bed having spent an hour or two working on some more nature art and creating a short video. It is all very therapeutic.

I’d love to hear how you are coping with your anxiety.

Much love, Carolyn xxxx

Potato Peel Pie – Recipe No. 194

Traditional Guernsey Potato Peel Pie

Last month I watched a wonderful film called “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” and absolutely loved it. I loved it even more when 20 minutes into the movie a strange wartime dish called ‘Potato Peel Pie’ made an appearance, a insipid looking creation facilitating the gag reflex of all uninitiated humans who tasted it. That was enough for me to want to re-create it. Surely it couldn’t have been THAT bad?

Traditional Guernsey Potato Peel Pie was made of 3 ingredients, potatoes, beetroot and milk. With little flour or butter available to the islanders during German occupation, the potato peelings were used to create an open pie crust of sorts instead, into which mashed potato and chopped beetroot was added and then baked in the oven. I absolutely love potatoes but even I could see that without a few extras here and there and even with copious amounts of salt and pepper, this dish was going to be bland without some artistic licence!

I simply added some chopped spring onion (although leeks would have been good to use too) and some margarine to facilitate a pleasing taste. The ‘Potato Peel Pie’ was very tasty, I didn’t skimp on the salt and pepper because without these it would have indeed been very bland.

Here is the recipe for the authentic WW2 “Guernsey Potato Peel Pie” with my additions noted.

WW2 Guernsey Potato Peel Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • Dash of milk
  • Beetroot
  • Salt & pepper
  • (I also added spring onion and margarine)

Method:

  1. Wash your two large potatoes and peel the potatoes
  2. Par-boil the potato skins for 3-5 minutes
  3. Drain and set aside
  4. Grease a two person size pie dish
  5. Place the potato peels on the bottom and around the sides
  6. Dot in some margarine
  7. Press the peels down a little to the bottom and sides and sprinkle with salt
  8. Dice up some slices of beetroot (I used some pickled beetroot) and dot around the base
  9. Place pie dish in a pre-heated oven at 220C until the potato peels are properly cooked and the edges are browning
  10. Cut your remaining peeled potatoes into chunks and boil until cooked.
  11. Drain and set aside.
  12. Cut up onions or leeks and fry until cooked in a pan
  13. Add in the cooked potato chunks and mash adding in milk where needed and lots of salt and pepper
  14. Place the mash into the potato peel pie crust
  15. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue baking in the oven until the top is lightly crisped.
  16. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving

Serves 2.

PS: Check out my Art Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/CarolynHylandAnimalNatureArt

https://www.youtube.com/CarolynHylandAnimalNatureArt