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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Sunday, 13 November 2005

Family weekend!

It's been a wonderful family weekend so far - yesterday started with a breakfast treat out, followed by a trip to Toys-R-Us so that Christopher could by the last two 'pocket money' Transformers of the set for which he'd been saving up.

Baby llama at WoodsideAfter a 'make your own sandwich' lunch, we made the most of what would appear to have been the last mild day in November to take a trip to Woodside. I guess that's the a major thing I miss about Christopher going to school - spontaneous family trips to the farm (especially when there are few other people there!) were great fun.

We had a good time nevertheless - we enjoyed catching up with all the animals (including a some new arrivals, like the really cute baby llama you can see to the right).

The rest of the day was spent variously relaxing, playing and catching up with the housework; when Beth and her mum did the pensioners' lunch, there were plenty of potatoes left, so I took it upon myself to make some Traditional Hart Family Potato Cakes for which I have invariably needed to call Mother for a reminder of the recipe. This time, I thought I'd 'go it alone'!

my attempt at potato cakesThey're fairly straightforward to make, although I think the method definitely needs a little refinement. Essentially, though, this is what I did:

  • make a load of mashed potato (with real potatoes, of course), mashing up half a pan of potatoes with about half a mug of milk, a couple of dessert spoons of butter and a little salt & pepper.
  • Empty the mash into a bowl to cool, and when it has (or while it cools), grate about 100g of cheese into the mash.
  • I put a bit more milk in to get the mash a bit more creamy, and to cool it down more quickly. This might not be such a good idea, though, since it requires more flour to get it doughy.
  • Once the potato is cool enough to handle, it's time to pre-heat the oven, to 'hot' (gas mark 8, 230 Celcius).
  • Thoroughly mix in enough self-raising flour until the mixture is just no longer tacky... it should be one big lump
  • Put this lump onto a floured work surface, and roll it to between 50mm and 75mm thick (they rise in the oven!)
  • Cut out discs of potato cake, turning each over to rub flour on the topside, and pop it onto a greased baking tray.
  • Put a full tray into the oven on the top shelf until slightly browned - to 'keep them coming' another tray can put in further down, and moved upwards when the last batch are cooked.
  • Remove the cooked cakes, and leave them to cool a little - this stops the insides from being too tacky, so that the lid can be sliced off and buttered
  • Serve on a plate - you can even put in a small slice of cheese, too

If you can offer any improvements on the recipe, please email me! Oh, in respect of which, I've had to disable comments until I can find a way to stop spam hammering my web server (which is the main reason it stops working!). The email address is blog (at) mus-ic.co.uk, if you didn't already know.

We're off to a birthday party this afternoon - Tilly's fourth! Before I go, though, I took some lovely photos of the children over the past few days - Christopher lost a tooth on Monday, so I wanted to capture it, and Lenni had her first ever pair of 'clip on' earrings...

Lenni - all dressed up! Christopher - king of the castle! Lenni in her car-seat

Of course, tonight's the latest installment of the Image FM radio experience - I've spent the last few evenings doing the technical and creative preparation for it, and Jon's made some excellent modifications to the Playout system, so hopefully it'll all go smoothly!

Posted by james at November 13, 2005 12:07 PM

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