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Food

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My mother used to make these when I was a child.  I only tried cooking them fairly recently and can’t help wondering why I waited so long.

scone

They are delicious when eaten straight from the pan, hot and drizzled with butter and home-made strawberry jam.  Their success depends on the quality of the griddle.  I have a cast-iron frying pan that I use but I remember my mother having an iron square made especially for her by my cousin who was a sheet metal worker.  She could rest it over the gas ring and cook the singin’ hinnies.

I would always ask for these scones for my birthday tea as coins, wrapped in greaseproof paper were put inside them.  We would refer to them as ‘money scones’. It was always exciting to see who would end up with the most money.

There are many thoughts about the derivation of the name but I’m sure it is the noise they make as they cook.  Apparently a mother explained to her daughter that they would soon be ready as she could hear them singing.  She then referred to her daughter as ‘hinnie’ – a Northumbrian term of endearment, hence the ‘singin’ hinnie’.

Recipe

  • 225grams (8ozs) plain flour
  • 50grams (2ozs) currants
  • 100grams (4ozs) butter (or margarine)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Milk to mix to a dough

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.  Rub in the fat and stir in the currants.  Add enough milk to make a dough.  Roll out onto a floured tray and cut with scone cutter into rounds of chosen size.

Heat pan and lightly grease.  Place scones onto griddle on a very low heat so that the scones can cook very slowly.  Turn once and cook on other side.  To check that they are cooked remove one of the scones and tap it gently – it should sound hollow.

Slice in half , butter and enjoy.

We’ve seen a successful campaign to clean up the junk served in UK school, but this hasn’t fed through to our youngest chidren. Parents are now calling for clear standards for the quality of food served in nurseries.

Happy with health
Happy with health

The Government must act now to improve nursery food and combat the rise in pre-school obesity, according to a survey of 1,000 parents.

In England and Wales, there are over 600,000 children at nursery for up to ten hours a day. In many cases, nurseries are responsible for the majority of a child’s daily food during the working week. Almost one in four children (22.8%) starts school already overweight or obese, which means they are more likely to suffer serious health problems like heart disease and cancer later in life. Despite this, there are no clear nutritional standards in place for the food served in nurseries.

According to the Better Nursery Food Now survey of parents with children at nursery, commissioned by The Soil Association and Organi in February 2010, nine out of ten (89 per cent) parents want to see legally enforceable rules for the nutritional standards of food in nurseries.

  • Eight out of ten parents (82 per cent) want foods like chips, sweets and chocolate, which are banned or restricted in primary and secondary schools, also banned in nurseries.
  • Almost all parents (95 per cent) want to ban additives that are linked to behavioural problems or other health issues in nursery food.
  • Almost all parents (94 per cent) want to see compulsory nutrition and cookery training for nursery staff preparing and serving food.
  • Nine out of ten parents (88 per cent) want government funding available to help nurseries improve food provision.
  • More than two thirds of parents (69 per cent) want to see a government department made responsible for monitoring the quality of food provided.

The survey found that only a third (34 per cent) of parents said they were happy with the food at their nursery. Around one in six (16 per cent) complained that the standard of food at their child’s nursery was poor, with children being given junk food, too many convenience foods and not enough fruit and vegetables.

Pamela Brunton, Soil Association policy manager says,

The younger the child, the more vulnerable their health is to the effects of poor quality nutrition. It is vital that the government put regulation for nursery food at the top of their agenda, to ensure that every child gets the start in life that they deserve.

Anna Rosier, Managing Director at Organix says,

It’s crucial we give pre-school children a healthy start in life, which is why it’s so shocking that there are no clear nutritional standards for nursery food, no compulsory training for staff serving food, no agency to monitor the quality of food, and no government department promoting good practice. We believe the current scenario is unacceptable and we want changes made urgently

We worked with the Soil Association to do the research on food served in schools which ultimately lead to the School Dinners Campaign, and it is not acceptable that nurseries are left behind – and that the health of our new generation is left to chance. That’s why we need better nursery food rules, now.

With MP Joan Walley, the Better Nursery Food Now campaign has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in parliament asking for mandatory standards for the quality of food served to children in early years daycare. (An EDM is a petition that only MPs can sign to show their support for an issue and push it up the political agenda). Our youngest children are the most vulnerable to the effects of poor diet, with almost one in four starting school already overweight or obese. This means they are more likely to suffer from serious health problems, like heart disease and cancer, later in life; yet there are no clear rules for food nurseries can serve.

Parents can help by emailing your MP to ask them to sign the petition, following the quick and easy instructions on our website: www.nurseryfood.org/email-your-mp.html

Recent research from Love Food Hate Waste shows that, on average, UK householders believe they can survive for 11 days eating just from their freezers.

LOVEFOODFV

This is a pretty high statistic, but it proves a point. There’s a lot of food out there that just goes to waste – whether it’s sitting in our fridge, freezer or fruit bowl, it’s about time we started to take count of what we have before going out to do our weekly shop.

Taking a few minutes to look at what we have at home can save us time and money in the supermarket. Cheese is a great love of mine. Number 2 only to my other half. When you think about cheese there’s a lot that goes in to our tasty snack – feeding and milking the cows, cooling and transporting the milk, processing it in to cheese, packing it, getting it to the shops, keeping it at the right temperature all the time. If it then gets thrown away it will most likely end up in a landfill site, where, rather than harmlessly decomposing as many people think, it rots and actually releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. No good eh?

So what can we do?

  1. Make sure you have a good hunt in your fridge/freezer/cupboards before you go shopping
  2. Have some fun making things with what you already have – could make for an interesting Valentine’s Day activity!
  3. Check out the portion calculator from Love Food, Hate Waste
  4. If you can’t use it, compost it – peelings, egg shells etc…

Ever wondered what to do with leftover Turkey at Christmas?  In our house Boxing Day Pie has become a firm favourite over the last few years.  The recipe is simple, it tastes great and uses up all of the leftovers so is really cheap.

Fresh Ingredients

1 medium onion – chopped

½ red pepper – chopped

Mushrooms – chopped

Packet of puff pastry

1pt of stock (2 stock cubes)

Black pudding (2 slices) – fried and crumbled

Left-overs

Garlic butter

Cooked carrots – chopped

Diced turkey

Diced ham

1 glass of red wine

Cranberry sauce

Apple sauce

Sage and onion stuffing

Chestnut stuffing

Seasoning

Salt and black pepper, sprinkling of worcestershire sauce, cinnamon,chilli powder (could use fresh chillis but include with frying of vegetables)

 Method

Gently fry onions, mushrooms and pepper in garlic butter and put into pie dish.  I use a large, square, shallow dish.

Add all of the other left-over ingredients spreading evenly across the dish.  Add seasoning.

Cover with tin foil and place in a low to medium oven for 2 hours so that all of the flavours blend together.

20 minutes before serving, roll out the puff pastry, remove the tin-foil, put an upturned egg-cup or specialised pie funnel into the centre of the dish to support the pastry and place pastry over pie dish to act as a lid.

Feel free to thicken to preference using cornflour and water.

Cook for 20minutes or until pastry is golden.