Monday, 10 December 2012

Samosas "Scrooge" style.

 Yesterday I had a bit of a brainwave concerning some mince left over from the previous nights mince and tatties: I would make spicy meat samosas. 
It's quite difficult to get the portion control of our home cooked meals just right these days. For years we've been feeding a family of five with the children rapidly growing into teens and young adults. With their healthy appetites it has been like feeding five adults for some time! With Sam at Uni and Bethany often doing her own thing we now find ourselves faced with leftovers that seem too much to throw out but not enough to make another meal. Now our Labrador, Angel, will always selflessly offer to help out here but we would hate to ruin her girlish figure! Anyhoo, here is what I did with the mince.

These samosas haven't been cooked yet as I intended to freeze them for Christmas. I popped them in the freezer just as they are on the tray then transferred them to a plastic storage box when frozen. Come our "picnicy teas" over Christmas I will remove them let them defrost before deep frying in oil until hot through the middle and golden and crispy on the outside.
My mince mix was fairly basic, made with onions, carrots, mushrooms and peas. To spice it up I finely chopped some fresh chilli, ginger and garlic and fried them for 3 mins. I added some ground cumin and ground coriander and cooked them for a further min before adding the mince and heating through. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and garam masala to taste.

While the mince cooled a little, I made up the samosa dough.
  • 125g (4oz) plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 25g (1oz) butter or marge
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water and knead to a smooth dough. Cover and chill while the filling cools.
When ready to assemble, divide the dough into eight pieces. Dust your board with flour and roll out each piece into a thin circle, then cut each circle in half.


Fold each half into a cone and brush the seam with water to seal. Fill the cone with a spoonful of filling, dampen the top edge with water and seal.
Either open freeze as I did or deep fry until crisp and golden. This amount of dough was enough for my large adult size portion of mince. You could make all sorts of samosa type snacks with left over bits and bobs. Let me know what you try out.   

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The finished tree.

Thought I'd better show you the finished tree (and snowman advent). I know there are many real v's artificial discussions at this time of year, all I know is-we love our tree! Funnily enough we came across the receipt from when we bought it and were astonished that it was ten years ago this Tree Day! It cost £47.99 reduced from £59.99, bargain!

We have a fab Playmobile Advent calendar too but the boxes for it are too battered to use now. We still put out Santa and his sleigh though!

Tree Day! Bluff and double bluff.

Friday 30th November was, by Hunter family tradition, Tree Day. Since Malcolm and I got together we have put our tree up in readiness for starting our advent calenders on 1st December. On Tree Day nothing is started until everyone is home from work, school or wherever. Even illness has not deterred this special event. This year, however, we had a dilemma; Sam was away at uni! Now, bearing in mind that our kids are now 20, 18 and 13, you would think that this would not really be a problem. Ohh noooo! Many have been the arguments and lamentations particularly from our eldest Bethany.
 "We have to put the tree up on Tree Day!"
"No, we have to wait for Sam to come home."
"But that's not for ages yet!"
What Bethany and Tom didn't realise was that Sam had already arranged to come home on the 30th. Malcolm and I enjoyed winding them up about it at every opportunity, such is our family's way (before you think us too cruel!) Our only problem then was the fact that he wasn't due back until 7 o'clock at night. How could we keep up the act for that long without the other two being genuinely upset? (You can see how important these traditions still are- they obviously thought we were just joking) Imaging the surprise when in walked Sam-onthe 29th November tricking us all!! I've never given him such a massiiiiiive hug for years. Malcolm was out with the dog at the time, there were no takers for "bet you a tenner Dad will cry." High five, Sam!

Our dog, Angel, wonders if she will fit on top of the tree.

Tom fills the Advent calender with chocs.