Sunday, 12 May 2013

Sunday 12th of May 2013

Today we're having a lazy, chilled-out day; the children have a birthday party to go to later on and my lovely, lovely Husband has relieved me of the need to take them, meaning that I will - for once - get a bit of actual weekend time to myself, and at home to boot!

This morning I've done only a very little kitchen pottering, mainly making the boys' lunch - baked sweet potatoes with cream cheese and pesto filling - but also refreshing my bottle of garlic vinegar and making up a fresh batch of seasoned salt, which I use often.  It started out as 'chicken seasoning' (and is, still, superlative scattered over chicken before roasting), but since finding more and more uses for it (not least scattering over potatoes before baking, whether whole or cut up), I've taken to calling it seasoned salt, though in reality it's more like salty spice-and-herb-mix. That hardly trips off the tongue though, does it?

My Seasoned Salt

9 tbsp fine sea salt
6 tsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 dsp dried oregano
1 tsp English mustard powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp (freshly ground) black pepper
1 tsp dried dill

Mix everything together.  I tend to give it all a good whirl in the processor, to eliminate any streaks of salt. Bung it in a jar.  Use liberally and often.

The garlic vinegar is a precious substance that I was first introduced to by the late Laurie Colwin's wonderful book More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen, which I bought in 2004 when I was pregnant with our first child. Ibecomes, over time, a liquid essence of garlic which can be dangerously addictive.  Poke 3 peeled garlic cloves into a clean glass bottle and top up with cider vinegar.  I imagine you could successfully use a wine, sherry or even rice vinegar instead, but I never have. When the bottle is nearly, but not quite, empty I like to strain out the remaining vinegar and replace the garlic cloves with fresh ones before returning the 'old' vinegar to the bottle and topping up with 'new'. Hope you've enjoyed your weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to moms in the U.S.A. (and everywhere else too, we deserve it!)

Cath xx

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