As I mentioned, I had started to feel better. So on Sunday I started some Downton cooking again. I made a cocktail to go with the cooking. This one was the Downton Heir, in honor of Matthew becoming the heir after the prior heir had died on the Titanic. It is gin, Cocchi Americano and dry vermouth. For me it was not that exciting. But I was excited to be cooking again so sipping on a cocktail while doing this was great.
I decided to make Toad-In-The-Hole. This is a downstairs dish that I have wanted to make. Tom said I made it before but I do not remember this, It must not have been too exciting. Anyway it is sausage baked for 10 minutes on the bottom of a pie pan and then a eggy batter placed on top and baked again for 45 minutes. When it came out of the oven it was fairly puffed up.
But then it collapsed and you could see the sausagey holes.
I thought this was really great. So great I kept getting up during commercial breaks in the Washington miniseries to get more bites from the kitchen.
On Monday I was completely free from any intestinal symptoms so thought I was out of the woods, so to speak. I make a Summer Cup cocktail in the evening to go with a cooking marathon. This is basically a Pimm’s cup and my first taste of Pimm’s No. 1. It is mixed with ginger ale and garnished with cucumber.
This was OK, again nothing amazing but fun to have a unique cocktail to sip while cooking, I started with Poached Gammon with Parsley Sauce. This is an upstairs recipe. I boiled a 4# ham for 2.5 hours.
Toward the end of the cooking I made a béchamel sauce. The ham after boiling was covered in bread crumbs and then baked for 15 minutes. Chopped fresh parsley added to the sauce and it is served.
This ham was truly amazing. It was tender and the flavor was milder than usual. Because of this, the sauce paired incredibly well with it. I would have never thought about boiling ham, but this was really delicious.
While the ham was cooking I also made a Potted Cheese. This is pureed Cheshire or equivalent cheese with butter, mace, pepper and wine. It is supposed to be packed into a small crock. I do not have one of these so used a small canning jar. It is then topped with clarified butter. I placed it in the fridge to chill and had it the next day with Mary’s crackers.
The cheese spread was unusual, I think due to the mace and the wine. It is tasty but not amazing. A nice snack though.
Also while the ham was boiling I made a Champagne Jelly, definitely an upstairs dish. For this you mix gelatin with champagne and add some fruit to the middle when half of it is partly set. I used my pudding mold for this. Here it is just adding the strawberries. This needed to set for at least 8 hours so became dessert on Tuesday.
Here it is all done. The back collapsed probably because I over warmed the mold to get it out. I liked the taste of it. It is fun having a champagne jello as a dessert.
Unfortunately my symptoms came back with a vengeance very early Tuesday morning. I am not sure why but it may be that I overdid it when I thought I was OK. We did the usual animal chores but also trimmed the donkeys hooves and then I attacked the blackberry vines in the yard. I did go to the doctor yesterday, and he basically agreed with everything I was doing except advised I take it easier and not work. He also suggested Imodium to help me sleep at night.
So Tuesday I was worried I might still be contagious so did not want to cook for Tom. But I did make Cauliflower Cheese for me since I knew that Tom would not want any. This is a downstairs dish. This is basically a chopped head of cauliflower which is briefly browned with some butter and flour, then lightly steamed for 5 minutes. I made another béchamel sauce but this time I melted some sharp cheddar in it. These are mixed in a baking dish and then some more grated cheese is placed on top. It cooks for 10 minutes until the top is browned. I am not a huge fan of cauliflower, but this was quite good. Plus it paired well with the leftover ham.
This evening I made myself a Sub-Rosa Summer. It is basically a Summer Cup made with ginger beer instead of ale. Plus it has some Peychaud’s bitters and a slice of orange. I like this one better as there is more flavor with the ginger beer and the bitters. Plus ginger is good for your stomach, right?
So now Tom is back to doing all the chores and cooking again. I spent the day downloading CDs onto my computer to go on my iPod. Pretty boring. I am sick of being sick. Plus the weather has been nice, and I cannot enjoy it except through the window. This is getting old.