It’s so wonderful to be out of hospital. I’ve come ‘Mum and Dad home’ to the countryside until at least next weekend, when hopefully I’ll be able to return ‘London home’ to work and resume normal. It’s nice having two homes! And this is definitely a perk of being ill. A week to leisurely cook, sew, knit, watch tv, and still have time to finish my masters assignment and get my planning done. It’s everything Christmas should have been and wasn’t because I felt so dreadful. Not that I feel quite right – I’ve been getting light headed and dizzy and I’ve had to to have several lie-downs. But it’s a huge improvement on the chest pressure and pain I was getting when I did anything at all last week. During my lie-down today I accidentally went sale shopping at Topshop and I got an absolute bargain because I found a student code for 10% off that actually works even on the sale (09689386509385584938). Makes up for not being able to do any sale shopping apart from in John Lewis!
A massive bonus to being out of hospipops is the fact that I get to cook some of the recipes I’d been collecting during my stay. My pleasure by proxy can become reality.
The first thing I cooked was of course porridge yesterday morning, and then it took until about 5pm before I felt able to stand upright long enough to do more. I celebrated with a super simple – and some might think pointless – recipe for digestive biscuits. I don’t know why these sorts of recipes appeal so much. I like making things that you’d normally just buy. And I think the homemade must be healthier than McVities (which are in turn healthier than Sainsbury’s own – I checked).
I got the recipe from a lovely blog called Little Loaf here and as there seemed to be no wholemeal flour available in these parts, Mum got me some wholemeal spelt from the farm shop. This gave them a nutty flavour – not unpleasant, just different. I’m going to try them again tomorrow with proper wholemeal and see if it makes a difference. They’re not very sweet at all – they really seemed quite savoury – not sure if that’s to do with the flour. But they were lovely with cheese last night. A very viable lunchbox option! I used a biscuit stamp that my sis gave my dad – pleasing!
I made these in the food processor – it just seemed easier, especially in my weakened state. I used 1tbsp of the milk (lactose free!) and they were still a bit sticky to roll out. I’m going to try these again tomorrow, this time making one batch with spelt and perhaps 10g more sugar to see if that makes them more of a sweet rather than savoury biscuit, or if it’s the spelt itself giving that effect. I’ll also make a second batch using normal wholemeal which mum bought me from the supermarket this morning. Taste test of all three! (UPDATE: changing the sugar from 50g to 70g in the spelt version works well. See next post!)
This morning I forewent my usual porridge because I was craving waffles. And I felt just strong enough to cook. Thank goodness for power tools – I made these with the electric whisk. Here’s my recipe from the original 1970s Marguerite Patten Everyday Cookbook that my parents have been using for the last 30 years. And the accompanying waffle iron that’s older than me! I want one of these but I might need a time machine to get it.
I swapped the plain flour for spelt flour and they came out fine! 2 minutes on each side, as determined by many years of my dad cooking these, was perfect. The nutty taste of the spelt worked really well, although I found the texture a little grainy. I think this has a lot to do with my tongue though – it’s been really sore since hospital. The medication made it go a really weird colour and it clearly hasn’t recovered.
Today I’ve eaten a few things outside of my flare diet. I am a little concerned as I’m off the mesazaline that the UC will come back. And I’ve seen a teeny tiny amount of blood. But I do need to start relaxing the diet at some point – I’m not in a flare. Yesterday mum made a delicious cauliflower, broccoli and Stilton soup which we ate today as well. She cooked the onion and garlic the same way I do, for half an hour in water and the whole lot was whizzed up. So I think that should be ok to digest. I also ate a few slices of raw pear yesterday which seemed to go down ok. And today I ate a raw kiwi (although not the skin, which is my wont). It was delicious, but the colon jury is out for now.
Lastly, we had baked plums after dinner. Extremely delicious and I hope not a step too far. Dad had plums in orange and cinnamon from a recipe he collected – I don’t know which magazine to credit. Mum and I had rose and lemon based on this recipe. For both, they were in the oven at about 180C for perhaps half an hour. The rose and lemon was a little tart so I’ve upped the sugar to 3 tbsp. It was nice as is but a little sweeter wouldn’t have hurt, especially with my tender tongue! The orange and cinnamon was beautifully sweet and caramelised. Both lovely with some creme fraiche.
Serves 1. Halve two plums. Mix 100ml orange juice with 1 tbsp light brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Pour over the plums in a small ovenproof dish and bake for 25-35 minutes.
Serves 2. Halve four plums. Mix 3 tbsp of icing sugar with 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp rose water. Pour over the plums in a small ovenproof dish and bake for 25-35 minutes.