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Chicken & Corn Chowder



This recipe I am showing you today is an old, old recipe which I have been making for my family for years and years. Back in Canada, there aways used to be small cookery bookets for sale kept in racks right next to the cash register, mostly put out by companies such as Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Bisquick, Kraft, etc.This recipe comes from one of those, entitled, "Back to Homemade, by Betty Crocker. 


It was published in )ctober, 1991 and as you can see it is very well used.  This book has travelled with me across Canada and back again and then across the Atlantic Ocean to England. It is filled with lovely recipes and the unusual thing about it is that most of the recipes didn't require the use of convenience mixes.  There are good basic recipes in this for everything from soup to nuts and everything in-between.  Good sound recipes, recipes that you could make your own, like this Chicken & Corn Chowder I am sharing with you today!


I wish I could tell you how many times I have made this delicious chowder.  It is countless.  This was always one of my family's favourite dishes that I made for them.  Its hearty, and filling, and very VERY tasty!


It uses simple ingredients like cut up chicken pieces water onions, celery and carrot . . .  and the secret ingredient of a can of creamed corn.  My family always loved creamed corn.


I made it mine by adding some herbs . . . thyme, salt, pepper and sometimes summer savoury (but you could use marjoram) when I had it. Oh, but it is some good.  My children always loved the rivels . . . small tiny dumplings which were made simply by rubbing together an egg, flour and salt.  This makes crumbs and you drop these crumbs into the hot soup.  They are done in literally minutes and cook up like little noodles.  Children love them. 


Todd has fallen in love with it as well.  I do have to say one thing however, and that is you really want to make and eat it all on the same day if you are using the rivels.  They tend to swell up and make it a bit stodgy to leave overnight.  If there are only a few of you, take out the amount that you want to save for another day and only add some rivels to what's left in the pot.  You won't need them all.  This is also a great way to freeze portions for another time.


Just add as many rivels as you want and they are so easy to make and use such simple ingredients, it doesn't really matter if you don't use them all, and they are quite simple to make fresh each time you go to use them.  I use a large free range egg, but you could cut the ingredients in half and use a very small egg if you wanted to make less.  In any case I just know you will love this as much as we do!


*Chicken and Corn Chowder*
Serves 8
 
This is a great crowd pleaser and perfect for these colder days we are having.  An old old recipe that never fails to please. My children always loved this.  Rivels are tiny dumpling which are easily made and added just a few minutes prior to serving. 

1 (1/3 kg/3lb) cut up chicken
1 1/2 litre of water (6 cups)
1 medium brown onion, peeled and sliced
3 medium stalks celery with leaves, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 tsp salt
Black pepper
1 sprig thyme
1 (418g/17oz) tin of creamed corn
2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped 

For the rivels:
140g plain flour (1 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
1 large free range egg

Put the chicken into a large saucepan with the water, onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper and thyme.  Bring to the boil.  Skim any foam off the top and discard.  Reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. The chicken should be tender.


Remove the chicken  from the broth. Cool for about 10 minutes or just until you can handle it. Remove the chicken from the bones,discarding any skin and bones Cut the chicken into bite sized bits. Skim any fat from the broth and discard.  Return the chicken to the pot  Stir in the corn and eggs.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.   Heat to boiling and then reduce to a simmer.  


Make the rivels by combining all of the rivel ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Drop into the simmering soup and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.  Serve hot. 


I served ours with some Irish Soda Bread. (My Todd really likes bread with his soup!)  You can find that recipe here.


Make somebody happy today and do make this delicious soup.  You won't regret it and it is bound to become a family favourite in your home as well,  or I'll eat my hat!  You can't beat these old fashioned recipes for simple old fashioned goodness. Bon Appetit!

Note - I have never put the chopped hard cooked egg in ours. It was not something that my family enjoyed. Its perfectly delicious without it anyways!

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Marie Rayner
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Christmas 2017 from Cadbury




CELEBRATE THE COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS WITH DELICIOUS TREATS FROM CADBURY 

Enjoy Cadbury every step of the way as you get ready for the festive season Cadbury unwraps moments of festive joy as the most magical time of the year gets closer and closer! And this season, Santa’s sack is full to the brim with joyful and delicious treats. To delight chocolate lovers all over the country, the range includes the much-loved favourites alongside new and exciting products, sure to put a smile on everyone’s face and spread joy far and wide this Christmas. So what are you waiting for? With a plethora of fun and novel chocolate delights, the countdown to Christmas has never been more fun!

NEW FOR 2017


Cadbury Heroes Advent Calendar 
Open up a door every day in the lead up to the big day itself and reveal miniature versions of some of your favourite Cadbury bars! This is a wonderful way to ensure you are getting a taste of some of the delicious flavours from Cadbury. These include Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel, Cadbury Wispa, Cadbury Éclair, Cadbury Fudge, Cadbury Creme Egg Twisted and Cadbury Twirl. 232g £4.99.


Cadbury's Christmas Crackers
No Christmas is complete without a jolly cracker. These purple Christmas crackers will not only brighten up your dinner table but also include Cadbury Snow Bites to share with your friends and family. 126g £2.99


Cadbury Dairy Milk Classic Collection Box
A collection of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk classics is guaranteed to delight older and younger fans. This fun box features the original packaging for Whole Nut, Dairy Milk, Fruit and Nut and Caramel alongside the history behind each bar.  The perfect gift to share with your loved ones this Christmas. 460g £5.95 


Cadbury Help for Heroes tin
Pick up the Cadbury Help for Heroes tin to help support a wonderful cause this Christmas. Each tub contains your favourite Heroes treat and 65p of each tin sold will be donated to Help for Heroes. 1kg/RRP £12.50 – Tesco exclusive 



Cadbury Snowbites Mini Carton
Treat yourself this Christmas with delicious Snowbites in a handy mini carton for that perfect on the go treat. The delicious milk chocolate balls are encased in crisp sugar shells dusted with icing sugar making it the perfect festive treat. 43g £0.60 

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
  
 
 Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar, the best way to count down to the most magical day of the year. If you can’t get enough of the delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, this advent calendar will keep the festive excitement growing this holiday season. Complete with a tantalising assortment of milk chocolates, and milk chocolates with vanilla flavour fillings, everyone will want a piece. 200g RRP £4.99/ 90g RRP £2.19

 STOCKING FILLERS 


If you are looking for a sweet stocking filler for the kids, the Cadbury Dairy Milk Hollow Santas are just the perfect reminder that Santa will be on his way soon.  A quirky twist on the classic Christmas traditional icon, these Santa’s are made from delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk, a supremely scrumptious Santa if we ever saw one!  50g RRP £1.49, 100g RRP £2.99 

 
For a jolly way to treat family and friends during the festive season, Cadbury Dairy Milk Jolly Santas are perfect as they come in packs containing five pocket sized Santas, each presented in fun wrapping. Santa has had a makeover and there are now seven cheerful looks to be discovered. Kids will surely love them! RRP £2.99 

 
 There is no better feeling than opening your stocking on Christmas morning. Here to put a smile on the faces of every chocolate lover, the Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo Faces Tube is bound to be the kids’ favourite. The festive tube is packed full of cheeky choccy pieces, with Freddo pulling a range of playful faces to entertain the little ones. RRP £1.42 

For a timeless treat that will be well received by kids and grandparents alike, slip a tube of Cadbury Dairy Milk Button in the stockings. The classic bite-size button shapes of solid Cadbury Dairy Milk come packaged in an exciting festive tube that will bring joy to everyone. RRP £1.42. If Fudge is one of your festive favourites, then Cadbury Fudge Mini tube is your perfect stocking filler. The festive tube comes packed full of the sweet treat. 72g RRP 

 
DECK THE HALLS 

Add a touch of Cadbury Christmas purple to your tree, or surprise your relatives by gifting them with a Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Bauble. The spectacular supersized bauble is filled with Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates complete with a vanilla flavour filling and Oreo biscuit pieces. RRP £4.99 



Make your tree even sweeter with Cadbury Dairy Milk Tree Decorations. There are different designs and shapes for everyone in the family to leave their sparkly mark on this year’s decorations. Available in 84g (RRP £2.13) packs. 
To make sure your tree is kept even sweeter this year we have added Cadbury Mixed Tree Decorations ‘Now with Oreo’. 136g RRP £3.46 


 The Cadbury Dairy Milk Santa Gift Box – filled with delicious chunks of Cadbury Dairy Milk – is the perfect stocking filler. To spread the excitement and magic this Christmas, why not treat a loved one to this cheeky chappy and tuck into the delicious delights from Santa’s sack. RRP £2.99. 


These Cadbury Dairy Milk Snow Balls are the ideal treat to share and come in a pack of four. Simply crack open the top of the Snow Ball and use the spoon provided to scoop out and enjoy the fluffy mousse centre. Yum! RRP £2.99 

FAMILY FAVOURITES 
Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Edition is made up of mini white and milk chocolate tree-shaped chunks, perfect for also decorating your Christmas cake. You can break them apart and share with the family for an instant taste of Christmas joy.  
 

 The irresistible Cadbury Dairy Milk Snowman will bring you the joy of a snowy Christmas day regardless of the weather. Available filled with chocolate mousse, the Snowman is encased in a Cadbury Dairy Milk shell, with a light and fluffy mousse centre that tantalises the taste buds! RRP £0.65 
 

The crunchy Cadbury Snow Bites are an exciting treat to tuck into ahead of Christmas. The delicious milk chocolate balls are encased in crisp sugar shells dusted with icing sugar and turn your festive cake into a season showstopper. RRP £1.15  
 
PERFECT FOR SHARING

A nation’s favourite since 1915, the iconic Cadbury Milk Tray is the perfect thoughtful gift for your loved ones this Christmas. With an assortment of delicious individual chocolates all smothered in Cadbury Milk chocolate, a box of Cadbury Milk Tray has something to please everyone. Available in a selection of sizes: 78g RRP £1.49, 180G RRP £4.25, 360g RRP £8.49 and 530g RRP £12.99.
Heroes PouchCadbury Heroes gives everybody the option to eat what they wish this Christmas. Pick out your favourite, and pass these treats around as there are plenty to share; these small and mighty miniatures are perfect for every member for the family. This year, choose from a tub (660g RRP £8.59), pouch (450g RRP £6.49) and carton formats - 185g (RRP £3.09) and 290g (RRP £4.59).
Roses Tub - New DesignNext up is a favourite Christmas staple since 1938, Cadbury Roses. These individually-wrapped treats offer something for everyone and now come in a unique flower shaped Roses tub, 660g RRP £8.59. Also available in the new pouch (450g RRP £6.49) and carton formats - 69g (RRP £1.09), 187g (RRP £3.09) and 290g (RRP £4.59).
 



Everybody loves a selection box at Christmas time. Cadbury selection packs comes in two sizes, small and medium. The smaller selection pack enables chocolate fans to enjoy all their favourite Cadbury classics as they count down the days until Santa arrives! There is a bar for each day with Cadbury Chomp, Cadbury Curly Wurly, Cadbury Fudge and Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo. The Cadbury Medium Selection box contains a mix of favourites, such as the Cadbury Double Decker, Cadbury Crunchie and Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons. 95g RRP £1.09, 169g RRP £2.99
Freddo Selection BoxThe Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo selection box is a fun sharing box with a sweat treat for everyone in the family. For extra fun, each pack contains a voucher for free child entry to Cadbury World. Classics include Cadbury Crunchie, Cadbury Chomp, Cadbury Curly Wurly and Cadbury Fudge. RRP £2.99 138g
The Cadbury Dairy Milk Selection Stocking box is the ultimate stocking to go under your Christmas tree. A perfect selection of all-time favourite Cadbury bars (Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury Wispa, Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo and Cadbury Crunchie, Twirl  & Double Decker). This is the perfect stocking for any Cadbury lover! 195g RRP £3.99  

Note - I was sent several free Christmas Products from Cadbury in exchange for a post telling you about all of their Chistmas goodies, featuring some of their new products and some old favourites.

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Crock Pot Ham, Beans and Potatoes



This is an old, old recipe gleaned from a Mennonite Community Cookery book many moons ago.  Its such a simple dish and yet so delicious!


Proof positive that food doesn't have to be complicated to taste good. Everything simply gets layered in the crock pot and then cooked.


Long and slow until the meat is falling off the bone and the potatoes and green beans are tender . . .


Served spooned into bowls with some of the broth and crusty bread . . .  it's simply fabulous.


Sometimes you can get really brave and throw in a jar or can of sauerkraut, you have drained and rinsed.  That's good too.


It would not win any beauty contests, but I think beauty is oftimes largely over-rated, don't you?


You cannot beat this for taste and convenience.  It leaves you hands free to get on with your day, knowing that something quite simpy tasty is bubbling away in wait for you at the end of it all.


Smoky ham, tender and delicious  . . .  the potatoes flavoured with ham stock, and the tender green beans . . . a slice of buttered crusty bread.  Manna from heaven, this is  . . . manna from heaven.


*Crock Pot Ham, Beans & Potatoes*
Serves 4
 
 
Something so simple and yet incredibly delicious. An old standby. Plan ahead as it takes about 5 hours to cook. 

900g ham hock (2 pounds)
240ml water (1 cup)
3 large potatoes
220g whole green beans, trimmed (1/2 pound)
freshly ground black pepper 



Place the ham hocks into a slow cooker along with the water.  Peel the potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then into half moons, about 1/2 inch thick.  Place the potatoes into the slow cooker on top of the ham hock.  Wash and trim the green beans.  Lay them in the slow cooker on top of the potatoes.  Cover and cook on high for about 5 hours. Remove the ham hocks and shred the meat, discarding any bone or fat.  Return to the crock pot and mix all gently together.  Pour into a serving dish, sprinkle with some black pepper and serve immediately.
 


Those Mennonites sure know how to cook.  I have never cooked one of their recipes but it wasn't lip smacking tasty at the end.  You could serve this with mustard pickle or pickled beetroot, and a salad on the side (or coleslaw)for a complete meal. Bon Appetit!



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Christmas Pudding Tutorial



I thought this weekend I would make our Christmas pudding for this Christmas and get it done and put away so that it is nicely ripened for the big day.  Christmas puddings are a  really big deal over here in the UK. Back home we might have had a Carrot Pudding with Brown Sugar Sauce, but we didn't really do Christmas Puddings as such. The carrot pudding would usually have to be made on the day, although admittedly,  my MIL used to make it and freeze it, and then just reheat it in the top of a double boiler. Christmas Puddings are a very traditional thing here in the UK. Christmas (or Plum) Pudding is the traditional end to the British Christmas dinner. But what we think of as Christmas Pudding, is not what it was originally like!

Christmas pudding originated as a 14th century porridge called 'frumenty' that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This was quite liquidy, would need to be eaten with a spoon like a soup, and would have been a fasting meal during the preparations up to Christmas. 


By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavor with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom.  (Those old Puritans were a bunch of party-poopers!)

In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding, and by Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something very similar to the ones which are prepared and eaten today. 


The Plum pudding is a national symbol – It does not represent a class or caste, but the bulk of the English nation. There is not a man, woman or child raised above what the French would call proletaires that does not expect a taste of plum pudding of some sort or another on Christmas Day.
~London Illustrated News, 1850

Traditionally a Christmas Pudding is prepared on the last Sunday before Lent, which is lovingly referred to as "Stir Up Sunday." Stir-up-Sunday is usually a family affair. Each family member is supposed to stir the mixture from East to West to honour the journey of the Magi. This ritual is also thought to bring the family luck and prosperity in the coming year.

At one time it was also customary to hide a number of small trinkets in the mixture, a bit like the twelfth night cake. These charms often included a silver coin (wealth), and a ring (future marriage). Woe betide the guest who stumbled across a thimble in their serving.  A future of Spinsterhood was a cert for them! Nowadays this generally isn't done, although Todd does remember his mom putting coins into theirs.

I am doing mine a bit earlier this year so that I can present you a tutorial on it and give you time to get in any necessary ingredients, etc. "Stir-up-Sunday" this year will be the  19th November.



The fruit mixture of the pudding is a mix of dried figs, currants, raisins, golden raisins, cherries and candied ginger.  All are mixed together in a bowl the night before you go to make your pudding and a portion of brandy is poured over top and the fruit left to macerate in this overnight on the counter top.  A clean towel over top to keep it safe from dust and insects.  If you don't like to use alcohol, you can use orange juice in an equivalent amount.


The next day softened butter is creamed together with soft light brown sugar, orange zest, ground cinnamon and ground  mixed spice. (You can easily make your own mixed spice: Combine 1 TBS ground cinnamon, 1 tsp each of ground coriander and nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, 1/4 tsp each of ground cloves and all spice. Mix well and store in an airtight container out of the light for up to 6 months.) An egg also gets beaten into this, a bit at a time so it doesn't curdle.


Fresh soft white bread crumbs are mixed with chopped blanched almonds and toasted pecan nuts.



Two kinds of flour are stirred into this mix of nuts, bread crumbs and spice.  Plain flour and self raising flour.  You can make your own self raising flour by adding 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt to every cup of plain flour.


You then mix the macerated fruit together with the flour/nut/bread crumb/spice mixture.


This mixture then gets added and stirred into the creamed  mixture to combine.  Make sure everyone gives it a stir and makes a wish. Don't forget East to West, just don't ask me which is which, lol!  If you are putting trinkets in this is when you would do it.  (I would wrap them in cling film first or waxed paper, and don't forget to warn any guests that they are there when it comes to eating!)


 The pudding basin is prepared by generously brushing it with melted butter and placing a round of baking paper in the bottom.


Pack the pudding mixture into the prepared pudding basin, smoothing the top out with the back of a wooden spoon.  Once you've done this tap the bottom of the basin on the countertop a few times to settle and work out any air holes.


This is the most complicated part of the pudding.  Creating the lid to wrap it in.  Lay a large piece of foil on the table, and top it with an equal sized piece of baking paper. You then make a pleat in the paper, bearing in mind that the baking paper will be the side against the pudding.  Butter the paper.


I fold them in half with the paper on the inside, and then, from about 2 inches down, I fold them back on themselves.  It should look like this on the paper side, and like the top picture from the foil side. 


Wrap this over the top of your pudding basin, leaving plenty of room for expansion, paper side towards the pudding.  Tie it tightly onto the bowl with some kitchen twine, bakers twine or even using a rubber band.  I use bakers twine and using a generous length,  after I have knotted it, I fashion a handle with the excess that I bring back over the top and secure on the opposite side.  This makes it easier to lift out of the pan when its done.


Trim off the excess paper and foil so it looks nice and neat. 



You will need a large saucepan that is large enough to hold your pudding basin, with a tight fitting lid.  If you have a small trivet you can place it in the bottom of the pan, or you can do like me and fashion your own using a canning jar ring and some balls of foil.


The pudding basin gets set on top of this and boiling water gets poured down inside the saucepan just to come up 3/4 of the way of the sides of the pudding basin.  Tightly covered, the saucepan is then put on a low heat and the pudding simmers away for about  4 1/2 hours.  Make sure you check it periodically and top it up with more boiling water as needed. You don't want it boiling dry.   At the end of that time, remove the pudding basin and let it cool on a rack overnight.  Once it is cold you can remove the old wrappings and wrap it with clean new wrappings and then store it in a dark, cool and dry place until Christmas Day!  Instructions for re-heating are in the recipe.  

And there you have it . . . . Christmas Pudding!



*Christmas Pudding*
Serves 6 to 7


It wouldn't be Christmas without one.  I try to make mine in November so that it is nice and matured by the time Christmas rolls around. 


125g dried figs, quartered (3/4 cup)
100g raisins (2/3 cup)
75g golden raisins (scant half cup)
75g dried currants (scant half cup)
50g glace cherries (1/3 cup)
65g candied ginger (scant half cup)
100 ml brandy (6 1/2 TBS)
125g butter, softened (1/2 cup)
140g soft light brown sugar (2/3 cup)
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 large free range egg
25g blanched almonds chopped roughly (3 TBS)
25g toasted pecans, chopped roughly (3 TBS)
90g soft white bread crumbs (1 generous cup)
30g plain flour (1/4 cup)
15g self raising flour (1/8 cup)
1/2 tsp each ground  mixed spice and ground cinnamon
pinch salt  

 
Mix all of the dried fruit together in a bowl.  Add the brandy and stir, mixing well together.  Cover with a clean tea towel and leave on the counter overnight to macerate. 

The next day bruht a 1 litre pudding basin (5 cup) well with melted butter and place a round of baking paper in the bottom.  Set aside. 

Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest together until light and fluffy in a large bowl. Beat in the egg.  Stir together both flours, nuts, spices and bread crumbs.  Add the macerated fruit and stir together to combine. Stir this mixture into the creamed mixture combining well together.  Spoon into the prepared pudding basin, pressing it down to compact, smoothing the top withthe back of a wooden spoon.  Tap on the counter several times to remove any air holes. 

Place a large sheet of tinfoil on the counter. Top it with an equal sized piece of  baking paper.  Butter the paper.  Make a pleat in the centre of both sheets together.  Wrap them over top of the pudding, leaving room for expansion.  Secure tightly with either a rubber band or kitchen string. 

Place a small heat proof trivet in the bottom of a large saucepan (with a tight fitting lid). Lower the pudding into the saucepan, placing it on top of the trivet. Fill the saucepan with enough boiling water to come 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pudding bowl.  Cover tightly and simmer over low heat for 4 to 4 1/2 hours, topping up as necessary with boiling water.  Do NOT let it boil dry. 

At the end of that time, carefully fremove it from the saucepan. Leave to cool overnight.  The next day remove and discard the messy wrappings and rewrap in some clean baking paper, foil and string.  Store in a cool dark and dry place until Christmas.  

 
On Christmas Day, boil or oven steam (in the container) for about an hour until heated through.  Unwrap and turn out onto a serving plate.  Serve with your favourite sauces.

(You can serve it with Brandy Butter, Brown Sugar Sauce, Cream, Custard, etc.)


This was fun.  I hope you will give it a go and make your own Christmas Pudding this year.  It's really not that hard to do, and when you make your own, you know exactly what has gone into it!  Bon Appetite!
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