Weekend update

16 05 2011

This weekend’s favourite recipes: rhubarb cumble and, slightly more contentiously, savoury pudding. My parents have a bit of a surplus of rhubarb at the moment, so they gave us some over the weekend and we knocked up a quick crumble (recipe below). I made savoury pudding to go with sausages and gravy on Friday night. Four out of five of us liked it, but the fifth ended up going and making himself some sandwiches! I’ve provided the recipe for that below as well.

I had a large hole in one of the pockets in my work trousers (large enough that my big bunch of keys fell straight out of the bottom of my trouser leg), so I went into town and got a replacement pocket on Saturday and sewed it in last night. Now, we all know that my sewing skills aren’t great (I opted for woodwork instead of needlecraft at school and never learnt at home either), but I struggled more with this project than I ever have with anything else. I couldn’t seem to get it into the right position, then I managed to sew the pocket and trousers onto the trousers I was wearing, then I sewed the pocket shut etc etc. I ended up having to take it off again twice. I really did make a meal of it. It went on ok in the end, though – the trousers don’t look any different from the outside and the best part is that I now have a decent-sized pocket. It drives me crazy that women’s clothes have such small pockets; this is a proper man-sized pocket – I’ll be able to fit things in it! I’m wearing the trousers at the moment and am happy to say that, so far, the pocket is still attached!

Sewing seems to be becoming a bit of a lost skill. Apart from one of my brother’s friends who is a tailor, I don’t know of anyone around my age who feels competent at sewing. It seems that it’s not something that is handed down from mother to daughter any more and neither I nor my brother was taught it at school, although I can’t vouch for other schools. It is perfectly understandable that needlecraft has stopped being a ‘feminine’ skill – why should there be separate skills and hobbies for males and females? But equally, you reach something of a stand-off when it’s not being taught to girls because it’s not right that they should have to sit and sew when boys don’t and boys don’t want to do it because it’s ‘girly’. That’s when you end up with no one being able to do it. Then, in this world of cheap clothing, is it necessary? People don’t darn holey socks any more – they just buy a new pair. It’s often cheaper to buy new clothes than it is to buy fabric and who has time to make clothes? People have neither the time nor the inclination to mend clothes – they don’t fell competent to do it and the clothes will no longer look as good as new. This seems to be a common response to many challenges these days – give up and do something else instead.

Rhubarb Crumble

Stew the rhubarb with a little ginger. Grease an oven dish and tip in the rhubarb. For the crumble, use plain flour and butter in a ratio of 2:1. Cut them together and then knead with your finger tips until you achieve a bread-crumb texture. Add caster sugar to the crumble, to taste. Tip the crumble on top of the rhubarb and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with demerara sugar and bake in the oven at 190 C until piping hot and golden brown.

Savoury Pudding

Soak 8 oz breadcrumbs in half a pint of boiled water for 30 mins. Mix in 8 oz suet, 1 oz porridge oats, 3 large onions (finely chopped) and sage to taste. Grease an oven dish and pour in the mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes at around 160 C.

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