When ,this morning I read on Facebook a post from my son saying,
"Telling Eitan how my great-grandmother used to lift me up to look out the window when the train was passing. Crazy thing is that I was his age back then and the memory is crystal clear. Warms my heart."
It warmed the cockles of my heart too, because over 55 years ago, my maternal grandmother use to lift my cousins and I on to her draining board to look out of her kitchen window at the trains that went past. Grandma knew all the times, "That's the London, Portsmouth, or Brighton train." she would tell us.
Sometimes,if we were very lucky we would walk over the bridge from her home to Hove station and get the train for a seven minute trip to Brighton station or Portslade station, go shopping and return to her home. Maybe my grandma instilled in me my love of train travel, or maybe my love of her created the love, either way to this day I still find trains magical
One of the other things I remember fondly from my childhood is winter warming food, stick to your ribs beef stew with dumplings, mashed potatoes, apple pie or crumble with custard, were favorites of my paternal grandmother.
On a cold winters day after returning from a walk along the seafront, or from school this kind of meal would warm you up from inside to outside.
Yesterday it was freezing cold, we are expecting snow flurry's this week, and two of my Shabbat guests prefer plain simple food, so tonight we are traveling back in time to almost "school dinners" revisited ,in a somewhat updated form.
Rich Beef in Beer stew , with vegan gluten free fluffy dumplings,
Gluten free apple pie with cinnamon
Dairy free vanilla custard .
Rich Beef in Beer Stew serve 6
1 kilo good quality cubed beef preferably lean,
1 leek washed and sliced
6 carrots washed peeled and sliced
I small punnet mushrooms sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 bottle brown beer, Guinness or stout is best
1 large teaspoon marmite
1 table spoon tomato puree
4 stalks celery waged and sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley and celery leaves chopped finely
1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 inch fresh ginger minced
3 bay leaves
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1 desert spoon coconut oil
1/2 cup red lentils soaked over night
1/2 teaspoon black pepper ground
1/2 teaspoon fresh dried thyme
In a plastic bag put
2 table spoons gluten free flour or rice flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
Rinse the meat under very cold water, shake off any excess water put the meat in the bag with the seasoned flour and shake well till all the meat is coated.
Heat the oil in a heaver bottom pan that has a tight fitting lid,
Add the leeks, garlic, and ginger to the pan saute till the leeks are clear,
Add the beef to the pan and stir so it dose not stick, when it sealed on each side add the beer, carrot's celery, marmite, tomato paste, stir well
Drain the lentils and add along with one cup cold water.
add the cocoa powder, thyme, cinnamon stick and fresh herbs and leave to simmer on a low light for 90 minutes .
Remember to stir occasionally so the gravy won't stick , the gravy should be thick but not too thick, taste, add seasoning and more water if necessary.
1 cup gluten free flour
1 table spoon fresh parsley finely chopped
a pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tea spoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil solid.
Put the flour, seasonings in to a bowl,
Add the coconut oil and rub together like making pastry till you have a mixture like fine breadcrumbs.
Add the chopped parsley
Add the coconut milk and mix.
Drop in balls on to the top of the cooking meat,making sure they adsorb the gravy.
Cook for 15 minutes.
Serve on its own with dumplings or on a bed of mashed potatoes for the real indulgence...and childhood heart warming nostalgia.