Send a cow Christopher Columbus

For the past few weeks I have been trying out some breakfasts of the greats as found in the Send a Cow The Most Important Meal of Their Lives ebook.

It all started with Jane Austen, then it was all about Winston Churchill.  Next up came Cleopatra VII and today I made the breakfast of Christopher Columbus – Hardtack and legumes stew

Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew

“Christopher Columbus may have discovered all manner of culinary peculiarities and exotic flavours during
his exploration of the New World, but the dishes he and his crew ate on their voyages across the Atlantic were
distinctly more prosaic. In fact, due to the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables on board, bouts of seafaring scurvy
were common among the crew (it would be centuries until the link between scurvy and a lack of vitamin C was made).
Various records suggest that the typical foods on board Columbus’ ship included water, vinegar, wine, olive oil,
molasses, cheese, honey, raisins, rice, garlic, almonds, sea biscuits (hardtack), dry legumes such as chickpeas,
lentils, beans, sardines, anchovies, dry salt cod and pickled or salted meats. Invariably the food was boiled and
served in a large communal wooden bowl. The recipe below is a modern-day interpretation of the type of foods
eaten by Columbus and his men during their voyages.”

I halved the amount of ingredients required for the hardtack as the quantities seemed very high for just me.  And then I was actually rather lazy with the ‘rolling it out’ and just squashed the mixture down in my palm before placing on the baking tray.

Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew

I have to say that the frying pan smelt amazing with all the ingredients in place.  I love the smell of frying onion but never fancy it on a hot dog.  Isn’t that odd?!

Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew

 

 

 

The hardtacks came out of the oven perfect, although to me, they didn’t have a lot of taste when I bit into one for testing.Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stewAnd I was really looking forward to trying the stew.  All of the ingredients were lovely and tender by the time I took it off the stove.Send a cow - Christopher Columbus - Hardtack and legumes stew

VERDICT:    The hardtacks didn’t have enough flavour for my liking and I ended up dipping them in a little salt before placing them in the bowl of stew to give them a little extra flavour.  I loved the veg in the stew, but I can’t say I was a fan of the chickpeas.  I’ve never really had them whole before, but rather mushed up as part of a burger, or similar.  This meal was definitely filling though, and it was teatime before I was ready for any more food in my belly!

The free ebook has been launched by charity Send a Cow as part of its new ‘Break… Fast’ appeal and features the breakfasts eaten by the likes of Einstein, Edison, Parks, Mother Theresa and the Apollo 11 crew.  It has been created to raise awareness of the importance of breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.  In addition to vital donations, which will be doubled by the UK government, the appeal aims to raise awareness of the importance of a nutritious breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.

To read more about the Send a Cow Break…Fast appeal and how you can help support African children please visit my first post, or head to the website directly www.sendacow.org.uk/mostimportantmeal

Zapped of energy

Is it just me or is the heat draining everybody at the moment?  I’ve felt really weak over the past few days and a little bit dizzy when pushing it for a longer section on my run on Tuesday night.  Today I’ve felt very light headed despite not doing anything very strenuous and have had to really force myself to eat as I really don’t fancy anything at the moment.
Last night there were twenty-two of us who headed out for a 7.3 mile trail run at 7pm.  I’m pretty sure that’s the most yet!  We started off in a beautiful little village green and soon ran into problems with cows.  About half our group refused outright to run through a field when they realised there was a herd of cows and their calves trapsing around inside.  I must admit, I wasn’t too keen when the cows started to get excited after seeing the bunch of runners stood staring at them and the bull made his way towards the fence!  After a couple of fence jumps in the other direction and quick sprints through opposite ends of fields we managed to avoid the cows altogether.
With so many of us out, there was a huge range of abilities, and Group 1 runners (sub 41min 10k times) were running amongst group 6 runners (60+min 10k times).  About mile 3 into the run I was running with a guy from two groups above me who is also currently in the midst of wedding planning.  I think I probably pushed myself a bit too hard so early into the run, determined to keep up and keep the conversation going.  After three quarters of a mile or so I politely said “I can’t maintain this” and dropped back.  At least, it felt like I was politely informing him that I was going to slow down.  In reality I probably slurred my words together as quickly as possible and collapsed in a sweaty heap on the side of the track!  It was a tough run in the heat though and in some places the long grass was flattened down, but still raised a foot from the ground so we had to run with really high knees.  Draining!  I’m swapping my rest day this week as a result and am taking today off, then heading out for some speedwork tomorrow instead.

Send a Cow breakfast recipe number 4 is on it’s way! Last week became very busy with the end of term and the recipe for the breakfast of the week requires a bit of prep work that I never got round to doing the night before.  Turns out that I didn’t need to do any prep work (soaking the chickpeas in water) though as the can they are in already contains water!  Oops!

Can of chickpeas

I’m slowly working my way through the house at the moment having a massive deep clean of every room.  It’s really, really satisfying seeing each room come together and look much less cluttered.  I’m throwing loads away and everywhere is looking so sparkly tidy and clean…Until you get to the spare room.

…Just don’t go in there!

This is our lounge and dining room.  It doesn’t look much from this photo, but you should have seen it before!

Lounge dinerI just love being able to relax in the lounge in the evening and not feel guilty about the place looking a total tip!  Something else I love is a clear bedroom and fresh sheets.  Nothing better than fresh sheets and a plumped up pillow when it comes to bedtime!

Do you manage to keep on top of your housework during the week?

Send a cow Cleopatra VII!

So two weeks ago I told you that I would be trying out some breakfasts of the greats as found in the Send a Cow The Most Important Meal of Their Lives ebook.

It all started with Jane Austen, then last week it was all about Winston Churchill.  Today, I’ll be creating the breakfast of Cleopatra VII! – Ancient Egyptian loaf of bread.

“Cleopatra VII was the last Pharoah of Ancient Egypt, and presented herself as the reincarnation of the Egyptian Goddess, Isis. As a personification of incredible beauty and power, Cleopatra has always been a popular figure in Western culture.
An understanding of what she might have dined on for breakfast can be gained from the remains of ancient surviving tombs. Typically, bread sweetened with honey, figs and other fruits would have been eaten, which would have of course been prepared and served in luxurious ways.

Now, I’m not a fan of dried fruit, and neither is Dan, so I skipped the sultanas when making the bread.  The mixture was incredibly sticky, and so I ended up dowsing my fingers in oil to mould the bread shapes out onto the tray.  They were supposed to be nice neat triangular shapes…

Cleopatra bread

 

My first three shapes (on the right hand side of the above tray) were an OKish, smooth shape, but after that I gave up making them look pretty otherwise I would never have gotten to work on time!  Any shape went!  Isn’t this how you make rock cakes?!

Cleopatra bread

 

Despite their messy appearance on the tray, they didn’t turn out too badly, and like all bread smelt amazing coming fresh out of the oven!Cleopatra bread

VERDICT:  The rolls actually ended up much tastier than I thought they would.  I sliced a couple open and spread some butter inside whilst they were still nice and warm.  With the slight sweetness from the honey they almost tasted like scones.  I’m not sure they will keep me full right through to lunchtime though as there isn’t any real protein in them, but they hit the spot this morning for breakfast.

The free ebook has been launched by charity Send a Cow as part of its new ‘Break… Fast’ appeal and features the breakfasts eaten by the likes of Einstein, Edison, Parks, Mother Theresa and the Apollo 11 crew.  It has been created to raise awareness of the importance of breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.  In addition to vital donations, which will be doubled by the UK government, the appeal aims to raise awareness of the importance of a nutritious breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.

To read more about the Send a Cow Break…Fast appeal and how you can help support African children please visit my first post, or head to the website directly www.sendacow.org.uk/mostimportantmeal

Send a cow Winston Churchill!

So last week I told you that I would be trying out some breakfasts of the greats as found in the Send a Cow The Most Important Meal of Their Lives ebook.

Last week, Jane Austen, this week Winston Churchill! – Poached egg, cold meats, toast and grapefruit.

“British politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again in 1951 to 1955, Sir Winston Churchill is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century. Documenting his preferred breakfast on the back of a menu while on his last flight to the USA as Prime Minister in 1954, it was apparent the offerings were not to Churchill’s liking. Instead, the treasured memorabilia shows his appetite for a hearty breakfast and it was all washed down with a whisky and cigar.”

Send a Cow - Winston Churchill

I’m afraid my breakfast was not washed down with a whisky and cigar. (Sorry to disappoint!)  I’ve too much to do today without getting trolleyed at 8am!

I started the day off with a 2.8mile trail run, ending at the local Co-op to collect a grapefruit, bread and some meat for the meal.  I need to head out for an easy run before breakfast more often as it left me feeling great right from the very beginning of the day.

Initially thinking Winston had eaten way more food than I would feel comfortable eating, I quickly totted up the calorie content of the meal.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the calorie content of half a grapefruit, one poached egg, one slice of Loved by Us Farmhouse bread (this was lovely by the way), a knifeful of raspberry jam and one of butter, two slices of Spianata Romana, 2 slices of Salami Milano and 2 slices of Prosciutto Crudo came to just 424 calories.  Much lower than I expected.  (Not that it’s all about the calories of course.)

I’ve been wanting to try poached eggs for a long while but have been nervous about giving them a go.  Turns out my nervousness was justified and I can’t say I’ve perfected the technique just yet!

Poaching an egg

I watched a couple of videos on Youtube and I thought I’d followed the instructions correctly about making a whirlpool in the boiling water to drop the egg into.  However, clearly I haven’t quite got it as, as soon as I dropped the egg in to the water, the whirlpool vanished and the egg took over the pan!

The egg became this big lump that I had to scoop out of several areas of the saucepan and plop onto my plate.  Not quite the delicate version I was going for!

Poached egg

 

I wasn’t really feeling toast and jam this morning so hunted out the most interesting loaf I could find.  I’m not a big fan of jam and when I was younger my Dad used to get very frustrated as I used to put a regular layer of strawberry jam over the top of a thick layer of butter.  I then used to pick off any lumps (fruit) and spread the rest of the jam very thinly over the bread slice, making it look like a pale pink stain!
This morning I hunted around in my cupboard and found a tiny pot of raspberry jam that didn’t appear to have fruit lumps in (doubt they would have fitted in the jar) and spread what I thought was a normal amount over my toast.  A-MAZ-ING.  I have been missing out!

Seeded farmhouse bread Toast and raspberry jam

VERDICT:  This is one I will try again!  Other than collecting the ingredients together, it took barely any time to put together at all, and there was a nice mix of sweet (jam), sour (grapefruit) and savoury (everything else!) and I’m all about variety.  One of my favourite places to go for dinner is a tapas bar as I love little bits of everything on a plate!  Despite worrying that there would be too much for an early morning meal, I was nicely full, not overly full by the time I had munched down the last of the crumbs from my plate.  Now I just need to perfect my egg poaching technique…!

The free ebook has been launched by charity Send a Cow as part of its new ‘Break… Fast’ appeal and features the breakfasts eaten by the likes of Einstein, Edison, Parks, Mother Theresa and the Apollo 11 crew.  It has been created to raise awareness of the importance of breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.  In addition to vital donations, which will be doubled by the UK government, the appeal aims to raise awareness of the importance of a nutritious breakfast in helping children in the poorest parts of Africa achieve their true potential.

To read more about the Send a Cow Break…Fast appeal and how you can help support African children please visit my first post, or head to the website directly www.sendacow.org.uk/mostimportantmeal

Have you tried poaching an egg before?  Please tell me it takes a while to get the hang of it!!!