These are a few of my favourite things …

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Since I have been blogging I have noticed that many fellow food bloggers make certain specifications regarding the ingredients for their recipes, for example: fairtrade golden caster sugar, free range organic eggs, extra virgin olive oil. In my humble opinion (and I’m sure I’m not alone on this), the very best ingredients really do make the very best versions of the dishes they are creating, for example: at the weekend (in the spirit of it being the weekend Andy Murray took on and defeated Novak Djokovic to become the first British man since Fred Perry, 77 years ago, to win Wimbledon), I had some strawberries and cream using organic strawberries that were grown in the county next to that where I live. These particular strawberries were £1.00 more expensive per punnet than the alternative shop-bought variety that came from spain, but, to say they were superior to any other shop-bought strawberries I have ever eaten is a massive understatement!

£1.00 can be a lot of money to some people though. However, I don’t believe people should be put off trying out recipes because of seemingly restrictive lists of very specific ingredients. The strawberries I have had this weekend were a little treat; I do try to buy the best ingredients I can afford, but sometimes, I just can’t justify the expense so will use the cheaper ingredients instead. When this is the case, the results are always delicious still, and it’s not as if I’m doing a taste comparison there and then from which to come away disappointed anyway. The way I look at it is that at least I am still using fresh ingredients and making food from scratch, which, even when using the cheapest of ingredients, is always going to beat frozen/ready-made alternatives. With all this in mind I just state, for example: eggs, caster sugar, olive oil etc. in my recipes; it is up to you to decide what you are going to use, I will just be ever-so flattered to think that you might want to try one of my recipes in the first place.

“These are a few of my favourite things” though:

  • Meat, poultry and eggs – whichever version the animals have had the best life (when I was at school I think we were shown videos of the horrors of battery-kept chickens a few too many times, as I just can’t bring myself to knowingly eat meat etc. that hasn’t had a good life); I always look out for the RSPCA Freedom Food and the Red Tractor Assurance.
  • Fairtrade wherever possible (particularly for things like sugar, chocolate and coffee etc.)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for dressings and dishes where the oil should be a prominent taste, standard olive oil for cooking (unless, obviously, you need a flavourless oil/one that better suits the dish you’re cooking)
  • Local produce, but, when I go to the supermarket, I always look for products plastered with the Union Jack.
  • Fresh produce instead of canned/frozen (with the exception of peas and sweetcorn; many brands of which I have found to be perfectly acceptable).
  • Real butter.
  • Unwaxed lemons.

The Little House Hens

The Little House Hens


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