Custard Squares – Thank-Fully

Our darling Ronnie, who has been with The Fellowship for years now,  observed to me yesterday (In the comments lounge where all the best conversations of my day happen except the ones with Sheila of course) that my blog had changed over the course of time.  I used to do more food.   I had not realised it but I suppose there are less recipes.  In fact lately there have been none at all.  How did that happen? This change.  What an excellent observation. My original premise was to grow food and then cook with it. Showing how easy it is to feed oneself.

Interestingly the personalities of the animals, who are players in this gathering of food, have begun to speak louder in the pages.

kittens

I thought about this yesterday as I struggled through yet ANOTHER attempt at making Custard Squares (slight failure but getting closer) and by the time I got to making the meringues with the left over egg whites, I had worked out why.

custard-squares-079

I make the SAME stuff over and over again. My day by day meals are really pretty repetitive.  And I have already documented all those recipes. When I get busy I fall back on tried and true foods. Like lasagne, or steak and onion pie,  or roast chickens, roast pork. I roast a lot. Meatloaf or spaghetti.  With piles and piles of whatever vegetables I am picking (either from the garden or the freezer or the shelf).  Or I just make stuff up as I go along and sometimes it is edible. (I went through a stage of burning and over cooking food but I recovered). Sometimes I don’t bake anything for weeks (frankly these are good weeks for my health) other times the house is cold (like yesterday) and I cook for an excuse to turn the oven on to warm up the kitchen.

I am an exceedingly deliciously dull repetitive cook. And like many cooks who create food from whatever is to hand I love my own food.  And like many cooks who grow the food they eat we eat the same food over and over again. Over the blogging years I have also consumed recipes from other cooks of good food. Making them a part of my weekly repertoire.  For example I could cook Misky’s roast potatoes every day. Or Chicago John’s pasta. All summer we had panfried kale with butter and pumpkin seeds and garlic. Almost every day actually.

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Now isn’t that interesting. thekitchensgarden has evolved, and you with it. However it is sometimes a good idea to look back and make sure we are still on the right track. I hope this winter I will challenge myself a little more. And try some of your favourite  recipes.

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It is the day for giving thanks. I am thankful that I can cook and that I can fail. And that I can learn.  And that we are all open to the change that is essential to life. And I am thankful for blog friends like Ronnie who can sit down with the blog and her cup of tea and say “Look at that. You have changed. Hmm. I like it. ”

For the custard squares I made a regular egg yolk  custard fortified with 1/4 cup of cornflour (cornstarch), sandwiched between two cooked pastry sheets.  Then into the fridge to set.   Next time I will make twice as much custard and half as much pastry, work out the thin icing that you dribble on the top and I will not step away from stirring the hot custard to take a photo of a cat.

cat

And when I get it right I will write the recipe for you. I am trying the cake again today, the moist one. As a contribution to the Thanksgiving dinner.  So I am hoping to share that recipe with you tomorrow.

I love the Comments Lounge.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Your friend on the farm,

celi

 

 

 

65 Comments on “Custard Squares – Thank-Fully

  1. If I could still eat pastry, I too would be drooling… I love my own cooking as well. I ‘cook the fridge’, making meals from whatever’s in there, growing in the garden, etc. I’m extremely fortunate that the Husband likes this way of eating too. One of my jobs is to supply gluten free baked goods to a local takeaway shop and a local coffee shop, so I’m ‘forced’ to bake, and experiment to develop new recipes. Good job I adore cake, eh? I agree, more recipes please, Miss C.

  2. Most adorable little creamsicle kittens! Custard would be a great name for one! The custard squares are going on my must try list. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  3. Happy Thanksging to you, the fellowship and the family of animals. I love that we have this day to say thank you!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! It is s very interesting thing to ponder, the way we slowly take new directions and sometimes fail to notice. Nice to see some kitchen action again – I hadn’t realised I was missing it until I read this post!

  5. I think blogging is about evolution anyway. By being present in these spaces we are opening ourselves and others to our world and our worlds all change…every day. You are correct, the animals on the farmy have taken on a massive presence in this world of thekitchensgarden, but without them and their contributions we may not have come to this point either…t-shirts, calendars, life/death, emotion, books and fellowship. No matter what I find at this site when I open my computer each morning I am grateful simply that this blog is present 🙂
    Have a wonderful day

  6. The world is flooded with recipes and chefs. Like you, I’m happy to use favourite dishes using favourite (home grown hopefully) ingredients. Occasionally I fancy something new and the internet is a great place to find it but generally, I find the whole thing overwhelming. Sorry, the soap box is out now, but I particularly HATE how chefs these days handle cooked food to make it look pretty on the plate. Disgusting. And slate ‘plates’. We’re not in the stone age. All finished now!
    Christine

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all on the Farmy! I love the way we’ve all changed and I think most of us mostly cook tried and tested and favourite recipes. I know I now put less recipes on my blog than before. Please don’t stop pausing to take photos of cats 😉

  8. Happy Thanksgiving to you Celi, to the whole family and all our farmy fellowship who are celebrating it today. Hope you have a wonderful day with loads of good food and yummy leftovers for days after so you don’t have to cook. Hope you next cake turns out deliciously perfect Celi, even if you take photos of the cat…which is totally necessary…and later, in the evening, when you’ve eaten so much that everyone has to unbutton the top button on their slacks and roll off the table onto the sofa, I hope you have peace and sleep well. Big hugs. xx

  9. I love your recipes and have incorporated a lot of them into my repertoire! I especially love your Custard and Apple tarts, one I make as soon as the apples are ready in the local orchard. I love ‘simple’ these days, as I used to cook a lot of complicated stuff when I was married. Tried to cook recipes from all over the world, but now use only ingredients that are local, and being in the ‘south’ not a lot of exotic stuff around LOL.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the friends and family and I hope you get a chance to put those feet up with a nice glass of something!

  10. When I was a young child we had manchester tart for pudding at primary school and you mentioning custard tart reminded me how much I liked this pudding. I have searched fora recipe and found this in case you wanted to tr it one day, I am in England so the quantities are from the UK, hope one dy you findtime to try it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/manchestertart_91315

    Lorraine

  11. Even writing an exclusively food blog there are problems with what you fancy for supper, what’s seasonal and what’s plentiful. After a couple of years a lot of the everyday recipes have been posted and one has to look further afield. For example, yesterday I made pheasant curry, because pheasant is currently in season and very cheap (in the UK) – it sounds exotic, but I posted the recipe some time ago…
    Anyway, I love your animals and those custard squares look delicious. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  12. I would read your blog no matter what you wrote about. You have a way with words! Not to mention your photos. Your care for your animals and the land shines throughout your blog and I appreciate that!
    Have a wonderful day.

    • Ah, Eva, as soon as I saw the photos of the custard square I remembered the ones I would buy at Ruszwurm Cukraszda when I lived around the corner in Budapest. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Among the many things I have to be thankful for, this blog and the Fellowship are right up there. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  14. Happy for Queenie even if she doesn’t become pg. And happy thanksgiving to every one of the fellowship .

  15. Happy Thanksgiving to all. I start every day with the Farmy and the Fellowship, I mean every single day, no matter where I am. It grounds me and reminds me to celebrate life and love ! I am so grateful to have this “family”. A special warm hug to you Celi and all the critters great and small . Barbie aka Nanster

  16. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I, too, fall back on the same recipes over and over when I’m busy and also forget to take pictures of anything new when it gets dark so early, as I cook at night. Bad if you’re a food blog. Looks like you have some wonderful furry helpers in your kitchen today. 🙂

  17. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Im so thankful for Christine telling me about this blog, I live for it every morning with my coffee & cat.
    Robin🐥

  18. Have only followed your posts for a bit….since before your trip for your son’s wedding….and having been raised on a Michigan farm and later raising horses in Missouri……I open your messages first thing. If your posts had been more food oriented that probably would not be the case as there are so many of those about. But coming to know your thoughts and feelings about your critters, following you half way around the world and back, climbing into the closet to share the dear little new borns, running to the airport to pick up the little piggies, and now watching the progress of them little felines……it all brings so many memories and puts a lot of life into perspective. Thank you so much for sharing. For being there. Sometimes I long to be in front of the fire on a cold snowy day. The chores done. The dogs and cats curled up in front of the fire. Soup on the stove. Hot tea and cinnamon toast at hand…….to just be so grateful. So thank you for giving that
    opportunity. Many blessings to you and all that are included in your circle. Happy Thanksgiving Day.

    • Joan, thank you..this is what I am hoping. That my wee blog feels like a chat over a cup of tea, a two way thing, the wonderful things about the Comments Lounge is that we do actually get to have a conversation too, albeit a short one.. I hope you are also in the throes of a lovely Day of Thanks.. c

  19. Celi, you have a wonderful way of expressing yourself with words. I don’t care what you write about , I love reading it and I relate to it. Wishing you nd everybody in this comment lounge a happy Thanksgiving .

  20. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Celi, and the Fellowship. The stuffing is in the crockpot in an effort to free up the oven and the turkey is in the roaster. Pies are made and Bill is cooking his giblets for his legendary gravy. And now, I drink earl grey and crochet. The sun is shining and life is good. Beautiful pictures today. Marmalade is looking especially lovely today. Motherhood becomes her.

  21. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We have been without power now since yesterday, so I think we are doing our thanksgiving tomorrow, if we get our power back!

    I love all the animal talk, having an animal farm myself. Any extras are great as well. I, too, feel like a very boring cook. We do get into our routines, but I love to try new things.

  22. Happy thanksgiving to the fellowship. I think most of us cook the same thing week in and week out. It is a standing joke in this house that if I try something new and everybody likes it, that’s it you have it now for ever more! X

  23. Like you, Celie, I tend to bake the same cakes (there’d be a riot if I didn’t come up with coffee and walnut cake, flapJock or Seriously Sinful Chocolate Cake from time to time. My supper repertoire is shrinking rapidly, mainly to one pot dishes that I can make enough for 3 or 4 days. Cooking is a strain for me nowadays, requiring my back support and a couple of paracetemols before I start. Lunch is usually pretty much the same, soup and salad followed by fruit, and Jock makes the soup.

  24. Happy thanksgiving to you Celi and all the farmy fellowship! I love your comments lounge. There are times when my health issues prevent me from going out or driving, on those occasions, the world comes in to me with visitors from Australia, Korea, India, many places in Europe & the UK before crossing the pond to the US.

  25. I was thinking just the other day when your blog popped up and I noticed …..really noticed… your blog title and thought ……….hmmm, it’s not really about a kitchen garden, and wondered how that started….you answered that this morning. But I love now that’s it’s a wonderful Garden of Delights of every flavour and variety. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    Oh and Celi……..I sent you an email earlier in the week about the calendars, giving the addresses and asking about postage costs…………I haven’t heard back which makes me think you haven’t seen it or gremlins took it as you’re so prompt replying to emails. So I’ll send it again.

    • Ah, you are right, I will look up your postage and let you know.. sorry about that.. i sent the calendars tho!!.. c

  26. Whatever you share it’s always lovely to read, even the hard stuff. I’m think it’s the Commenters Lounge that softens it. It’s always interesting to see what people are eating & cooking, even if it’s ideas rather than full on recipes. I tend to make the same things as well, things we like that are simple and turn out well maybe with a few evolving variations. If my blog were a food blog, it would be very uninspiring indeed! I love the custard squares, my stepmother made similar when I was a kid, recipe of course from the Women’s Weekly. And I love the custard kitties. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  27. I’m thankful for you and the other very kind and interesting bloggers I’ve met in your comments lounge! Gorgeous cat photo, though.

  28. I very much hope that all of you have had a wonderfully warm Thanksgiving and are now relaxing in a happy afterglow! Even tho’ I never bake I loved all the ‘cooking shots’ and the look of those finished custard squares. Vive la difference: I am able to take the time with no barnful of animals to feed and I rarely cook the same dish twice for months on end. Love trying new recipes especially from SE Asia, the Middle East and North Africa . . . well with two foodie husbands I did not have much of a choice but to learn and now it has become a lifelong love affair 🙂 !

      • [soft laughter] I’ll cook for you when I finally end up on your doorstep: just wonder whether Big John will try 🙂 !! But no feasts – just ordinary peasant fare usually: healthy and cheap . . .

  29. I love the animal posts best, Celi… you have such a way with words. Life happens and you present it as you observe… the rest of us rally around in support and encouragement. I love food, but I don’t go gaga over new recipes like I do kittens, dogs, pigs, cows, chickens, sheep and all of the other characters that roam your farmie. 🙂

  30. I like animals better than I like food, and way better than I like cooking! I’m an adequate cook, (nobody’s croaked yet but I do make a killer steak diane and a wicked pot of clam chowder) and once in a while I get bored with the same old same old and try something new. I enjoy reading of your adventures and your matter of fact attitiude toward your animals. Even though we imagine conversations with them we never forget that they are animals and have their animal ways. That’s why we love them. That said, you have inspired me to try some of your recipes and reinforced my efforts to eat locally and care about how my beef and pork and chicken was raised. Blessings to you and yours.

  31. A very Happy Thanksgiving to all. I love the mix, Celi, mostly just what you write, doesn’t matter if it’s the critters or the garden or the food. I made Napoleons once, granted I cheated and used frozen pastry dough, but they turned out well, the custard was something like this recipe – http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Napoleons. Generally let the spouse do the cooking as the results are far better than my own.

  32. ^^ What they all said. I came to your blog by way of the grow-your-own food idea, but that’s not why I stay. I stay because I too have formed the habit of sitting down with morning coffee (I don’t work night-shift anymore) and looking forward to reading your blog, mainly for the wonderful random thoughts that pop up, like the burial rites, or the one about always thinking ahead, some stick with me all day and creep into my studio journals. When you spend long hours alone on a farm you do miss people contact, your blog (and a few others) fulfill that need for a bit of intellectual stimulus in the morning, a sort of substitute for the art school studio crit-sessions which I miss terribly. Just keep rolling with what you do, keep evolving (or not) I like the way you think . 🙂

  33. I do the same thing when I’m busy, which seems like all the time now. Tried and true is less stressful if even repetitive. The custard squares look gorgeous and delicious and I love looking at your animals just as much as I love looking at food. And frankly, I’m completely amazed that you have the energy to cook. You are superwoman!! 🙂

  34. This is why my food blog is morphing into something else — because I cook the same things when the ingredients come into season. Who needs to improve on broccoli-feta pasta or strawberry shortcake? No one. All the same, I look forward to proper custard squares because they sound like something I would like.

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