Sunday, 18 September 2011

dumplings for tea

So we returned from Dorset damper and distinctly muddier than when we arrived. It was a great weekend, but the weather wasn't kind and our area of the campsite was definitely looking a bit like Glastonbury by the time we headed back for home.

As it was the last van trip of the year, and Daisy will be heading for the barn next weekend, there was more than the usual clearing up to do, but fuelled with gallons of tea, the husband and I have made a pretty good start. The second load of washing is on, and the kids are now clean and dry, and tucked up in bed ready for the week. Not sure that one 'early' night will make up for a weekend of late night racketing, stream jumping, swimming in the sea and general jolly japes on the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, but at least we tried!

I was so pleased that I'd been Mrs Organised at the end of the week and made that casserole. So much so that I had a brainwave and decided to do something that the husband has been asking for ages - make dumplings (no smutty comments). I had some suet knocking about from a suet pasty I made for a steak and kidney pie a few months ago, and following a quick consultation with Hugh F-W (this time in Meat), herb dumplings it was.

I know that dumplings probably aren't the most glamorous thing, but after a weekend of being slightly damp, a little hungover (or a little drunk), in the great outdoors, with the scent of Autumn definitely hanging in the air, they seemed an appropriate end to the weekend. I thought they might be heavy and dense, but strangely not. The HF-W recipe is self raising flour, breadcrumbs and suet, mixed together with some finely chopped herbs (I used parsely and rosemary which is what I had closest to hand in the garden and a couple of beaten eggs. The recipe made 12 which was probably slightly too many for the 4 of us - but they all went. With the casserole I'd made the other evening - bacon, braising steak, shallots and mushrooms, they were perfect: to cook them, you pop them in the top of the casserole, put on the lid and they steam on the top. I did some token carrots and a few potatoes, mainly because they needed cooking - instant hassle-free supper and just what was called for after the mud.

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