The Purple Potter's Umra Archives
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Chris D's Crosses on Hot X Buns
Chris Toodles' Egg Substitute
Chris Toodles' Garlic Oil
Chris Toodles' Garlic Syrup
Marjorie's Garam Masala
Niles' Twenty-Minute Stove-Top Sweet Onion Garlic Marmalade
Vicky's Yoghurt

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Chris D's Crosses on Hot X Buns

Mix a little flour and water to a smooth paste, pop it into a plastic bag, snip off the corner and there you are, all ready to pipe the crosses. Start squeezing, dab the start of the line against the bun, stretch it out in the air, then touch down at the end. Result - a nice straight line. Repeat as required.

Chris Toodles' Egg Substitute

Soya flour. 15ml + 15ml of cold water = 1 egg.

This works well for cakes Madeira and puddings but have never mastered a Victoria Sponge.

Chris Toodles's Garlic Oil

Peel ˝ pound cloves and mince. Cover with warm olive oil, shake and let stand in warm place 2 or 3 days. Strain through muslin, bottle and keep cool.

Used for : ulcers. 1 tsp 3 or 4 times a day
Ear ache. Warm a small amount and place 4 or 5 drops in ear. Cover with flannel and keep warm. (Obviously an old recipe: what's wrong with cotton wool?)
Athlete's foot. Wash feet well in hot soapy water and apply oil 2 or 3 times a day. Other medicinal uses of garlic

Thin slices of cloves on buttered toast. Used for loose teeth, inflamed tonsils and laryngitis.

With a glass of milk. For high blood pressure

Chris Toodles's Garlic Syrup

Peel one pound cloves, grind in a meat grinder (this is an American recipe I think) and put in a large jar. Cover with equal parts of pure vinegar and distilled water. Shake well and let stand 4 hrs. Add equal part hot syrup of brown sugar or honey. Seal and keep in a cool place.

Dose adults: 1 tbs 3 or 4 times a day
Children 1 tsp 3 times a day
Used for coughs or asthma

Marjorie's Garam Masala

Equal quantities - say 10 grams - of:

Coriander seeds
Cumin seeds
Cinnamon bark
Black pepper corns
Whole cardamom

Check the spices for any twigs or grit. Break cinnamon into small pieces and smash the cardamoms open. Heat ingredients quickly in a large pan with ˝ teasp. oil for a minute or two.

Cool, and then grind in grinder or mill. It should be crumbly rather than a fine powder.

Store in airtight container (keeps for up to 6 months)

Niles' Twenty-Minute Stove-Top Sweet Onion Garlic Marmalade

Cut 2 large sweet onions into thin slices, place in medium sauté pan and add 6 large finely minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and one-quarter cup plus 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar. Cook on medium heat 10 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat to high, boil until onions absorb the liquid, about 10 minutes. Cool. Store in refrigerator. Makes 3 cups.

Vicky's Yoghurt (from Claudia Roden)

Use a tablespoon of active live yoghurt to half litre of milk

Bring milk to boil in a large pan. When the froth rises, lower the heat and let the milk barely simmer for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the milk to cool to the point where you can barely dip your finger in and leave it there while you could to ten. it must be hot enough to sting. If the milk is much cooler or hotter than this the yoghurt is likely to fail.

Remove any skin that has formed. Beat the yoghurt in a large glass or earthenware bowl until it is quite liquid. Add a few tablespoons of the hot milk, one at a time, beating vigorously between each addition. Then add the rest of the milk slowly, beating constantly until thoroughly mixed.

Cover the bowl with a large plate or sheet of polythene secured tightly with an elastic band. Wrap the whole bowl in a woollen blanket or shawl and leave it undisturbed in a warm place overnight. It should then be ready, thick like creamy custard.

Do not leave in the warmth too long or the yoghurt will become sour. You can cool it in the refrigerator. It will keep for a week. It's best to make a new batch every four days using some of the previous one as activator.

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