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Wait, so I can talk about procrastination as a way to procrastinate? Awesome.
theo_harrison wrote in procrastrs_r_us

I'm supposed to be doing lesson plans for my surprise!Home Ec class.  The obvious thing to do is start trying out recipes instead.  I'm excusing this procrastination by declaring it to be constructive research (as is browsing every recipe site on the internet while I wait for this mushroom suet pud to cook.  Honest.) 

I think really I need to stop rationalising my procrastination.  I'll always call something research, or say I can't possibly start project X until I have part Y.

(I also really need to do some garden work, but it's raining, so we're going to have a lesson plans vs. gardening procrastination death battle once the weather improves.)

Also, I use my 'working' icon to guilt trip myself into working.  Because I'd be lying if I don't actually do some work when using it.  :P

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Mushroom suet pudding?! *dissolves into a small puddle of want*

Hello :D

Hello! :D You want recipe?

Yes please, that would be awesome :D

I haven't made suet pudding for a long time.

It's a slow cooker recipe, but I think it could be adapted to normal steaming :)


15g butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, chppoed finely
1 tbsp plain flour
300 ml vegetable stock
5 tbsp ruby port
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp tomato puree
salt and pepper


300g self raising flour
150g shredded vegetable suet
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
roughly 200 ml cold water


125g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200g vacuum pack of whole chestnuts, roughly chopped

1) heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry for ~5 mins. Stir in the flour, then mix in the stock, port, mustard and tomato puree. add a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil while stirring, then remove from the heat.

2) in a large mixing bowl combine the flour, rosemary, salt and suet. Gradually add enough cold water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead lightly and roll out on a floured board to a circle roughly 13 inches across.

3) Cut out a quarter of the circle and put to one side. Lift the remaining pastry into an oiled 1.25 litre (2 1/4 pint) pudding bowl and overlap the cut edges, then press together to seal. Pop a spoonful of sauce into the pastry, then add a layer of mushroom and chestnuts, then a layer of sauce, and so on until you end with a layer of sauce.

4) form the reserved pastry into a circle roughly the same size as the top of the basin to form a lid. Dampen the edges of the pastry and press the lid in place. Cover with buttered foil and dome the foil slightly, then tie in place with string. Lower into the slow cooker's pot.

5) Pour boiling water into the slow cooker pot so it comes halfway up the sides of the basin. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours.

I haven't tasted it yet, but it smells really good and I can give you a verdict in about 3-4 hours time. XD

Thankyou, that looks really great :D

I'll certainly be using the slow cooker for this. It's so nice to get home from work only to find hot, tasty food already waiting!

OMG, I love my slow cooker so much. It pretty much got me through university in one unstarved piece.


I should have had one since the first year, it would have made things a lot easier! But for some reason I only got the hankering for one a few years back (the parents kindly obliged for Christmas).

My family gave me mine as a 'going away to uni' present (along with more rice than I could shake a stick at, a recipe book, and a crate of tinned veg/fruit)

Between that lot and my housemates trusting best before dates over their own senses (and me catching them before whatever it was got thrown in the bin - it became something of a running joke) I was safe from hunger. :D

Okay, my verdict on the recipe is that the chestnuts make the filling taste a little too sweet, but otherwise it's very, very tasty and I'm going to be using the pastry case part and experimenting with fillings. :)

Good to hear that it went well! I've never cooked with chestnuts before, so I'm looking forward to next week when I'll have the time to go get ingredients for this.

BTW, any idea if worcestershire sauce or similar would work instead of port? (I'm teetotal, and even though I'm happy to use booze in food, I just don't keep any around the house).

I'm not sure about worcestershire sauce, since the chestnuts make it quite sweet... *ponders this* It could work, but I'm really bad at predicting how flavours will turn out so I don't want to do the blithe "yeah, yeah that'll work!" thing.

Ooo, a slow cooker recipe! Mum gave me one earlier this year, but I haven't managed to create much that was particularly apetising yet.

I love my slow cooker, my staple diet at uni involved chucking rice, stock, and any bits of meat or veg I had into one and then leaving it while I went to class and the pub. I have loads of recipes that I can write up if you want them (wa-hay! MOAR PROCRASTINATION!!! :D) though it would probably be in gradual batches.

General advice about the creation of veggie casseroles would be greatly appreciated.

Okay, the main thing to get used to is that reduction doesn't happen; there's very little evaporation from a slow cooker so normal recipes tend to be watery and bleh (and it's not as if you can just turn the heat up until the sauce thickens.) TBH, I've found that the juices from a tin of chopped tomatoes are enough for most vegetable recipes, since the veggies are usually full of water anyway.

You can thicken up the sauce with corn flour or peanut butter*, but that will only go so far before you're back into bleh territory. Alternately adding rice, barley, or couscous will soak up some of the liquid for you and thicken things up a bit (but again, it'll only go so far.)

Always put the heavy root vegetables on the bottom, cut them small, or sweat them in a saucepan on the hob for 10 minutes or so before chucking them into the slow cooker (I usually go with the sweating approach.)

Root veggies usually need 6-8 hours on low, but if you're adding tinned beans/lentils (drain them first) or something tender like okra then add them for the last twenty/thirty minutes or so and turn the heat up to high. Leave okra on low for 6-8 hours and it'll be icky mush.

Every time you lift the lid off the pot add 10 minutes to the cooking time, it takes that long for the slowcooker to get back to temperature.

Hope that's useful. :)

*not actually as weird tasting as it sounds.

Woo, yes! Very useful. Thanks!

I won't try the peanut butter thing (peanuts are one of the few foods I simply don't like and probably never shall), but the rest is useful.

I haven't had much luck with tinned tomatoes in the past in teh slow cooker (which is weird, because I use them in just about everything else). Which herbs would you use with them for a nice wintery dish?

Also, do you have any advice about using stock instead of tomatoes? Mum used to make a great sausage casserole, but, of course, that was with meat, and my attempts to duplicate it with veggie sausages haven't been taht successfull.


Um, for a wintery dish I usually use rosemary and/or thyme... maybe some crushed fennel seeds if I want a slightly aniseedy taste (my general rule of thumb is to use evergreen herbs for winter type dishes.)

I usually use about 300ml when it's stock, unless I'm adding rice (280g of rice needs approx 1.2 litres of water, so you can imagine how fast 300ml would dry up.) You can always add more if it turns out it needs it, but less is much harder to do. Oh, and if you're using pulses then the less salty the stock the better. :)

Eeeeexcellent. Thanks, that's really useful. Especially the actual figures for stock. I usually do things by eye, but I think with the slow cooker I could do with having some firm figures until I start managing to get something that works out of it.

Welcome. :) I'm sure you'll get used to it pretty quickly and be able to judge by eye again. TBH, my measure of 300ml came from pouring water into an empty tin and relising that that's a little much (1 tin = approx 380ml)

I think what really messes people up is the fact that the liquid doesn't reduce unless there's something in there to soak it up. So we're all used to chucking litres and litres of stock into things, and when it comes to slow cookers it's like "oh... hmmm... my food is like dishwater, wat happin?"

Well, see, Mum did tell me that would happen, but I just failed utterly in my attempts to get it right. "my food is like dishwater, wat happin?" captures it pretty well!

LOL, I know it because I've been there myself. XD

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