Sunday, 23 September 2012

Smallholding Pizza (Taking on the Takeaway in the Countryside)

Smallholding (made) Pizza.

Sorry the photograph is a bit dark, we mustn't have been able to find ten bob for the 'leccy' meter.  Seriously,  You can't be travelling miles to the takeaway when you live in the countryside.  So why not have a go at making your very own:  'Smallholding Pizza'?   It's cheap, not full of preservatives and great to eat on the go or watching the telly.  

Pizza is originally a peasant dish from GREECE!  Yes I didn't know that either.  I think curries originate in China?  

Any road.
Mix 2 cups full of self raising flour and 2 cups of plain flour together.  Add water until you have got a dough. Roll it out on a floured surface.  Cook in the oven until the crust is firm and starting to crisp.  This normally takes about 5 to ten minutes in our Stanley range.  That's about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  We never bother with yeast, there's no need and it stops the crust being too doughy like the cheap supermarket bought one's.

Take it out of the oven and spoon on a small tin or tube of tomato purée.  Now's the time to add any spice you like.  I make my own 'Indian Pizza' by adding curry paste.  Then you had half a sliced onion and add grated cheese of your choice and add toppings like ham, pepperoni, tomato, mushrooms, pineapple, what ever you like..?

Put it back into the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and it's all congealed together.

Serve it warm with a pint of home brew.

Let me know what you think.  "PLEASE!"


  1. Sounds really good, and gotta be cheaper and better than the ready-to-eat offerings from the pizza houses.
    My efforts with flour never seem to come out very well, except bread, suet pastry, pancakes and yorkshire puddings so I tend to shy off anything involving flour and baking.
    Sounds too easy not to have a try though, just need to get some tomato puree.

    I'd have hazarded a guess at Italy for the origins of pizza, i've learnrd something today.

    Todays project is a joint of topside, just fits in the little slow cooker with afinely-chopped onion, splash of sumflower oil and a couple of beef stock cubes, all goes to make good gravy; new potatoes, baby carrots and green cabbage; Yorkshire puddings, mix is made and resting for a few hours until the meat's done.

    Lovely day again, but we're threatened with rain later, looks like that's our 2-day Indian summer over.
    Raggy cat fast asleep, what a great life.

  2. It's so easy Cumbrian. If I can make it anybody can. You're right its cheap and you know exactly what goes into it. Honesty it really is simple. They also smell amazing.

    Yes I was surprised when I looked them up on Google.

    They call topside 'round roast, here. Have you tried the roasting bags? I can't get my head round why the plastic bag doesn't melt. They keep all the juices in really well. Sealapack make them. Today's project sounds delicious.

    We don't get much sunshine do we?

    My terrier is sleeping also. They must works so hard at night.


  3. Never tried the roasting bags, I can't come to terms with putting plastic in the oven either.
    My slow cooker with the lid on seems to keep all the juices, I always put a splash of sunflower oil, a finely-chopped onion and a stock cube or two in with the meat, the result then thickened as required with cheapo granules, it works fine for me.

    This afternoons supershed trawl yielded a pair of kippers, just small ones but be OK for tomorrows brekkie with a slice of home-baked toast, 10p they were the last bag on the shelf "please buy me before they throw me in the skip"; and 4 fruited teacakes 10p, Mrs loves them.

    Sun's still shining here, blue sky starting to aquire some streaky white cloud, no breeze and cold, fire's just gone on.
    Raggy cat just woke up and asked to go out.

  4. The roasting bags are excellent Cumbrian. Meat doesn't dry up and you get all the wonderful aromas of the vegetables when you open the bag.

    You always seem to find the bargains Cumbrian.

    We often make scones with strawberry jam and cream. Will feature them in a future post.

    Very cool this morning and a heavy dew. Think it will be soup today. The range will be lit so why not?


  5. I still have difficulty putting plastic in an oven, seems so wrong, I know they make so many things out of so many different sorts of plastic, but it usually burns. Maybe that's just me being a bit old-fashioned though.

    Bargains are getting a bit harder to find, but there's always short shelf life stuff to sell off last thing; bakery, dairy, produce, flowers, delicatessian, meat & fish. Some of the fruit & veg I get are at or even before their best, bakery products are good for a couple of days, flowers always last longer than it says on the label, delicatessian stuff's always good the day after, milk and yogurt last a lot longer than the sell-by, meat & fish go straight in the freezer.
    Times are hard, so that means a lot of people are searching for the bargains, one guy feeds a pet pig (Yes you read it right) on loaves, another guy feeds racing greyhounds on brown bread, and an old lady wants them for geese. Apart from people like me who are just looking for best value to stretch their £s.
    Of course times are hard for the supersheds as well, so they've tightened up on stock control, less on the condemned shelf.
    Much as I would prefer the old ways of local shopping for local produce, I know supersheds are now a fact of life, so I take best advantage of them I can.

    Brekkie this morning is a kipper each and slice of home-baked toast.

    Another roast beef dinner today, there's plenty left, good solid stuff is topside.

    Back to normal here this morning, cold, grey skies, windy, pouring down.
    Raggy cat came in a bit wet and bedraggled, asked for shank fat and milk, now asleep in front of fire, it's on already.

  6. I know what you mean Cumbrian about the plastic bags. I hate plastic packaging and how it pollutes the environment for thousands of years, but the plastic roasting bags are really good for roasting food and veg together.

    Been reading my John Seymour book: Blueprint for a green planet. It's got some fantastic diagrams and JS talks so much comon sense. He says that 'white' glass is completely harmless to the environment. The book highlights that we live in the age of rubbish. Landfill is so wrong and future generations will suffer because of our waste. I really recommend the book to anybody who cares about our beautiful planet. Makes me want to start a green anarchist group. What I admire so much about John Seymour is his promotion of the punk philosophy: "Do It Yourself". If you want to do anything, be it making food, brewing ale, growing vegetables, painting, writing..., just get on with and do it. Brilliant stuff.

    The supermarket lad responsible for stocking the veg shelves, gives us the 'old' vegetables for the pigs and ducks. It's better than it going to landfill in it's plastic packaging.

    Fine here at the moment.

    Thanks Cumbrian.

  7. Landfill, another of my little soap boxes, why do we bury so much stuff? They filled a lot of the old mine shafts up (West Cumbria's riddled with them, they don't know where a lot of them are, no records kept) with all sorts of rubbish, good job they thought at the time, get shot of rubbish and fill in the holes. Now, a few decades on, all the stuff is rotting wonderfully but producind dangerous gas which is seeping out in some unexpected places. I know one site near here, a tip for years, they left a couple of lamp standard type things with a flame at the top, burning the gas off. Then they covered it over and planted conifers on it.

    Most of the stuff in tips could be re-used, recycled, rotted down for compost or burned for energy.
    Plastic I think is the worst offender, God only knows how long it will take to degrade, if ever; suppose it could be burned, it's oil-based I beleive, but at what environmental cost with the toxic fumes it gives off I don't know.
    Motor vehicle tyres are also difficult to dispose of, same reasons.

    All it would take is a different approach to rubbish; lots of people employed sorting it into different piles and used for something.
    A win-win situation with lots of unemployed people given something to do with their vacant days to earn their benefits, less land-fill, and some end products like repairable and re-usable items, scrap metals, firewood, compost, glass.
    I know some Councils are trying, with different bins for recycling, we have 4, but it's just playing at the real problem.

    But by far the biggest polluters are the energy industries, notably oil and nuclear, and their legacy is going to take hundreds if not thousands of years to recover from, if ever.

    I love JS attitude - Do it yourself. It's amazing what most people can acheive with a little bit of guidance and a lot of effort and determination.

    Pleased to hear you get the old veg to turn into pork, eggs and roast duck dinners, so much other stuff just gets skipped. My mate who feeds racing greyhounds on brown bread used to get it from the skips behind one of the supersheds, until one night he was stopped and the police called, who determined that since it had been thrown out by the shed who'd abandoned ownership, and the skip owners didn't particularly want it, in fact they (skip owners) would be quite happy if he emptied them (skips) completely and saved them (skip owners) a job, they (police) couldn't think of a charge so he was allowed to go. The next night thy put a big padlock on the skip.

    Still cold and raining but I've got to brave it to get prescriptions.

  8. Thanks Cumbrian for that. You raise some really good points about our throw away world. I often wonder how much we pay every day for packaging and how much do we pay to remove it? Then how much fuel does it cost to drive your car to the recycling place? In places like Mexico and Brazil they run their motor cars from the gas that comes from landfill sites.

    The shift in economic power to China and India means that we have fewer jobs but they get the pollution. Ironically since the end of the mills and mines in England the air and rivers are cleaner than they have been for over two hundred years.

    I agree that most Western nations seem to play at recycling and pollution control. CND campaigned for years (I went on a protest march in London) to end the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. The Labour politicians supported this campaign. Now most of them believe in nuclear weapons. You think we would have learned from the Chernobyl legacy that emptied its contents all over Europe. Just look at the rise in cancer related deaths to prove this.

    Britain's got 33 million cars on the road. How much pollution is that? Cadmium in the tyres is incredibly dangerous and I would never recommend them being used in the vegetable garden.

    Isn't it sad that your pal can't make use of a few old loaves for his greyhounds?

    Trying to rain here. Just spent an hour making onion and tomato soup - it was excellent. Now it's meat and potato pie with red cabbage for tea. You can't beat food you have made yourself.

    Thanks Cumbrian.

  9. Recycling plant, they have an arrangement of skips where householders can take their rubbish that won't fit in the wheelie bins, not bad, segregated into electrical appliances (quite a percentage of which still work), scrap metal, garden waste, rubble, oils, and general waste. But some people don't have a car / trailer or pick-up to take their stuff.

    I like the idea of using the lanf-fill gas for something useful, if "backward" countries like Mexico and Brazil can do it, I don't see why we can't?

    Nuclear power is a very emotive subject in Cumbria, Sellafield is known as the nuclear dustbin of the world, they take spent rods from power plants as far away as Japan for processing. It's a law unto itself, they ride roughshod over local opinion (so what's new) and are usually supported by goverment under the banner of "clean" energy. Very few local people are pleased about having such a time-bomb on their doorstep, except of course the ones that work there on inflated salaries.
    I can't think of a nice use for weapons grade plutonium though, I don't care who supports it; Yes I've heard the "deterrent" arguments, but if one of the "super powers" decides to wage nuclear war, there's nothing we can do to pprevent it, and the scale of destruction will end life on this planet as we know it.

    Very true about the clean rivers, our local river Derwent didn't suffer very much, it's more agriculture tham industry. Biggest culprits were the pit spoil heaps and the steelworks slag banks, but they've dropped them and landscaped over the worst.
    The slag they started to use as a wonder bulk fill material, filled the under-floor bits of houses and bottoming for roads. It's come back to bite their bum now, it took years but the contaminents in the slag leached from under the roads into the wtercourses; and the little bits of metal in the stuff expanded under the floors and caused "slag heave" in alot od houses, the council were building hundreds at the time, and the effects are not nice, if the walls are stronger than the floor, the floor mushrooms up and cracks, if the floor is stronger than the walls, the walls get pushed off the dpc, or differential expansion causes all sorts of cracks in the walls.

    Keith (greyhoud man) now haunts the bakery depts of the sheds at closing time to aquire his bread, only brown will do; but it seemed a bit petty at the time, I really fail to see what harm he was doing anybody?

    Soup's always welcome this weather, and tea sounds nice, my red cabbage needs another week or two yet. Beef went down very nicely, with new pots, carrot and cabbage; there's probably enough slices and gravy left for another dinner tomorrow as well, it's good solid stuff.
    You're right, there's nothing like home-prepared food.

    Still coming down stair rods here, East wind, fairly strong, making it feel cold.
    Raggy cat fast asleep, it's not so daft.

  10. Thanks Cumbrian.

    There is a serious problem with energy or the lack of it. If we choose coal we get greenhouse. damage to the ozone layer and acid rain. There are over 430 nuclear powerstations in the world. These can never effectively be de-commissioned.

    Tony Benn once said that there can never be another conventional war fought in Europe because of all the nuclear power stations. God forbid if some terrorist group got inside one or hold of a nuclear weapon. They would hold the world to ransom.

    Here in Ireland, Environmentalists are claiming that nuclear power is the way forward with no emissions and because of Ireland having few fossil fuels. The EEC is even keen on stopping people digging the turf (peat) any more.

    Glad to hear that the Keith the greyhound man manages to get his bread. Good on him for going to the trouble of going to the supermarket at closing time.

    Home brewed beer also - thanks again for all the advice. Forgot to ask how many bottles does the Saki make? We have started collecting them. Very impressed with the meat and potato pie. Will post a blog about it.

    Showery here and managed to get some home grown firewood cut for the Stanley range.


  11. That should say: greenhouse gas. Sorry for the typo.

  12. I'm surprised to hear that Ireland are promoting nulear power, it's not that long ago that they were up in arms about being in the blast line from Sellafield.

    I don't know what the answer is to power supply, it's only taken my lifetime for the whole of the civilised world to become completely reliant on oil and electric, and as you say there's not many ways of generating it without some environmental cosequences.

    Hydro-power I suppose once the big dam's been built and an area flooded, isn't too bad. I really am confused as to why they don't make more use of rivers, even small streams could produce enough power for a farm or hamlet.
    And tidal power seems to be completely ignored, I refuse to beleive it's impossible to come up with some way of harnessing all the free electricity that could be generated by the constant movement of the tides; free and no pollution. Back to my rant about there not being enough cash involved to interest the financial institutions.

    The turf I can understand them not wanting it all destroyed for commercial reasons by huge machines, but I beleive that the traditional hand-digging should be allowed, what little a few men can dig by hand out will sustain supplies for a very long time.

    The saki should fill 6 bottles.

    Stair rods again this morning, they're giving flood warnings in some areas. Wind's gone round more to the North, still cold.
    A soaking wet very bedraggled Raggy cat came in the back way, asked for shank fat (nearly done, I only give it a small piece daily) and found a place in front of fire.

  13. I think most people are against nuclear power in Ireland, Cumbrian. It's the leading scientists that I have read about who are saying Ireland doesn't have any fossil fuels. Only last week a massive big cable running under the Irish sea was opened. So Ireland can buy electricity from Blighty. Even nuclear made stuff at that.

    Think the energy crisis will never be sorted. No politicians will suggest bringing in fuel rationing will they? Modern person wants central heating, a car and lots of electricity for lighting , coking and to run the computer, washing machine, television, cooker..?

    The E.E.C is very much against people digging their own turf. They have attempted to compensate farmers to get them not to dig it.

    6 bottles - thanks!

    Yes I noticed the weather in the UK. I hope nobody loses their life. Nature can be so wonderful and yet so cruel.

    Raggy cat isn't daft.


  14. Think you've hit the nail on the head about having pizza without all the preservatives, Dave. Once had such a pizza, at some kind of seaside resort near Palermo in Sicily. It was spinach and white cheese. I bit into it, and was surprised to not be greeted by all the spices, but, halfway through, realised that it actually tasted much better without all (most?) of the 'crap'.

  15. That's brilliant Pat. Don't we eat some awful food? Especially those doughy pizza's from the supermarket or takeaway?



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