Sunday 2 March 2014

A girl called Jack

A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe
Published by Michael Joseph
27th February 2014
Paperback Edition
As I mentioned on my last blog post (gosh, was it only yesterday?!) I bought this book on Friday and today I used it for the first time so I thought I'd share the recipe from it and tell you how much I like it already.
Quick re-cap, between 2011 and 2012, Jack spent a year unemployed, with a buget of around £10 a week to feed herself and her son.  These are some of the recipes she came up with. 
There are 100 recipes in the book, divided into:
Bread & Breakfast
Super Soups
Beans, Pulses & Lentils
Vegetable dishes
Sweets & Treats
Today I made the soda bread.
Juice of half a lemon or 2tps of lemon juice
300ml semi skimmed milk
400g self-raising flour OR 400g plain flour plus 2 heaped tsp baking powder
1 and a half level tsp of bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or gas 4.  Add the lemon juice to the milk and allow to stand for approx. 5 minutes until it has curdled and separated.
Add bicarb to flour and after making a well in the centre, add the liquid to form a sticky dough.
Tip onto a floured surface and knead very lightly.  *The trick to amazingly light soda bread is not to fiddle with it too much.
Pop the shaped dough into a 1lb loaf tin, score a line on the top of the dough down the middle about 1cm deep with a sharp knife and dust with a little extra flour.  Place in a preheated oven for about 40 mins.  Once baked the loaf should sound hollow on the bottom when tapped and feel ridiculously light.  Remove from the tin and leave to cool.
Here's the one I made this morning!
yummy with strawberry jam!
But can I just say, I forgot to add the soda!!!!!!  It's only now, typing this up that I remembered!  Hubby did ask why it's called soda bread and I didn't even twig!  Bloomin lovely though but probably best to add all of the ingredients!  Next I fancy the peach and white chocolate traybake - yum!
Before I go, I'd like to leave you with this bit from Jack herself:
Poverty isn't just having no heating, or not quite enough food, or unplugging your fridge and turning your hot water off.  Poverty is the sinking feeling when your small boy finishes his one Weetabix and says, 'More, Mummy?  Bread and jam please, Mummy,' as you're wondering whether to take the TV or the guitar to the pawn shop first, and how to tell him that there is no bread or jam.
 G x



  1. definately going to get this...when my boy was little 18 years ago...yikes!, i was a single mum. in the same situation, very poor, life was pretty hard, wish i had this book then ;;;;;; thanks for sharing x

  2. This looks absolutely lovely and what a great breakfast treat.

  3. I just bought this book today! I have had a good look through it and there are loads of recipes I want to make...the breads and breakfasts chapter is especially lovely. I am definitely going to try the soda bread too, yours looks great.
    Marianne x

  4. I don't really do cookery books but this looks amazing and very touching too x

  5. I adore Soda Bread and so easy to make.
    This book sounds just the thing I needed all those years ago.


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