Thursday, 17 September 2015


Good Morning to you,

I was flicking through the television channels the other evening, wondering what to watch, when for some reason or another, I flicked a little too far and found the children's channels. I decided out of interest, to take a look at the programmes, to see if I recognised any.... and do you know something,  I did not recognise one.

Oh dear, I am really out of touch, when it comes to children's programmes.

... but having said that, I have heard about one children's programme.  Notice I say 'heard about' and not that I 'know anything about'.... the programme Peppa Pig. The reason for this is,  our friends, gorgeous little boy, is besotted with the programme, but other than Peppa Pig, I draw a blank when it comes to children's programmes.

..... so I started  thinking about my own childhood and the programmes which were available to us, as children, in the 1950's. The first programme which sprang to mind, was Torchy, Torchy, The Battery Boy, actually, come to think of it, I think it was the song which repeated Torchy and the programme itself, was called Torchy, The Battery Boy.

Now if you are British and you are around my age, I feel sure you will remember Torchy.

If not, let me enlighten you. 

Torchy was a little puppet boy, who was created by Mr Bumbledrop .... don't you just love that name. Torchy, as you might have guessed, was powered by a torch battery and he lived with Mr Bumbledrop and his dog, Pom-Pom, in Topsy-Turvy Land.... and how I loved this programme. I loved all of Torchy's adventures. I have to tell you something,  I always thought that Torchy lived in a land far away, where everyone had strings attached to their clothing.  I did not realise Torchy was a puppet.... such is a child's imagination.... and I had imagination by the bucketful. 

When Torchy was on the television, I always sang along to the song,

Torchy, Torchy the Battery boy
I'm a walkie, talkie toy
Press my switch,
See my bulb start to beam
It's the most magic light
You have seen.

Isn't the brain a wonderful thing, do you know I can put my glasses down and not remember where I put them, but I can remember a song from over 55 years ago.

How about you, what was your favourite childhood programme? 

I feel sure it was probably much more sophisticated than Torchy the Battery Boy.

So from the old, we will move on to the new,

Recently, I have been reading a lot about ramen noodles, so I thought I would try them out..... then what do you know, a recipe appeared in my favourite magazine,  Good Housekeeping, so I just had to see, what all the fuss was about.

I have not stayed true to the recipe, I adapted it slightly, to use the ingredients which I had to hand.  

So today, we are making,

Ramen Noodle soup with chicken, kale, mushrooms and spinach.  This differs so much from my usual soups, because as a rule, I make a much thicker soup and not a broth.... but I have to tell you, I was pleasantly surprised with the results, as the soup was jam packed with flavour.... and more importantly George loved it.

So 'it's on with the pinnie' and today, instead of music, I am listening to,

Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'.  I love listening to stories and often tune into Radio 4, Afternoon Drama. At the moment I am listening to 'The Right Ingredients' by Pat Davis..... but I digress, back to Tess.  There is something so soothing about listening to a person telling a story.... and I am really enjoying Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

So I thought you might like to listen to Chapter 1, 'A Question of Ancestry'.

So whilst I listen to Martin Shaw's soothing voice, it is time to organise my ingredients.


Serves 2

3 chicken thighs
100g dried ramen noodles
2 cloves of garlic
3 cm of fresh ginger
600 ml of chicken stock
2 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of miso paste
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
4 large brown chestnut mushrooms
2 handfuls of chopped kale
2 handfuls of chopped spinach



Place the chicken thighs onto a baking tray and place in an 180C oven until roasted.

When cooked, removed the skin and slice into bite size pieces.


We need to slice and grate the ingredients, because this soup comes together very quickly.

So let us begin.

Grate the garlic and the ginger.

Set aside for the moment.

Clean the mushrooms
slice each mushroom.
Set aside.

and then
chop the kale.
Set aside.

Wash the spinach leaves
and set aside.

Measure the chicken stock.... it is important that
the chicken stock is of good quality.  
I appreciate you might not have the time
 to make your own stock, 
but do choose a good, ready made chicken stock 
as the stock really enhances the
 flavour of this soup.


Fill a kettle with water and bring it to the boil.  

Pour the hot water into a medium sized saucepan and 
return the water to a simmer.

While waiting for the water to return to a simmer,

Place the sesame oil in a second medium sized saucepan


add the ginger and garlic.

Cook for a minute.

Add the chicken stock

the soy sauce,

the miso paste
bring to a simmer.

Now is the time to add the

ramen noodles to the pan of simmering water.

Cook for 4 minutes.

While the ramen noodles are cooking,

add the chopped kale,


the sliced mushrooms, to the pan, with the chicken stock

simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat
add the spinach.
Place a lid on the pan
and allow the spinach to wilt.

Divide the cooked, sliced chicken

between two bowls.

Drain the ramen noodles


divide the noodles between the
 two bowls.
As you can see the chicken is completely hidden
 by the ramen noodles.

Divide the kale, mushrooms,
and broth between the two bowls.

Find your chop sticks

Oh yes, you will also 
need a spoon to enjoy this delicious broth.

I was really pleased with this soup, because as I mentioned, George, who is a lover of really thick soups, also enjoyed it.  So this Ramen Noodle soup will certainly be staying on the menu in this home.

Just as an added thought, if you prefer to use chicken breasts, then please do, but do not roast them, as I find they become too dry. Instead poach them, which keeps the chicken moist. 

.... and finally, before I leave you, have you had any thoughts about your favourite childhood programme?

I'd love to know.

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,


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