Showing posts from May, 2011


Last year I grew tons of beetroot.  In fact I was totally sick of the stuff by the end of summer.  I really love it when it is young and sweet, boiled until tender and served with a white sauce (which turns pink as you eat it)... very yummy.  But you can't eat the same vegetable every day, served in the same way. I made wine with the beetroot water - and I have to admit that it has been relegated to cooking wine, we are not that experienced in the brewing department (yet!). I pickled some - and it's still going strong. ...and I cooked some, removed the skins, and then popped them into the freezer where I forgot about them for ages and ages. I guess there is a shelf life even on frozen foods but hey ho... rather than waste them I defrosted a couple of bags.  They did not look especially enticing. So.... looking for inventive ways to serve them up... I made this.... Cold beetroot soup.  Seriously this is great!  I whizzed up the beetroot with a couple of dollops o


Have you noticed how obsessed the British seem to be with cooking these days?  It's hard to believe that as a nation we used to have a reputation for bad food.  Even going back to my youth and the days of scampi and chips in a basket (still a favourite of mine) there were several european countries that served up the equivalent of road kill and called it haute cuisine, so I actually have my doubts about whether we deserved that reputation at all. Well, to cut a long story short, Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets is worth finding on iplayer if it is still there but certainly the recipes are worth looking up even if you can't watch the series.  One in particular intrigued me.  It came from the episode on charcuterie (or cold meats to plain speaking folk like me).  It's called Duck Ham. The ingredients call for 2 large Magret duck breasts or 4 smaller ones. 100g of sea salt. 2 tsp black peppercorns, curshed, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme and 1 tsp of juniper berries, crushed

I Hate!!!

What?  What do I hate? Nope... not the telly or the computer or the dvd player or the stereo or the Wii or the Xbox or the Freeview box or the Kennect... then what? THIS and THIS and THIS Oh and the dust that collects in and around it all and the fact that everytime I hoover or dust it, some of the blasted wires fall out or become loose and when I finally sit down with a cuppa to watch tv or play a game... nothing... nada... rien... And do I know where all the bloody wires are supposed to be plugged in?   C'mon you scientific boffins... lets have wireless electricity, yes I do understand the drawbacks but seriously guys... I've had it with the spaghetti at the back of my appliances. 

Just a little chuckle to brighten the day

No 2 son found this on the internet and it did make us smile.  You need the sound on.  Enjoy.


Home made chicken pie with peas and mint. The last couple of weeks I have been enjoying a new cookery programme on the BBC.  Two Greedy Italians , basically, Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo return to Italy looking for the cookery experiences of their youth - the Pasta Mama's appear to be a dying breed with today's young women preferring to go out to work and then buy quick cook spaghetti on the way home.  and no wonder!  Inspired by the second programme in the series which showed a group of women making poor man's pasta (a no egg recipe) into wonderful shapes, I decided to have a go.... The recipe is very simple... semolina flour, water and a little olive oil - keep mixing until you have a smooth elastic dough.  Let the dough rest for an hour under a piece of cling film and then.... take a small piece of dough and begin to roll it very thin on one end... remove the thin end and then roll it in a knitting needle.... et voila.... hand made Fusilli O

I've come over all Jane Austen!

On Saturday we went to Bath.  I have been meaning to go for a very long time.  And it's not far, and so easy to get to by train, and has the attraction of a very good Fashion Museum .  We spent about three hours in the fashion museum - they are featuring a display of antique and vintage wedding dresses at the moment.  I am sure you are all totally up to the eyes with wedding dresses so I will say no more... just show you the pictures. The historical clothing, dating back to the ridiculous court dress of the late 18th century, (I should laugh, you haven't seen what I wore in the 1970's) and continued on up to just a couple of years ago.  It was totally amazing.  I loved it. The museum is housed in the Assembly Rooms - which was THE most fashionable place to hold a ball during the Regency era.  And indeed Jane Austen was reputed to have enjoyed many a twirl round this actual dance floor. 'Mrs Allen was so long in dressing, that they did not enter the ba