• 30Mar

    The Southbank Centre are having a Chocolate Festival from Friday 3rd of April to Sunday the 5th of April. This appears to be a free event and stuff on the South Bank is normally lots of fun. Unfortunatly this clashes with my husbands 30th birthday party so I wont be able to make it :(

    The scedule looks fantastic though with lots of workshops on how to make and creat with chocolate.

    This also reminds me – I’ve been meaning to mention a chocolate shop that my husbands friend is involved with – they do the most fantastic chocolate though it is basically out of budget at the moment – Alaric got me some for Valentines day last year. It was sea salt dark chocolate and was unusual and lovely. It is called paul.a.young and I think there are actually now two shops – both based in London.

    It is probably a very good job that I don’t have lots of money other wise I would eat far too much of their produce :)

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  • 23Mar

    1) Chop a large red onion and a clove of garlic

    2) Put them in a pan with some oil and a few teanspoonfuls of sage

    3) Start frying them while you open a tin of red kidney beans (or drain off some you’ve been soaking overnight) and a tin of sweetcorn into a colander, and rinse them under the tap to get all the slime off

    4) Dump the rinsed and drained beans and sweetcorn in with the onions

    5) Turn the heat up high, and keep stirring them. You want the onions to be nicely caramelising, and the beans and corns to start going a bit brown and slightly chewy (but not burning or going really tough). Some of the beans might lose their skins in this process; that means you’re nearly ready.

    6) Put some cooked pasta (what, you didn’t start making the pasta in step 1? Ooops.) into a large shallow baking dish

    7) Pour the fried beans stuff over it and spread it out

    8)Smother in grated goat’s cheese

    9) Bake in a pre-heated 200C oven (you remembered to turn the oven on at the start, didn’t you? Oh good) for 30 minutes or so

    10) Eat

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  • 16Mar

    Cook several small jacket poatatoes and cut them in half. scoop out the soft poatoe from the inside and use for another dish such as mash. Leave a generaous amount on the skins though! Its mainly so that you have a slight hollow.

    Crate cheese onto them and place under a medium grill until the cheese is melted.

    Placing cream cheese benieth the grated cheese can have a lovely effect or alternatively just put cottage cheese in.

  • 09Mar

    My husbands aunt has several copies of Mrs Beeton some of which date from when around the time it was actually produced! Most of the recipies she has produced from Mrs Beeton havve been well not very nice but then this may have more to do with the cook economising and using far too stale bread and far too mouldy cheese and still living in the wartime mentality.

    However it turns out that it is full of amazing stuff including lots of historical tipbits on how medieval and roman kitchens were supposed to be set out and herbal remedies. I was going to extract the information I thought most useful from it and put it on the blog – warning if you are doing this you need to check on copy right law and trade mark law specific to your country!

    I was not however looking forward to typing up all of those recipies when I discovered via my husband that there is a project that is putting all the out of copywrite books onto a giant database so that the information is accessable to everybody!

    It is called Project Gutenberg.

    This is fantastic news for me and you – for a start the whole of the Mrs Beetons book is avalible on there – I would say that reading books like this is a bit of a headache and I still browse the actual book but it reduces the amount of work I have to do to bring the information to a wider audience – why am I still putting it on here rather than just linking? I want to make the information more usable and also bring it to bare on a modern setting. I want to actually do my own research on some of the articles and update things so that you have Mrs Beetons opinion and then mine/a modern interpretation.

    This is exciting and I am hoping that there may be more of the really old cook books and almanaces on the project.

    Having read the preface to Mrs Beeton I think that this blog maybe actually turning into the mordern equvilent of her book – which is scary. There is obviously years of work here so don’t expect it all next week.

    This year you are pretty much only getting the seasonal foods as this is important from an budget and environmental point of view.

    I also do not think unlike my husbands aunt that Mrs Beeton has the definative anser to everything. Foods come in and out of fashion, medical science has stormed ahead in the past century and nutrition is better under stood. Foods and cooking tequnics that were not avalible to Mrs Beeton are common place. Having said that we on the brink of the tecnologicala age are in danger of loosing lots of old tecnics and knowledge that if we are going to live long and healthy lives we need to maintain. I know I have a copy of serval books dating from centuries ago that contian recipies and the like. Add in the wartime stuff and I think we are going to be rocking and rolling – any other information people have would also be greatly appreciated.

    I would even like to investigate the diets of say the Romans and maybe even neolithic man. Again this is a big project but one I hope I can chip away at steadily.

    I am starting with Mrs Beetona but she is by no means the end!

    Of course I shall continue my own experiments and post the resulting recipies or simple do’s and don’ts. And hopefully at some point soon I will link this blog up with the gardening salaric which is woefully in need of attention. I manly concentrate on growing food so feel that it would be highly relevent to this blog!

    Wish me luck!

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  • 02Mar

    Seasonal eating is very much in vogue for a number of reasons therefore this month I again give you Mrs Beeton’s food listings for what should be eaten in this month. Again this includes some imported food but as part of the reason for eating seasonally is to reduce our carbon emmisions this could be seen as counter productive!

    FISH.–Barbel, brill, carp, crabs, crayfish, dace, eels, flounders, haddocks, herrings, lampreys, lobsters, mussels, oysters, perch, pike, plaice, prawns, shrimps, skate, smelts, soles, sprats, sturgeon, tench, thornback, turbot, whiting.

    MEAT.–Beef, house lamb, mutton, pork, veal.

    As I said in Febuary there is apparently Pink or Rose Veal which is ok to eat ethically as the calves are treated in a nice. I’ve found alink about it so here it is and I’ll try do a dedicated post at some future date.

    POULTRY.–Capons, chickens, ducklings, tame and wild pigeons, pullets with eggs, turkeys, wild-fowl, though now not in full season.

    GAME.–Grouse, hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, woodcock.

    VEGETABLES.–Beetroot, broccoli (purple and white), Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, celery, chervil, cresses, cucumbers (forced), endive, kidney-beans, lettuces, parsnips, potatoes, savoys, sea-kale, spinach, turnips,–various herbs.

    FRUIT.–Apples (golden and Dutch pippins), grapes, medlars, nuts, oranges, pears (Bon Chr├ętien), walnuts, dried fruits (foreign), such as almonds and raisins; French and Spanish plums; prunes, figs, dates, crystallized preserves.

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