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Sunday Morning Kitchen, part 1

This Raspberry & biscuit Brulee is a Hywel Jones creation from the Lucknam Park Hotel near Bath.

1/2 pint of (double) cream

Punnet of raspberries

A sheet of gelatin

Vanilla pod

Castor sugar and icing sugar

Some of those frozen puff-pastry sheets (thawed)

Warm a pot of double cream in a pan with some castor sugar and a vanilla pod 'till the sugar melts, then heat it to just under boiling point.

Off with the heat, out comes the vanilla pod, split it down the middle and scrape out the seeds, put the seeds back in the pan and cut the pod into very thin strips. Dry the strips on a window ledge or something, they'll be part of the decoration later.

Soaked the gelatin sheet in water for a couple of minutes then squeeze-out and incorporate it into the cream.

Pour the infused cream into two ramekins and leave to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours. It needs to get pretty solid 'coz it gets turned out upside down later.

Push some of the raspberries through a sieve to make a bit of a Coulis and toss the other raspberries in it.

Four of the pastry sheets joined together, folded in half and rolled up like a Swiss-Roll. Do all this on a board with castor sugar sprinkled on it instead of flour or whatever. Chill in the fridge for an hour or so to firm-up then cut into thin(ish) slices, roll out dead thin and cut into rounds. They only need about 10-15 minutes in the oven, sprinkled with
castor sugar. When they come out you've got to be fast on your feet. Before they start to cool down (and harden because the sugar's cooling) squash them flat, as thin as you can get them, with the back of a pan and let them cool on a wire rack.

The construction part is a hoot!

Tip out the Brulee (good luck) onto a big plate, place a biscuit on top, a ring of raspberries on the biscuit, a iscuit on the ring of raspberries, a ring of raspberries on the biscuit (following me still?) and a raspberry skewered with a strip of vanilla pod on the top.

Pretty huh?

"Eet smakelijk"
3rd May 2008, 20:56   comments (2)

Credit where credit's due

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I hate going to supermarket distribution centres.
I often have a bit of a winge on here about shoddy treatment and bad work practices.
I'd just like to take this opportunity to praise and say thank you to Tesco, Magor, near Newport.
Recieved at the gate by a friendly face and clear instructions how to proceed (it's a massive place). Straight on to a bay, the driver's reception area is clean and tidy, there are (today's) papers on the table and a tv on in the corner. I hand in the paper work and the guy invites me to go and have breakfast in the canteen. A full English plate-full cost me 1,25 and now I'm ready to leave, emptied of 19.5 tons of peanut butter in just over an hour.
Thanks guys, it's been a pleasure!
And all those other ignoramusses out there: TAKE NOTE!
2nd May 2008, 11:34   comments (6)

A night off

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Circumstances evolved yesterday to allow me to stop over at Ian's boat for the night. He lives on a narrow-boat. There's a nice little pub across the road.
We had one or two pints and then ordered out for a pizza that cost fourteen quid!!
2nd May 2008, 11:03   comments (1)

Spring is most definately in that air!

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Wonderful skies today over Northampton.
1st May 2008, 18:02   comments (5)


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It's "Queen's day" in Holland today.
Queen Beatrix's birthday, and a public holiday.
Everything is done with an Orange flavour (the Dutch royal family is the house of Orange)
Unfortunately they don't celebrate it in the UK so I have to work through it.
30th Apr 2008, 12:15   comments (4)

All that yesterday was, today is not

(viewed 626 times)
It was 23 degreesC yesterday, lovely sunny spring day.
It's lashing down relentlessly today.
And I'm playing outside in it. This transporting straw nonsense is wrecking these brand new trailers too. These are farmers, not skilled fork-truck drivers.
28th Apr 2008, 10:24   comments (2)

Sunday morning kitchen (a bit late)

"Special Pav Bhaji Masala"
(not too sure what's so "special" about it but, hey!)

It's a vegetable curry dish, in case you never noticed that.
Colly-flower rosettes, potatoes, peeled and cut into manageable chunks.
Garden peas (we only had a jar, frozen is betterer)
A green and a yellow Bell-Pepper/Capsicum/Pepper/Paprika (whatever you call
the damn things in your neck of the woods)
Two tomatoes, quartered.
A chopped-up onion, some garlic and a lump of ginger, chopped finely.
There are many brands of Indian spice mixes, I used "Mangal" from tesco, coz
they're cheap. Mix up four tablespoons of the powder with a little water to
make a babypoo-like paste (it contains chillies, coriander, cumin,
cassia(?), cannelle(?), cloves, black pepper, bay leaves, caraway, mango
powder, star anise and salt (unlike babypoo, hopefully))
Fry up the onion for a few minutes, then add the paprikas, garlic and
ginger. Fry to soften.
Add the toms and the "babypoo" stir furiously, the idea is that the toms and
the rest of the veggies get a bit "mushed".
Add the peas towards the end so as not to smash them up too much (we don't
want fish-and-chip-shop mushy-peas, not today)
The collies and spuds have been cooking in another pan, did I mention that?
Drain them off and add them to the mix, stirring and breaking them up.
I added about a cupful of plain yoghurt towards the end because it was fiery
as hell in there. It didn't help much.
Annie had made a lovely vindaloo in the oven, just to cool things down a
Mike spent most of the meal stood next to the fridge, filling his glass.

"Eet smakelijk"
27th Apr 2008, 21:24   comments (4)

Tulip time!

It's a short window of opportunity, they cultivate these endless fields of
colour for the bulbs, not the flowers.
In the next field they were going over them with a sort of giant lawn mower,
hacking the flower heads off so the green leaves can concentrate their
energies into dividing the bulbs underground.
On the road in the distance there was long, long traffic jam of (mostly
German) coaches all trying to get into the "Keukenhof" (a big botanical
garden based on the tulip).
27th Apr 2008, 16:17   comments (12)