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COOL BRITTANIA

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There's always an avalanche of articles published in the new year with predictions of the food and drink that will be  "trending"  and what we should be adopting to remain cool .


Frankly, as much as I love to try new ingredients, the hunt for a bit of strange, in these "interesting times", I'm comforted by something familiar and that reeks of ol' Blighty .  And it's the old stuff, the classics, that await the younger generation to hunt down. Here's a few of my favourites from the 19th Century to get things started.





At first whiff, Gentleman's relish was an instant flashback to my school packed lunches, Peck's Anchovette paste on spongy white bread, served at school bag temperature of around 29 degrees celsius. Them were the days. Patum Peperium, the Gentleman's relish is another paste not for the faint hearted. It is made from salted anchovies, butter and some very punchy herbs and spices. A little goes a long way and as recommended, a …

Harvest Will Preserve Us

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Lovely to be heading towards a "New Year" again and taking advantage of the end of summer harvest. Tomatoes are at their peak now, sweet, plentiful and cheap. Perfect if you have a glut of them in the garden or like me, have a fab market where I can get 5kg of tomatoes for a fiver. Same goes for peppers, cucumbers and courgettes. Store the tomatoes for the winter using Marcella Hazan's , classic tomato recipe and keep them in 250ml/ 1 cup portions in the freezer. One of my go to mid-week dishes is this tomato curry.

Quick Tomato Curry Serves 3 - 4  1 large onion, roughly chopped 1 heaped tablespoon of freshly grated ginger 1 tablespoon of turmeric 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed 1 heaped tablespoon of curry paste, I use a madras one 2 cups of tomato sauce, no need to defrost Oil of your choice Salt, pepper, sugar
In a large frying pan, on a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and the chopped onions. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes before adding the ginger, turmeric, garlic and curry paste,…

Carrots

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The carrot. To some people, the most pedestrian of vegetables. Not me, I love 'em. Wild carrots, purple ones were originally found in Afghanistan and a yellow variant of it, migrated to the Mediterranean during the 11th to 14th century. They reached China, India and Japan between the 14th and 17th century. The Chinese were particularly impressed by it's nutritional value and called it "little ginseng". The Dutch, those well known funsters, bred from the pale variants and brought us the familiar orange variety. Perhaps driven by chefs wanting to deliver new flavours and textures, a resurgence in the cultivation and availability of heirloom carrots benefits us all. Even the big supermarkets had purple ones last year for Halloween, so give them a try when you see them. Organic carrots are available widely in the UK now at a very affordable price, worth spending the extra few pence.


Moroccan Carrot Salad Serves 4 as a side dish 3 large carrots, grated 2 cloves of garlic, mince…

Menu Monday 26th of October

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In honour of the new Bond film being released in the UK today, a little Bond on this week's
Menu Monday. Although you don't see Bond eating very much in the movies, he does stop for the odd bite in the books by Ian Fleming. In fact, Fleming was quite the foodie for want of a better word.

Monday 
We'll still be doing our regular #MeatlessMonday but with some fitting indulgence to mark the opening night of Spectre with Scrabbled Eggs with Black Truffle

Tuesday
Something 007 might have at his club Dover Sole with Champagne Sauce, for economy's sake, you can substitute Dover sole with any fresh flat fish and the champagne with a good sparkling wine or cider. Still tastes delicious.

Wednesday
From his hijinks in Japan, the tasty, Niku- Jaga a  Beef Stew , one for the slow cooker.

Thursday
What may now be one of the most hipster photographed foods on Instagram, mostly smashed and on sourdough toast,in Fleming's day, the avocado was as exotic as Bond's Nemeses. Tonight we'…

8 Things I've Learnt This Week

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It's been one of those weeks...you know that suspicion that the world and your body has turned against you? Well my intuition has been pretty keen lately. I am, however, drawing upon all of my, "dawning of Aquarius", patchouli anointed, tree-hugging, higher self to try to put a positive spin on things. For better or for worse I am going to share what I have learnt this week.

1. Do not attempt to put your glasses on with the same hand you are holding very sharp keys in.

2. Torn ligaments are painful. A strong back is like money in the bank. Ask someone else to pick up stuff. Even pay them to do it. Have deep tissue massages, often.

3. Hazel nuts are native to the United Kingdom .

4. This recipe for Saffron Orzo, is my ultimate comfort food,it might be yours too if you give it a try, all my thanks to The Lean Times for introducing it to me. *bighugs*

5. This is a really good recipe for Lemon Cordial, make some for Christmas presents.


6.



7.  Making perfect houmas/ hummus/ houmous …

Groove Is In The Moves

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We are gently stepping over hump day and in the UK, counting our blessings because, whisper it... & cross all your digits, we appear to be having an Indian summer.
I had a lovely lunch with a friend on Monday, OUTSIDE, drinking Ros√© in ENGLAND in Autumn!!! A few easy recipes to get you through to the weekend. Hope you give them a go and if you do, drop me a wee comment, the good, the bad and the brutally honest! Not too brutal, am really a bit of a  closet wimp.






Chicken with Braised Baby Leeks, Whole Grain Mustard Glaze Serves 4. 8 chicken thighs, skin on 12 baby leeks 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar 1 heaped tablespoon of whole grain mustard 1 teaspoon of butter salt and pepper Cut the leeks in half lengthways and rinse well to remove any grit. Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan/skillet and put on a medium heat. Cook the chicken skin side down for 10 minutes or until golden brown. In the meantime, mix together…

Something For the Weekend

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September has been a busy month already, with kids in the northern hemisphere going back to school, the celebration of Jewish New Year , the Rugby World Cup, my twins turning 14 and with that, the 14th anniversary of  9/11. What a time that was...The weekend is upon us, let us spend a little more time reflecting,counting our blessings, reaching out, making food and nourishing ourselves and our loved ones. I think these few uncomplicated recipes do that, with very little stress and very little expense.

Autumn Minestrone Soup
I always feel a bit dubious writing a recipe for soup, as it is generally only a matter of throwing some compatible ingredients together in a large pot and boiling away until dinnertime. However, a lot of people I talk to, particularly students that I'm surrounded by, have never made soup from scratch and maybe a recipe helps them to realise it's no biggie. The key to a good minestrone is to keep it tasting fresh,each vegetable discernible and not turning it…