First, of all I would like to apologise for the tardiness of my blog post. I said on my last post that I would be back last weekend, not this weekend. This post is going to be a bit unusual as I need to tie up a few loose ends so that my normal blogging schedule can resume. To begin, I would like to tell you about my crazy week this week so that you may understand why my blogging is haphazard at the moment. It is one of many crazy weeks that I am currently experiencing but is an extreme example . Then, I would tell you about a couple foodie treats that I found in a recent work trip to Scotland, followed by a recipe and finally, I would like to discuss the new Virgin1 cookery entertainment programme called ‘Restaurant in Our Living Room’.
Last weekend was spent baking a large cake for a 3 year old’s birthday party (future post on the blog), attending the birthday party and going a few beers afterwards. Then I decorated and mowed the lawns at my parent’s rental property before coming home to get ready for my work trip on Monday.
Monday and Tuesday was spent on a work field trip with first year archaeology students in Monmouthshire, Wales visiting archaeological and historical sites. We spent Monday night staying in a reconstructed Iron Age Roundhouse sleeping on hay bales. Sleep was only achieved by drinking local ale and mulled wine!
Wednesday was spent doing half a day at work (I had a lie in to recover from Monday and Tuesday), popping to Tesco and visiting my in – laws.
Thursday started as a normal day but as I pulled onto the car park at work, my power steering pump broke and I had to call the AA. This resulted in me and my car having to be towed home at the end of my day at work. I was very late back and very tired after all the additional stress the day had created. To make matters worse, I am getting a brand new Ford Fiesta on the scrappage scheme in 5 weeks, so my car only had to last until then. The pump is to expensive to replace so it looks like it is the train for the next few weeks!
Friday started off bright and early as I had to get the train to work. I got to work ok but did not feel 100%. I carried on for a couple of hours but didn’t feel any better so I came home, went to bed and caught up on cookery programmes on the Sky +.
Today, I feel a bit better. However, this post is being brought to you by the power of Lemsip Cold and Flu capsules.
A few weeks ago, I spent a week in Scotland in the Cairngorm Mountains on a field trip with students. I would tell you about a couple of foodie treats I discovered while I was there. No pictures, I am afraid. It was a work, not a foodie trip.
- Mountain Café, Aviemore – This café serves excellent coffee, freshly made home-made cakes and lovely food in general. It was one of the highlights of the trip and I recommend that you go and experience it for yourself.
- Clootie Dumpling – which is quite similar to a Christmas Pudding but has slightly more cinnamon and nutmeg in it. In the Cairngorms, the place to get it is at the Speyside Heather Centre where they sell it 21 different ways! (there are lots of red squirrels near by too)
A Recipe: Apple and Damson Traybake
A few weeks ago, I discovered that I had lots of apple and damsons in the fridge. They needed to be cooked with as soon as possible as they had been sat there waiting for me to do something with then for a while. I saw this recipe in the Tesco Magazine and decided to adapt it.
* 100g (3½oz) softened butter
* 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
* 1tsp baking powder
* 175g (6oz) demerara sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 lemon rind
* 2 apples, diced
* 20 or so damsons, stone removed and chopped.
* Preheat the oven to Gas 5, 190°C, fan170°C. Line a shallow 20cm (8in) square cake tin with baking parchment.
* Place all the ingredients, except the apples and damsons, into a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
* Stir in the apples and damsons and spread into the tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and the centre is firm to touch.
* Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely. Cut into squares. Keeps for three days. Enjoy!
Restaurant in Our Living Room
You may have noticed that a new cookery entertainment show has appeared on our screens in the last couple of weeks. The show is called ‘Restaurant in Our Living Room’ and it is about couples competing against each other to run a restaurant for one night in their living room. It is shown on Thursday nights at 9pm on Virgin 1. The show has caused a lot of debate and discussion in the foodie world – see for example MsMarmiteLover’s article in the Guardian a week or so ago. I am not going to enter this debate, I think you should all make up your own minds as to whether you like the show or not. I think it is like ‘Come Dine with Me‘ on steroids!
I have been asked by Holler to tell you about the map community that has been created as part of the project, but run totally aside from the TV show to allow food lovers to get involved with the ‘pop-up’ restaurant trend themselves. The map offers a way for existing or prospective restaurateurs /diners/ produce sellers to get in touch with each other and discover what is available in their area. This is also a great way for vegetable gardeners, allotment owners, jam makers, beekeepers and so forth to let people in their area know they have stock for sale, and generally for such services to use the site to promote themselves for free. I think this is great idea, however I was slightly disappointed by the lack of people in my area so please join and help make this a success for everyone.
To get involved the website is here.
You can also join the Facebook group here.
That’s all for now folks. I will be back as soon as I can with another post.
Happy Cooking! :-)