Back to BSE for lunch with my son at our favourite local restaurant (has anyone nominated it yet? It's had enough fantastic reviews online) before we go to Wales for a two night stay with Uncle David. My first ever lunch here; it's a little bit formal if you are looking for a quick three choice menu and no frills, but as usual every mouthful from the Raspberry Prosecco aperitif to the last drop of gravy on our plate is tasty, interesting and well thought out. We have the delicious and complimentary signature pea and ham croquette canape, then a soft salami paste on fresh foccacia, cod cheek tempura (for me) and snails with bone marrow (my son) and then he has a steak with fat chips and I have pigs cheeks casserole with vegetables. I have forgotten the exact menu as they wrote it but we were too full for pudding, it was £39.75 and so much better than your average restaurant I could jump for joy.
Been to Wales but didn't see much roadside selling - no local cheeses, a few eggs and some ordinary looking preserves in the touristy places. But what a beautiful, rural, peaceful country - there must be lots of nice food here if you have time to find it. Will definitely be going back to Uncle David's!
In real life believe me it looks better, and in lovely WALES Uncle David's veg patch looked a lot healthier than this! But all being well I should have broad beans soon, courgettes, runner beans, french beans, potatoes, spring onions, beetroot, artichokes, gooseberries, currants, carrots, plums and apples, and have already had plenty of broccoli, rainbow chard, spinach, mixed salad leaves for weeks and lots of fresh herbs. The birds stole my strawberries.
What a great day for the market...I bought fresh peaches, a big pineapple, gorgeous cherries, strawberries, new potatoes - Bury market isn't always this good but it beats a supermarket for fruit & veg any day in a summer like this.
This is the bargain of the week - a rolled breast of lamb from Asda, already cheap, but reduced to £1. I have cooked this lots of times, and it's been tasty, crispy but as tough as hell. This time I read the intructions in a recipe book instead of guessing and rushing, and it said SLOW cooking. So I put it on at 100, went to work for four hours and came back to the most delicious and tender piece of meat ever. Turned it up for twenty minutes to crisp up and WOW, what flavour! It's not for everyone as it's very fatty, but with rosemary, broad beans and the first new potatoes out of the garden it was as tasty as anything I have had lately. Next time I will unroll it, put some stuffing in and serve it to my best friends.
What a boring final, but good excuse for a family food event - supporting Spain with jugs of Sangria and various Tapas (a kind of English tapas - whatever you can make without going to the shops.) Had more fun with intermmittent singing of Y Viva Espana and flamenco music and eventually, finally, yawn - the goal.
Being Suffolk born and bred you tend not to go to these touristy villages, but I had one of my favourites here recently at The Swan - calves liver. It beat other liver (and bacon) dishes I've had recently hands down, and it was nice to have a walk around afterwards - the houses really are fascinatingly wonky.
Look at my produce! I thought jam was a hassle (thermometers, muslin, big aluminium or not pans, rolling boils, saucers of cold water...) until I discovered the sugars with pectin in and now there's no stopping me. This week bought kilo bags of two types of the sugar (one for soft fruit jam, one for fruit with stones) Then got just over a kilo of apricots first, made that one in an hour. Then bought raspberries, made that one in half an hour. Will make one more lot from wild bullis plums later as these are my real favourites and just fall off the trees into my open carrier bag!
Following the vegetarian edition of OFM this weekend, will try to follow Paul McCartney's example and not eat meat for a week. And as long as I stick to curries this shouldn't be a problem as I am having a bit of a craving for a good Leicester dhal and rice, with puri's and samosas. So made a chick pea and potato curry tonight - one of the easiest and most delicious, with fennel and coriander from the garden.
Without knowing my plans for vegetarian and curry, Tanya has cooked me curry again - kerala fish curry - so delicious. Will have to excuse this fish as wouldn't strictly speaking be eating fish as a vegetarian, but still - no meat.
Forgot I was on veggie week and had bacon and eggs for breakfast, but made up for it by making delicious pakora with spinach out of the garden for lunch. Inspector X gave me her recipe - it's so easy - but it's on the gram flour packet too, if you can find any. I asked in Tesco just to see if they knew what it was, not expecting them to have any, and they bought me Rye flour. So went to Ipswich to the Norwich road shops where they have everything you could possibly ever want and spent too much on scotch bonnet peppers, plantain chips and frozen samosa's as well.