All posts tagged: Traditional Recipes

Living on the edge, and at my age as well – Raw Milk

Just when you think there is nothing much new under the sun, you discover there is. Well, not new exactly, but you get my drift. I grew up in rural Lincolnshire but, unlike just about everyone who has since contacted me about this, I don’t think I ever drank raw (unpasteurised) milk. I can recall an old fella that used to cycle to the dairy farm every morning with a small metal churn hanging from his handlebars – I now realise what he was up to. I had of course had sterilised milk – which still makes me think nostalgically of early package holidays – you’re still hard pushed to get fresh pasteurised milk in most of southern Europe, but it has taken a fair few years ( I won’t say how many) for the moment to arrive when I finally got to try raw milk. Raw milk is not, of course, without controversy. It cannot be sold in shops or supermarkets, but only at the “farmgate” direct to the consumer by the dairy that …

Is there a secret lunch club somewhere? Superb Thaymar Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love ice-cream? what I have discovered is actually, probably, no one. There is a secret cadre of ice-cream eaters that, mid-week, will drive out into the countryside to enjoy a bit of home-cooking, a browse round a farm shop and eat ice-cream. Not just a few people, you understand, but lots of people. In the interests of research, we ventured out mid-week (mid-week you understand…) to the beautiful forests of North Nottinghamshire in order to grab a spot of lunch at a well-known Watermill (more of that later). Lovely sunny day, but still mid-week, you understand… we get to said Watermill and it is packed. Heaving. Every seat and every table is taken, and a table for two has even been erected in the entrance to squeeze a couple more in. Blimey. No chance of a table unless you book well in advance – for a tea-room in rural North Notts. Who are all these people popping out for lunch in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the week? Maybe it …

Newark Show “Cut and Butter” Cake

It is told that the illustrious, and slightly scary sounding, Nottinghamshire Women’s Institute Catering Committee devised this fruit loaf for the Notts County Show held at the Newark Showground every May. I don’t have any dates for this recipe, it appears in Angela Greary’s 1994 local recipes book and follows a similar fruitcake recipe from Southwell, dated 1890. However, it is clearly a very traditional and, indeed, a very simple recipe. Given the array of food choices and exotic street food that characterise so many shows and festivals nowadays (not that I am complaining, you understand ūüėä) ¬†it is nice to think that such a simple and traditional tea loaf was the talk of the show. Apparently it was sold in the refreshment tent, sliced and buttered (hence the name) and was always a popular choice. This recipe (in post-Brexit Imperial measures, I’m afraid) ¬†makes two solid loaves or cakes (put one in the freezer or store in an airtight tin). Ingredients ¬†1 and a half lbs mixed dried fruit, 3/4 pint hot tea (or …

Twenty Slices of Bread topped with Liverwurst (oh, and some sardines). Eating out in Dusseldorf.

I don’t speak a word of German. I can muster up a bit of French, and have probably still got some passable Finnish, but German – not a word. So as the daughter planned a week staying with a friend in Dusseldorf, we decided we’d grab the chance of a city break somewhere we’d neither of us been before. Dusseldorf is not the most obvious choice for a short break, I grant you, but if you like museums, art, food, old towns, modern architecture, designer shopping and large rivers, this may be the city for you. Thankfully most Germans have passable to excellent English, and as Dusseldorf is not your typical tourist town, this is really rather useful. We stayed at the Orangery, a modern “boutique” hotel in an old house in a quiet cobbled courtyard, metres from the Rhine and minutes from the heart of the old town, with its alleys of restaurants and bars, and a few minutes more from the fabulous designer shopping streets and malls. A pretty perfect location in fact. …

A Proper Sunday Lunch

I have a confession to make, I make a damn decent Sunday lunch. Yep, even if I do say so myself. Such has been my disappointment with the traditional pub Sunday Lunch that I can honestly say it must be upwards of 5 years since I last forced myself through the ritual of eating tough beef, dry chicken and a plate loaded with steamed and tasteless veg (or worse a melange of boiled, unseasoned veg served alongside in ceramic bowl which will inevitably be returned to the kitchen, untouched, in exactly the same state as it arrived) swamped in gravy and with a Yorkshire Pudding plopped on top, regardless of the meat below. No, I don’t like pub Sunday Lunches. Love the idea of them, but the reality is usually a huge¬† disappointment. Well, I am here¬†to report that a couple of weeks ago, I decided to tip my toe in the “Traditional¬†Sunday Lunch in¬†a pub is¬†Never as Good as I Make at Home”¬†club again, and venture to our Local,¬†fairly recently under new ownership and …

Borough Market – I know, I am such an old romantic

I’ve not met anyone that doesn’t love London’s Borough Market. It’s not just the fabulous range of fresh produce, meat, seafood, products, herbs, spices, bread and street food, it’s the atmosphere it evokes. Like much of London, its history colours your sense of the present. I defy anyone to walk towards the Market nestled under the iron girders of the¬† railway bridge above and not find themselves cast back to any number of films, novels and exhibitions that describe the sights, sounds and smells of historic London. You feel you are walking in the footsteps of thousands of others stretching back hundreds of years who have come to this place to meet and to trade. And indeed you are, the market is believed to go back possibly as much as a 1000 years. It is situated at one end of London Bridge, for centuries the only route over the river and believed to have been built originally by the Romans (which then became a strategic defence against the marauding Vikings as they sailed up the …

Meatballs or….meatballs?

We ate at this quirky little cafe and deli on the High Road in Beeston recently. Odin’s table is a new venture by a couple, one Swedish, one English who previously worked in IT. It had only been open a week when we stopped by, so still very much finding its feet. Having lived in Finland for several years, I was keen to try out a bit of Scandinavian food as (apart from Ikea…) there aren’t many opportunities to do so locally. The couple make all their own cakes and bread and meatballs. I love meatballs – and these were particularly delicious – and they were pretty much the only hot item on the menu. You could have the option of a bowl of 5 or 10 hot meatballs with Lingonberry or cold meatballs with bread or a beetroot salad, or an option for bread with Swedish Cheese, and then they had a range of Scandinavia cakes and bakes (and some vegan sausage options). I think you might say it is a fairly paired down …

Food for Thought – a weekend of utter foodiness

Last weekend was all about me. This almost never happens, but last weekend it did. I attended the wonderful School of Artisan Food’s annual food lecture weekend – “Food for Thought”. For those not familiar with this fabulous place, the School is located on the beautiful Welbeck Estate in North Nottinghamshire, it is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Portland, is famous for its tunnels and underground ballroom and is situated at the heart of the Dukeries – the ancient hunting grounds of Royalty and Aristocracy. Not only that, the School is a fantastic resource hosting all kinds of artisan food courses from baking and patisserie to cheese making and artisan ice cream, butchery and cider making. Just a totally fantastic place. Last weekend rolled out some “stars” of the culinary world, to talk with and to a “foodie” audience. I would say it was an eclectic mix – food writers, bloggers, home-cooks, a Vet, retired sorts and young whipperysnappery things up from London with cuboid necklaces and spiral bound notebooks. It was also …

Backyard Pizza Oven – finally!

I have dreamt of a pizza oven in our back garden for years. I placed it on the husband’s “to do” list about 10 years ago. Every time, here or abroad, I spotted a traditional wood-burning pizza oven I would drop unsubtle hints and be promised one for the following summer. In the end, with no sign of the pizza oven materialising, I changed tack and put the Finnish-designed Uuni 2 wood-fired oven on my Christmas list. Yep, my Christmas list. That’ll throw him, I thought. So finally this weekend was warm enough to get my pizza oven out and learn how to drive it. It isn’t the home-made traditional oven I had originally envisaged, but this is nonetheless a thing of beauty and, finally, I have a pizza oven in the back garden. My first attempts were simple – home-made pizza dough with a tomato base, mozzarella, few chillies, Italian salami and fresh basil, some with a few peppers. It took a bit of mastering to get the flames inside large enough to ensure …

Manhattan-style Clam Chowder, tomatoes, no cream..

So reminiscing about last summer’s trip to New York and a lovely chowder at Pier A, I felt inspired to rustle up a Manhattan Style Chowder. To me a Chowder always has milk or cream in it but in New York it was all about the tomatoes. It seems the addition of tomatoes instead of cream is not historically without its own controversy… apparently by 1939 it had become so contentious that one State Representative, a certain Cleveland Sleepe, introduced a Bill in the legislature attempting to make the addition of tomatoes illegal. However, after a panel of Chowder connoisseurs at a competition in Portland declared the traditional New England Chowder the epicurean champion, the Bill did not pass and the Free World is still free to add tomatoes to its chowder, and so am I. Delicious.