Lay a little egg for me! Just wanted to show you these beautiful eggs from our new friends Helen and John and their chickens. I don't know the chickens names but I do know the rooster is called Mr Darcy :-) I wonder... Lizzie, Jane, Lydia, Kitty and Mary perhaps?!
Here I am your roving blogger, sitting in her cottage garden, sipping a cold glass of white wine and listening to the babbling of the brook and the wood pigeons. Ooh last night we lay in bed listening to an owl! For a city gal it was quite extraorder! ( sorry, been reading the letters between the Mitford sisters all week and have developed a sort of upper class thirties accent - heaven!)
Anyhoo one if the things that makes staying at our cottage better than any other (she said, modestly) is that you get a jar of my homemade jam which is divine :-)
Sadly my deerlings we are now fully booked until the end of October. How beastly for you all.
Today we went to Scarborough which brought back lots of happy memories as I had many a childhood holiday and day trip there. You can't beat a proper English seaside town and Scarborough is a very good example if one. It has a fab golden beached bay, complete with donkeys, a multitude of fish and chip shops, stalls selling candy floss, whelks, donuts and the like. There is a sort of faded grandeur to Scarborough with it's Grand Hotel (once the largest hotel in Europe and extremely glamorous and now a little bit run down) and spa complex, both slightly dilapidated but really charming. As we walked passed the spa complex an open air concert of old fashioned music was about to start and rows of oldies sat in deckchairs with hankies on their heads, like they had been there for thirty years.
Something else which hasn't changed is this icecream parlour where little me once ate a knickerbocker glory the size of her own head ;-)
Today I had a strawberry shake with a scoop of vanilla icecream floating in it - sat at the yellow Formica bar on a red leatherette stool with the painted mirrors and menu boards to gaze at. This isn't a clever attempt at retro chic, it has just always looked like this to the point where you expect the Fonz to show up any minute or at least a Yorkshire version of him!
The icecreams, shakes and sundaes are all served in lovely pressed glass dishes and glasses and with long spoons to scoop, lick and lick some more.
And yes, I had fish and chips too, in the open air, overlooking the beach and the children riding donkeys.
My mum's friend Caroline is often in need of a 'little something'. By this she generally means a sweet snack, in the morning or afternoon. I thought of her today as I peered into the window of a very nice cake and bread shop in Helmsley called Cinnamon Twist. As well as some rather delicious looking raspberry and white chocolate buns there were these 'little somethings' - or rather 'big somethings' because did you ever see such whopping great meringues as these?!
We bought two from the nice woman who made them and I think we will have them tomorrow, maybe with soft fruits or maybe with chestnut purée and toasted hazlenuts - ooh now the latter sounds nice!
We also went to Rievaulx Abbey today which was lovely and we're going back on Saturday as we discovered that you can do Tai Chi in the morning followed by having a foot or hand massage - such a beautiful setting and serene start to a Saturday, plus it's totally free for English Heritage members.
Fortunes kippers are literally world famous and all Fortunes kippers come from one little shed on Henrietta Street in Whitby. To find it, go to the foot of the 199 steps up to the Abbey and St Mary's church and then follow your nose! The rich, smokey aroma will lead you here.
Isn't it lovely? I wish this blog had a smell function so I could share it with you, that tarry, fishy smell...
As well as kippers they smoke other things including bacon which we bought for our breakfast tomorrow.
Some might say that whoever owns Fortunes is missing a huge financial trick to sell only from here, to not get involved with wholesale, franchising and merchandising. My marketeers brain whirrs with the ideas and possibilities of it.
But maybe the fact that you can only get Fortune's smoked goods by going to Whitby to their little shed during the few hours a day they are open is a good thing and part of their charm. But surely an e-commerce website wouldn't hurt? Yes it would? Oh ok then. Good job we find ourselves in Whitby often then. Roll on breakfast time.
Well here we are in Whitby! Today is Dominic's birthday and as part of the celebrations I sent a sneaky email to Julie at Becketts to request a cake with a crumble top for the birthday boy. The really nice thing about Becketts is that you can make this sort of request and it is done with pleasure and no fuss because, as the Americans would say, they are a very customer focused establishment, run by exceptionally nice people like Julie and Brodie. Much as I like a Starbucks you just don't get the sort of welcome and attention in that sort of place that you get at Becketts. Here you can drink tea, eat truly gorgeous and original cakes, read the paper, flick through the books and watch the world go by, all to a brilliant soundtrack of eclectic music. What could be nicerer?
So here is the cake, presented with candles and everything!
How cool is that!
As you can see from these pictures Becketts is a perfect cosy cafe with lovely handwritten boards, gorgeous homemade cakes ( the rhubarb and custard cake is amazing, as is the raspberry and white chocolate one) and they also sell secondhand books, many of which are books I have been meaning to read. They are dog friendly and they sell fairtrade tea and coffee and use free range eggs and local butter to make their cakes. It's all just perfect!
If ever you are Whitby way, you can find them on Skinner Street.
Thanks guys for your contribution to Dom's special day.
Well, we have had Rick Stein banging on about food heroes for ages now, but for what it's worth a food hero of mine is a chap called John Waine (I know, great name huh?)
John, along with some likeminded folk in Oswestry, have started up a food festival in their little town. It's now in it's second year and is on this weekend. The BBC are predicting light rain. I however am being more optimistic and predicting sun, a record turnout and all sorts of foodie wonders and shennanigans.
John is a true food hero because instead of just saying "wouldn't it be great if..". he got off his arse and did it. That's what it's all about. John is also a great life coach so if anyone reading this would like to get off their arse, John's the man. http://www.johnthecoach.co.uk/
Hat's off to you John, may the sun shine, the rain, rain go away and may your early morning bacon butty be glorious!
I call this dish Sarah’s Sunny Squash because of the
vibrant, sunny look it has and the fact that it always cheers me up. Something
else which is sunny and always cheers me up is Sunila. But alas, Suni is in Sri
Lanka for the foreseeable, which is quite a long way to go for dinner as you
will appreciate. Which is a shame as the meals we have cooked for each other
and shared are memorable. I remember a particularly lovely lunch she made me
for my birthday whilst she was recovering from Chicken Pox – a velvety, rich
soup made with this very squash and a wonderful salad with beetroot and pine
nuts. And a tray full of candles to make like a birthday cake, along with a bar
of green and blacks chocolate.
One of the nice things about my friendship with Sunila is
that we didn’t meet until well into adulthood – I was 30 and newly married and
somehow you feel you get to a stage where you have collected all your friends
and everyone else after that is an aquaintance or a nice person to work with.
Looking around at those that I know, finding true, kindred spirit type friends
in adulthood is fairly unusual. So when she turned up to work at Live Theatre
in 2004 she was like a little surprise! When we worked together she often used
to enter the building through the window of my office and pause to chat on the
window seat before she went off to her office for the morning. I have a very
fixed memory of her sat there, sun shining from behind, with a big grin on her
pretty face and some sort of naughtiness or mischief in her eyes. Anyone
reading this who know her will know that look well :-)
Sunila and I have spent many afternoons, evenings, morning
and everything in between happily discussing, agreeing and disagreeing about
all matters food. (NB we do talk about other things too, boys, port, art). We
are both greedy, adventurous and realise that food really is the stuff of life
and no matter what is happening to either of us, we always have food to think
about and eat. So nothing is really that bad :-)
I miss you Sunila, this is for you.
2 small red onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
a teaspoon of chilli flakes (or less if you are a bit
a tablespoon or so of olive oil
a large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into
mouth sized chunks
some vegetable or chicken stock
a few dollops of crème fraiche
2 handfuls of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
naan breads or brown rice to serve
gently fry the onion in the oil until its soft and
translucent. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and stir in for a min or so. Then
add the squash, slightly increase the heat and cook the squash until there are
some slightly brownish bits and the outer squash has softened a bit. Then, add
just enough stock to almost cover the squash and onion. Cook on a low heat
until the stock has reduced and the squash is tender. Add the crème fraiche and
stir in along with the coriander. Serve with the bread or rice. So simple but
I know I haven't blogged for a while, but my efforts to stop wasting food continue!
It's been really interesting. The amount of food that we throw out has decreased dramatically. hardly anything is wasted anymore which is great and our shopping bills are much lower too. I think I have been more creative and haven't felt hard done by as I thought that I might without being able to pop out and buy new ingredients on a whim.
Things I have learned are:
1. planning is essential. You need to look at a whole week of meals, or at least a few days, then plan them to make sure that ingredients are duplicated but not meals. I find because I am cooking for two in the main, often you can't buy small amounts of stuff for just one meal, especially in supermarkets so you need to find two meals which use some of the same things but which taste different.
2. Because of this you have to be MORE not less creative. believe me, using a whole savoy cabbage between two people before it goes off and without boring yourself silly is tricky! But I have managed to make it into; a pasta sauce, a soup, a baked dish, a coleslaw type salad.
3. Keep more things in the fridge. Fruits in particular last a lot longer in the fridge (not bananas though, they go weird and black!). Also, if you have soft herbs and you wash and dry them and put them in zip lock plastic bags and get as much air out as possible, they last for ages. Same goes for salad leaves and things like chard and spinach.
4. always always look in your cupboards before shopping. When I did my inventory at the beginning of the experiment I had 5 bags of self raising flour. Presumably because each time I shopped I thought I needed it and bought more. My inner bakers was obviously on overdrive!
5. Following on from that, keep cupboards relatively tidy. You can't tell if you have 5 bags of self raising flour if your dry goods cupboard looks like Armageddon!
6. If you have a random ingredient left over from another meal and don't know what to do with it, go to this website You can enter up to three ingredients you may have to use up and it will spit out recipes for you to try! But BEWARE that you don't pick one that needs you to buy loads of other ingredients - therein madness lies!
7. If you are more budget minded, you naturally lean towards seasonal stuff, which is better for the environment. The more creative you get with something as humble as say swede, the less inclined you feel to buy something more exciting looking that has been flown in from Kenya or somewhere even more far flung.
8. The bin doesn't get as full! For those who get rubbish collections fortnightly rather than weekly, this is a huge bonus as your bin isn't overflowing come bin day. Also, the kitchen bin needs taking out less often which I don't know anyone who enjoys it, so that can only be a good thing!
9. It helps you lose weight! I am much more portion aware now as don't want to have lots of left overs that I struggle to do something with. In doing so and cooking less you end up eating less as there are no 'second helpings' of anything!
10. Having a good store cupboard really helps. If you have lots of basics like different flours, dried whole and ground spices, dried herbs, lentils, pulses, noodles, stock, sauces and flavourings like worcester sauce, tabasco etc, you can make something out of anything! So by always having a good stock of essentials like garlic, olive oil, anchovies packed in oil etc etc you can make a meal from little bits of this and that and it's will always be delicious and well balanced.
So that has been my adventure in reducing waste. I am going to continue, it's not an experiment, it's now a new way of life/ cooking for me. There is still a bit of me that yearns for reckless and wanton purchasing of stuff but having a hard look at the money, time and frankly the world's resources that I was wasting has made me realise that it's no way to run your kitchen.
There is more than enough food in this world for everyone, but we in the west and increasingly in the far east are wasting vast quantities of food and it's just not right. As the world's population grows, food will be scarcer and we are already seeing the impact in predicted wheat and milk shortages.
If we really are throwing away 1/3 of what we buy in this country alone as recent reports in the media suggest, imaging how much food globally is going from field, to shop, to home, to bin without ever being consumed. It's a really sobering thought.
I was going through my food photography archive and found this image, taken long before I started my food blog but in a time when I loved recording the food that I made, just to remember it. (Don't know if I have ever admitted this but I take hardly any of the photos on this blog, they are taken by Dom. He is the artist in the family).
This picture was taken on my birthday weekend, almost 3 years ago. Dom and I were staying in a lovely apartment, set in the eaves of the old coast guard station at Robin Hood's Bay. This was way before we had a cottage of our own. I have always been drawn to this part of the coast, so many childhood memories and I still feel incredibly lucky that we now own our own little piece of north yorkshire heaven there (albeit without a sea view!)
One of the reasons that I love places like RHB, Staithes and Whitby is the whole smugglers thing. Ever since I was small, and reading famous fives avidly, I have been fascinated by smugglers. The whole of this area was riddled with them apparently in the 18th & 19th centuries and the best RHB smuggling fact is that the cottages, which are all higgeldy piggeldy and crowded on top of each other, have secret passage ways and links between them, so much so that a roll of silk could make it's way from the bottom of the village, all the way up the hill, without seeing daylight. Yorkshire had the BEST smugglers. Official.
Oh and the curd? I seem to remember that I used a Nigella recipe, but substituted seville oranges for the usual lemons. It was gorgeous, fruity, rich and resonant, sharp, but sweet.
Perfect to have on toast, with a sea view and the sound of the gulls all around. Just look at that view...
After our trip to the oriental supermarket I had in mind to use up some of the things I bought for last night's dinner in a different way.
I decided to make a thai chicken noodle broth. I had some organic chicken drumsticks in the freezer which needed eating up and I thought poaching them and shredding them in soup would be great and also I could use up some more of the greens we bought to go with last night's dinner and a piece of ginger that was starting to look a little fatigued. My recent store cupboard clear out had revealed thai fish sauce and minced lemon grass in a squeezy tube so it was all there to be used.
I was so bewitched by the chillis we bought. They are so beautiful as you can see and I was marvelling at their perfection - each one seemed like a supermodel of a chilli, slim, perfectly shaped, glossy.
But these little red bullets were tricksy! Now, I always taste a little bit of any fresh chilli I buy to gauge the heat as it varies so much even if you are buying the same kind from the same supplier. Nervously, as these are small and thai, I placed a little bit on my tongue and waited for the tingle. It did tingle, but not vastly so I put four of the little monkeys into the wet and dry grinder, along with the fresh ginger and the garlic.
Later on as the chicken was simmering away in it's fragrant broth, I finely sliced more chillis, about four I think, along with the holy basil, coriander and the spring onions.
When the time came, I took the chopping board over to the pan and scrapped the chillis and the onions into the broth. A small sliver of red chilli remained behind so I popped it into my mouth. Oh my.
The chilli was a real scorcher. Now, I am quite accustomed to chilli, you can't live with dear Dom for 10 years and not be - he's a really chilli addict and they, and various chilli sauces find their way into many dishes in this house. Including things where they really SHOULDN'T be but don't get me started on that. But this one was... well, shall we say beyond uncomfortable? And I had put about eight of them into my soup! The milder one I tasted initially was laughing at me from the broth along with it's seven sizzling sisters!
Well I thought, at least Dom will be happy!
I continued to make the soup and called the boy through for lunch, steeling myself and my taste buds for the assault to come.
Even he admitted it was VERY hot soup and we both had to blow our noses several times whilst eating it. But it was so hot it was funny and actually despite that was really delicious. We sort of smiled and laughed and slurped and gasped our way through it. My eyes even watered at one point and Dom had a few coughs as it hit the back of his throat, over and over again!
I won't give the recipe dear reader for fear of doing you an injury. But if any hardened chilli fans wants to leave me a post and request I will email you the details.
And joy of joys, there is more left over to have for tomorrow's lunch at work. I must remember to take some tissues...
Do you remember those awful ads for Bud where frogs said "whasaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap". Horrible. Stupid men everywhere said it, over, and over, again.
Anyway, no recipe, just an excuse to show you wasabi peas - have you had them? If not, get some, they are really, really delicious. Just be careful - too many in too short a space of time can give you what is now know in our house as 'wasabi nose' which is a bit like ice cream nose, except possibly more painful. Just one of the side effects of being greedy!
Don't worry, I haven't gone mad and started buying actually ready meals. Even though I have been really busy recently and the last week in particular has been a total whirl, I haven't been that bad!
This is one of the beauties of batch cooking and leftovers. Here we have Peposo, a Jamie Oliver recipe (love him, did I say already? Yes? Oh good) from this book which I batch cooked a while ago along with red cabbage and some root vegetable mash, both of which were salvaged from cooking too much.
I thought this meal, grabbed from the freezer one morning last week and gratefully heated and eaten that evening, fitted in well with my current crusade to cook economically and not to waste food. The Peposo uses shin, a very cheap and tasty cut of meat and the rest, well, cheap as chips (as Jamie would say) and all vegetables bought from my local green grocer.
And when you are sat slaving away at your desk, mobile in one hand, mouse in the other, the thought that this is waiting for you at home is just enough to get you through.
I just remembered that I have invited my lovely sister and her BF over for dinner on Saturday night. So what you may ask? Well, dinner parties are usually my excuse to buy expensive and exotic ingredients and come over all decadent, very against my new plan! Many an ingredient currently sits, neglected, in our store cupboards, barely used because someone was coming for dinner and well...I couldn't resist trying something new!
So, this morning, as I made soup from a pumpkin from said sister and BF's allotment, I peered into the fridge and cupboards to seek inspiration. here's what I found;
a punnet of fresh blueberries
some parsnips and carrots
organic cider vinegar
packet of fresh lemon thyme
and obviously about a squillion other things but the fresh stuff will still be OK by Saturday night as it's in the fridge* and the other things just started to give a shape and form to what I might be planning...
I mulled it over for a while as I finished the soup (pumpkin is very bland so chilli, lemongrass, ginger and sri lankan curry powder were needed!) and as I did the breakfast and soup making dishes. I wanted something seasonal, comforting but with a touch of glamour and that needed a modicum of skill...
And here is what I decided on.
Starter - warm salad of roasted root vegetables with a mustard and cider vinegar dressing
main course - smoked haddock fishcakes with wilted spinach and lemon thyme butter sauce
yoghurt pannacotta with a blueberry compote
I reckon all I will need to buy for a 3 course meal for 4 is; some salad leaves, a bunch of spinach, some smoked haddock and a tub of plain yoghurt. Everything else is happily sat in our fridge or store cupboard, just waiting to be transformed. I am also happy that it's fairly seasonal (apols for the blueberries, i am sure I should be punished for buying them) and much of the produce is British.
I will of course photograph and report back once the meal has been devoured and enjoyed! Can't wait to see you Helen and Mark!
*Keeping fruit and vegetables you would normally store in baskest and racks in the frisge (bananas, pears, carrots, cauliflower etc) will prolong its life and stop it from being spilt/ going to waste.
I have been thinking for a while now that I am not the thriftiest food shopper. I cook on a whim, I change my mind about what I want to cook and buy new ingredients at the last minute, leaving what was to have been cooked with languishing in the fridge. I have three opened bottles of thai fish sauce in my cupboard. Not to mention how many jars of opened jams and chutneys in the fridge.
This wasteful and wanton culinary behaviour seems to be nothing new or exclusive to me and is in fact sweeping the nation as we speak. Apparently over a third of all food bought in the UK is thrown away, unused. I find this really shocking but knowing that I am part of this problem is even more shocking. I wasn't brought up like that! I remember as a child very little got thrown away in our house. OK, we weren't well off so maybe there's part of a reason but when I think about it, it just wasn't something you did, throw away food, let it go off in the fridge, change your mind and leave some perfectly nice salmon to go off because you fancy take out. People made use of leftovers. Sometimes, God forbid, you ate the same meal, or the various assembled ingredients of it, twice in a row.
I used to think the reason I did this and allowed myself to waste food was because I was creative, on the crest of the wave of the latest food ideas, excited by a recipe in a magazine or Sunday supplement. But it isn't creative to waste food. Its wasteful and actually, quite uncreative and a bit lazy!
The world's population is exploding and resources are getting scarcer. Food is a resource which we in the west must stop chucking out (and no, I don't care and it doesn't make it better if you compost it!).
Think about that statistic again. Over 33% of food bought in the UK is WASTED.
So, as of this weekend when food shopping and menu planning start again I am going to commit to the following;
1. to waste as little food as possible
2. to buy seasonal and economical food instead of expensive, imported, silly food
3. to eat only delicious food.
Point 3 is really important. I am not going to do this and suffer! Where's the point in that?!
I have other thoughts about food price rises, the right to eat meat as often as you like and bugger the consequences but I am now tired and so will blog again with more musings shortly..
But don't worry, I am not going to go all radical and militant and NO FUN. In fact, I reckon this could be a truly creative and delicious month ahead!
I love Christmas. Scrap that. I ADORE Christmas. What's not to love? I am totally bound up in the rituals of it all and am currently tracking down the perfect advent calendar for me. (For some lovely advent ideas have a look here). I don't like the chocolate filled ones, they are just not right, neither are the ones with branded characters, cartoons etc. I like a cardboard one with a beautiful festive scene and lovely little illustrations underneath every window, preferably of candy canes, puddings and angels. My all time favourite one was a Woodmansterne one with beautiful angels flying in a night sky. My personal all time low was one Dominic bought me in sheer desperation from a religious book shop, one with a nativity scene. The illustrations were really rubbish (the donkey looked demented) and behind each window was a pointer to a bit of the bible to read. I know Christmas is about Christ, the clue is in the title, but I am not especially religious and like to see it more as a yuletide celebration, a sort of shining beacon in the darkness and chill of deep winter. I realise the fact that my favourite one featured angels is a massive contradiction to what I have just said, but there you go. I am quite a contrary girl. And anges are pretty in a way that demented donkeys and sinister looking magi are not.
Anyway! The best bit of Christmas is of course the food. Food to me sums it all up, its about bounty, sharing, pleasure, decadence and comfort. A Christmas without Christmassy food is not worth considering. I am not one of those people who wants to go abroad somewhere hot for Christmas and eat Thai curry instead of a plump bird with all the trimmings. That would not do at all. I might consider Christmas in a colder-than-ours European country, perhaps somewhere like Sweden or Switzerland, where I am betting they do Christmas really, really well on the culinary front.
There is a little part of my brain permanently dedicated to Christmas food planning, but the planning really starts in earnest about now with the Christmas editions of all the food magazines that I buy.
The picture which opens this post is of my December food magazine file. In a way that is very uncharacteristically organised of me, I do keep my food magazines in files according to the month of the year so they can easily be referenced in future years. The Christmas one is full to the brim and I think I need to either get rid of some of the older ones (like the ones from the 90s maybe!) and make room for the new ones, or start another folder!
One Christmas magazine that I will never get rid of though is this one.
I bought this about 4 years ago, and now I drag it down from the box every year and spend a good hour re reading the wisom of Saint Delia. It is a classic and has some fab recipes in, including one that I have adapted into my own Christmas chutney 9recipe coming soon). I love the way that she says it goes well with 'assertive cheeses'. Everytime I read it I imagine chunks of stilton marching across the table and demanding to be accompanied!
I know people think Delia is perhaps a little dull, and certainly some of her programmes would suggest that a charisma bypass has infact been performed, but for simple, no nonsense and traditional recipes that don't fail, she cannot be beaten. Anyway, she has her wild side as can be seen here when after too many sherrys she gloriously abandoned her bland image and came over all firey - come on Delia!
So, here you have it
this years magazines, a glass of rioja and candlelight. Looks like I am in for a festive evening...
When it's cold and wet outside, there is something very cheering about unusual and tropical fruit. I think it was Nigel Slater who said that he can't have Christmas without a pineapple. Anyway, the weather has been really cold here oop north (and elsewhere I imagine!) and yesterday I felt miserable as at no point did my feet ever feel warm which always makes me a bit cross and whingey. But look what we found in Tescos! Instant cheer!
I hope that you have had one of these, they are gorgeous. The inside flesh is all custardy and sweet and sticky and as you can see they are very beautiful to look at too. If not, grab yourself one and find out for yourself. We generally find them in asian foodmarkets and the like but supermarkets do get them in sometimes. Like all of the fruit sold in supermarkets, they aren't ripe yet and if you also find one in Tesco, chances are it will be rock hard (or total mush - nothing in between is allowed it seems!). Wait until it yields slightly to a gentle squeeze, rather like you do with an avocado. Actually, the flesh texture is not disimilar to avocado, it has a similar butteriness going on, but is stickier and more silky textured. They have a very slight cheesiness to them too which sounds weird but trust me, is not.
I have no recipe for them for the simple fact that I cannot see any better way to serve than with a knife for opening, a spoon for scooping and a bowl for spitting all of the glossy black pips into.
This is for Janice who read my facebook status the other day when I made this and requested it for the blog.
Cauliflower Cheese Soup
I know that this soup doesn't LOOK exciting, but it really does taste great! Anyhow, I am a fan of 'white' food, pasta, mashed potato, risotto, need I say more? Colour in food is all well and good, but pale and soothing food can be wonderful.
Cauliflower cheese is lovely but I am trying to shift a few pounds, pre Christmas so that I can wear this dress and look super girly lovely! So, I have invented this soup that has all of the taste and a fraction of the fat and calories. Losing weight was never so much fun!
One medium cauliflower cut into florets
Two shallots, chopped fairly small
About a litre or so of vegetable stock
Two medium potatoes, diced into chunks
A matchbox sized piece of parmesan, finely grated
Put shallots into a pan and add enough stock to cover. Simmer for 10 mins until softened
Add the potatoes and add enough stock to cover. Cook for 8 mins
Then add the florets of cauliflower and more stock and cook for a further 6 mins.
Remove from heat and blitz with a handblender so that soup is a fairly liquidised but still has texture
Stir in the grated cheese.
If the soup is too thick for your taste, just thin out with more hot stock.
Lovely with some granary bread and a feeling of smug virtuosity :-)
The subject of this post is what I say to anyone who asks me what an oyster tastes like. Isn't that true? I have tried really hard but I can't come up with a better description. They taste like the sea! I introduced Mum and Maggie to them recently when I ordered them for lunch when we were all in Edinburgh and they agreed. They do. (BTW we ate in The Ship in Leith which doesn't appear to have a website but is very very good and if you are ever in the area do pop in as the food was really memorable).
Anyway, this isn't a recipe, just some nice pictures of oysters and my favourite place to get them! We are going to the cottage this weekend and I will be nipping into Whitby to visit this wee stall.
What's that? You can't see the seafood? Oh Ok then...
Not that much better but they were busy and whilst happy to be photographed by their greediest customers (we go a lot) we didn't want to interupt their busy trade.
However we did buy these...
Aren't they GORGEOUS?
Now it is of course lovely to eat Oysters in slingbacks with a glass of champagne at the ready. But there is something unbeatable about eating them, with a squeeze of lemon, sat on Whitby Pier with the wind in your hair and the sound of seagulls in your ears, watching the boats go by.
Sit. Slurp. Sigh.
So if you are ever in Whitby, walk down the harbour on the side opposite the Church and Abbey, past Woolworths, towards the pier. Next to a Gyspy fortune telling caravan with a mysterious scarved lady you will find Nobles and three freshly shucked osyters for £2.