Pubs, restaurants, supermarket, shops, coffee shops and basically anything to do with food and drink.
It is said that one in every eight pounds spent in shops in the UK, is spent in Tesco. That's 12½p out of every pound goes in to Tesco's tills. And that's just one supermarket. There's Sainsburys, Asda and Morrisons to consider as well.
Don't know about you, but I think that's scary and have done for a while. Supermarkets in general are dominating our lives. And they're spreading out like wildfire.
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Good bread needs time to make.
Now time isn't something that modern supermarket bread gets a lot of. Your average white sliced loaf will be mixed, proved (left to rise), baked, cooled, sliced and wrapped in about three hours. In terms of flavour, it's the proving time that's the most important. This is the time that the yeast and ingredients do all their stuff. The time that the flavours develop and mature.
Your average supermaket sliced loaf gets a mere forty five minutes to do this.
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Rice salad, carrots, some meaty stuff and cold sprouts?
A bread making machine doesn’t necessarily mean the end to experimentation in your baking.
No longer knead the dough.
When I tell people about how wonderful sprout soup is, everyone looks at me as if I’m completely insane. But sprout soup is amazing. I know you won’t believe me but put that thought of overboiled sprouts and their ugly taste behind you and try this.
What if I was to tell you that you could make a decent loaf with no needing and that all you needed to do was quickly mix your ingredients together, leave it overnight then bake it first thing? And the bread it made was rather good?
Like her more famous book, Grub on a Grant, Quick and Easy Cooking for Students offers a plethora of simple but tasty meals. Its more recent publication date means it has a greater emphasis on those staples of modern living like pasta and rice, but also takes the opportunity to introduce people to other grains like bulgar wheat and cous-cous.
Linda Collister’s book has become my bread bible ever since Catherine bought me a copy for my birthday. After a recipe for a standard loaf and details of how to make a sour dough starter, the book is split into different regions of the world, and contains a number of different recipes in each section, starting with America.
For vegetarians Thai food poses a real problem due to the fact that most Thai recipes use fish sauce in the same way that we might use salt and pepper. Thankfully with the help of one book, a good solution can be found…
Whilst I said no to following my job to Salford some time ago (a whopping 18 months in fact) some people within my team have recently been brought into scope for the move and as such it’s barely a week that goes by that doesn’t involve some exciting news or inspiring knowledge appearing in my inbox all designed to show just how great the new offices will be.
For a bit of a break in the Coast to Coast posts (mainly as I’ve got a huge photo backlog and haven’t finished typing up and editing the remaining posts), it’s time to talk home grown fruit and veg!
You never quite realise how you rely on something until it’s gone.
The concept of Cranks Fast Food is a simple one - brilliant, tasty vegetarian food in under 30 minutes - many can be easily done in 15-20 minutes.. Living in a country where sizeable proportions of the population live off ready meals because ‘cooking takes too long’, it’s a book you often want to wave in front of people going ‘LOOK! IT’S EASY!’
31% of people in India are vegetarian, and it’s the country of the world with the most vegetarians. Some regions are more vegetarian than others, and in the Gujarit region, the population and food are primarily vegetarian. So no surprise then that Gujurati cuisine has come up with some excellent dishes over the years.
Over the years, author Clas Clarke became almost the Delia of student cooking and Grub on a Grant became known by many as the student cookbook bible, thanks to its extremely easy to follow recipes which were simple, and wholesome and tasty.
The book covers everything, and starts with the basics. Rather than presenting you with just the recipes, the book explores the equipment you need, general techniques and information about key ingredients.
Cast your mind back to 1961. It’s the swinging sixties and you’re on Carnaby Street. Far out man. There’s fashion everywhere. And a restaurant.. And oh look it’s vegetarian. That’s good healthy food man!
Over the years we’ve now amounted a sizeable cookbook collection, so I’ve decided to review them. I’m going to share what I have and review them for you, sharing what’s good and what’s bad in the veggie cook book arena.
As I’ve probably mentioned on this blog before, Catherine and myself purchase our regular dosage of fruit and veg from an organic box scheme.
One cookery programme firmly with the recession in mind however the recent Economy Gastronomy. Every week, the presenters would pop over to someone’s house, try to get them to plan their meals and eat more sensibly.
I’m not sure what food you could find in Merton though. There’s some elderflowers nearby but not many. You can buy Wimbledon honey at the Wimbledon Common windmill or at the National Trust shop at Morden Hall Park. Mind you there’s the blackberries. Loads of them.
Regular readers will know that I like my food, and I’m keen on quality. I’ve baked my own bread for around two years now (and indeed, as I type, there’s a malthouse loaf proving in the kitchen), and I like to eat good quality food.
Being a bit of a keen cook, and someone who likes to do things reasonably properly if possible, I know Delia wasn’t really aimed at me. I mean, there’s just no way on earth you’ll find frozen mashed potato in my freezer.
Just had them for the first time after a work lunchtime visit to A Cooke’s pie and mash shop on the Goldhawk Road. Makes you wonder how something which looks so disgusting, can actually be so wonderfully tasty…
There’s an interesting article about complaints in the BBC staff canteens, in the Sunday Telegraph.
In France, Catherine ate on average 3.2 different cheeses per day. That’s a lot of cheese.
Quite frankly, the Jumbuck’s pie I ate this evening, was by far the blandest, most tasteless food I have ever, EVER eaten in my life. This wasn’t bad tasting. This was just non-existant tasting. It apparently had meat in it. I know cos I put some in my mouth. But it just tasted of, well nothing. It was is my tastebuds had gone on a hundred mile hike, and wouldn’t be back for another fortnight.
In August 2005 myself and Catherine went on holiday to Iceland. However there’s one thing that makes any travelling vegetarian nervous, it’s the issue of food. In a special guest post (cos she doesn’t have her own blog), I’ve allowed Catherine to fill up the server with a post about it.
Every now and then, you want to go out for a good Sunday lunch. There’s something so good about going out for Sunday lunch - having a nice meal, reading the paper and so on, with perhaps a nice stroll afterwards. Today on a whim we decided to head for somewhere where a good Sunday lunch would be almost guarenteed. Today we headed for the poshness of Hampstead.
If you’ve never come across one, they’re exactly like Aberdeen Angus Steak Houses. And if you’ve never seen one of those, they have big clunky signs, everything is red inside and they look plain awful.
Farmers markets are a dangerous place where I scour the place sampling, tasting, and thinking about how nice it would be to buy some of that stuff there, before hastily pulling myself back and saying, well yes, but what would you actually do with it?
Watching it and seeing the processed crap that kids get served at school… well I’m not particularly impressed.
The odd boasts of a packet of crisps.
The true path to looking good is eating well - but eating well doesn’t have to be fattening!
It’s been over a year since I last ate Beef and Guinness Pie at the Red Lion, but I was not disappointed tonight.
Chips from a vending machine? Sometimes you just have to try these things. Why, who knows, but you do.
The amazing McDonalds redefinition of the phrase ‘here to stay’.
Pub food doesn’t have to be scampi and chips, or mass produced Chicken Tikka Masalla. It can be homemade, creative and interesting. You just have to find the pub…