Diet: Standard (Bulk)

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While I hold residence here at Charing Cross hospitals, I am officially on Diet: Standard (Bulk).

That’s what the printout states, and I think it is a fair description of what is being offered and served.

What goes as salad consist of a small handful of shredded Iceberg lettuce, half a industrial tomato (red but hard and flavourless), a spoon full of the main ingredient (caned tuna, shredded chicken, etc) and two packs of salad cream. I spotted a sweet corn on one occasion, but maybe that was a case of cross-contamination from a different dish. A ploughman’s salad didn’t come with bread, but a side order of a mayonnaise-rich potato salad was available. The omelette, documented in the printout on the left, didn’t come with most of the requested side orders. The omelette itself was dreadful, dry and cooked to death. You would think they’d make an omelette fluffy and nice by stretching the egg with milk, but no.

At the time of this writing I am on nil by mouth. Not the worst thing to happen, I think.

Roasted Pork Belly And … Whatever

201503251953591Last night’s supper, today’s lunch, and one of my current favourites.

I suppose this dish should be called Seasonal Vegetable Soup with Roasted Belly of Pork, but the pork belly is the star of the show no matter how delicious the soup is. So it’s really all about the roasted pork belly with crispy crackling skin and … whatever soup you find to go with it.

I added the pork belly recipe to our recipe collection, it’s right here: http://food.gauweiler.net/index.php/recipes/39-pork-belly.

Reuben’s

DSC_0936Yesterday’s supper is today’s lunch: a home-made Reuben’s sandwich, complete with home-made salt beef, Gruyère cheese, mustard, sauerkraut and toasted rye bread. D.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

We didn’t take photos this time, but this won’t be the last time I make salt beef.

I highly recommend Diana Henry’s Salt Sugar Smoke, which is both beautifully presented and offers very useful recipes – salt beef is one of them.

I always have my eyes peeled for a nice piece of brisket.

Bye Bye Annabell

DSC_0021Annabell, the beautifully waxy and ultimately flavoursome potatoes which be brought back from Neustadt in September are now officially gone. I just steamed the remainder for one last dish of Bratkartoffeln tonight, then it’ll be back to Elfe or Charlotte varieties. These aren’t bad, but they aren’t good either. They have the right consistency, but are lacking in the deep yellow colour, and in the rich flavour.

Hard times ahead.

(Picture shows Riesling grapes (I think). I didn’t have a nice picture of Annabell or a potato field, but at least the photos is taken in the right area.)

A Rosy View

dsc_0217Here’s a nice view on our second 2014 batch of rosehip jam, made from 2.7 kg or rosehip marc, made from 4.5 kg of rose hips. We foraged for the rose hips in and around the local Bunny Park and connected meadows around the Grand Union canal and the river Brent, paying the ultimate sacrifice in blood and loss of skin.

There’s a blood price to pay collecting them, and there’s another price to pay in preparing the jam, as the process isn’t exactly straight-forward. Rewarding though; we love the fruity silky jam on bread or toast, as a vanilla ice-cream mix-in, or as freshly churned rose hip ice cream.

Click here for the recipe: http://food.gauweiler.net/index.php/recipes/34-rosehip-jam

 

A Productive Year

20140905173906The garden has been very productive this year. We have many, many more raspberries, tomatoes, peas and beans than every before, plus all the herbs, several batches of leaf lettuce three mini-pomegranates and five olives. Only the courgettes were better in previous years.

We enjoyed some of the runner beans when they were green, young and tender. A good amount of those is still in the freezer. I harvested approximately 1/4 of the remaining beans today, after deciding to let them grow into real beans. The girlish colour-scheme aside they look marvellous, don’t they?

We also made Blackberry jam, Mango jam (with late Indian mangoes) and two batches of yummy Tomato Jam.

Not bad for a tiny suburban garden, methinks.

Golden Mango Mystery

DSC_1005There’s no Golden Mango Season. Not this year, not where we live. In previous years, and for a few weeks only, the streets of London’s suburbia are lined with piles of boxes of the most delicious Golden Mango from countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

I asked one of our local Afghani shopkeepers where the mangos were this year. He wasn’t sure but thought he heard rumours about bacteria or fungal infections preventing import into the European Union.

Even Google knows little, but I found this intersting commentary by Tahmima Anam in the New York Times, which sheds light on a number of things in relation to Golden Mangos, and their shortage. Apparently, the Golden Mangoes are rotting on the trucks and in the fields away after having been found sprayed with formalin, a strong solution of formaldehyde. According Wikipedia, the Bangladesh government issued a formalin control law in 2014.

Not sure how this applies to the mangoes of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but at least it explains the absence of Golden Mango from our streets to some extend. Maybe the Pakistani and Afghani are too busy fighting over beliefs or running for their lives.

[Edit]
Turns out that shipments of Indian mangoes (and other produce) are banned from import into Europe after fruit fly infection has been discovered.
[/Edit]

Kippers ’R’ Us

DSC_0439Kippers ‘R’ Us today, with this lovely new Kippers Salad. A base from young potatoes, radishes and asparagus in a rouille dressing with boiled quail eggs and smoked oily fish. We used Kippers (Scottish smoked herring), but smoked Mackerel or similar smoked oily fish would also work.

The full recipe is here: Kippers Salad. Check it out.

Harvest Time

broadbeans

Over 1400g of broad beans, after shelling. Pretty good for a tiny area, less than one meter square.

I’m mighty pleased with this harvest, especially after finishing removing each bean’s outer skin.

We enjoyed a summer vegetable garden soup with crispy grilled belly of pork yesterday.

 

We Fish You a Very Merry Christmas

menuHappy Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!

Curious readers may click here for a PDF version of our 2013 Christmas Menu. We find it funny that Nigel recommends a fish and seafood Christmas in this past Sunday’s Observer, but I assure you that our decision was taken much earlier.

You find recipes for most parts of this meal on our new food site (food.gauweiler.net). The scallops, the mackerel tarte, the parfaits.

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