Tag Archives: Stilton

Sunday Salad

I’m showing off now – three posts, and the final one is about salad. Can’t generally stand the stuff, which is for girls, rabbits and Liberals, but now and again I do feel like a salad, particularly as I have been filling up on stodge this week, so it was time for a salad to give my stomach a break.

It wasn’t too bad.I started with rocket, then added slices of pear, a scatter of red peppers, home-grown red and yellow tomatoes, shop-bought coleslaw (I was feeling lazy), a fig, crumbled Stilton and some sweet potato pakora (also bought).

I always feel guilty about shop-bought coleslaw, but do I really want to be elbow deep in sliced cabbage and grated carrot or do I want to pass  over 85 pence?

I meant to add sliced mushrooms and balsamic vinegar but I forgot.

Looking at the picture, it seems that you can see a lot of plate through the salad, but I assure you, it was filling.

I had to face an unpalatable fact this afternoon, and I don’t mean the salad. I’m just not very good at writing fact-filled posts. I spent several hours researching a post and trying to write it and so far, have come up with six hundred works of seriously soporific pap. It’s fortunate I’m not in full alliteration mode…

Sometimes I get it right, but more often than not I end up droning on with increasing pomposity as I cull facts from Wikipedia.

I’m much better at lightweight pieces about salad, or talking about my plums.

Or making puerile plum puns with potentially perplexing polysemy.

(Apologies if polysemy isn’t quite the right word, but I needed something beginning with p, knew that poly was a promising start and Googled the rest. If I’m wrong I will have to endure the vilification of lexicographers, but I can’t see that being much of a problem).

 

A Slightly Unsatisfactory Day

I started the day at Cropwell Bishop, home of one of the six licensed Blue Stilton manufacturers in the UK.

We now have a large piece of organic Stilton lurking in the kitchen. I thought I’d go organic because it’s supposed to be better for us, and if you are going to the dairy for a quality product you might as well go organic.

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Stilton – possibly the world’s most perfect cheese

I tested the Beauvale and the Shropshire Blue but didn’t buy any. I will probably have to test it again a few times. You have to love a place that gives you free cheese!

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Just to give an idea of scale

It’s strange that the producers of Shropshire Blue don’t in the main, come from Shropshire, particularly when they are so keen to protect the Stilton brand.

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One of the advantages of EU Membership

Second call of the day was Lidl for a few odds and ends, though there were a lot of empty shelves where there was a change of stock going on. They have small shopping trolleys for children to use, which seems like a nice touch for families. By the time you’ve tripped over the third trolley pushing child it seems to be less of a nice touch.

I took a list with me but couldn’t get everything, which is a bit annoying. I’ve always found shopping at Lidl and Aldi to be more of a lucky dip than a weekly shop. However, I’m only one shop away from being 100% Christmas ready.

Famous last words.

The ill-fated list - note the dental appointment was 10 minutes too soon for humour

The ill-fated list – note the dental appointment was 10 minutes too soon for humour

Finally, it was time for the dentist. I’m not keen on a mouthful of sharp tools but apart from that it was OK. They even gave me a tube of toothpaste as a Christmas gift.

Time for a poem – licorice is food so this should do it, and preserve the link to food. For blue cheese and licorice ice cream look here.

I will add photos tomorrow. (A day later – I just added photos).

Notes on Food

We had the final two bean burgers tonight, served up with salad, mayonnaise, ketchup and a soft white roll. Julia’s was a little dry, despite the mayo. Mine was nice and moist. The difference between the two was that she had the one that I hadn’t dropped in the  washing up bowl. That’s what happens when you work in a cramped space and don’t tidy up as you go.

Luckily I was able to grab it quickly and dry it with kitchen paper. It was good, but even if it did produce a nice moist burger it’s not a technique I’ll be recommending.

No pictures – we ate it before I remembered.

We will be having soup for lunch tomorrow, and at least one other day. I made a big pan of it yesterday. It’s sweet potato, butternut squash, chilli and ginger. Initial tests indicate it’s tasty and I’m likely to have clear sinuses by the end of the week. Chilli and ginger are both good for you so I’m starting to add more to all my recipes.

After drawing a blank last night I found a fully-stocked offal section at the supermarket today and now have the sheep hearts I need for hearts and plum sauce. I also have plums, though I’m feeling guilty about buying out of season Chilean plums.

Strange that I could buy plums but couldn’t buy Bramley apples. Even stranger, when looking at the cheese TESCO stocks four sorts of goat’s milk cheese but only two sorts of Stilton. Even if you accept goat’s milk cheese as proper cheese there’s no excuse for only stocking two sorts of Stilton when we’re in the geographically protected area.

 

 

 

 

Cheese scones and butterflies

I won’t deny it, when I look at the title I can’t help thinking that butterflies in  a light tempura batter would make an interesting dish. It would also be likely to result in an outcry, and possibly a prosecution. All in all, I think I will give it a miss. They probably don’t taste that good anyway. I remember Number Two son describing chilli-coated scorpions (he doesn’t mess about when it comes to street food) when he came back from China – no meat, no taste – just chilli and crunch. I suspect butterflies, in the absence of a chitin shell to crunch, will just taste of batter. Here is some research on the edibility of butterflies.

We have had a lot of small tortoiseshells in the last few weeks – up to eighteen on the red buddleia, which seems to be the new bush of choice. Despite dead-heading the blue one is fading. That’s good to see after not seeing one small tortoiseshell for months in the middle of summer.

As I dried a cloth out on the decking a Speckled Wood dropped by for a drink. I had no camera, of course.

I ended the week with a splurge of 200 salt dough shapes – all farm animals for Flintham Show next week, but lost a considerable amount of time when the Farmer’s Sister turned up to set up the cafe.  Not sure why feeding people bacon cobs takes precedence over educating the nation (though colouring salt dough shapes isn’t going to develop many Nobel Laureates, I confess) but that’s how it is. She won, the nation lost. Blood, they say, is thicker than water, and if this happens again we may get a chance to test that observation.

We also carried on with the cheese scone experiment, and finally seem to have nailed the flavouring in the Stilton and date variety, which is good news as there is a limit to the number of scones you can test. In my case it’s a higher limit than you may think, but there’s still a limit.

On Pies and Prejudice (also known as “the other blog” I’m already running into a problem with pie reviews – I just don’t want to eat another pie. Or Scotch Egg. It isn’t a problem at the moment because I have a couple of reviews already written, but in a week or two I’d better have recovered my appetite or I’m going to start wishing I had used another title.

 

 

Toddlers, scones and grants

Another day, another group!

What, you didn’t think I was going to relax did you?  It was a playgroup today,  Beavers on Tuesday night and the second half of the playgroup on Thursday. It’s not quite the endurance test that last week was, but it’s enough. Much as I’d like to indulge my natural talents as a world class slacker, I have to work when there are wages to be had.

The trouble with playgroups is that the kids zip around like miniature demons looking for mischief to get into. They don’t mean it, but it seems logical to them to lose their parent, fill a friend’s pocket with stones or disappear as you turn your back.  They think adventure, the parents think tragedy and I think reams of paperwork. Fortunately they never seem to come to any harm, but you worry all the same.

We made more cheese scones today, using the “mistake” from the session on Saturday. One of the guide groups had used a tablespoonful of  baking powder to 225g of flour instead of 1 teaspoon. All it needed was 450g of flour to restore the proportions and three of us set to work producing scones, which were then consumed at the end of the day. They were OK, but not very cheesy, which is a bit of a let-down for a recipe labelled “cheese scones”.

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The scone crew

It’s always been a reliable recipe, and I suspect that they main problem was the quality of the cheese and lack of other seasoning. When I’ve made them before I’ve often added either mustard powder or chives to the mix, which both enhance flavour. In the case of the mustard it also renders the scones implausibly yellow. I generally use the cheap ready-grated cheese from Tesco, so can’t complain about the cheese. I’m thinking of making them with either finely cubed strong cheddar or Stilton next time, rather than grated, to see what happens.

The problem is that I’ve baked cheese scones twice in three days and my enthusiasm for testing improved versions is declining to the point where I don’t actually want to see another one for a while.

Talking of Stilton, our local cheese, I wonder what will happen to its protected status. Say what you like about the EU, and let’s face it, a lot has been said recently, it has been good for protecting our speciality food.

Leading on from that, we have had a message about ringing to talk about our grant application now the referendum is over. Can’t wait to see what happens about that…

 

 

Tell me what you eat

Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.

I’m at work today, seeing someone about a booking. I quite like working on Sundays as it’s peaceful and I can get a lot done. Apart from walking round showing our facilities, I’ve caught up with emails, sent photos to people, done some invoicing and seen what is happening out there in the wordpress universe. As usual I have found there is more information out there than I can comfortably absorb.

That reminded me I wanted to look up a quotation from Brillat-Savarin. The quotation was duly found.

“You first parents of the human race…who ruined yourself for an apple, what might you have done for a truffled turkey?”

It seems simpler, and less funny, than when I heard it on Radio 4 a couple of weeks ago, and with the mention of truffles (I swear they had been chestnuts on the radio) it’s a lot less useful for marketing the Christmas turkeys.

Fortunately I did find the quote I used in the first line of this post, so it wasn’t a wasted visit.

So, what does my eating tell you about me?

Well, I had sausage, beans and chips last night, so I’m not a gourmet. The night before that we had vegetable curry with flatbreads. That tells you I’m too lazy to cook rice, and (as the sausages establish me as a non-vegetarian) that I’m too tight to buy meat for every meal. And then we come to today’s lunch – Stilton cheese in croissants. That may mean that I appreciate good cheese and have a sophisticated taste in baked goods.

Or it may merely tell you that I still have a child at home who ate all the cheddar and bread and didn’t tell me I needed to buy more. I say “child” – he was 23 this week but while he’s raiding the fridge he’ll always be a child to me.

I should be grateful to him, because it was a rather fine combination, even though it was born from lack of choice. It is one I’m eager to repeat and a search is now on for an appropriate relish to go with it. TESCO Finest Chilli Relish is my current favourite and seems to work well with everything I’ve tried it with. I may look for something slightly more traditional, maybe something with pears or figs.

The customary food blog photograph of Stilton and croissants is, you may notice, missing. As usual with my attempts at food blogging my appetite suppressed my photographic urges and the resulting plate of croissant crumbs didn’t really do the subject justice.

Greedy, lazy, tight. If Brillat-Savarin is right I really need to alter my diet.

Anyone for truffle sandwiches on sourdough?