It’s been 5 months since my last post – a case of too much time eating and not enough time writing about it (though that is, of course, the best way round…). One trip that definitely deserves a belated mention is a trip we took to Belgium last November. Friends of ours had returned from a holiday on America’s West coast raving about sours. As sours are based on the Belgian lambic method and Belgium is a hell of a lot closer than the US, we decided to spend a long weekend in search of Gueuze. These are the beer tasting notes from the trip.
For our birthdays this year, our families had bought us both a voucher for lunch at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. At the time we were in the depths of moving house and when we booked, August seemed like ages away, but all of a sudden the day was here and we found ourselves starched and pressed and on the long drive to Oxfordshire.
Years ago we did a great walk from Brockenhurst to Lymington along footpaths and country roads. In fact, it was so good, I remember us doing it 2 weekends in a row, then the weather turned bad and normal life took over and we forgot all about it the following year. For some reason it came to mind this weekend and coincided with 2 eerily rain-free days.
I made an oxtail curry on Friday, the by-product of which was a gloriously intense broth from slow-cooking the oxtail with whole spices. The smell of the stock cooking took me back to our trip last year to Vietnam and my many attempts to recreate the dish with Hampshire briskett back home.
I’ve just come back from 10 days in the South West of France and I’m already mourning the end of lunchtime drinking and river swimming. The weather hasn’t helped – flying back over the New Forest and seeing fields that were more puddle than grass wasn’t a welcome sight. I am pleased to be back in my own kitchen however, with plenty of holiday food inspiration, but all the benfits of sharp knives, a gas hob and the much missed coffee paraphernalia.
Traditionally I always make a cake for my friend Lianne (aka Lion) on her birthday and this is this year’s effort.
Here are a few pics from today’s New Forest Show demo…. full write up soon!
I love the cookery theatre at the New Forest Show – there’s such a good atmosphere amongst the stallholders and the back stage team are just utterly lovely. I’m only able to do the Wednesday this year, but I’m very excited that my demonstration is the one that’s going to be taking place when Her Majesty the Queen visits our area (no pressure!). In honour of our royal visitor, I have devised a ‘Best of British’ menu that I hope the audience will enjoy. Here’s a preview of the recipes.
I’m getting ready for 3 days of cookery demonstrations at the ‘Festival Place 3 Star Food Festival‘ which starts this Friday. Sadly, I’m not one of the 3 stars in the title – that accolade goes to James Martin, Rachel Allen and the brilliant Olly Smith, who will be comparing the event. I’m honoured none-the-less to have been asked to be part of the event and very excited about demonstrating some of my favourite seasonal cocktails and local produce canapes to match.
We’re off to visit Justin’s little sister and family this evening for dinner and I promised to make dessert. You know how sometimes you have to think for ages about what to make and other times you just instantly know? This was one of the latter: Black forest brownie cupcakes….
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