Plate Britain

Everyone loves bacon, right? Well, except my vegetarian girlfriend, but I’m working on that.

I’d imagine, after the ubiquitous chicken, bacon is right up there as one Britain’s most popular meats. Indeed, we apparently get through 800,000 tonnes of it a year. The problem is,  the vast majority of this is really not very good quality. As this report in the Telegraph says, the majority of it is made from imported pigs, reared in very poor conditions. Not only is this cruel on the pigs (which are of course extremely intelligent animals, more than capable of outwitting me at most things) but animals raised this way undoubtedly produce low quality pork and bacon.

On top of this, mass produced bacon is cured in a manner which gets it on the shelves quickly but results in a significantly inferior product. As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says in his Meat book, rather than rubbing…

View original post 676 more words

Advertisements

Roast Chicken and Stock

Cooking for one, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned on occasion before, can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance. I often find I either cook too much or too little, it’s a rare occasion when I get it right. But I think maybe that’s more a case of my eye’s are bigger than my stomach more often than not.

I did my shop in Lidl this week. I got to say, I love Lidl. They do great deals and you actually really do notice a difference in price, a big difference in price. I got quite a lot, meat for the week, some vegetables and some baking ingredients with some change from €25! I always used to do a big shop in Tesco every fortnight, once a month, but I have to say in recent months, I’ve noticed things have become very expensive. I’d have very little in my trolley, but would have to hand out €60!

I decided to go with a whole chicken this week. Excellent value at €3.69 for a free range chicken (medium sized). I roasted the chicken on Tuesday evening, lathering the bird in a herby garlicy butter first off. Check it out. Yum!

Roast Chicken

The main reason I bought the chicken was to make my own batch of stock. I wanted to make a couple of soups and have some stock on standby in the freezer for risotto’s and such in the future.

So as I’m living in a rental house, we don’t have everything to hand. After messing around between saucepans for a while, trying to find one big enough to hold the carcass, vegetables and plenty of water. Then I found an old pasta saucepan that my mom pawned to me a couple of years ago. While not so good for cooking pasta, I find the pasta sticks to the basket, it was perfect for making stock. I placed the carcass and plenty of vegetables and herbs (red onions, carrots, garlic, meat juices, rosemary, oregano, thyme) into the basket and filled the saucepan with water.

Stock

I allowed the broth to simmer slowly for 2.5 hours. Then once ready, it was as easy as lifting the basket out of the saucepan and binning the remains. Then strain and restrain the stock until it is a smooth liquid.

I poured some of the stock into freezer bags, to be used again.

Strain the liquid

Then made a soup with the remainder of the stock.

The finished stock

A Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup, which was sooo good! I don’t have the images of the soup on me right now, but I’ll share those in the next post!

A Take on Eton Mess

Howdy! I’m tres-excited today. I finished work and am now on annual leave for the next 12 days! No alarm for 12 days – beyond excited!! Planning to do a lot of cooking, baking, sleeping, sight-seeing, catching up with friends, sleeping…you get the picture! 🙂 And the highlight of my staycation will be ROBBIE WILLIAMS on Friday night!!

So as I was in a very good mood this evening after work, I decided a little treat was in order. An Eton Mess of sorts!

I used this recipe for the Meringues, but this time they were pink! Now Rachel Allen recommended piping the meringue mixture, then dipping a skewer into food colouring and swirling this in the meringues. I didn’t like this, I found it to be quite messy. I think next time I’ll swirl it into the meringue mixture before piping and see how that works out.

Pink Meringues

Piped Meringues

Chop some fresh berries and set aside.

Fresh Berries

Begin layering the dish. I started with a dollop of cream in the bottom of the glass. Then add a generous glug of Passion Fruit curd – recipe here. Add some broken up meringue. Top with some fresh fruit. Add another layer of meringue and then top with another layer of cream. Absolutely delicious!!

Eton Mess

Thanks for all the follows so far! Please remember to ‘Like’ the Facebook page as well here!

Garden Works

I moved into my house share almost six months ago and have been working on the garden gradually. There’s a huge amount of potential for the garden, it’s got some nice features to it, but it takes a lot of work and sometimes I can be quite lazy. As you can see below, I let it go a little wild – but in fairness, the weeds just keep on growin’! I had weeded this out completely about 3 weeks prior to taking this photo.

The patio is covered in weeds again, but thanks to some googling, I’ve found an environmentally-friendly way of killing those nasty weeds. I weeded out the whole lot and then threw boiling water over the spots where the weeds once were to kill the roots. It’s been a couple weeks now and they haven’t grown back, so fingers crossed! 🙂

And the after shots! I must point out that there is still some work to do here. It’s still a little bit untidy, but I’ll fix that up. I’ve planted some beautiful nasturtiums that add a lovely bright colour to the garden. There’s also a few strawberry pots there as you can see.

 

There were previously two large trees in our garden, but they were chopped down around 18 months ago. The stumps have been left, but I think they’ll make quite a nice feature to the garden once I’ve managed to clear away most the ivy!

There are two kind of sections to the garden. I’ve planted flowers to the front of the garden and hope to turn the bottom half into a herb/vegetable garden. Although there’s not all that much room for vegetable growing. Ideally I would like to put down a layer of gravel on the flower bed, but it’s a rental house and it can be an expensive job, so I’m trying to think of alternatives. If you have any suggestions, shout out! Thanks!

Hello world!

Hi….and welcome to the Anonymous Rambler. What’s the story with the blog I hear you say. Well. 1. It’s boredom. And 2. I felt it was time to start writing again.

I’ll cover an array of topics on the blog…food, quirky internet finds, music, movies, travel…and of course, the odd rant. I’ve never been known as one to rant. It’s going to take some time to get used to this. So hopefully soon, the site will become one worth visiting. Till next time…