Rhubarb makes a wonderful crumble and a devilishly good fool. Its astringency can cut through the most fatty of foods and its delicate colour is about the only thing around at the moment that isn't green or brown. It's also citrus season with Satsuma's, tangerines and blood oranges galore. It seems a shame to eat all the members of the orange family just for their cold preventing benefits.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
The Carnarvon Arms seems to have a bit of a reputation for being one of the best places to eat in the Newbury area. Are these rumours unfounded or based on exquisite experiences had by everyone who has been there? Before my most recent visit, I had been before and it was good. I wanted to try it again with a now more sophisticated, some might say picky, palate. We arrived with no booking on a week night, the staff behind the bar were lovely and friendly and we got a good, albeit cold, table.
Bread, oil and vinegar is a favourite of mine and I think the bread served can tell you a lot about a restaurant. This bread was below average. The oil it came with was in what I can only assume is meant to be a 'fun' traffic light formation. It certainly wasn't there to serve any taste purpose. I think that restaurant bread can take two forms; the first a really fantastic example of simple bread or secondly a selection of more unusual or flavoured breads. We had boring brown and wearisome white. They weren't crusty, weren't warm and worst of all they were stale. When we informed our waiter of this he said, "OK".
Friday, 20 January 2012
The beetroot is a vegetable of many guises. I have been fortunate enough to obtain, consume and even grow some of the purple, the pink and white striped and the golden. There's nothing quite like a beetroot; so earthy and yet so sweet. Growing beetroot has been, in my experience, immeasurably easy. I think it helped that I slightly cheated and bought plug plants rather than seeds but irrespective of this they were all a success. If you were to grow just one thing, broad beans or beetroot would be my recommendation to you. It's only January so there's plenty of time to get some dirt under those fingernails.
Friday, 13 January 2012
Cooked cabbage and a wet flannel have an unfortunate amount of textures in common. Particularly if, like me, you were put off cabbage at school where it was boiled to what can only be described as wallpaper paste. Things have moved on since then and I wanted to give the cabbage a chance. I've baked it, boiled it, steamed it and fried it. Apart from frying, none of these yielded any spectacular, life changing results. Nevertheless I wasn't about to give up on them; they are pretty much the only thing in season right now so I have no choice. If I have learnt anything about the cabbage it is that determination is key.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
I have seen a few of the Food Bloggers Unplugged posts and I think it's such a good idea. We read each others posts all the time but how much do we actually know about the people writing, taking photos and talking to us. The lovely Urvashi from her Botanical Baker blog tagged me for this one!
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
There are so many vegetables around at the moment and fruit is a little thin on the ground. To save me turning into a cabbage I felt I needed something other than a clementine to lift me out of my Savoy stupor. Persimmons (or Sharon Fruit) were something that I had never tried; for some reason they were forever unobtainable. I did manage to get hold of them eventually and was then thoroughly perplexed as to what to do with them.