Vegetable Soup

You know, there are some days when you just can't be bothered. Today was one of them.

seems to have got a 'bug' and I think I'm 'sickening' for it so neither of us were very eatified. With the girls out at Alton Towers which is open 'till 9 o'clock tonight, we just fancied something simple and decided on soup and an omelet.

Now I'm not going to do a detailed recipe for a vegetable soup, it ain't rocket science after all, you can make it as easy or as hard as you like

I couldn't be bothered to 'sweat' the veg in oil before adding the liquid so consoled myself that not doing this must be more healthy! I chopped the veg I had to hand, a potato, parsnip, carrot, a couple of leeks, 3 tomatoes, and about 3 pieces of celery - the tender middle bits. I boiled these in some water with salt and pepper and after about 10 minutes added some small cauliflower florets, a sieved can of chopped tomatoes and a glug of light soy sauce. 5 or 6 minutes later I thickened it with potato flour. Job done.

Vegetable soup

Not exactly the classic way, but nice all the same. The croutons were just a couple of left over soft rolls, cut up and mixed with some oil and chopped garlic. They went into the oven for about 15 minutes as today's bread was cooking.

Chelsea Bun-ish Recipe

Now I know if I call this recipe a Chelsea Bun, someone (You know who you are - Robert!) will come along and say, "Oh, no it's not, a Chelsea bun is made with currants, lemon zest, or whatever and glazed with the milk of a particular species of Yak, only found on one lost island in Battersea Park!" Hence the 'ish' in the title.

Chelsea Buns

I made these a couple of weeks ago from a recipe in Prue Leith and Caroline Waldegrave's Cookery Bible, but wasn't 100% happy with them. Here's my take on the recipe, it still needs fine tweaking, but hey-ho.

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Chelsea Buns

Chelsea Buns

I made these this afternoon using a recipe from Leith's Cookery Bible. They're fine, but I need to tweak the recipe before I'll be 100% happy with it, so I'll post it another day.

Festivals and Pork Pies

The East Midland's Food Festival

The UK's Largest Regional Food Festival was held at Brooksby Hall, near Melton Mowbray, on the 4th and 5th October and, of course, you could expect Local Food Heroes to bring you all the most up to date news from the event - well you could if I'd actually visited it!

Now, a clever journo would just write a piece pretending to be there - but remember, this ain't the News of the World, it's me, a thick git who pontificuts pintificoats writes this stupid stuff.

I did get a mention in dispatches though. All around 'good egg' Jules over on The Domestic Goddess in Training blog went to the event, and more importantly thanked me for reminding her to go! Apart from her obsession with Farrington's Rapeseed Oil from Northamptonshire, rather than Leicestershire's own Welland Valley Oil, she's brilliant.

Melton Mowbray Pork Pie

Melton Pork PieThis week also saw Melton Mowbray Pork Pies getting the accreditation they deserve; the interim PGI issued by the EU in April has, I understand, received no objections and so will be made final. Cor Blimey, it's almost like a divorce, they'll be calling them Decree Nisi and Absolute next.

Regular readers will know that I have always had issues with the area defined for their manufacture; to include Wellingborough about 38 miles away, but not places only 12 miles away, and to include Northampton, but not the whole of Leicestershire, is just plain stupid. The area, defined in the application, is justified by all sorts of clap-trap about history, tradition etc; they then chose that great historical and traditional road, The M1, as the western boundary - that's historical since 1965 then lads eh! The reason for all of this was to satisfy the demands of large commercial producer Saxbys, who ironically stopped making Pork Pies virtually as soon as they got the concession!

I also think that they were foolish not to include both Melton Pork Pie and Melton Mowbray Pork Pie in the application to avoid any confusion.

It seems to me that leaving groups of producers to apply for these protected status areas is fraught with problems. Not least the commercial rivalry between the companies involved. There's got to be a better way.

There, I've got it off my chest. At the end of the day though, it's great that people buying a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie should be guaranteed that it's authentic - but it doesn't mean that other pies aren't good. In other parts of the Country some fine raised pork pies are being made, Eley's for example; one of my informants tells me that Eleys have a letter from Dickinson and Morris admitting that their pie is actually better than the D & M one, fact or urban myth?

P.S. The picture of the pie above is labelled Melton Pork Pie. I live to the West of the 'historical' M1 so can't call it a Melton Mowbray Pork Pie; it's better than any you'll buy there though.

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Quorn Bacon Roll

The mind starts to 'boggle' when you read about The Quorn Bacon Roll Day. What on earth's a Quorn Bacon Roll? Some form of bacon butty? Even worse, a bacon roll made from that tasteless meat subsitute that, presumably in jest, someone named after the Capital of Hunting? It's none of these, it's glorious traditional savoury suet pudding with bacon, onion and herbs.

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