Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Merry Christmas 2014   Leave a comment

Peking Duck 1

Okay, it’s the evening and I’m piecing this together from photos.  So, this morning I had a lie in (usually up at 4 to 4:30, today it was 8:45), then we had a leisurely coffee until Jackie suggested, “I feel a bit weak from last night…fancy a port?” “No, how about a rum?”

And with that the kettle was on and two shots each were in the mugs with some brown sugar and butter and soon we were medicating.  Happy Christmas.

Peking Duck 2

I started the duck the day before which involved scalding the bird 5 times in a boiling water and malt vinegar bath, internally coating with five spices, then cooling and drying overnight before coating with a maltose, soy, and rice vinegar and baking slowly for fucking ever.

2014-12-25

Along the way, I fitted in a run around the buurt and broke a real sweat and somehow got the sugar equilibrium back under me before drawing a hot bath and putting on some Christmas radio.  It was a sunny, if cool, day so the bath was going to be relaxing looking out on the world…even more relaxing since Jac noticed her glass of sloe gin left just a shot of our precious fluid for me to carry in with me.  A delight.

post run sloe gin no fizz

She wasn’t expecting the dinner to take so long (I already had the cornbread for the southern style dressing done and was awaiting the crust for the sweet potato pie while the tub filled).  So, I had her set out a bit of runny brie and open a grand bottle of old St Emilion to breathe.  It was lovely but I needed to come up with something for the dinner.

The Lussac St Emilion was perfect and the dinner was Christmasy enough (Jewish Christmas, like the link in the previous post but Christmas nonetheless) considering the punk classics we were playing instead of carols (we had enough of that up to that point).  We finished up with some pie and the last of the port (farewell, old friend).

Lussac Saint Emilion

Somehow, we had the sense to realise that the booze was rapidly depleting and opted for a bottle of fizz — a prosecco we’ve been sitting on for weeks — which should have been plenty but as it was only 5:30 pm we had to soldier on: Christmas is not for the weak hearted or the soft-livered.

And, so here I am…Merry Christmas…both of us having fun…here’s to tomorrow and the hangover to come.  And. another run tomorrow.  And an off license trip ’cause we are out of beverage.  Almost.

port and sweet potato pie

DT #357, 23 December 2014 (Fair Exchange Cab Sav – Shiraz)   1 comment

Fair Exchange Cab Sav - Shiraz

 

No more work is done
But Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the sun.
…… an edit of Noel Coward in memory of Joe Cocker …..

Name: Fair Exchange Cab Sav – Shiraz
Type: red wine
Recipe: Lasagne-esque chillies rellenos
Venue: house

Review/notes: This is the last bottle of the backpack full of Fair Exchange CS-S I bought as back-up wine at Thanksgiving and it has been a pleasant surprise, pairing well with just about anything we threw at it.

It was also the last day the Chemistry Research Lab would be staffed until New Year and by the time I returned from my lunch run to the Six Bells I found the lab was more-or-less abandoned.  I’ll be in at least once during the closure this year, always the most pleasant time since things are largely quiet.

2014-12-23 Six Bells lunch run

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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Six Bells, Oxford, Chippy Challenge #124   2 comments

Six Bells Oxford

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: chips, mushy peas, Carlsberg
Evaluation: Tasty, generous plop of mushy peas, and cheap.  I’ve had worse pub F&C, believe me.
Days since last: 3 (Market Plaice, Devizes)
Map link.

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DT #355, 21 December 2014 (Cline Zinfandel)   Leave a comment

Cline Zinfandel and Beef Wellington

Life is far too short
To drink poor quality wine
(Too regularly).

Name: Cline Zinfandel
Type: red wine
Recipe: Beef Wellington: Sauté some chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic slowly in butter till very soft adding a little Worcestershire sauce to bubble down the last couple of minutes.  Meanwhile, thoroughly brown all sides of a salted and black peppered beef roast (a cut that doesn’t need a lot of cooking to be tender).  Spread the sauce on a puff pastry then wrap this around the roast, seal the whole thing with beaten egg and bake at 200°C for ½ hour then letting rest for ½ hour more.  Serve with duck fat roasted potatoes and something fresh and green.

Venue: house

Review/notes: The wine was absolutely awesome.  I have its tasting notes, none of which seem to describe any aspect of this sublime beverage.  It really deserves to be drunk on its own or with spare nibbles, perhaps while listening to some baroque music wafting in on the summer breeze from a concert in a park.  It was among today’s purchase of 6 bottles from Majestic (a wine warehouse chain here in Britain) along with the annual Vin Santo from Franco and Anna.

2014 Xmas lineup

I had hoped to get the Vin Santo from the new Italian deli which is much closer to the house and far from the temptation of the discount wine store, but as I ran past it dawned on me that it is Sunday and the Gorse Hill trip was my only option.  Lugging a backpack stuffed with seven bottles up the Drove Road hill was slow going (for that matter, so was the flat bit along County Ground), but I finished with a full 4 miles (and change):

2014-12-21 Franco and Anna loop

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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Market Plaice, Devizes, Wiltshire, Chippy Challenge #123   Leave a comment

Market Plaice Devizes cod

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: none
Evaluation: Unbelievably delicious and I would have gone back for seconds, some chips, and mushy peas if a) I hadn’t promised to do a proper green curry from scratch when Jackie got home and b) the bus, which only runs hourly, wasn’t due.  The Pelican, two doors down and which allows you to bring in outside food, was a real temptation at this point; my resolve was later rewarded (great meal, good wine, lovely company) but I shall ever be nagged by what might have been.
Days since last: 1 (Leo Fish and Chips, Wootton, Oxfordshire)

Market Plaice Devizes
Map link.

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Leo Fish and Chips, Wootton, Oxfordshire, Chippy Challenge #122   2 comments

Leo Fish and Chips Wootton Oxon cod

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: none
Evaluation: Too much batter but otherwise flawless.  This assessment may be due to running 6½ miles in the cold on an empty stomach just beforehand.
Days since last: 1 (Bell and Compass, Oxford)
Map link.

Leo Fish and Chips Wootton Oxon

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Bell and Compass, Oxford, Chippy Challenge #121   2 comments

Bell and Compass fish chips mushy peas and nachos

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: Nachos. Chips. Mushy peas.
Evaluation: Ghastly, but the fish was tiny (silver linings, etc).  The tortilla chips in the nachos were cheese flavoured Doritos and the salsa was a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce (I think this was supposed to go with the fried mushrooms I passed on as a starter).  The mushy peas were a firm paste that further solidified as the endurance test progressed.  At least it was cheap. Absolutely horrid…what a surprise.
Days since last: 2 (The Chippy, Didcot)
Map link.

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