Saturday, December 13, 2014

Quintessentially British.

Recently reading  a post from a blog that I follow  northsiderdave.blogspot.com  got me thinking about food that seems quintessentially British, savoury pies, fish and chips, pork pies, faggots and marmalade.
 France has it's Quiché but I can't think of any other savoury pastry dish, Spain has a tapas of very small pastry parcels filled with fish or vegetables. Scotland has mutton pie and kippers. Just about all European countries have sweet pastries but savouries are very few and far between. Marmalade, although renowned as British in fact dates back to the 1500's and probably refers to Membrillo made from quince, originally from Portugal.
 When you can't get a thing you start to want it, even if it is something that you would have seldom eaten in your own country, for me in Spain it was kippers and scotch eggs, the kippers I could do nothing about, the only smoked fish there is Salmon, scotch eggs turned out to be easy to make and far nicer than any  that I had bought.
A taste from the past, Faggots.
Now it's faggots, ( thanks Dave!) something we have gone without for of a quarter of a century. I found a recipe on line,  good old BBC. So quick, cheap and simple to make, served with mash and onion gravy, delicious. Something I will make again while we still have pork in the freezer.
I wonder what things other people miss when they live in a different county?
The Seville orange have now arrived in our local farmers market, Simon had already pre-ordered a box  in anticipation of the start of  the short season,  the next week will see me zesting and boiling twenty pounds of oranges, to replace our store of marmalade.
These will keep me busy.
We ran out about a month ago of last years stock, I wish I could remember how many pounds I did, normal fruit jams don't have the same wake up effect of marmalade.
After last weeks power outage we knew it was time to get emergency lighting sorted, someone suggested Argos and they have a LED rechargeable lantern which hopefully we will get on Monday although it does mean traveling a 120k round trip, I'm rather dreading it, Argos ten days before Xmas? probably not a good idea, but it's one that you can charge up in the car, and that is a good idea.
One emergency lantern.
 We also found a gas camping lamp in our local town so come next week we should be set should we lose power again, this shop even keeps replacement mantles for all types of lamps.
Looks like fun.
Misty, our young female kitten had now discovered the washing machine,
Why cant I get it?
she was totally fascinated by it and spent nearly an hour trying to catch the contents of the washing drum, Freddy, her brother couldn't see what was so interesting about it, he is far more into trying to catch the curser on the computer.
Today our local town had a craft fare, unfortunately it was only advertised earlier this week, had I known about it earlier I would have taken a table, it was a very good fare, and unlike the other ones that we have been to recently all the stall holders seemed to be Irish. Again there was some lovely turned wood products all from Irish woods, some very impressive knitwear, I couldn't resist buying a lovely hat for a friends two year old daughter even though her parcel has already been sent, it will be a little extra one for her. Several very good artists were displaying their work, one was fantastic and very original, I spent a long time chatting to her, and of course there were several stalls selling baked goods. We were very impressed with the standard of goods that we saw.
The personal touch.
The last of the Xmas cards have now been made and posted, so that's me done for another year.  

14 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Thanks for telling people about my blog, Anne. It was Kev from: An English Homestead who told us about the faggots.

    I have just ordered a pasta maker with a ravioli attachment from Ebay this morning. We usually after to go to Tesco in Cork or Killarney for ravioli.

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    1. Um! a pasta maker, I bought one many years ago, seemed like a good idea at the time, it remains unopened in it's box, I might get round to using it one day, the idea had been to make batches of egg pastas and have it ready in the freezer. maybe one day!

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    2. I have just given my pasta maker away, just too much of a faff trying to make gluten free pasta with it. If I could eat ordinary pasta I would have used it a lot more.

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    3. I bought mine when it was hard and expensive to buy Organic Egg pasta, within weeks of buying it a German woman set up a organic pasta making enterprise and contacted me to supply the eggs for her, suddenly there was no longer a need to make pasta! I think I called it sods law at the time!.

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  3. Sorry, having problems commenting here again. I get thrown out when I go to press 'publish'. However, will just try again...

    For me it's 'proper' fish and chips from the place down the road in Faversham (Park Fish Bar) which I'd always buy with mushy peas and a tub of coleslaw. The guy was a Cypriot and his coleslaw is 2nd to none. I don't ever suppose I could reproduce that eating experience and will not try. Amusingly, for Liz, in the other direction, she's pleased to be back in the land of 'Tayto' crisps and regularly gets a craving for Tayto crisp sarnies - awful fluffy sliced white bread and lots of butter. There is no accounting for taste, I guess.

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    1. We have found two excellent fish and chip shops, on in Carrick on Shannon, and one world renowned one in Galway. You can certainly keep the mushy peas and ready made coleslaw. As for crisps I have yet to see unflavoured crisps in Ireland, I prefer my food unadulterated by chemical flavourings.

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  4. Sorry to hear of your power outage, it happens here I do have many lanterns but no generator which many people have. They are quite expensive but good to have on hand. I to have had some trouble leaving comments Nice to see the oranges.. My best to you both

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    1. We have a generator Carole but for some reason it will not give us power in the house only in the barns for the freezers. We will be picking up the LED lamp tomorrow. The last time we were without power was a couple of years back, it went on for eight four hours, someone had stolen the main electric cable for the area!

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    2. That should have read eighty four hours.

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  5. You'll have to educate an Irish woman.... faggots????

    Margaret

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    1. Faggots Margaret were a traditional dish that originated in Wiltshire but very popular in the whole of the south of England.
      250g of pork shoulder, 100g pig liver, grind up the meat, I blitzed it together so it was still coarse, make some sage and onion stuffing, 90g, I used bread crumbs, 1 small to medium onion and six sage leaves, add salt and pepper and a pinch of ground mace, mix everything together, if it's very stiff use a little water so you can shape the faggots into balls a little smaller than the size of a tennis ball. Oil a dish and place the faggots in, make a rich onion gravy and pour over the top, cover with tin foil and bake for 1 good hour at moderate temperature, serve with mashed potatoes and a veg, some people eat them with mushy peas. Traditionally the faggots would have been wrapped in caul fat, but my guess would be that your slaughter man would have a problem with that, it worked fine without it. I will be making them again, I had bagged up the fattiest bits of shoulder for sausage making, it's just the pigs liver that I'm now short of. .

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  6. Faggots look good! I always miss curry! And Marmite of course. Haha, the kittens! That made me giggle!

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  7. Marmite, what is life without it? When we first moved to Ireland it was impossible to get here but we could get vegemite through the whole food co-op, it made a good substitute.In Spain we had to get people to bring it over for us although you could get Bovril not at all the same thing.

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