Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crunchie bar heaven

Hurrah -- another cookbook has just arrived. This is the Canon Street Cookbook, though, a local charity effort, involving recipes donated by the residents of the street around the corner, as well as some local history. It's fantastic! This is my favorite recipe so far:

Take 6 oz of Crunchie bars and crush to crumbs. Whip up 1/2 pint double cream in one bowl, and whisk 1 egg white to a soft peak in another. Fold the egg white into the cream, mix in the Crunchie bar crumbs, and 1 tbs alcohol -- the author recommends whisky, but I'm thinking something chocolatey. Serve.

There is not a single thing wrong with this recipe, and I think I will have it instead of Christmas pudding this year. Yum!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Colors for autumn

Beautiful colors on trees and plants, all part of my favorite season. And wonderful veg: swede and two types of pumpkin. We had beetroot, too, in our veggie box last week, but those went into a rather nice dish of potato gnocchi with roasted beets and a beet-red wine reduction, courtesy of The Artful Vegan. Tonight is a lentil and mushroom salad over grilled radiccio, and then we get the first parsnips in tomorrow's box. I [heart] root veg.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I wish it could be Bonfire Night every night

Hurrah! Autumn! Root vegetables, frosty mornings, and new-season television, beamed "directly" from the US! Best of all, though, is Bonfire Night. We failed miserably in years past to make it to the expat bonfire party in Amsterdam, but headed out into the surprisingly mild evening yesterday to join thousands of Winchesterites watching things burn and explode. First up was a rather impressive torchlit procession from the Guildhall to the field behind the leisure centre. It was rather like being part of an angry mob from an old horror movie, albeit rather more middle-class than peasant: fewer pitchforks and cries of "burn the witch!"; more pushchairs and discussions of house prices.

Then, the bonfire and fireworks display. No Guy on the 650-pallet-strong bonfire; I guess celebrating the demise of Catholic traitors is no longer de rigeur -- clearly political correctness gone mad! Despite that lack, the bonfire was excellent. Huge flames soaring into the night air, sending showers of sparks and clouds of smoke across the playing field.

As for the fireworks, well, we've been spoiled by the New Year's Eve celebrations in Amsterdam -- an hour-long fireworks frenzy. But these were fun, colorful, with some particularly good specimens at the end. Oohing and aahing ensued.

The one problem with the evening (apart from the announcer's insistence on playing Elton John)? No doughnut vendors. You could buy all sorts of fried meat products but no doughnuts. Which was a shame, as we were pretty hungry by the time the fireworks had finished. No matter: we had this little beauty waiting for us in the oven when we got back -- a soft gloopy mix of bread, cheese, onions, and kale. Enjoyed with a couple of episodes of Heroes, it was the perfect end to an extremely enjoyably English evening.