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  1. Yes they are the American Signal species. Not native to the UK and a real pest introduced by crayfish farmers and which has escaped in to the wild. They have destroyed the native variety and can also be really harmful to fish stocks as they eat the eggs laid in the gravel of streams. The up side is that they have one big claw which has a pretty decent piece of meat in it.
  2. I have just cooked up six fantastically vicious crayfish I caught in the stream at the bottom of the garden this weekend. After 30 minutes in the freezer I dropped them in a big pot of boiling water and five minutes later was cracking the now brilliantly red shells open. I tugged out the white fleshy tails and quickly fried them in a little local butter and garlic. Then I mixed them in with some fresh watercress (not from the stream although I use that for soups). It was just the most delicious lunch for a sunny October afternoon. No more now until spring when I will be setting traps along the whole stream and having a Crayfish lunch party.
  3. I have brought some Drappier Grand Sendree 1990 but have yet to collect, due to various problems too complicated to list. I have been offered the chance to take Drappier Grand Sendree 1996 instead of the 1990. What does anyone think I should do? And I know that it is a nice problem to have!
  4. Try the White Hart at Nayland which is owned by Roux and staffed from the Waterside The White Hart Inn High Street Nayland CO6 4JF Great Britain Tel: +44 (0) 1206 263382 Also two pubs in Stoke by Nayland The Angel and The Crown? I cant remember exactly. Farmhouse Feast restaurant, The Street, Roxwell, Chelmsford, Essex. Tel: 01245 248583 used to be great for having what was essentially home cooking in a very small restaurant but havent been for a while. The White Hart at Great Yeldham Lovely old building great gardens and good food not overly fancy. 01787 237250 CO94HJ The George Cavendish (just in Suffolk) 01787 280248 CO10 8BA Gastro pub but good. The Company Shed, West Mersey for oysters etc. Just a few sugestions to keep you going.
  5. Its nice to know that Gerry has mellowed with age.... but frightening to think that he could have been even more un PC than he still is! I should alos say that I am very glad that the sign has gone.
  6. About two years ago I was with someone who asked Gerry about the disabled sign and he said that it was urban myth and that the sign had never changed. I am sure that you can see why I posted the apparently incorrect correction. He was obviously too embarassed to admit the truth. I fully accept that if you insist that it was so.... then it was so. I must never take a restauranteur at his word I must never take a restauranteur at his word I must never take a restauranteur at his word I must never take a restauranteur at his word I must never take a restauranteur at his word I must never take a restauranteur at his word I must never take a restauranteur at his word
  7. The Trout at Wolvercote trades purely on its location and is a production line of simple pub food nothing more. It is a tourist packed hell hole on a sunny day and souless on a dull one. The Lemon tree is still over priced. I think this can be a real problem with "provincial " chefs. They see the prices in the better restaurants in London etc and think that they can charge the same not because they provide food to the same standard but because they are better than other local restaurants and therefore can get away with it. I hasten to add that not all provincial restaurants fall into this trap but many do and when people judge a restaurant on the price of its food (easy to do if you are a stranger to the area) then it is a real pig to find that its really misleading. The best bet is to get out of town. (The Cherwell Boathouse excepted which is, at present, on top form) Try the Trout at Tadpole Bridge or The Mason Arms at South Leigh (this is v.pricey (with no prices on the menu, on the basis that if you need to ask dont go) but the best recommendation I can give for this place was that Mr M Winner slagged it off for being pretentious! Every table is served a new pat of (thoroughly scumptious) italian butter left in the wrapper. Mike said that he expects the butter unwrapped if he is paying the bill. The review is framed and on the wall. Raymond Blanc is a regular here and he and I agree that the food is very very good. And of course talking of Raymond, Le Manoir aux Quatres Saisons is not far away for a real treat.
  8. I have lurked on this thread for what seems like a year now and it is especially fascinating when we have the current and no doubt short lived shout about school food. Despite Tarkas fears for the overworked shopkeeper I do think that local suppliers could help themselves most by extending their opening hours to mirror those on the continent where they open later and then close for a long lunch and then re-open until 8pm. They could still work the same number of total hours. I dont think that this would be too much of a burden. The French and Italians seem to have survived doing it for the last few centuries. The point about wholesale markets opening early is now slightly redundant as most of the fish in them has been on ice for days by the time it gets there. A few hours extra wouldnt harm it or alter the time when I eat it. The reason the markets open at these odd hours is an historical traffic ban on big food transport carts in daytime hours which meant that the goods were transported at night into the heart of big towns. With new markets built on the edge of town there is only sentimental reasons to stick to these hours especially as most food now goes nowhere near them and we have refrigerated transport.. I think it is important to remember that not only is supermarket food of low quality (I think the water is back in Tescos Finest Pork Chops by the way) but that local shopping is vital in creating a sense of community. I know my local Butcher, Greengrocer and Baker by name (and they know me too) whilst I rarely see the same face more than once behind the counter at the supermarket. This sense of community is vital in engendering respect for an area and its population. At the local shop you see not only the owner but other locals and more often than not find yourself talking to them. Every piece of evidnce ever found by sociologists says that strong communities suffer less from crime and vandalism. Anyway sorry to witter but in short Satanscos and Satanberries are responsible for not only the persecution of smaller producers, the drastic fall in quality of our most easily available food but also for crime and vandalism too! The moral is buy food from your local butcher instead of mugging him.
  9. Yep Im there as well so wish me luck. I am starting off with a singularly masochistic cleanse that is no dairy, no wheat, no alcohol, no sugar (except in fruit etc) I really dont think that I could totally give up red meat so I admire you for that. Fortunately the fags went altogether a couple of years ago. Dieting/detox and no fags at the same time was just the hardest thing so good luck Tarka!
  10. jeremysco


    The oysters were fantastic. Best on their own or maybe with just the slightest hint of lemon juice. The recommended Mignotte was good but maybe a bit too strong. I see from Larouse that Mignotte is actually "coursely ground black pepper". My copy lists the sauce as and Shallot and Red wine Vinegar with mignotte. My Invechiatto Balsamic was sidelined in the end for a tiny bottle that my brother in law had that cost him the equivalent of 100 euros ten years ago. We pulled the cork and it was better than mine by a distance. The smoked salmon was brilliant but after four days of smoked salmon at every opportuntity I squeesed some lemons on it and put it in the fridge with a load of fresh dill. Two days later out came version of cooked smoked salmon with just the faintest hint of dill infused into it. Sliced fairly thickly it was different enough from the plain smoked to keep up the interest. Roll on next christmas.
  11. jeremysco


    I promise to try couple of each type of dressing on the first half dozen or so and then if there are any left I will have the next 1/2 dozen or so in my chosen way. Do think of me...and although I will try to think of you all I suspect that I will be totally self centered. I made the confit duck last night and it is now in the firdge. I ate the necks as a snack after cooking and they were absolutely fantastic. Chefs perks at their best.
  12. jeremysco


    Manyt thanks to you all. Mignonette sauce it is. I will try make with a couple of different vinegars later today. I will also try the balsamic as my sister has brought me some Invechiatto back from Milan. It is a little too fancily packed for my liking (Foam pads around bottle in a specially shaped metal case) but you never know. I once had a small flask given to me by an Italian friend that contained some Balsamic that was fifty years old. His family started a new cask every year and kept them at their summer retreat. He said that the levels in the barrel got lower and lower as it intensified but that they never used anything under 40 years old. Each family member got one small flask each year. I felt truly honored. It was earthy, sweet and just the most delicious thing. My friend has just been given the secrets of how it is made by his father and is now responsible for the new production. I asked him how it was made and he said that if he told me he would have to kill me. It almost seemed worthwhile.
  13. jeremysco


    Christmas day and after the wild River Towy Smoked Salmon we have six dozen oysters Colchester Native No.4 to eat with some chilled vodka. Apart from the tabasco and lemons what else should I offer as a addition? Someone suggested boiled eggs (I have tried them with caviar and decided they ruined good caviar but Ive never tried it with oysters) Can anyone advise how do you make the shallot stuff that I have had served before? Just FYI they are being followed by a boullion then Foie Gras on Bread fried in dripping then Confit duck with green beans and roast potatoes Pud and cheeses. (C. Basset Stilton, Northumberland (just the most amazing thing ever made from milk) Kielder (so golden it looks like butter.) and St Endellion)
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