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jackal10

eG Foodblog: Jackal10 - Bread and Apples

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14 Sept 2004 8am Cambridge UK

I've been tipped again to do the foodblog. Last time was Christmas and New Year. This time is Rosh Hashonah, which seems fair, so you will have to suffer my awful typos for this week.

"L’Shona Tova Tikosaiv v’Saichosaim". "May you be written down for a sweet and good year in the Book of Life! " to all

First of all coffee, mail and eG's overnight messages. The coffee is dark roast Java Sumatra, made in a press pot, and is breakfast unless otherwise noted. The mug is a Microsoft give-away.

My desk, unusally tidy, and the view from the window in front of me. Sunny but windy.

gallery_7620_3_1095151337.jpggallery_7620_3_1095151419.jpg

While I am not religious myself, I did have an othodox Jewish upbringing, and still like the food, so I guess some will figure this week.

This week is fairly busy, and today is the calm before the storm.

Main highlight is our annual apple pressing party on Sunday, weather permitting. We have open house, and expect about 100 people to come and pick apples and help press them into apple juice. We fire up the wood burning bread oven and bake pizza and things. .

What we eat and talk about on the rest of the week is to some extent up to you, an I hope for a lot of interaction. If I get time I'll try and rig a webcam, as an experiment.

Current fixed points:

Today is fairly quite. Probably Bangers and Mash for supper

Wednesday we are going to friends for supper to celebrate another friends birthday.

Thursday a freind of Jill's (my partner) is coming to stay. Being Rosh Hashonah I plan a Brisket Tzimmes, with a pototo kugel.

Friday start prep for the party, and start the bread doughs

Saturday Fire the oven and bake breads etc

Sunday Apple pressing

Monday I'm hosting dinner in College

The house is built in an old orchard, with about 20 of the original trees still standing. There is a newer orchard, maybe 30 years old, with 30 trees.

Here are some pictures taken this morning of apples. The identification is noit certain, but were done by The Brogdale Trust. . Joan Morgan's The New Book of Apples (ISBN0-091-88398-9 is definitive.

Regular eGulleteers may remember that many of apple trees were severely ringed by the rabbits last winter, and I feared for their survival. I'm happy to report that they seem to have pulled through. Some, like the NewtonWonder, are biennial bearing and are off this year with only a few apples, but most have a large crop. However since we have not pruned or reduced the fruit numbers the apples are mostly small. They are mostly cookers or eating apples, rather than cider. I've tried making cider from the juice, but it is thin and weedy stuff, but more of that anon. The apple juice is lovely, an we freeze it in plastic bottles, straight from the press.

Allington Pippin (my favourite, good general purpose apple) and Newton Wonder (cooker, said to be derived from the apple tree that dropped and apple on Newton's head)

gallery_7620_3_1095151628.jpggallery_7620_3_1095151681.jpg

Lord Derby (cooker) and Tydman's Early Worcester

gallery_7620_3_1095151720.jpggallery_7620_3_1095151797.jpg

Orelans Reinette (russet); Queen Cox and Ellison's Orange

gallery_7620_3_1095151867.jpggallery_7620_3_1095151929.jpg

Other apples are Charles Ross, Laxton's Fortune, Cox (poor trees), Grandier (cooking) and John Standish (late red, not yet ripe), Also pears and Quinces, again a bit early.

Late purple plums (Marjorie's seedling?) and Damsons

gallery_7620_3_1095152136.jpggallery_7620_3_1095152176.jpg

Dog rose hip and Brambles (wild blackberries) in the hedges

gallery_7620_3_1095152225.jpggallery_7620_3_1095152267.jpg


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Well the it looks lovely, and it must be very happy making to be living with an orchard. Good luck with the weather for the day.

Can you cook rabbit with apples BTW?

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Yay! bread and apples! I'm anxiously awaiting the first of our monthly deliveries of apples over the winter...Jackal10's photos brought back memories of similar varieties in NZ. We have quite a different selection in Japan.

Enjoyed seeing the Reinette, I've read about it but never seen it. Is the flesh more yellow or more white?

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The rabbits are off-limits, and Jill doesn't like cooked rabbit anyway. At the moment they are hiding since the weather has turned rough.

The Orleans Reinette have slightly yellow flesh, but not really yeelow enough to notice. Here is one with an Allington Pippin to compare, and a hunk of aged farmhouse chedder (Butlers) for lunch.

gallery_7620_3_1095165124.jpg

The added complication this week is that we have the builders in, adding a new double height entrance, that will eventually hold a staircase to a new upper storey.

We are also adding another toilet this end of the house, doing some rationalisation, and adding some more ventilation for the kitchen. One thing leads to another, and this meant that we had to renew the drains and the septic tank (we are in the middle of the country). Fortunately most of this is on the other side of the house to where the apple pressing will happen.

gallery_7620_3_1095151496.jpg

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Jackal10, I'm looking forward to another blog from you.

You mention that the Allington Pippin apple is your favorite. Why?

Another question. Are your newer trees older or newer varieties? In Minnesota, the University has been very active in developing new apples, so we aren't seeing as many of the older varieties.

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Jackal10, I'm looking forward to another blog from you.

You mention that the Allington Pippin apple is your favorite.  Why?

Another question.  Are your newer trees older or newer varieties?  In Minnesota, the University has been very active in developing new apples, so we aren't seeing as many of the older varieties.

Snowangel: Thanks for your marvellous blog last week, and you wonderful descriptions of the cabin...

All theapples are all old varieties. Let me paraphrase Joan Morgan's description pf Allington Pippin:

UK; raised before 1884 by Thomas Laxton, Lincs

King of the Pippins x Cox's Orange Pippin

Originally named South Lincoln Pippin, renamed 1894 by George Bunyard after his nursery at Maidstone, Kent. Introduced in 1896, RHS FCC 1893 as Brown's South Lincoln Beauty

Mellows to an intense fruit drop or pineapple taste, although still fairly sharp by Christmas, but needs a good year. Sharp and bittersweet in Nov, but cooks well and keeps shape with good flavour, sweet, not bland.

Widely planted commercially and in gardens in the early 1900s, but proved "cold and sour" in the Midlands; suffered storage problems and in decline by the 1930s, but sill found in gardens. Pick early October, Store Nov-Dec.

It does well here, on our heavy alkaline clay soil, and its position in the garden means it tends to be the apple used for scrumping. Not quite as perfumed as the Laxtons, keeps and cooks better. When cooked, the slices will hold their shape, say in a tart, or if cooked long will go to apple sauce.

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Jack, your first blog was one of the best ever, and I'm happy to see you blogging again! Lovely pictures again. It looks like I'll be visiting England for the first time next June or so, and I hope to see some countryside that looks something like your back yard. :smile:

Carry on!

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What is bangers and mash? Mash = potatoes?

Could you go a little into the sorts of regional specialties, if any, in your part of the world?

Looking forward to this week,

Soba

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jack,

i can't believe my luck that you're blogging! i've been poring over your wonderful bread lesson in EGCI. i'm thinking about getting some starter...though even with commerical yeast we've been having fun baking. i'm very eager to watch you bake lots of bread and pizza in those brick ovens.

your view and apples look wonderful...our 2 trees (with indeterminable apple varieties) are jealous. i've heard cambridge is lovely. my boyfriend's family is from hertfordshire & essex and we hoped to make it to cambridge in april, but ran out of time. i'd love to see some photos of the area if you have time.

blog on!

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Picked some runner beans and dug some potatoes for supper. The beans are Painted Lady, and old variety that has very decorative pink and red bi-colour flowers. The spuds are Arran Pilot, another heritage variety that are really a first early new pototo with an exceptional flavour, but mature nicely into larger potatoes if the sligs let them.

gallery_7620_3_1095188957.jpggallery_7620_3_1095189352.jpg

The rabbits enjoying the windfalls for supper. Some are now so tame they come when called.

gallery_7620_3_1095189018.jpg


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Although I'm a die-hard urbanite, I love the view and I'm jealous of you apple trees.

How much land do you have and what else do you grow?

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Tonight's subject, and supper is Sausages. Not just any sausage, but the British Banger. No other sausage in the world is quite like it, or quite as good. Not your hot dog, or weisswurst, or touluse, or chorizo, but a BANGER.

Firstly it must be pork, with a resonable fat content. Beef sausages are known, but are an abonimation.

Secondly it must not be all meat, but about 20% rusk to adsorb that fat and give texture.

Seasoning is delicate, predominantly ginger, mace and white pepper; some like sage

Thirdly it must be shallow fried, not grilled, boiled or deepfried or roast. They get a wonderful brown stripe.

They were originally called bangers because if the skins wer not pricked, the stem inside would cause them to explode. However technology has fixed that, and now the advise is not to prick them so as to keep the juices inside. Food for the Gods, and a weekday standby.

Small craft butchers make sausages of very good quality if the butcher is good; the major manufacturers, such as Walls make them bland and inoffensive. However the supermarket's premium range are often very acceptable. That is what we have tonight - basic food. These are from Tesco. On the left are skinless - formed then part cooked to hold their shape, but good for snacking. On the right are Pork and Leek, with fresh leek added.

gallery_7620_3_1095189061.jpggallery_7620_3_1095189098.jpg

gallery_7620_3_1095189159.jpggallery_7620_3_1095189128.jpg

Mash is mashed potato which offsets the banger perfectly. The definitive mash recipe is given in the http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=31701]eGCI Potato Primer

Also shown is onion gravy/confit, and the green runner beans, sliced lenghtways and briefly boiled.

We drank Ch. Morgues du Gres 2000 Terre d'Argence, Costieres de Nimes

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Thanks for the kind words.

Pan, Reseek, if you are in striking distance of Cambridge, come and say Hallo.

If you can make it this Sunday come and join in the apple pressing!

Soba, I'm not sure there are many regional specialities left in these days of Supermarkets. There are traditional English dishes, like Spotted Dick (I refuse to call it Richard), or steak and Kidney Pie, but those are fairly universal. Dorothy Hartley "Food in England" is one source. My dear friend Henrietta Green does good work among the small producers and farmers markets. Her guide book is essential for any long journey. She has a good website Food Lovers Britain Food Lovers Britain"

bloviatrix. We have about five acres here, about half of which is wild: wood, pond and rough meadow.

Teasels and seed heads

gallery_7620_3_1095192066.jpg

I'm a lazy gardener, and don't get enough time or energy, so we grow a lot of weeds. Outside the study, in the angle between the study and the kitchen is the herb garden, which is in the foreground in the view in the first entry in this blog.

At the top of the garden is are two vegetable patches mostly fenced against rabbits, and a fruit cage. I try and grow things that are either much better straight from the garden, or are hard to buy. I also try and practice a four break rotation. Its mostly organic, but sometimes I break down and use glyphosate (roundup) weedkiller on very persistant weeds like bindweed (columbine).

This year in the frst patch are potatoes (Purple(now finished), Arran Pilot, Pink Fir Apple), the beans, and some other things: Garlic, Shallots, leeks, golden beetroot, rainbow chard, cardoons, rocket, horseradish, miserable sweetcorn.

In the second patch are sweet peas for cutting, tomatos mostly Gardeners Delight and Sungold, plus some heritage varieties. This year has not been a good one for tomatoes, and a lot have rotted or been eaten by pigeons or squirrels. Then come jerusalem artichokes. then come what were meant to be differnt sweetcorn, but turn out to be strawberry popping corn, then courgettes, gherkins, pumpjins and other squashes. then the compost bins.

In the fruit cage are strawberries ('Mara des Bois' - cultivated wood strawberries; Raspberries (Fall Gold, which are yellow, and three red varieites); red currants, gooseberries, loganberries, cultivated blackberries and also various things sheltering from the pigeons and other wildlife: purple sprouting broccoli for next year, chrysanths, and I grew purple peas, and fava beans (now over), sa well as some more bulk herbs: parsley, sorrell, dill.

There are two greenhouses. The one at the top of the garden has tomatoes and some experimental Molokia. Soon I will take out the tomatoes, and overwinter some of the pot plants like geraniums there.

The one nearest the house has hot peppers, old fashioned Malmaison florists pinks, early strawberries, cucumbers, a melon, and an orange tree.

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Your garden sounds great. Since I was blessed with a black thumb (good thing I'm an urbanite, huh?), I'm always in awe of people able to harvest to such bounty.

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Wow this is wonderful, Jackal. If you get a chance will you enlarge on the onion gravy/confit -- a hybrid of onion gravy and onion confit?

The single apple tree in my Southern California garden (Anna variety) seems to draw itself up a little ... will you make apple pizzas at your gathering? I have been planning to try to emulate that since you wrote of it before (was it in the blog?), and my apples are finally ready.

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Wow this is wonderful, Jackal.  If you get a chance will you enlarge on the onion gravy/confit -- a hybrid of onion gravy and onion confit?

The single apple tree in my Southern California garden (Anna variety) seems to draw itself up a little ... will you make apple pizzas at your gathering?  I have been planning to try to emulate that since you wrote of it before (was it in the blog?), and my apples are finally ready.

Yes, there will be apple Pizzas...

For the onion gravy, for two of us, I sliced a couple of onions and fried them over medium heat with a bit of butter until golden. Then I added a cup of chicken stock, some Maderia wine and some soy, checked seasoning and cooked them slowly in the open frying pan until the liquid had nearly evaporated, but still enough for a jus, which I poured them over the mashed potato and sausages.

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Thank you, Jackal.

(Here is Jackal's Apple Pizza description of nearly a year ago upon which I've been ruminating.)

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I wasn't around for your previous blog, but followed the link to it and was blown away. What gorgeous pictures of fabulous food. I'm not sure which photo made me more envious, the mince pies in production, the array of cheeses on the cheeseboard, or the view of and from your kitchen. I lust after your Aga cooker.

Thanks for the previous blog, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the current one, also.

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Thirdly it must be shallow fried, not grilled, boiled or deepfried or roast. They get a wonderful brown stripe.

Can't agree, dear boy. Must be roasted. Thus the wonderful brown strip is instead and indeed all 'round, like the heavens embracing the earth, you see? Right then.

Otherwise, luvly pictures, luvly blog.

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Wednesday morning, slowly adsorbing a mug of Java. I have one on the go most of the time, and I guess I drink a couple of pints of coffee over the day. Doesn't seem to affect sleeping patterns, fortunately.

Snarfed a couple of the small sausages left over from last night, They were at the front of the fridge, when I opened it for the milk for the coffee.

We are out to supper tonight, and I need to do some errands in town today,

We live about 5 miles west of Cambridge. Cambridge is University and high tech, a town of about 100,000, with the University about 10,000. In the 60's, and still to some extent today, the planning policy was to restrict the growth of the city, but build or expand a series of village developoments as a "necklace", with about another 100,000 living there. Oxford is much bigger, and has real industry like car plants. Cambridge is primarily agricultural, untl the growth of spin-out knowledge, high tech and bio-tech industries, mostly small - 20 people or so. There are, however, over 1000 of them, and a few such as ARM (that is a Cambridge ARM designed microprocessor that you have in your mobile phone) that have broken the billion dollar barrier. ARM is typical - they are knowledge based, in that they don't manufacture themseleves, they just design and then licence the design and take a royalty, but even so there are more ARM processors then INTEL processors shipped. The result is that the town is affluent, and has survived the recession well. Traffic is awful, and house prices high. There is a surprising lack of serious restaurants (but lots of tourist ones), perhaps becasue the colleges compete to some extent on the quality of their food and drink, and academics, and hanger-ons like me, who might otherwise go to high end restaurants eat in College instead.

We'll talk more about the University next week. Suffice to say its a collegiate University. There are 31 colleges, of which two are post-graduate only. Most people have a dual appointment, both as a member of a University faculty and of a College. The University faculty or department are where the main lectures, research and labs are, while the colleges provide living accomodation, meals and individual or small group tuition. I teach at the Department of Computer Science, and also at the Judge Institute of Management and I am also by-fellow of Emmanuel College. The "by" bit means I have no formal dutues, but also I don't get paid, but I do get dining rights - I can eat in college at College's expense four times a week. Colleges actively promote networking, and spread their influence by keeping a good table and encouraging people to bring interesting guests.

The colleges are independant, and I guess the closest equivalent are fraternity/soriety houses.

Back to food.

Last weekend I made the honey cake from the recipe refenced in the Rosh Hasonah thread. Improved I think by having a non-traditional glass of rum poured over it.

gallery_7620_3_1095238188.jpg

What should we cook for the apple pressing party? Need to start to think about shopping and prep. About 75 adults and 25 kids.

Current plan is pizzas. What else do I need for toppings?

Currently I plan build-it yourself from:

Tomato sauce

Tomatoes

Onions

Garlic

Peppers

Hot peppers

Salami

Cheeses (Mozarella, cheddar, gruyere)

Sweetcorn

Pineapple

Anchovies

Olives

and of course, apples, butter, sugar

Also plan various breads (suggestions for type - currently wholemeal boule, white baguette, foccacio, maybe onion and raisin with things to go on or in them:

Cheeses (whole Brie, Cheddar, maybe stilton)

Roast beef (I have two ribs joints ageing)

Whole planked salmon

Garden salad

Chutneys etc

Other things from the wood fired oven:

Maybe a tart flambee , various fruit tarts, some baked potatoes

Suggestions welcome. What would you like me to cook?


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Tonight's subject, and supper is Sausages. Not just any sausage, but the British Banger. No other sausage in the world is quite like it, or quite as good.  Not your hot dog, or weisswurst, or touluse, or chorizo, but a BANGER. 

Firstly it must be pork, with a resonable fat content. Beef sausages are known, but are an abonimation.

Secondly it must not be all meat, but about 20% rusk to adsorb that fat and give texture.

Seasoning is delicate, predominantly ginger, mace and white pepper; some like sage

Thirdly it must be shallow fried, not grilled, boiled or deepfried or roast. They get a wonderful brown stripe.

They were originally called bangers because if the skins wer not pricked, the stem inside would cause them to explode. However technology has fixed that, and now the advise is not to prick them so as to keep the juices inside. Food for the Gods, and a weekday standby.

Small craft butchers make sausages of very good quality if the butcher is good; the major manufacturers, such as Walls make them bland and inoffensive.  However the supermarket's premium range are often very acceptable.  That is what we have tonight - basic food. These are from Tesco. On the left are skinless - formed then part cooked to hold their shape, but good for snacking. On the right are Pork and Leek, with fresh leek added.

gallery_7620_3_1095189061.jpggallery_7620_3_1095189098.jpg

gallery_7620_3_1095189159.jpggallery_7620_3_1095189128.jpg

Mash is mashed potato which offsets the banger perfectly. The definitive mash recipe is given in the http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=31701]eGCI Potato Primer

Also shown is onion gravy/confit, and the green runner beans, sliced lenghtways and briefly boiled.

We drank Ch. Morgues du Gres 2000 Terre d'Argence, Costieres de Nimes

There is something very odd about your sausages. Pre-cooked the diameter of the plain sausage is much smaller then the 'finest' range, yet after cooking they are much closer. Either the inest are shrinking more or, more frighteningly, the plain pork are growing...

I like sausages, but I do think that 20% rusk is optimistic  (at least in my neck of the wood). Some bangers I have seen should be sold at the bakers, not the butchers considering the lack of meat.

Oh, you menu looks pretty perfect to me, don't change a thing.

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I am following with interest!  :smile:

Please may I ask a stupid question:  What is rusk?  Thank you.

Rusk is bread or related products that are re-backed until dry (Melba toast is posh rusk). For sausages these are powdered and added to the meat. I think that in the UK a sausage has to have 65% meat legally, so you can get sausages that are a third rusk. In Scotland, they sometimes use oatmeal rather then rusk as the filler.

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