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By Objective Foodie
During the past year, our coffee consumption at home has increased substantially. We have tried beans from different roasteries from the UK and Europe, but we are constantly in the search of new ones. The speciality coffee market has been rapidly increasing in past years and it is becoming easier to find high quality beans.
The best roasteries we have tried so far:
UK based: Round Hill Roastery, Square Mile, Monmouth, Pharmacie, New Ground, Workshop, James Gourmet, Ozone. Europe based: The Barn (Germany), Gardelli (Italy), Hard Beans (Poland), Calendar (Ireland), Roasted Brown (Ireland), Right Side (Spain), Coffee Collective (Denmark).
Have you had any exciting coffee beans lately? Do you have any other recommendations?
When my mother recently passed away, because we are a scattered family, one of my younger brothers had the great idea of setting up a private Facebook page for the immediate family to talk in – mainly about funeral arrangements but also just in general.
One topic, which I inadvertently started, was about her cooking. It’s fair to say, and she would agree, that cooking was not her forte. She was able to feed us but it was never exciting. That’s me being respectful.
So we were joking amongst ourselves about that when the subject of her two most ‘original’ recipes came up and we each tried to remember exactly what was in them. Here, to the best of our ability, is what we agreed on.
Pasta. This had to be Marshall’s macaroni, a Scottish speciality and the only pasta I ever ate until I was about 18 years-old, apart from tinned spaghetti, usually in the form of spaghetti hoops.
Bacon. This would normally be unsmoked Ayrshire back bacon. Not American bacon!
Onions. White onions. We didn’t know they came in other colours.
Tomatoes. Scottish tomatoes are surprisingly good.
Salt. Common iodised table salt. You know. Natural salt. None of your fancy sea flavoured salt nonsense!
Pepper. Black pre-ground and stale.
Boil pasta according to pack instructions. Or a bit longer if you get distracted. Drain.
Cut bacon into pieces. Chop onion approximately finely. Chop tomatoes into eighths. Fry bacon and vegetables. When ready add drained pasta and mix. Apply seasoning if you remember. Even if you remember, under season.
During WWII, around 17,000 Polish soldiers were stationed in Scotland, first temporarily in the border areas but later in east Scotland where my mother lived. (Her elder sister married one of them). Family lore has it (from my mother) that she learned this recipe from one or more of those soldiers.
I’m fairly certain that there was little if anything Polish about it, but suppose its possible it was those soldiers’ attempt to recreate something from home without really knowing the recipe and having to use whatever they could find in the way of ingredients.
If anyone here is Polish, of Polish descent or just knows more about Polish food than I do knows of any Polish dish that this could even vaguely resemble, I’d love to know. It was memorably distinctive - bright purple. I'm sure it glowed in the dark.
Hard boiled eggs
Pickled beetroot (store bought and pickled in malt vinegar)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Brown Sauce, preferably HP Sauce.
Chop all the ingredients except the ketchup and brown sauce into small pieces and mix together.
Mix ketchup and brown sauce in a 50:50 ratio, and fold into the other ingredients. If too dry, add a little of the beetroot pickling liquid.
Father's 'recipe' coming up next.
I've already polished off half a box of Harvest Crunch Granola today. I haven't really eaten cereal in years, but these crunchy granola clusters are hard to resist.
What's your favourite cereal, and what do you eat with it?
(Big bowl, big spoon, and 2% milk for me.)
ALMOND CUSCUS WITH CRANBERRIES AND PINEAPPLE
I hate getting up in the morning. My household knows that before 8 o'clock I'm unbearable, and because almost every day I wake up much earlier, I tend to be unbearable more frequently than I want. Every extra five minutes of sleep is priceless, so I appreciate a good breakfast that is not too complicated and is quick to prepare.
Recently, I have been preparing breakfast with groats and flakes. This time I chose cuscus. This product is a cross between pasta and groats, and it doesn't need long to prepare. It is enough to add hot water or milk and leave for a few minutes. I added some fresh pineapple, cranberries and banana. I spiced it up with some hot chili pepper .
Ingredients (for 2 people)
125g of cuscus
400ml of almond milk
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
2 slices of fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon of minced chili pepper
150g of fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 tablespoons of flaked almonds
Wash the cranberries and put them into a pot. Add two tablespoons of water and the brown sugar. Boil, stirring gently until the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened. Boil the almond milk with the vanilla essence. Pour the milk onto the cuscus and leave for 5-7 minutes. Slice the banana and roast the almond flakes. Peel the pineapple and dice it. Mix the pineapple, chili pepper and honey. Add the pineapple to the cuscus and mix it in. Put the mixture into two bowls. Put the cranberries and banana on the top and sprinkle with the almond flakes.
Enjoy your meal!
LUNCH FROM THE JAR, I.E. LAYERED SALAD IN THE OFFICE
Most of us take lunch boxes to the office. Some lucky people can warm their food up at work The rest have to eat sandwiches. Sandwiches are great, but even if we absolutely love them we could get fed up with them in the end. Regardless of where we work we can save the situation with salads. Every day we can prepare a different one and we have an entirely new lunch. If we also take an attractive dish, we have something that is not only tasty but also glamorous.
I would like to share with you the recipe for a salad which looks equally as beautiful as it is yummy. The chickpeas and groats make it a satisfying and balanced meal, after which we won't be hungry. I think that if you prepare your lunch in the morning and plan to eat it at lunchtime, we should keep the salad and the dip separately. Otherwise, after a few hours in the jar, we have an unappetising dish with squishy lettuce, which isn't what we want, is it?
Ingredients (for 2 people)
200g of tinned chickpeas
100g of bulgur
1 fresh green pepper
4 lettuce leaves
200g of natural yoghurt
handful of minced chives
1 small chili pepper
salt and pepper
Clean the beetroot and bake or boil it. Grate the beetroot and carrot. Cut the pepper into thin strips. Boil the bulgur in salty water. Arrange in layers in a jar the beetroot, chickpeas, pepper, bulgur, carrot and lettuce. Dice the chili pepper. Mix the natural yoghurt with the chives and chili pepper. Spice it up with salt and pepper. Add the dip to the salad just before serving.
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