Spagetti Bolognese & Garlic Bread

No, I'm not going to give a definitive recipe for Bolognese sauce – there's plenty out there online if you need one. Instead, let's have a little look at what the sauce should really be.

For a start, let's get something clear, Bolognese sauce, ragù alla bolognese in Italian, is a meat sauce, not a tomato and meat sauce. It should contain only very little tomato. In Bologna it is traditionally eaten with tagliatelle, not spaghetti.

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Curried Marrow Chutney

To say that little half-starved eighteen stone nephew, Mickey, likes chutney is like saying dogs like bones. He devours the stuff. A pot will sometimes last him as long as two days!

Now my mate Bob, mentioned here before, gave me one of his courgettes – courgette? It was enormous! So what better to make than some chutney (well lemon and marrow curd, actually. But that's another story).

Last year, John, my neighbour, asked me if I could come up with a recipe for a chutney like his auntie Emmie used to make. They had lost the recipe but he was able to describe it and fortunately it sounded very similar in style to a curried tomato chutney that my mum makes. A couple of experiments later and all was well.

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UKTV Local Food Heroes

I spent an hour this afternoon watching Gary Rhodes Local Food Heroes before realising that it was a repeat of the London heat in 2006.

What struck me, other than them using my website name, were the bizarre criteria for selecting the winner. Of the three put forward to the final stage, one was a butcher selling meat from his Yorkshire farm, one a baker using flour of unspecified source milled way away from London, and the other, an organic pub whose featured dish was red mullet from Cornwall. What's local about any of that?

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Forums and blogs

After yesterday's Jelly making debacle I've avoided the kitchen today.

Instead, I've been playing on the computer; organising all my bookmarked sites and visiting my favourite forums and blogs.

Now, I only participate in one forum, that's the one at sausagemaking.org. I visit several others regularly; amongst them are downsizer.net and rivercottage.net.

I also had a look at a few blogs including bibliocook.com, Salt and Woodsmoke and Ambrosia and Nectar.

My favourite visit today though isn't a blog at all but Wrecker's Yard over at Farmers Weekly.

Other people's misfortune always brings out the best in me



What a Plonker!

Lovely day yesterday; superb for picking blackberries. was dispatched, bowl in hand and told not to return until it was full. Now I'm not saying she's short, but all the blackberries above average waist height are still there! Anyway, after recovering from GBH for saying so, I set about making bramble and apple jelly.

Boiled the blackberries and apple got the 'jelly-bag' out, spent ages trying to find somewhere to hang it, even longer discussing where we didn't hang it last time, and eventually settled on the wine cooler - like you do!

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Goats' Cheese and Beetroot

Summer at last!

My good mate, and excellent gardener, Bob West, gave me some smashing beetroot and Dad had brought some goat's cheese back from France. What a superb combination - beetroot and goats' cheese.

Now, being a lazy git, I just stuffed it all between two slices of bread and scoffed the lot! But, I'm sure you'll want to slice the beetroot horizontally and layer beetroot and slices of cheese into a stack. Drizzle with a dressing and serve as a starter or snack – Yummy!

Make it with Innes Goats' Cheese from Highfields Farm, just over the County border in Staffordshire.


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Sausage Making

Photo of the sausages made yesterday. I'm a newbie to sausage making, but these are superb!

Lincolnshire and Pork and Apple Sausages

The ones at the back are Lincolnshire and the front Pork and Apple.



Makin' Bacon

Quality Bacon for under £1.30lb ...

I've been making bacon for sometime mainly to get the flavour and quality I want - no white residue in the frying pan in my house! To make it from scratch takes a bit of research as the curing agents involved are dangerous even in small quantities, but pre-blended cure mixes, that are readily available, make the production of bacon at home safe, simple and quick.

The bacon cures available from www.sausagemaking.org are supplied with full instructions and make it really simple: apply the cure to some belly or loin pork, rub in, place in a bag in the fridge for about 5 days, wash, slice, then eat. You'll never buy bacon again!

Cost? Well a pack to make 30kg of bacon costs about £7 add the cost of your meat and you could be makin' bacon for under £1.30 per lb.


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The Ramblings of a Fool

Not content with trying to list every local producer in the County, Phil Young – that's me! – has decided to inflict his bizarre, nay extremely stupid, opinions on the world.

I hope to write fairly regularly on a variety of subjects, from producing your own food, to musings on the failings of some farm shops and producers. Some informative, some controversial, and some just plain stupid. That's if the men in white coats don't get me first.

Watch this space!