Irony

Earlier this week a neighbour brought a card around that had been put through their letter box; it was to collect a parcel from the local Post Office. As they hadn't ordered anything to be delivered they phoned the postmaster who told them that the parcel was for me.

It turns out that Parcelforce in their wisdom had decided that my house number, clearly typed on the label, is 7 instead of 28! The parcel contained two chrome worktop legs for the conversion I'm doing to the bedroom recently vacated by my eldest daughter.

Now, you may be saying to yourself: "There's nothing remotely interesting or funny in that", but there is a certain irony in a paraplegic going to the Post Office to collect two new legs!



Clotted Cream Ice Cream

In the absence of any further progress on my 'curing room', you'll have to make do with another ice cream recipe! Mum and Dad have just returned from St Ives and brought with them the normal bag of goodies for their loving and devoted son; well I am, particularly when plied with Rodda's clotted cream!

Now the obvious thing to do would be to write about a clotted cream tea. But, given that I use Delia's scone recipe and Mum's strawberry jam, it wouldn't leave me with a lot of original content. So, I thought I'd give you my take on clotted cream ice cream. Given the quantity of cream it's not an everyday recipe, but it's a real treat for high-days and holidays - which in this house means just about anytime! As it is a 'special recipe' I've done the job properly and made a 'proper' custard base for the ice cream. If you want you can just whisk the egg with the sugar until frothy and light, add the other ingredients, whisk it further, then churn it. It won't be as good though.

You may want to double this recipe - I was restricted by the amount of cream that I had.

Clotted Cream Ice Cream
For a better presentation than this leave the ice cream to thaw in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before serving.

Ingredients

1 whole egg and 1 yolk
70g caster sugar
125ml double cream
113g tub clotted cream
125ml semi-skimmed milk
1 vanilla pod

Method

Put the double cream, milk and vanilla pod in a pan on a low heat.

When the cream and milk is nearly boiling whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar in a bowl and gradually add the near boiling milk mixture, stirring all the time.

Return the mixture to the saucepan over a low heat and stir/whisk continuously, making sure you stir over the whole of the bottom of the saucepan, until the mixture thickens slightly – it will leave a trail if you run your finger across the back of a spoon that has been dipped in it. Be careful - you want custard, not scrambled eggs! Keep stirring as you remove the pan from the heat and pour it into a bowl. Place the bowl somewhere where the air will get all around it, say on a pastry cooling rack, and stir occasionally until cool. Remove the vanilla pod and pass the custard through a sieve.

If this part worries you, you can always make the custard by putting the mixture in a bowl over simmering water and making it that way - it can take ages though, so it's best to master the method above - if you get the odd lump, don't forget that a sieve is your best friend when making any type of sauce.

Whisk the clotted cream into the custard mixture and then churn it in an ice-cream maker for about 40 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl and put it in the freezer until needed.

I notice that clotted cream is now stocked by the major supermarkets so this is likely to become a regular feature in our house - bang goes the diet!

Now to cover my backside:
Warning: If you are young, pregnant, old, infirm etc you may want to use pasturised eggs in this recipe as it contains eggs that may not have been nuked to within an inch of their lives and are therefore deemed unsafe by some members of the food police!


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St Clement's Sorbet

I told you not to hold your breath; I'm still not 'up and running' in my new curing den. Things are progressing, but it looks like being a while longer before I can order the pig!

New curing room

One good thing to come out of all the upheaval is that we've finally found the base to the ice cream machine - so here's one of my favourite sorbets:

St. Clement's Sorbet

Ingredients

Sugar Syrup
7oz Sugar
7fl oz Water
Heat together and boil for 1 minute – cool.

Other
egg white (beaten)
Oranges and lemons

Method

Grate the rind of 2 oranges and 1 lemon.
Squeeze the juice from the fruit.
Add more orange and lemon juice in a ratio of 2:1 to make 9fl oz.
Mix with the syrup, ½ the beaten egg white and the grated rind.
Put it into the Ice Cream Maker and churn it for 30-40 mins

St Clement's sorbet

Then put it into the freezer. There's no grated zest in this one because the fruit I used was a bit grotty. However, it's a lot nicer with the finely grated zest included.

St Clement's sorbet


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East Midlands Food and Drink Festival

The East Midlands Food and Drink Festival, the largest regional celebration of British Food and Drink in the country, will take place on Saturday 1st (10am – 5pm) and Sunday 2nd October 2011 (10am – 4pm) at The Cattle Market, Scalford Road, Melton Mowbary, LE13 1JY.

Organised by the Melton Mowbray Food Partnership, The East Midlands Food and Drink Festival brings together a fabulous selection of local specialities and much more from some of the country's finest producers.

Tickets, which are available from www.goleicestershire.com Tel: 0844 888 518, are just £5 for pre-booked tickets. They are also available from Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, Melton Mowbray and Leicester Visitor Information Centre, Town Hall Square, Leicester

For more information see www.eastmidlandsfoodfestival.co.uk



Time flies...

...like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana!"

One minute you think that there's no rush, the next you realise that you've not posted on your blog for nearly two weeks. Why? Well basically I've done very little. You see, I'm still in the process of moving my curing equipment into the bedroom recently vacated by my eldest daughter Hannah. She's been busier than I have on the cooking front and keeps bringing us treats like these goodies at easter:

Easter Sweets

Or these cupcakes:

Cup Cakes

As for my efforts? Well, either the photos look awful, or I've forgotten to take photos, or as in this case, for speed I did a cut down version of what I would normally do! I'll post a recipe for Pork Wellington when I make it properly; this one used bought pastry and lacks anything between the meat and pastry to act as a barrier to stop the pastry going soggy:

Pork Wellington

As to the move into Hannah's bedroom? Well the worktops arrive on Friday. Hopefully, this weekend we'll manage to get them fitted. Blimey they're expensive! I've really had to shop around to get any at a price I could justify paying. Anyway, with a bit of luck, I'll be back making sausage and other cured meats next week...

...but don't hold your breathe!