Busy Doing Nothing

"I'm busy doing nothing,
working the whole day through,
Trying to find lots of things not to do.
I'm busy going nowhere,
isn't it just a crime,
I'd like to be unhappy,
but I never do get the time."

So sang Bing Crosby in the film, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". I know how he feels because although I'm up and about I've still got to "take things easy" - even though I'm raring to go!

So, just to have something to moan and go on about, here's a picture of the brisket of beef cooked on Saturday:

Brisket  of beef

She browned it in the frying pan in a little oil, then browned onion, carrot and celery in the same pan, adding water when browned. The meat was sat on top of the veg and liquid in a sealed casserole and cooked at 140°C for about 4 hours - superb.

Now to climb onto my soapbox. To all you people who are still buying your meat from the supermarket - we bought two pieces of brisket from Joseph Morris's weighing a total of 2.95kg, each piece being just over 3lb. The cost, £7.83; the same amount of brisket would have cost £14.75 at the supermarket where you pat your back pocket. At the same time I bought 4.67kg of Pork Loin costing £16.49 - £3.53 per kg. At ASDA this would have cost £34.93 - £7.48 per kg.

Joseph Morris £24.32: ASDA £49.68. It's what the kids call a 'no brainer'; meat at half the price that tastes twice as good.

On the subject of saving money, if you're planning a trip to a PYO farm, check the prices before you go. I rang around for my Dad and found that the prices of raspberries vary from £1.20 to £2.50 a pound between farms.

I won't embarrass anyone by naming names but if the customer picks the fruit and there's no dealer's or retail shop profit to add on, how come the berries are dearer than the ready picked ones in the shops?

OK, I'll give you a clue, if you want good cheap berries, start with the PYO farms at the North of my map. Oh, OK then, I rang all but Seldom Seen Farm - cheapest were Wymeswold Self Pick and Scaddows Farm, followed closely by Cattows Farm - the rest lagged sadly behind.

A map of PYO farms is here.

Other things that have 'caught my eye' over the last couple of weeks include:

Nationally...

Jackie Schneider in the Guardian making a very good case for the money currently being spent on 'food campaigns' being reassigned to provide free school meals for all children.

EU restrictions on wonky fruit and vegetables are being lifted. It's ludicrous that they will still remain for some produce - give the consumer the choice and chance to buy them. Talk about a nanny state!

The Telegraph has a five-minute video recipe of Xanthe Clay preparing Bruschetta of haricot beans, lemon and chilli. That's a five-minute video of someone making posh beans on toast ...and they actually pay her to do this?

Locally...

'Matti' at Hedgerow products has been busy picking wild cherries - so look out for his cherry jelly.

Northfield Farm have added a new attraction - a farm walk - see all the animals and how a farm works.

...and finally, Mark at Rockingham Forest Cider has been cooking with chorizo, a new product from Ashley Herb Farm. At the moment they're only making fresh chorizo, but according to Mark, a cured version is also promised later in the year. I look forward to trying that.


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