Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cheers! Beer drinking it'll never catch on you know

In the spirit of punk when Pete Brown couldn't get on the tv to tell us all that drinking beer is a good idea  he and some mates went out and made their own. Have a look it's not too bad for their first go.

Pete Brown's British Beer Blog from Ian Hudson Films on Vimeo.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Home-made Crumpets!

Home-made Crumpets!

Making your own crumpets is one of those seemingly pointless Foodie things to do which usually produces the question “what’s the point when you can buy eight of them for a quid etc”. Well much like Everest because they are there! And well they taste much lighter and have moist airy bready texture and flavour.

I didn’t have any “crumpet rings” so made some out of greased tin foil folded into a strip and then into a circle; they worked well in a one off way.

And see I got all the way through without making any “Carry on” style jokes!

Adapted from Jo' Pratt recipes
Preparation time: 1-2 hours
Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins
Makes 18 crumpets (I made half these amounts and made 8½ ish with one for the pan!)

•450g/1lb plain flour, sifted
•½ tsp salt
•1 tsp sugar
•2 tsp/1x7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
•300ml/½ pint warm milk
•300ml /½ pint warm water
•vegetable oil
•4 crumpet rings or 7.5cm/3in plain pastry cutters, greased

Preparation method
1. Place the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast making a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and water and mix to give quite a thick batter. Beat well until completely combined and cover with a tea towel or cling film.
2. Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until it's a light, spongy texture. Stir well to knock out any air and pour into a large jug. ( I put the bowl over another bowl of warm water)
3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a very low heat (I had to turn up 2 to 3 on my electric hob) with a drop of oil. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Sit the greased crumpet rings in the pan and leave to heat up for a couple of minutes.
4. Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings just over halfway up the sides. Leave to cook until plenty of small holes appear on the surface and the batter has just dried out. This will take about 8-10 minutes. I would make one first to get the heat right slightly hotter temp made them cook properly.
5. Remove the rings and turn over the crumpets to cook for a further minute or two on the other side. Sit the first batch of crumpets on a wire rack while continuing to cook the remaining mixture.
6. A light toasting brings out the flavour perfectly and cooks them through totally.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Model prisoners: family history

Been looking at our family history lately and found this wonderful postcard from a "Concentration camp" (now called to avoid confusion and grim associations an Internment camp) which presumably features my Great Uncle or Grandad and of course a small model harbour. This maritime model village was made presumably by the inmates to fill the endless hours of captivity in rural Northants!
I find the whole thing fascinating and way more valuable than more normal heirlooms. Click on the pic for more details.

Thursday, 2 September 2010


More of my nephews are going to "big school" this week the eldest is off to what we use to call "sixth form" college. It's all a bit wistful (for  me and my bros mainly) but exciting (if trepidations) for them. I'm sure they will thrive and it's all part of the big adventure. They will soon be old enough to write this (only 22!)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Never a bad day if it's street card day!

4 diamonds
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
a loaf of seedy bread, some fizzy vimto, a jammy ring and the four diamonds!