Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The Last Great Bastian of Burnley

And t' Turf in Burnley where Brian Laws has been unveiled as the new manager. I like the fact that the news reports said he "impressed" on the second interview.

I honestly did not know that Football managers are ever interviewed for their jobs.

Perhaps questions would involve "tell me about a time when you have had a funny experience at a Football game" or perhaps they give them a load of artstraws to mould the stadium...........?


Now, I don't want to come across as the kind of woman who knows a lot about the beautiful game or thinks she does. I do not wear a football shirt, polo neck, bench jacket nor any other paraphernalia from a club shop.

I am however in tune to dip in and out as the mood takes me. One thing I do know however is that as a Blackburn Rovers Fan, we are supposed to hate Burnley Football Club.
I cannot understand this hatred thing. Only on Boxing Day recently, I attended a Football match with my family, to see Blackburn draw against another sluggish team from the North West- Wigan.

Watching 23 men who had clearly felt the effects of a complex carb Christmas Dinner was only made entertaining by the baboons who stood, swilled and swore around us. We had a Barbaric nubile twenty something behind us. A portly soul. Having watched the Gruffalo the previous night, I could only think that this word was truly a match made in heaven for him.

What my sister and I found amusing was that Gruffalo thought that he was actually communicating with some fans opposite us. Gruffalo Maximus Hideous was goading the pit of beasts by using his podgy fingers as a blade and making the gesture of "I am going to cut your throat"

Yes. After the game has finished, you will leave the stadium, locate the beast ...and kill him.

Course you will Gruffalo.

The Wigan sandwiches (also known as pies if you are south of Sandbach Services) were a blanket of cholesterol hope in this dire 45 minutes that bestowed upon us.

I came to the conclusion, that I am no more proud to be a fan of Blackburn than I am of any Football club.

Burnley Football Club are heavily criticised by Blackburn fans, yet it is they who helped to found the Football league in 1888.

Another reason why we should be thankful to Burnley is for Benedictine. Infact it is the Burnley Miners Club who are the world's biggest single consumer of Benedictine after their Lancashire Regiment acquired a taste for it during the First World War. Burnley are the Champions of the World. Apologies Roy of the Rovers.

If you have never tried this decadent liquor either warm "Benny an ot'" or folded over chunks of ice.It would be the closest thing to tasting Jo Malone bath oil in a tumbler.

As Burnley FC enjoy a Rennaissance once again, so did one venetian monk Mr Dom Bernardo Vincelli at the Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy, France. This drink favoured on a weekend by the King of France was produced by the Benedictine monks up until the end of the 18th century.
After a bit of trouble ath' mill in the shape of the French Revolution, things went a little to pot and the recipe was lost. It seems one of the Monks only went and misplaced it in the library of Fécamp. Had there been a dewy system back in 1791, this calamity would not have happened.

It was Alexandre Legrand who saved the day. I suppose the Brian Laws of his time. He created an aromatic recipe from 27 plants & spices from the 4 corners of the globe. It really is no wonder this man soon became Alexander the Great.
In my mind first of all, I can taste Battenburg cake. I usually think that Marzipan is the work of the devil himself, but in the drink somehow, it just works. Then, I get smacked round the chops by the taste sweet ripened lemons, bulbous and firm with their stalks still bearing the flowers of the Amalfi Coast. Next comes the sucker punch of Coriander from the beds of the Mediterranean to offset the bitter citrus notes.
Love it or hate it, the zingy paper pod that is Cardamon adds an intense gingery and biscuity taste to Benedictine. Finally drifting into a smorgasbord of confectionery heaven with sweet vanilla.

This French Calpol has been a secret for hundreds of years but is still enjoyed today.

My only problem is the puzzled looks you get from landlords and ladies across the UK and in the USA when you ask for a Benny on ice. Why are these people not in the loop???

I suppose it's off t' Burnley Miners Social Club for me.

Monday, 11 January 2010

And so to Supermarket giant

Quick. You must make way to major supermarket now. Food prices set to soar to an all time high.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

A toast to Louis

It was Grandad Harry who had me hooked. Hotel toast.

If Heston should even need the services of a doyen to his laboratoire posse, he need look no further than this man. He would have him at toast.

Being babysat by your grandparents and offered supper after already having a hefty wodge of food was always an added bonus to your slumber.

Slotting the fluffy wedges into the shunty grids was about as good as it gets as a seven year old in a flammable pink dressing gown. I would busy myself about the kitchen until the toast was ready, adjusting fridge magnets and licking my finger to mop up any crumbs that had fallen astray from its metal prison.

The reason that I waited for so long for my toast was the reason why I now wait in life..... l'essence d'hôtel.

It is all about the texture, not so much the taste in the toast.

Essentially toast to you and I is simply warm bread. However, after studying bread and its many complexities in depth at univeristy, I discovered how we come to appreciate this morning morsel. Apparantely one day a rather hungry and inquisitive chap, young Mr Louis Camille Maillard decided to check out the reactions between foods with proteins and foods that are sweet. I dig his vibe.

He was onto a winner when he discovered that upon the application of a dry heat source (step up Russell and Morphy) proteins would convert with the sugars in the bread and a lovely tangerine tinted shade would appear.

Upon the fragrant waft and the bright red signal from the depths of the toaster, the bread..sorry, toast, would pop out and alert all of its magnitude and prescence. The process would have a defined line of manufacture. From the brown melanine worksurface onto a dinner plate. Why a dinner plate? Surely a side plate for supper?

Well.... its just that dinner plates offer a much more spacious and liberating appeal to the toast and there is much more room for fresh air to integrate.

Onto the dinner plate and now the toast would be assembled into a doughy wigwam thus creating a tunnel for maximum waftage.

Building this structure provided the toast with ample breathing opportunity. Where so many have made mistakes and continue to do so in cafes, restaurants and houses we have the unfortunate opportunity to stay for breakfast is that they do not respect the time elapsed.
The main reason we do not make direct contact with bread to plate is that of bread perspiration. Yeast sweating profussely onto the plate produces a texture similar to babies chewing their morning toast. Don't even mention the crumb loss too.

Eight minutes was the PB for completion. We must have had some tail winds from an open window.

The toast was as good as ready when the surface abrasion had been complete and approved by Harry G.

Spreadage time.

Now, I have a lot of time for butter, a Lurpak girl by choice. Salty, nutty with a hint of toffee. Being able to see the mass of yellow blanketing the chewy raft was pure supper heaven. Teeth marks in the butter are also a staple part of the hotel toast experience.

Crumbs lapped up and time for my nylon nap.

Twenty years later, the suppers may have gone but I am still giving my 8 minutes each morning.

How do you like your toast??? x

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Independence Day

When I think of the prospect of an Alien invasion on earth who focus on ravaging the human race, car noses packed end to end, smoke billowing from buildings, Will Smith bumbling about and people jumping into the sea, I often think to myself. Where would I go? Or more importantly, what would someone like Liam Gallagher do. I don't know why Liam, I just tend to think something as utterly outrageous and purely inconvenient could not happen to him.
And the what I would do and where I would go in the case of this unprovoked attack, leads me to the hills of deepest Wales. Drygarn Fawr sounds appealing to me. I would hide in a cask of bark and take with me for definite some nice fresh and flannel clothing. A mini door to attach to the hollowed bark. A pillow and quilt. About 6 friends for prepared attack camaraderie. But more importantly a hefty supply of my all time tuck shop favourites.
Everyone should have a Hill in Wales list. The curves and teacups in the hills of Wales make for a giant hiding place and to be honest, I doubt that the Aliens would have the time, nor map directing skills to find me and my savvy crew.
When seriously making my decisions as to what should be on my staples. I have some very cut and dry calls to make.
Maryland Red Pack Cookies (merely aperitifs).
Galaxy chocolate. Still taking the proverbials out of DM.
Crayfish & Rocket-for making sandwiches with added skills.
Jar of Jalapenos:the Pritt Stik of the urban store cupboard.
Linguine Pasta-essentially just a paste of flour and water left to go hard. Almost Pastry. Not quite the same ring. Pastry and Pesto.
Vimto for an unidentified sucrose attack.
Warburtons green loaf. Toasty has never tasted so bad in comparison.
Mint Aero Bubbles. Great balls of calcium.
Purely to sensationalise this grub list I am going to add 10 packets of Bernard Matthews Honey Roast Ham. I can totally see the screaming hygiene risks associated with this high quota, however, I can eat the stuff like sugar paper.

Today I left my place of work after being evacuated along with my colleagues and poured out onto the street to a scene not too dissimilar to our 1996 Blockbuster. Aside from teenagers getting so much pleasure from creating balls of Ice, breaded with Asphalt and E Coli, I witnessed some of the most desperate and tabloid foddered driving of my short lived years on the roads.
Now, I was OK as long as I kept under ten and pumped the breaks, the way my Daddy told me. However, as much as my love for the human race is in 2010, my heart was filled with a little anger. I wanted to run to Wales.
Turning cars round in lanes, winding windows down feeding strangers tit bits of information you had seen and heard on the radio. Predicting whether to follow the guy who makes a superfluous 3 point turn and has that look on his face that says "come with me" I know something these jerks don't. In the 3 hours of convoy misery, my co pilots and I had to also appertain with the loss of contact with not only our required journey time home, but our brunch. A stolen opportunity at an inconveniently situated Londis was thwarted by a sudden surge of traffic when one of my friends of the human race decided to let us through. Although as opposed to flashing, he used the international road hand gesture of "your turn" a kind of smug, side swipe across your face through glass. Thanks. Goodbye Maltesers. Goodbye Pickled Onion Monster Munch.

Home now and as part of this week that is still new. I have decided to create my first Blog.

This for all intents and purpose is for anyone who enjoys to examine and wax about Food. Mostly memories of Food from a Northen angle. And that is not angel. I am not that cute.

Enjoy the powder whil't lasts.

Stay warm and eat only good food that will fill your hearts and bellies with happiness. x