The Anonymous Widower

A Meal To Pair With Lindsey Bareham’s Pasta

I like meals that pair up, where you use the same ingredients in separate meals, so that one purchase does two totally different meals. I cook the pasta with pulled ham hock, peas and yoghurt regularly and always have pulled ham hock in the fridge and frozen peas in the freezer.

So when Lindsey Bareham published this Dijon Ham And Pea Gratin, with the same main ingredients of pulled ham hock and frozen peas. I just had to give it a go.

I started by switching the oven on to 200°C and making a sauce for the first time.

I melted about 15 g of butter in a saucepan and stirred  in some flour and mustard. Milk was added gradually, stirring constantly to make a thick smooth sauce, which I simmered gently for 5 minutes.

Grated Emmental cheese was then added and a smooth sauce was made.  As Lindsey said, I seasoned it with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

The Mustard And Cheese Sauce

The Mustard And Cheese Sauce

The ham hock and the peas, were then stirred into the sauce and thoroughly mixed.

I then put it in an oval dish and covered it with a mixture of gluten free breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Ready For The Oven

Ready For The Oven

After 20-30 minutes in the oven, it was ready for eating.

Dijon Ham And Pea Gratin

Dijon Ham And Pea Gratin

I enjoyed it immensely.

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Last Week Was Chocolate Week

last week was Chocolate Week and Lindsey Bareham celebrated with five recipes using chocolate of which four were savoury.

I cooked this Catalan Lamb Stew With Almonds on the sixteenth.

Catalan Lamb Stew With Almonds

Catalan Lamb Stew With Almonds

I had a problem in that I couldn’t find any blanched almonds, so I had to use plaked ones and it was a bit gritty.  My little chopper also made a bit of the mess with the sauce, so I can’t say it was a great success.  I’ll try it again sometimes, with the blanched almonds.

And then on the nineteenth, I cooked Chicken Chili With Chocolate.

Chicken Chili With Chocolate

Chicken Chili With Chocolate

It was good and I put half in the freezer for later. I did cheat though, by using microwaveable rice.

Next time I’ll cook it with proper rice.

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning With Lindsey Bareham

I’ve been meaning to put this up for some time, and only now I’ve had a bit of a think, have I found a handle to hang the post on.

It started by Lindsey’s recipe for bangers and mash.

Her method for frying sausages worked well.

Four Of The Black Farmer's Finest

Four Of The Black Farmer’s Finest

I just fried them in a little oil for thirty minutes. I think in the past, I’ve always tried to cook them too quickly.

I used four of the Black Farmer’s finest, as like all good sausages they are gluten free. I met the actual Black Farmer once and what a gentleman he is. Long may he continue to be successful!

Lindsey also taught me how to cook the onions.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a second frying pan and add the sliced onion. Cook briskly, tossing constantly for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring often, until slippery soft. Add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp water. Let it bubble away. Turn off the heat.

They were delicious, but so was it all.

Bangers And Mash A La Lindsey

Bangers And Mash A La Lindsey

Perhaps, I did cook too much potato, but it was the first time I had cold apple sauce with hot sausages.

If the recipe had one problem, there was a lot of washing up.

Too Much Washing Up!

Too Much Washing Up!

But I’ll forgive Lindsey that!

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment

Little Bits Of Italian Paper

One slight irritant in Italy is that the law says you must have a receipt.  Unlike in the UK, Italians seem very reluctant to bin them for you.

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

After Too Many Foxes And Badgers, Now Too Many Rabbits

This is actually quite an old story from the BBC, but it turned up in today’s Times.

At least though, when compared to foxes and badgers, you can make the buggers work, as after they’ve been strangled and skinned, they make an excellent supper.

The best rabbit I’ve eaten was on the island of Salina, where they are one of the few sources of local fresh meat. In one case, I had rabbit, with the other local delicacy; capers.

I’m sure if foxes and badgers were a source of food, they wouldn’t be such a pest to so many.

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Food, News | , , | Leave a comment

Why Does The MOD Call Directory Enquiries?

This report in the Independent is beyond belief.

I think that I last used any 118 number at least five years ago. And that was probably on a mobile, when I had no Internet access.

I suspect that the number of calls can’t get down to zero, as there are always difficult circumstances, when say service personnel get injured or sadly killed.


October 21, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Dr. Who Episodes Found In Nigeria

This must be one of the strangest stories of recent weeks.  I found it on the BBC web site here, when I was coming back from Palermo.

How many old programs from the goldern black-and-white age of British television are gathering dust in cupboards all over the world?

October 21, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

Unacceptable Food Waste

Tesco are reporting that large quantities of good food is thrown away.  The story is covered here on the BBC.

The problem isn’t that we waste food, but that supermarkets gear us up to buy large quantities of everything in a weekly shop.

I live in the city and although, I do have a mid-sized Sainsburys in walking distance, I prefer to take a bus to the Angel, when I need food.

I generally food shop two or three days at a time, planning what I need.

I  use a lot of multi-use food, like Rachel’s yoghurt, that goes on my muesli and also acts as the sauce for my pasta.

I also buy what I need, like a single onion, three bananas or a ready prepared pack of potatoes. Only last week, I found a sandwich-sized pack of salami in Waitrose.

We need more small packs, so we can buy what we need.

As for salads, which is one of the biggest sources of food waste, I rarely eat them at home, but regularly I will have a salad for my lunch in a convenient Carluccio’s.  As an example, their mozzarella fusa, which is a meal in itself, is £6.75. It probably isn’t much more expensive than buying the ingredients in a supermarket and making one myself, if you count the amount of food that will be wasted.

in some ways my biggest food shopping problem, is that I have a small badly-designed kitchen, with a fridge sized for a bed-sit, It doesn’t have a freezer, which is downstairs in my garage. This state of affairs, is because Jerry felt an enormous cooker was what was needed and much more important. I had hoped by now, that the kitchen would have been properly rebuilt.

And of course, I still throw away two much food.


October 21, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | 1 Comment

Buying Tickets To Scotland

Next weekend, I’m going to Edinburgh and Glasgow and then down to Bolton to see Ipswich play.

All journeys were booked on-line in First Class and purchased using my Senior Railcard. It cost me £64.31 for the trip up using East Coast on Thursday and £57.45 for the split  journey down using Virgin.

The journey down is probably cheaper, as it is effectively a typical Premium Economy journey in First Class on Saturday.

As I can now collect tickets from my local station at Dalston Junction, I was able to collect the tickets, whilst taking a constitutional walk to the pub in the evening.

Would people use the trains more, if it were easier to pick up tickets?

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liverpool Tries Scrapping Bus Lanes

It is being reported on both BBC Breakfast and their web site, that Liverpool is scrapping bus lanes in a nine month experiment to see if it reduces congestion.

What Liverpool really needs is better information on how to use the buses and walk around the city, as I said here in this post. I didn’t get a reply.  Unlike from Birmingham after this post.

Closer to home, I’m being seriously inconvenienced by road works in a bus lane, which has resulted in the closest stop to my house being closed.  This means that when I return from the Angel with my shopping, I have to walk several hundred metres further. In a couple of cases, I’ve taken taxis home, to avoid the walk.

Hopefully, in a few days, we’ll be back to normal!

October 21, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment