The Anonymous Widower

CoolRail To Cut Carbon Footprint Of Fresh Food

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette International.

These first two paragraphs outline the plan.

Food logistics company Euro Pool System has launched a thrice-weekly CoolRail dedicated temperature-controlled service to transport fresh produce between Valencia in Spain and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

This is intended to be first route of planned network of CoolRail services which would link Spain with Germany, Scandinavia and the UK.

I can see this method of fresh food transportation growing, especially as CoolRail claim it is as fast as by road and cuts CO2 emissions by 70 to 90 %.

It also appears that the UK through the Channel Tunnel is in CoolRail’s plans.

Fish, Lamb And Beef To Europe

The obvious British export, that could use the service the other way to Europe is probably fish, as a large proportion of UK-landed fish goes to Europe at the present time.

This page on the Seafish web site, gives details about fish imports and exports.

Quality meat, like Welsh lamb and Scottish beef could also be sent to Europe, after being slaughtered in the UK.

What About Quality Food And Drink?

This page on the Scotch Whisky Association web site is entitled Scotch Whisky Exports On The Up in 2018.

This is two paragraphs from the page.

In 2018, the export value of Scotch Whisky grew +7.8% by value, to a record £4.70bn. The number of 70cl bottles exported also reached record levels growing to the equivalent of 1.28bn, up +3.6%.

The United States became the first billion pound export market for Scotch Whisky, growing to £1.04bn last year. The EU remains the largest region for exports, accounting for 30% of global value and 36% of global volume.

That means that Scotland exported to the EU, the equivalent of 461 million bottles of whisky, that is worth around £1.41billion.

A twenty-foot shipping container has a volume of 33.2 cubic metres., so with allowance for packaging, one could probably hold 33,200 bottles worth about £100,000.

To accommodate all Scotch Whisky exports to Europe on the 2018 figures, would need 14,000 containers per year or a very civilised thirty-eight containers a day.


There’s certainly a large market for food transport by rail across Europe and to the UK, some of which will be in containers with refrigeration and some without!


May 28, 2019 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fish Market Restaurant, Reykjavik

I went here for dinner, as I really didn’t think I could stand the hotel food.

They had a gluten-free menu and I had some excellent lamb.

But why was it served on a plate like a piece of guttering?

Incidentally, the restaurant had whale on the gluten-free menu. I didn’t partake!

One thing that can be said for Rejkjavik is that there is no problem finding a restaurant if you’re coeliac

July 14, 2014 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


This is another recipe from One-pot Cooking (“Australian Women’s Weekly”)

The ingredients are as follows and are enough for four.

  • 100 g. of green lentils
  • 500g diced lamb, cut into 1 cm. pieces.  I got it from the butchery counter in Waitrose already cut up.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed.  I used garlic granules.
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 400g can chikpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 100g of long grain rice.
  • 3 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

The method was as follows.

  1. Cook lentils, lasmb, onion, garlic and spices in a large flameproof casserole dish, sirring until lamb is browned.
  2. Add the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for one hour.
  3. Add chickpeas, rice and tomato to dish.
  4. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until rice is just tender.
  5. Stir in the parsley.

It was simple, pretty quick and everybody liked it.

April 29, 2011 Posted by | Food | , | 3 Comments


Today was my housewarming party, so I cooked a gluten-free cassoulet in a big Le Creuset casserole.

I’ve always liked cassoulet and in the past, I’ve even eaten one cooked by a Michelin-starred chef.  This was the second time I’d used this recipe which is based on one from Michele Barriemore-Johnson’s Everyday Wheat-Free and Gluten-Free Cookbook, which is really the only cookery book, I use these days.  I’m not sure, if the book is still in print, as it was first published in 1998.  The author, now runs a comprehensive free-from food site called

The ingredients are as follows and the quantities serve from ten to twelve.

  • 500 g dried haricot beans – one pack in Waitrose
  • 8 rashers of streaky bacon – One pack in Waitrose
  • 4 carrots, scrubbed and skiced – I actually chopped them into sticks about 5 centimetres long and then quartered-them lengthwise, as I found this easier with my gammy hand.
  • 4 onions stuck with between about eight and ten cloves each – Surprisingly, I didn’t find this too difficult, but I did make a small cut in the onions with the point of a knife and the cloves were newly bought.
  • 3 large onions roughly chopped – Effectively, I just peeled them and cut them into small chunks.
  • 6 cloves garlic, halved – I find peeling garlic difficult, but this was easier than crushing them.
  • 20 or so peppercorns and salt
  • 50g butter
  • 2 Bath Pig chorizo sausages with garlic and herbs. I was recommended by and purchased these from the de Beauvoir Deli.  You have to dice it for the recipe.
  • 1 Kg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cubed – The original recipe recommended leg or shoulder, but the butcher in Waitrose recommended using some neck cuts. Both these and the chorizo worked well.
  • a tube of tomato puree.
  • 500 g of chicken stock.  I diluted it a bit with a small amount of water.
  • 4 slices of gluten-free bread – I used Genius, as I had a loaf handy. 
  • 4 tbsp of whole grain mustard – Check it’s gluten-free.

The method is as follows.

  1. Soak the beans in cold water for a minimum of four hours.  I did it overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and discard the water.  This isn’t quite as easy as it should be, as the beans soak up a load of the water.  In the end I used a saucepan with a strainer built into the lid to get rid of the excess water, but it might have been better to soak the beans in the saucepan in the first place.
  3. Line a big casserole with the bacon rashers.
  4. In a bowl mix together the beans, carrots, the onions stuck with cloves, half the garlic and the peppercorns and salt.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the pot with the bacon, just cover it with water and bake it with the lid on at 160 degrees for 2 hours. 
  6. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and brown the garlic sausage and the lamb.  Stir in the chopped onion, the rest of the garlic, the tomato puree and the stock.
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  8. Turn the mixture into the bean pot, stir all well together and return to the over for another 30 minutes. Taste and season as required.
  9. Spread the bread with mustard.  Lay on top of the casserole, mustard side up and push them down, so that the bottom of each slice absorbs the juices.  Return to the over for 20-25 minutes to heat and crisp the topping.

I served it with some green vegetables, but everybody just took lots of beans.

There was enough left over to make three small individual meals, which I froze.

January 16, 2011 Posted by | Food | , | 5 Comments

Dundee (or Essex) Marmalade Lamb Chops

This is an interesting recipe.  I originally found it because I had some nice Welsh lamb chops and wanted a different way to cook them.  I had just bought a jar of decent marmalade and typed marmalade and lamb into Google.

It came from RecipeZaar.

These are the ingredients.

  • 4 leg lamb chops
  • 2 1/2 fluid ounces vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons real marmalade (i.e. with sugar and not wheat maltodextrin – Tiptree is ideal)
  • 4 slices oranges, for garnish
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 fluid ounces water
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

And this is how you cook it.

  1. You will need a frying pan with a heavy base and a close-fitting lid.
  2. First, brown the chops in the butter.
  3. Sprinkle the ginger, paprika, salt and pepper over the chops and add water and vinegar.
  4. Place a generous tablespoon of marmalade on the top of each chop.
  5. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 45 minutes on a very low heat.
  6. If required, add a little extra water.
  7. Serve with a twist of orange on top of the chops and with boiled potatoes and fresh vegetables.

It is absolutely disgusting.  But wonderful.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | Food | , , | 3 Comments