All 11 entries tagged Food

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September 14, 2006

Yay Meat!

My birthday present from my dad showed up at Uni House today – a box’o’meat, specifically:

A pheasant
Some Wild Boar
Some Venison Steaks

I would link to the company website, but their URL is not resolving.

Anyway, I now have bambi in a box by my desk and look forward to eating them at some later point.

Go Meat!

September 06, 2006

Plum Sauce

Our neighbour gave us a big bag of plums from their tree. Unsure about what to do with them I decided to cook up some plum sauce to go with duck. A Gary Rhodes recipie was the base which I adpated based on what was in the kitchen:

Malt Vinegar
Demerara Sugar
Dash of Port
Star Anise
Coriander seeds
Stick of cinnamon

Worked out very well and I now have a jar of delicious plum sauce that will last a very long time according to Mr Rhodes. Excellent.

I will be making some more from the rest of the plums.

September 04, 2006

Free food for everyone!

For the last two weekends I have been out picking blackberries around our village – there are a hell of a lot this year and we have had no problem stocking up with all this free food. I look forward to a winter of blackberry crumble, tarts, cheesecakes and jam. I think there are another good 3-4 weeks of fruit to come.

Also, the veg patch is reaching it’s peak. We have cabbages a-plenty – they survived the relentless attack of butterflies which has pleased me a lot. The beans are ok, but were better last year. Courgettes are producing well and the tomatoes are not bad. Even the leeks are looking pretty good – I look forward to Feb/March when I can eat those.

Best of all are the Butternut Squashes – we have two baby squashes already ripening and plenty of flowers which should also become fruit. I’ll be chuffed as can be if these come off.

Anyway – the point of all of this is all of this comes for bugger all money – the cost of some seeds and a bit of hard work – less than that for the blackberries of course. What bugged me about this post was the idea that gardens were wasteful and bad. Rubbish – one of the key reasons we are/were a nation of gardeners was that gardens were a way of producing cheap, healthy food. Whether you had a small garden or an allotment, for many working people it was how you supplemented your family’s food in a cheap way.

July 26, 2006

Ramsey slaughters eel and Jonathan Ross eats its still beating heart – Yes!

I am sure that Ramsey is going to get some stick over his latest programme. If you missed it a Japanese chef killed a live eel with a quick blow to the head, a metal spike through the head. Following this the chef cut out the heart which Ramsey and Ross argued over who was going to eat it.

Earlier in the show Ramsey interviewed a lady who pointed out some of the worst elements of the indusrtrial pork industry – cramped, awful conditions and pretty awful practices.

Compare this to the respect the japenese chef paid to his eel. 'This is a strong fish' he declared and he made sure that whatever could be eaten was. He handled the fish carefully, having spent 5 years learning how to cook just that type of fish. Problem is though, you can bet that the graphic picture of the fish getting the chop and the beating heart is going to cause more of a storm than the treatment of the factory pigs.

We seem happy to chomp away on the pigs but treat the representation of the eels death as terrible and something to deny, hide away from. This seems horribly hypocritical and just wrong.

I come back to a point raised before – we have to take responsibility for the food we eat. This includes making sure that the production is ethical in the acknowledgement that something must die for us to eat meat. Ramsey has done well in reminding us of this.

June 23, 2006

Whaling and the ethics of meat

The debate on Whaling recently has interested me in terms of the ethics of eating meat – a subject I am fairly passionate about.

You see, there is a great deal of unease for many people, and I include myself here, about the idea of eating whale meat. However, if I hold true to my statements on meat–eating then I should have no problem with chewing a hunk of blue whale, right?

Well, no actually – and I am not sure why.

Let's take the first comment – many whales are endangered species and so to fish for them would be threatening their very existence. Ok, I am fine with this and am happy to say no to eating whale in this instance, and would apply the same rule to any animal or plant – if it's endangered then it's a no–no. Cod is a good example of something I look to avoid as the fish stocks have taken a hammering.

However, this lead me to my next thought, if it is not endangered, is it then ok? If the whale population is big enough to sustainably fish then by my reckoning we should be all enjoying juicy whale steaks.

Hmmmm. Not so easy now – I don't know if it is my western tastes imposing themselves here but I still feel uncomfortable about this. Perhaps I expose myself as a horrendous hypocrite here. Is it because I am unprepared to eat something widely recognised as a beautiful and intelligent creature? Well, pigs are pretty smart and I eat those. Pheasants and Deer are beautiful (pretty dumb though…) and I eat those. So why am I reticent about eating whale, or for that matter dolphin.

Is there a distinction between animals farmed and those in the wild that I feel is a problem – well, I'll eat wild boar, fish, pigeon and other game – so that's not it.

Perhaps this is all cultural and if I sat in a Japanese restaurant and was presented with a hunk 'o' Minki I would I would shrug and tuck in.

I just don't know as yet. If I am to stick to the principles discussed in previous posts then by all rights I will pick up the knife and fork and go for it. I am just not sure I am quite ready to take that challenge.

(no doubt, the whales aren't lining up to test me yet either!)

April 05, 2006

Folic Acid in Bread

So now the Government wants to put Folic Acid in bread. All the time and effort sorting out how to supplement our diet so that we get the proper amount of nutrients should be better spent on promoting a healthy and varied diet.

People – you can get all the nutrients you need by eating freshly prepared food, by eating a range of fruit, vegetables and meats (sorry veggies).

As long as we continue to peddle the magic bullet approach to food and nutrition then all we encourage is ignorance and laziness.

Folic Acid is naturally occuring in green leafy vegetables – how hard is it to prepare spinach for crying out loud?

And there is enough crap in commerical mass-producd bread as it is – for example: link

It's the same bloody principle that Bush approaches climate change with – "everything's screwed, but don't worry, technology will help us out".

It took thousands of years to develop the culinary knowledge we have lost in a generation – that's a horrific legacy for the future.

February 06, 2006

Breakfast and dentists

For breakfast today – home baked blueberry muffin – most delicious.

Also much strong coffee to counter act Dentist Anxiety. Some people hate heights, others confined spaces – me, it's dentists.

My sister visited the dentist once and he said he had to do a bit of work on a tooth. Started the drill and said if this starts to hurt let me know. Started drilling and Jane was in pain so grunted stop but he kept going. He hit a tender bit so Jane punched him – quite justified if you ask me.

My dentist now has new premises, but whereas they used to have a door between the waiting room and the consultation rooms, it's now all open so you can hear the previous victim's screams before you go in. Nice!

Still feeling a bit ropey an hour later…

January 25, 2006

Can't escape work

Writing about web page

I quite like the idea of making some home-cured bacon so googled "how to make bacon" last night – and Chris May came up as the first entry (this was

Why do I get the feeling that WarwickBlogs is slowly taking over the world…

January 09, 2006

"Oliver and Ramsey cleared over TV slaughter" – Guardian

Writing about web page,14173,1682559,00.html

I see that Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver were both cleared by the media watchdog after viewers complained about the slaughter of animals on the chef's shows.

Ramsey killed a number of turkeys during his show and Oliver was criticised for the slaughter of a Lamb during his Great Escape series.

I am fully in favour of people, and children in particular, being aware of where food comes from and the way that it is produced. It may seem disturbing to those used to pre-processed vacuum sealed slabs of nothingness served up by supermarkets these days, meat that bears no resemblance to anything that could be recognisable an animal, but if you eat meat then surely you have to acknowledge the process whereby your dinner gets to your plate.

I am sure that the lamb and turkeys in the shows had a much better existence than the vast majority of the poor animals that end up on supermarket shelves – and suffered no more at the moment of slaughter than any of the factory farmed chickens or pigs that end up in your local abatoir.

The fact is that eating meat involves the death of an animal – if you can't cope with that then be a vegetarian, otherwise get used to the idea and treat the animal with the respect it deserves.

I feel perfectly comfortable watching the pigs on the local farm fully in the knowledge that in 6 months time I will be enjoying bacon, sausages, roast leg of pork and other cuts from those same pigs. They live well, are treated with respect at the farm, in the abatoir and I will cook them with the same respect.

January 03, 2006

Buying a field

Follow-up to Meat Manifesto from Contemplating the Frame

You see the other book I got was one on self sufficiancy – apparently a 1970s classic.

It gives you all sorts of ideas for how you can basically live off a plot of land, including instructions on raising livestock (and also how to kill and butcher stuff).

Now, following this and the H F-W book I have been wistfully gazing at the field that sits behind our house and thinking – 'what could I do with that?'

Amazingly I was also able to rationalise purchasing the field with the idea that if we bought it we could ensure that no-one ever built on it, which has been threatened in the past but always rejected by the local authorities (for now anyway).

I wonder what fields go for these days?

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