Comments Off on Camping Recipe: Rhubarb Sausage Rolls
So…thirty years ago, more or less, Jane Ellis, a friend from school, brought in for packed lunch some rhubarb sausage rolls. She gave me one, and since then I’ve been periodically remembering how fantastic they were, and thinking I might get round to making some of my own. Thirty years it’s taken me, but today, I have finally baked my first batch of rhubarb sausage rolls. They could become a firm fixture in our kitchen!
I thought I’d write them up as a recipe, even though there’s really nothing to it. They do make a good idea to rustle up the day before going camping as they only take about 20 minutes, and will (hopefully) keep nicely in a Tupperware container for lunchtime snacks over the next day or two.
I didn’t know what a S’more was until earlier today. So I now know they are a sweet confection of deliciousness originating somewhere in North America, and perhaps invented by the Girl Guides way back in the 1920’s. It tells you how good they are by the fact they’re still made today.
Anyway, finding the technical aspects of cooking quite challenging, I think even I could make a S’more (some more, get it?). All the recipes I’ve found suggest that a real S’more has to be cooked over a campfire, but I’m guessing you could improvise with the flame of a gas ring or a grill.
So here it is, the recipe for S’mores –
Milk Chocolate Hershey Bar
Apparently, the closest thing we have to a Graham Cracker is a Digestive biscuit and a Hershey bar is just like a bar of Galaxy or Dairy Milk (only not as nice). ... Read more
It might not seem like it, but barbecue season is almost upon us. I know some die-hard barbie fans will say that barbecue season never ends, but for most of us, it’s time to start thinking about Saturday evenings in the garden, or preferably on a campsite, grilling something tasty over those hot coals.
If your old barbecue is looking a little bit like a health and safety scare story, then maybe this year is the year to go for gas. Gas grills have all the outdoor fun of traditional barbies, but without the warm-up time, the inconsistent cooking, and the argument about who cleans out all the grotty old coals the next day.
The Fyrkat gas grill from Bodum has to be about the most stylish grill I’ve seen. It’s even got a cool name – Fyrkat, which I’ve taken to be Scandinavian for FIRE CAT! ... Read more
Some of you may have seen Martin Dorey’s TV series last summer. It’s not often (almost unheard of) for camping and caravanning to be featured on TV at all, let alone for there to be an entire program dedicated to the joys of campervanning. Martin changed all that with a fun series that charted his one-man journey in his trusty van as he toured up and down the UK, cooking up tasty food along the way on just two rings.
If you missed the series last year, or if you love camper vans, or indeed if you love Martin Dorey, then you’re in luck. The entire series is now available to buy on a 3-disc DVD set. It would make a great gift for a camper van nut, or anyone who loves to road trip in their van.
We only caught one episode last summer as we were off in our own van in Europe for most of the time that the show was on.
Comments Off on Beaujolais Nouveau 2012 versus Vin Nouveau 2012
By the time we arrived at the supermarket this morning, our nerves were jangling. Said supermarket was only 2 minutes’ drive from the campsite but the exit from the campsite was what had us all a-quiver. If you have a campsite and you particularly target the RV market (and RVs are generally on the huge side of large), why might you think it a good idea to build an S-shaped barrier system that involves much concrete and stupid car-height keypads on sticking-out metal posts? Having tried valiantly to get out of the ridiculous out lane, I can’t imagine any van longer than about 22 feet long would actually make it out intact. Our van is 31 feet long. So we got as far as was possible without demolishing our van or the keypad system, then had to gingerly reverse all the way back in again, snaking back round the S-curve, in order to try again through the entry gate, which was marginally less ridiculous. ... Read more
OK, today was my birthday. So I had the perfect excuse to see what the fuss was all about, with regards to this St. Tropez speciality, La Tarte Tropézienne. Well, what can I say? It was delicious.
It’s essentially a large, light bun, filled to overflowing with sweet, sticky crème pâtissière. The one I chose had raspberries in the middle too, but they also come plain or with strawberries. The bun is melt in the mouth, the cream is sweet and sumptuous, without being too much. At €7 for the smallest tarte, these are special occasion cakes, for sure. The larger, family-sized versions come in at €29!
The background to this becoming THE cake of St. Tropez is interesting. Apparently, in the 1950s, a Polish chef called Alexandre Micka, opened a boulangerie in St. Tropez and began selling this cake, created from an old family recipe. ... Read more
Before we set off on our travels, we gave some thought as to what we would eat each day. Our previous van had only three gas rings – no oven, no microwave. So we knew we’d need to be creative in order to go long-haul without turning into pasta monsters or being bored of the same old thing every meal time. We could have bought a camping cookbook, and there are certainly some good ones out there. But I felt that I wanted a bigger choice of meals, in a smaller cookbook. So I bought the dinky little book 200 Twenty-Minute Meals and also its sister title, 200 Barbecue Recipes.
These little recipe books won’t compete with Nigella’s latest tome, in terms of style and elegance. But they do have some really tasty fresh ideas to keep us from getting in a routine with cooking. ... Read more
I first tried a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet a year ago, in a selection I “bought” with a very generous £40 voucher from Naked Wines. I knew nothing about the wine, and I’m no conoisseur (but I know what I like, if you know what I mean).
The Naked Wines bottle put Picpoul de Pinet very definitely on my radar, as it was easily the best bottle of the half dozen I bought. But Picpoul de Pinet isn’t a wine you see on the supermarket shelves, so it’s stayed on a dusty shelf in the back of my mind since that Naked Wines experience.
So we’ve been in Languedoc Roussillon for the past week or so, and you can’t miss how much wine production goes on here. There are acres of fields left and right along every road, full of vines bursting into life. ... Read more
Comments Off on Book Review: The Wine Regions of France
Part of our plan for our “Big Europe Trip” in 2012 is to learn new things as we travel along. We’re not planning an A-level in European History, or anything like that. But we do want to try to learn a little about each region as we pass through it.
Exploring the wines of France would seem to be the perfect way to fulfil this learning goal! Drink wine, learn stuff. What could be better?
The book starts with a short guide to all things wine-related – terminology, history of wine, an overview of the main grape varities and tasting information. There’s just enough information to get a basic understanding, without getting bogged down in too much wine-geekiness. ... Read more
With an introduction by the god of eat local himself, Mr. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Edible Seashore takes that concept oh so literally and shows how you can forage on our beaches and shorelines for what may be some of the tastiest food you’ve ever cooked yourself.
We’ve all seen clusters of mussels washed up on the beach, and I’m sure we’ve all wondered daftly about whether we could collect them and cook them. If you’re like me, you’ll have sensibly talked yourself out of it every time, but this book will give you the confidence to find and harvest safely mussels, and many other shellfish and sea creatures and will show you how to cook them well. And if you fancy some greens to go with that amazing seafood dinner, the book covers seaweeds and other vegetable finds.
As well as recipes and ideas for cooking what you find, the book also includes a whole heap of information about the hows, whens and wheres of seashore foraging, with advice on tides, equipment, the law and more. ... Read more