AS: Cool Britannia (sort of): the British thread 2019

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  • @MaryLouise we’ll give that a try too, thank you!
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited December 2019
    @Boogie, I also make a char-grilled red bell pepper starter with balsamic and cracked black peppercorns, along with a wild rice pilaff tossed with grilled mushrooms and toasted pine nuts, or a sliced fennel and orange salad with olives.

    The trick is to keep the ordinary carnivore guests away from the vegan dishes because they wander over all bright-eyed from gin, noses twitching with curiosity, gobble up the dips, take handfuls of toasted nuts and sample the pilaffs while saying rude things about tofu. Then they go back to their smoked salmon and cheese puffs leaving the vegans enraged and starving.
  • The vegetarian/vegan Christmas meal I have to fight out of the greedy carnivores' mouths is a Sarah Brown parsnip and cashew nut roast with a mushroom stuffing, served with a mushroom and sherry gravy from the same book. I used to make it annually for the local charity meal for people who'd be on their own on Christmas Day and we had problems stopping everyone putting a slice on their plates with the turkey and trimmings and not leaving any for the veggies. The only ingredient that isn't vegan is butter, IIRC.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    The Nice Chap who rents the Vicarage next to Our Place (Father NewPriest has a smaller house elsewhere in the parish - as a single man, he doesn't need a 5-double-bedroomed Edwardian mansion!) is on a bit of a health kick at the moment, and is doing very well with losing weight, exercising, and eating properly.

    He (the Nice Chap) tells me that he is eating quite a lot of quorn, which he finds very tasty, though I guess that depends on how it's used. He says he now doesn't miss meat (!), so maybe some sort of quorn recipe for Christmas Day might assuage the cravings of the Carnivores. I'm told quorn can be used as one might use chicken, so maybe it could substitute for turkey?

    (SOSSIDGE and MASH for lunch today here, though... I admit to being a Carnivore, but I do find some veggie/vegan recipes Very Tasty Indeed).
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I made a mushroom risotto a few weeks back, and it was really nice. The recipe I've given was just for me, but it could easily be multiplied, and you could make it a bit more special by using posh mushrooms, or get dried porcini and use the (strained) soaking water as part of the stock. If spring onions are a no-no, I doubt that it would suffer too much without them.

    I'm going to my vegetarian niece's on Christmas Day, and although there's going to be turkey as well (provided by my brother and his girlfriend), I'll be interested to see what else is on offer. I'm contemplating bringing mushroom pâté as a starter, if I can find all the ingredients.
  • Oooh, oooh!

    Mushroom pate!

    Yum, yum...please to send some to a Benighted Sassenach...!!
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I think the thing is to think of as many contrasting flavours and textures as possible.

    A crunchy winter salad - white cabbage, carrot, fennel, apple, walnuts that sort of thing.

    A soft dish like Caponata, or anything involving aubergine/tomato/peppers (roasted and skinned beforehand). Or Brown Tom, which is just layers of sliced tomato and breadcrumbs - substitute Parmesan for the chopped bacon.

    Something stodgy, like the dear old lentil loaf. Or Spanish potato tortilla. Or quiche. Or flan/pie, filled with spinach & feta or mushrooms.

    I can't think of a vegetable that isn't improved by roasting. Sweet potato sprinkled with za'atar. Potatoes with thyme. Carrots and parsnips with honey.

    If you can't roast 'em, braise 'em. Lettuce with peas. Leeks with cream.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    God bless Marks and Sparks. It wouldn't be Christmas without mincemeat. The minute I open it I shall have a big festive nostalgia attack.
  • Bulgarian pepper stew... quite delicious. A friend of mine and his wife are vegetarian, and introduced me to this. She would serve it with slices of toasted baguette smeared with neige de chevre. Oh, and lots of red wine. If you can get it, just for ethnic consistency, get some Gamza or Mavrud - nice umphy reds. [Fervent prayers that the link works...]
  • Missed the edit window...

    1) The recipe talks about using fresh thyme, etc. Don't. Use dried.
    2) I'm pretty certain that you shouldn't be adding 60 litres of red wine. It should probably be 60mL, but I'd go 100-125mL.
    3) The cook, in my experience, used garlic.
    4) I think that she roasted a couple of the peppers first, to bring out the sweetness more.
    5) Don't use a mandolin. Your pepper slices will be too thin and might disintegrate.

    I'm try to think of other helpful hints, but it's years since I've had this.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    @Pangolin Guerre I really like the sound of that pepper stew but would make sure to use sweet smoked paprika rather than ordinary paprika which is often harsh and more like cayenne.

    Looking at the Guardian recipes (link posted by @Firenze), I had a sudden desire to try making Ottolenghi's Chinese turnip cake because we have fresh daikon selling cheaply at the moment. But I haven't had that much success with Ottolenghi (too many complicated ingredients and sophisticated techniques) and I wasn't sure the household would greet the Christmas appearance of a steamed turnip pudding thingy with awe and reverence.
  • I have Ottolenghi’s Pleny and Plent More cookbooks, which are all vegetarian and a bit more straightforward than some of his others. Cauliflower Cake is delicious so I guess turnip cake would be too.
    We’re vegetarian and I’m thinking of either a mushroom pie or a Brussels spouts tart for our meal.
  • I’m planning an interval snack for around 60 people at a quiz I’m hosting and have decided to go vegan because it’ll suit most diets. Initially I thought about precooking & freezing a curry (with a non-spicy option) but there is no freezer space. So for simplicity I currently think a variation of a ploughman’s with hummus (I can make this) and pitta breads (with a gluten free option) and salads. But any other ideas would be welcome.
  • That sounds lovely @daisydaisy. We have that most weeks. We often have baba ganoush too, but that might be slightly trucker than humour to make in bulk
  • 'trucker than humour' I guess should be 'trickier than humous', but it gave me a lorry, lorry laughs...

    I'll get me apron...
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    Meanwhile Christmas chez rouge couldn't be less vegetarian if it tried.

    Husband en rouge is making his own pâté de foie gras.

    I feel less bad about foie gras since learning that ducks and geese naturally fatten their own livers in the wild in order have enough energy to migrate. What makes it cruel or not is whether the duck got to wander about the farm, apparently. The duck that donated its liver to our fridge had a pretty nice life for most of its existence. Bon appétit :tongue:
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I think what makes pâté de foie gras cruel is the force feeding on some farms.
  • 'trucker than humour' I guess should be 'trickier than humous', but it gave me a lorry, lorry laughs...

    I'll get me apron...
    Thanks for the translation, BF

    @Sarasa I’ll look up baba ganoush as I’d love to provide choices

  • Oops problems of using phone while internet is down, plus being world’s worst proof reader! Son and I have just been to a panto at mum’s care home. Great fun, son became one of the ugly sister’s love interest and mum enjoyed dancing at the end. It feels a lot like Christmas has started.
  • O no it doesn't!

    O yes it does!
  • I bought Yotam Ottolenghi's "Plenty"a couple of years ago, but agree that many of the recipes are a bit daunting. Younger Son gave me "Simple" as a Mothering Sunday gift this year, and the recipes in there are much more accessible. Some have become regular features on our menus, and one or two will certainly be included in the forthcoming festivities.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Just back from a lovely evening eating curry and drinking far too much wine at my brother's, and including many cuddles from my adorable great-nephew. :heart:
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Sounds lovely, Piglet. Glad to hear there is some joy.
  • My other son is coming over to Heidelberg today - looking forward to having all the family together for a few days.

    (It goes without saying that I’m missing the dogs! 🐾🐾)
  • Just out of interest, where are the dogs?
  • Just out of interest, where are the dogs?

    My friend and I got our black labs at the same time and look after each other’s for holidays. So Tatze is with her Best Friend in the Whole Wide World, Zaba.

    Echo is with a Guide Dogs boarder.

    🐾🙂

  • Some old friends of mine (now Promoted to Glory) used to be Guide Dog boarders.

    Glad to hear your dogs are being well looked after!
    :smiley:
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Just back from a lovely evening eating curry and drinking far too much wine at my brother's, and including many cuddles from my adorable great-nephew. :heart:

    I was interested to note the sign on the wall of the curry house in Kirkwall stating that Sir Walter Scott had dined there. I was, however, disappointed that there was no mention of whether he had a korma, or weather he kept out the icy Orcadian blast with a phaal.

    AG
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Was that at Dil Se? I had no idea he'd eaten in the building, but as it's on the road leading down to the harbour, it might be logical.
    I'm not long back from an utterly delectable dinner at Prestonfield House, courtesy of my big brother. To say that the pheasant with barley risotto and Granny Smith apples was heavenly doesn't even begin to do it justice.

    well-fed piglet
  • Bulgarian pepper stew... quite delicious. A friend of mine and his wife are vegetarian, and introduced me to this. She would serve it with slices of toasted baguette smeared with neige de chevre. Oh, and lots of red wine. If you can get it, just for ethnic consistency, get some Gamza or Mavrud - nice umphy reds. [Fervent prayers that the link works...]

    Ooh, am loving the idea of that... sounds fab.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    I'm not long back from an utterly delectable dinner at Prestonfield House, courtesy of my big brother. To say that the pheasant with barley risotto and Granny Smith apples was heavenly doesn't even begin to do it justice.
    Some of us might be just a little bit envious ...

    Definitely sounds like my kind of food!

  • Christmas has officially begun. Anyone else listening to Nine Lessons and Carols?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Christmas has officially begun. Anyone else listening to Nine Lessons and Carols?
    Yes, me! :heart:

    Once in royal caused eye leakage, but I'm not so bad now. It's maybe just as well they're using the Walford Davies version of O little town - Forest Green was D's favourite carol, so I might have had trouble with that! Not quite sure how I'll cope with That Chord™ in O come, all ye faithful though.
    My sister's high-tech food processor has been brought to heel, and mushroom pâté has been produced. SOUP should really be ensuing, but isn't quite yet ...
  • The new commission wasn't really my sort of thing, but that's just personal taste really
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I managed to miss it, but my sister's recording the TV version, so I'll hear it at some point.
  • Piglet - I took a look at the Prestonfield menus. I am envious. In the distant past I wrote restaurant reviews, and it was that sort of gig for which I angled - usually in vain. I think that I could stay there for a week just to eat. Very good of your brother.
  • I haven't listened the the Nine Lessons yet...but when I do I will be doing so with Sir Stephen Cleobury in mind and of course of our own dear Piglet's husband. I'd like to think of them comparing notes on the care and training g of choirs (and the annoyances of clergy) in the heavenly places somewhere...
  • Peace and joy to you all this Christmas
  • Just back from a refreshing midnight walk in the village, in Continental WesShire, and my clothes smell nicely from a wood fire.

    The reason for my walk and also for the smell weren't exactly jolly though - I wasn't home in the afternoon, but went to a Carol Service in a little church some way away, where I often am on Christmas Eve. (I may post about part of this in TICTH.) But when I got home at around 10pm, and checked the news on the web, ... lo and behold... apparently, the steeple of our local church had caught fire during the day!

    So off I go for my walk, and what do I see: by then the steeple is no more, only the lower part of the church tower, made from massive stone, embers still falling from the very top. Dozens of firefighters still busy at midnight, two huge turntable ladders, one local, the other from a neighbouring town, loads of fire engines and pumps and hoses, a couple of police cars, and half the village on their feet and watching the unfolding drama.

    No one injured, as it seems, but when the steeple fell, the church roof caught fire too, but that had been successfully extinguished by the time I was there. The firefighters were trying to get to the fire from the inside, but as the tower itself was inaccessible, they were about to cut some holes into the church roof, wielding chainsaws... a sorry sound and picture. News reports say that before they were unable to get into either church tower or inside the church roof to fight the fire from within.

    I hope they'll be successful soon. It is rather upsetting to see the landmark spire gone, which was visible for miles around. It always felt like coming home when you saw it.

    I guess they are well insured - they normally are in this part of the Continent. The evening and midnight services were transferred to the community centre, from what I understand. Still, a bit sad to see the thing go... especially on Christmas Eve, which is kind of absurd! Might be an electrical fault that started it all, probably not arson.

    Brings home to you how fragile things are we take for granted. Hm. :(
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Yikes, Wesley J.

    Mr Nen and I went to our local midnight service, the first time I've been for years. He usually goes on his own; I'm either too tired or we've had one or both Nenlets (and latterly their partners) in the house on Christmas night and I'd rather spend time with them. This year, however, Mr Nen and I are Home Alone.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
  • To you too, dear @Nenya
  • Happy Christmas everyone. I’m at my sister in law’s this morning, then off to mother in laws for lunch.
    Yesterday was a fun evening of curry and playing games with my nephew , my husband and son while sister in law visited my brother in hospital. I also went to the Christmas vigil Mass.
    The town where my brother’s family live reminds me of It’s a Wonderful Life’s Bedford Falls. I had to battle my way through the Anglican’s leaving their crib service on the way to Mass and the non/conformists singing carols round the high street’s Christmas tree on the way back.
  • Peace, joy and love to all Shipmates this Christmas. 🎄 🌲
  • Very Happy Christmas to all Shipmates! And particularly to those on their own.
  • Wesley J wrote: »
    It is rather upsetting to see the landmark spire gone, which was visible for miles around. It always felt like coming home when you saw it.

    WE have a whole series of "stations" when returning home (especially from afar or abroad or when especially tired) . I used to do the same with railway stations in Aotearoa~New Zealand, so I know just what you mean.

    "The journey home is never too long - your heart arrives before the train" (a Sarah Brightman song) expresses this in a different way

    I do hope your fire is under control and irreplaceable treasures have not been lost
  • Went to Midnight Mass after all (I intended to dip out, but a couple of peeps appreciated a lift in the Episcopal Chariot). Glad I did - a lovely service, with a large (for us!) attendance.

    Morning Mass was a bit thin (we know of at least three families who have gone to Away this week), but it was good to welcome a young lady who moved out of the town some years ago, and is now back - complete with two small kiddies that she didn't have before! Baptisms are planned...
    :grin:

    Beautiful weather here - more like early spring...

    We Shall Pay For It Later - You Mark My Words...
    :grimace:
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Galilit wrote: »
    Wesley J wrote: »
    It is rather upsetting to see the landmark spire gone, which was visible for miles around. It always felt like coming home when you saw it.

    WE have a whole series of "stations" when returning home (especially from afar or abroad or when especially tired) . I used to do the same with railway stations in Aotearoa~New Zealand, so I know just what you mean.

    "The journey home is never too long - your heart arrives before the train" (a Sarah Brightman song) expresses this in a different way

    I do hope your fire is under control and irreplaceable treasures have not been lost

    Thank you for your kind words, Galilit. - The fire is indeed out, and much appears to have been saved. The police are investigating as to what started it. The church's clocks stopped shortly before the fire brigade were called, so that will give them a timeline.

    It's only material loss though, no one seriously injured.

    Thank you for your concern. :)

    Merry Christmas to all and sundry! :)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Merry Christmas to one and all, especially Wesley - crikey!

    I've had a lovely day with most of my family (my niece and her husband are on a delayed honeymoon in South Africa, but we had Face Time with them earlier), many cuddles from Archie the Cute and a really delicious dinner.

    So far, coping Not Too Badly - how much this has to do with the copious quantities of champagne may be a moot point ... :wink:
  • A moot point of Moët & Chandon champagne? :)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I don't think it was Moet et Chandon. :mrgreen:

    It didn't stop me winning a game of Trivial Pursuit though ... :smiley:
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