Strawberry sauce / jelly

A few months ago I somehow got suckered into subscribing to the BBC “Olive” magazine a cooking mag, I think, with easier recipes than BBC Good Food – and in the three months it has been added to my poor overworked postie’s bag, there have been a number of interesting things I’ve tried.

Last month’s had this recipe for strawberry griddle cakes with a rosé / strawberry sauce. When I was making dandelion pancakes ((of which, more another time)) for a Pudding Club evening last week, I thought I’d use up the surplus batter making the strawberry griddle cakes, rather overlooking the fundamental fact that the dandelion batter was completely different to the griddle cake batter.

So, although I didn’t get the cakes to work, the accompanying sauce was definitely a keeper.

200mls rosé wine (I used the last of a half case of something intended for quick drinking that has been knocking around the house for at least five years)
50 grams sugar
Vanilla essence (original recipe says a vanilla pod, but that gets expensive)
400 grams strawberries, hulled and halved

Put the sugar, vanilla and wine into a pan and bring to the boil, and dissolve all the sugar.

Remove from the heat and add the strawberries. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill before serving.

Tasted delicious – and our friends suggested we try it again, but make it a jelly. The gelatine I have in stock is sachets that set a pint, so upping the ingredients a bit, that led to:

600mls rosé wine
200 grams sugar
pint sachet of gelatine

Boil the wine, sugar and vanilla, then remove from the heat, add the strawberries and allow to cool to room temperature. (Since my strawbs weren’t entirely ripe, I actually boiled them very slightly to soften them and get more of their flavour into the sauce)

Remove the strawberries from the sauce using a slotted spoon and divide between 4-6 serving bowls.

Bring the sauce back to the boil, and add the sachet of gelatine (agar for veggies) and whisk until the cow hoof / seaweed extracts are dissolved. Pour the jelly mixture over the berries and chill to set.



Tweets on 2010-05-31

  • On checking the fridge it would appear that a certain someone has overcome his philosophical objection to homemade rice pudding. #

  • Our clematis looks spectacular today. #
  • @jockstrap Nigel Slater – Real Fast Puddings – has series of 20 minute rice puddings cooked on the stove top in a pan like a risotto. in reply to jockstrap #
  • @NCCLols oh, gawd, that's awful, what happened? in reply to NCCLols #
  • At a party, talking to thin people. #
  • Have Steve Martin's "Cows with guns" stuck on the brain after hearing Northern Monkey's latest album. #
  • @thoroughlygood unfortch "we" don't like raspberries 😦 in reply to thoroughlygood #
  • Two cartoons in this week's Eye made me Lol: the olympic spoof on the cover and the Godzilla on the City page. #
  • Now is a good time for omelette and oven chips. #
  • Think I'd be on a winner if there was a prize for the most mess made whilst making a cheese, onion and olive omelette with oven chips. #
  • Obv, by "omelette", I mean half cooked, salmonella-ridden eggy foam. #
  • @adambird that is a most disturbing mental image! in reply to adambird #
  • @dr_nick are you factoring in interest rate rises? They're on the floor right now and can only go up 😦 in reply to dr_nick #

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Rice pudding

In recent times, I’ve neglected the food blogging a little – there are at least three episodes of Pudding club to record for posterity. My diet has been a completely unhealthy mix of not cooking for myself and not eating the expensive Misery Pouches which are beginning to build up into a huge avalanche of misery in boxes in the pantry.

But before we go into all that, first, a little treatise on Rice Pudding.

I haven’t made this for Pudding Club, because when canvassing for views on rice pudding there, it transpired that at least half of the regular attendees did not like it, with poor memories of school dinner stodge as their reasoning.

That said, I have cooked and eaten two rice puddings of the “serves four” variety myself this past week.

And there are two myths of rice pudding that I’d like to scotch today, and for both, my thanks to Nigel Slater’s “Real Fast Puddings“:

It takes forever to cook

Slater includes Rice Pudding in a book whose raison d’être is about puddings that take less than 30 minutes to get to table. Most people see rice pudding as something that needs two hours in the oven, but it’s perfectly possible to make it on the stove top in 20 minutes, much like a risotto.

Slater’s basic recipe is half a pint of full cream milk, half a pint of cream, butter, 8 tablespoons of pudding or risotto rice, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 6 tbsp water, a vanilla pod.

Boil the rice gently on the stove top with all but the sugar and butter until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed. Remove the vanilla podd, add the sugar and “no more than an ounce” of butter and stir over the heat until both are dissolved, serve.

It doesn’t need stirring as much as you’d think to prevent it sticking, provided you have it on a really gentle heat.

Whilst unsurprisingly it’s not quite so amazingly creamy, you can also make a moderately more healthy version with plain milk and no butter or cream.

Slater even has a technique for getting a skin on a ricepudding that has been made on the stovetop, but you will have to use the link above to buy the book for yourself to be let into the secret.

It has to be plain

Another myth is that rice pudding is just rice, cream, sugar and no depth of flavour.

Again, Slater has interesting things to do with rice pudding to make it more tasty, including flavouring the milk with rose- or orangewater, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pistachio or orange zest and juice as well as the more traditional dollop of jam.

I’m also mulling over a coffee/chocolate flavoured version. (I’m a complete sucker for coffee flavoured desserts, but don’t cook them too often as P is a caffeine refusenik.)

The second version of the pudding I made myself this week, was an oven based recipe, but one that had a good blast on the stovetop before being baked, meaning that the oven time was reduced to 30 minutes. It was a version of the recipe from the Kwiksave “BBE 2006” packet of pudding rice, and was particularly evil, calorie-wise.

It needed 110 grams pudding rice, pint full milk, half a pint cream, quite a lot of sugar. It got you to boil all that on the stove top for 10 minutes, then allow to cool before beating in 3 eggs and finishing off in a buttered dish in an oven at 150 deg C.

I flavoured it with everything in the kitchen I could throw at it, by first simmering the milk with cardamom, spices like ginger, cinnamon and mace, and orange zest and saffron. Then I sieved the milk and carried on as per recipe.

If you are going to add eggs for richness, I think 3 is over the top for this quantity. The finished pudding was rather too much scrambled egg to be worth sharing with anyone else. Still delicious. And it certainly seems to have been edible to people in this household who profess not to like rice pudding.

Tweets on 2010-05-30

  • @rfenwick no. in reply to rfenwick #
  • First wedding of the season. How gutted would you be to get married on the first rainy day after weeks of sun? #

  • Come to our barndance, 3rd July! #
  • @rfenwick I think the reason it isn't a problem for me is for a fundamental lack of hardware 🙂 in reply to rfenwick #
  • Librarians Do Gaga. C c c catalogue, c c cataloge. (h/t @hughmcguire) #
  • @jamesgraham really? Erm, gicler is (or can be) rude in French, so you could translate "Giclée print" as "any old wank" in reply to jamesgraham #
  • Recipe: juice of 1.5 lemons and 85 grams sugar. Or, I'm guessing, more helpfully, 2 lemons and 100gr or 1 lemon and 50 grams? #
  • Six of us settling down for Eurovision with Meg Pickard's hilarious bingo cards. "Casual racism from host" in first minute! #
  • Oh well, that didn't *sound* good to me. #
  • Oh, well, it looks like there'll always be a job on Eurovision for David Laws. #
  • RT @doctorvee: This is what flasmobs look like… IN NORTH KOREA. #eurovision #
  • Travesty. #esc #
  • @dr_nick Greece in reply to dr_nick #

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Tweets on 2010-05-28

  • @iaindale I thought you were going to stop footie tweets? in reply to iaindale #
  • @joswinson what's your reason? you'd be great. in reply to joswinson #
  • Happy to hear Count Arthur Strong is fully compost Mendips. #
  • Exec meeting. Volunteering for all sorts of things. Will be regretting this for weeks. #
  • @adamrio a supermodel in a pizza joint? sounds like the start of a joke! in reply to adamrio #
  • @rfenwick if it was spelled pointe in French it would be pronounced pwahnte not pwahn, so it must be douze points. in reply to rfenwick #
  • Has stopped working? It doesn't seem to think anyone has said anything in Parliament since April… #
  • "Serves 4." Um, no it doesn't. #
  • Dagnabbit. "Upgraded" to Nokia Ovi Suite, then spent too long last night failing to get it to sync my phone. Stick with PC Suite! #
  • Fire Authority annual meeting starts with a squabble over whether it's 11am yet or not. #

  • Ladies! Ever wanted to drive a fire engine? #
  • @iainbhx Viel Spaß in reply to iainbhx #

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Tweets on 2010-05-27

  • When I left the house this morning, the thermometer said it was -7 outside. I know it's cooled slightly but even so. #
  • @TimHarford a pleasure – I will have something good to listen to while I'm printing leaflets this afternoon. in reply to TimHarford #
  • This morning, I met the Custodian of the Public Realm. At least, that's what's in her job description. #
  • Council House rather endearingly chocka with little kids dressed as Robin Hood. #
  • 1100 Notts drivers go through the local police speed awareness course each month, we've been told. #
  • Just caught the end of Real Life Party animals on R4, sounded worth a listen. #
  • @iaindale do it! in reply to iaindale #
  • @iaindale excellent. I shan't be following the new one, but I won't get so many moments of incomprehension. in reply to iaindale #
  • This little visual joke in Big Bang Theory made me LOL. (poss spoiler) #
  • @dr_nick cor, what is that on his head? in reply to dr_nick #
  • @dr_nick has baby N had massive growth spurt since we last saw him? in reply to dr_nick #
  • Hmm, @samuellabour @cllrtim @bevaniteellie, that clip unaccountably doesn't include David Law's response, monstering Labour's record? #
  • Reading through the transcript of David Laws at the Despatch Box. Swatting away the criticisms as though he was born to ministerhood. #
  • In addition to meeting the Custodian of the Public Realm, I learned that inauspiciously named Public Realm Action Team has been disbanded. #

  • Excellent composition of photo gets Robin Hood executing Maid Marion statue in Nottingham #
  • Typhoo teabags don't taste as nice as they used to when they wrote "Typhoo" on the actual bag. #
  • @floatyhev are they tweeting "Lighten our darkness we beseech thee o lord" ? 🙂 in reply to floatyhev #

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Daily View 2×2: 27 May 2010

Detail of the art deco crown of the Chrysler Building, New YorkGood morning, and welcome to Daily View on the day which sees New York’s Chrysler Building celebrate its 80th birthday. Completed in 1930, it was the tallest building in the world for all of 11 months, before being replaced by the Empire State Building. After 9/11, it is once again the second tallest building in New York.

Also celebrating birthdays today are the chef Jamie Oliver (who is currently applying for planning permission to build a restaurant in Nottingham I will probably never be able to afford to eat in); West Wing actor Richard Schiff and the Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron. Some have speculated he might be in the running to replace Vince Cable as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats; he tweeted last night that as Vince Cable’s PPS, he got to hear the “Stalin to Mr Bean” gag in rehearsal. Tim is 40 today.

2 Big Stories

Coalition government sets out radical welfare reforms

So says the Guardian headline, anyway, but the article is light on detail if heavy on mood music. A lot of people will be watching anxiously for the detail.

Duncan Smith says he is to propose to the Treasury a radical scheme that includes simplification of the complex benefits system designed to make it financially worthwhile for unemployed people to work, including in part-time jobs.

Concern over human cost overshadows iPad launch

Will you be queuing to spend 499 of your Earth pounds on an Apple iPad on Friday? The Independent has worrying news about the conditions under which the shiniest new gadget is being made.

The American electronics giant Apple was investigating damaging allegations last night that Chinese workers making its new iPad device were subjected to such “inhumane” treatment that some of them took their own lives by jumping off factory roofs.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Lynne Featherstone is celebrating Camden Lib Dems’ recent victory
  • Pretendy Liberal lets David Laws do the talking
  • Blogger James has a clip from the BBC Parliament service which has David Laws answering an urgent question, and swatting away Labour attempts at attack with all the ease of someone who had been doing this for decades rather than days.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

Tweets on 2010-05-25

  • Cost to remove 3ft of double yellow line: £4,800 – mostly on paperwork. #
  • Listening to a radio presenter yawning at dogs. Hmmm. #
  • Off to a meeting about a park in my ward. Slightly horrified thinking about when it was I last went into the park. #

  • I'm books didn't used to be this exciting. #
  • First weigh in in ages. Not too bad. #
  • Getting the rubber gloves out for some moonlit foraging for food. #
  • Watched Sopranos, The – Series 3 – Disc 4: #
  • Watched The Taking of Pelham 123: #

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