Year: 2013

Coffee Experimentation

Experiments with my new coffee maker are going well. Initially, I had some issues with the temperature of the coffee coming out of the machine – fine if you drank it immediately, but it quickly went luke warm. I was almost considering returning it for a refund.

Electrolux Favola Coffee Machine

Over the last year, I have considered getting myself a pod coffee system. I don’t drink a lot of coffee – I am a seasoned tea drinker, and dislike instant coffee. However, I do like the occasional cup of expresso, and when working at home, I sometimes neglect myself with regard to drinks if I am too busy to go down to the kitchen to get a brew on. So I thought a small machine in my office would be ideal.

Iron Horse Ranch House

Market Deeping’s Iron Horse Ranch House moved to its new larger premises at the start of the month.

My garden 2013 – a review

It hasn’t been a very productive year this year. It was nothing to do with the weather, or soil conditions; it was simply a case of procrastination and laziness, and not getting things into the earth when I needed to. It’s true that the late spring threw me, but I have nothing to blame but myself. I’ve just annoyed myself by walking around the garden, and thinking what I could have planted to over-winter.

Quick and tasty beef stew

I am working this afternoon, and having got back from the shops I have only an hour to have lunch and relax before starting a job that is not going to give me much time for breaks for the rest of the afternoon, and possibly the day.

This is how I cook

There has been some conversations amongst my Facebook friends recently, about slow cooker recipes. Although I follow recipes for bread and cakes and similar, for slow cooking (and to a certain extent, BBQ) I tend to wing it. This is how I cook – my culinary life runs on substitutions, approximations and lots of “that will probably work”.

Another slow cooker

I love slow cookers, they are a very easy way to turn cheap cuts of meat into deliciousness, and because the cooking is so gentle, it is almost impossible to spoil something by overcooking it.

Speaking of gloves

Here are the best pair of heatproof gloves I have found, for kitchen or BBQ use – the Gloven.

A brush with danger

It is important to keep your grill surface clean. I used to use a wire brush, like most people, but it seemed to me that they soon got very tired and flat looking. For the last year or two, I have instead used a ball of ordinary alumunium foil. It gets the grill grate nice and clean, and you just throw it away afterwards.

Cold Smoked Olive Oil

In May, I tried smoking some olive oil, using oak. I poured a 500ml bottle into a very shallow bowl, and placed it on the bottom rack of my cold smoker, while I also smoked some cheese and butter. It was probably smoking for 6-8 hours.