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Monday, March 05, 2007

keep on truckin

Here are some more pictures to show you what we have found recently.

First let me tell you - its very exciting - lettuce is now available..since about two weeks actually, say late february. Apparently tomatoes are being sold in Twickenham but our grocer says two more weeks.

Here is some pigeon breast being cooked. It is absolutely exquisitely delicious. Its really tender and has a good strong flavour. Its almost like liver actually.

here is some nice people on the Roman Road in the east end, selling whelks and cockles from Whitstable. Also delicious.

We got a cup of whelks for £3.80. I cooked them in the following way, adapted from the Mendip Snails "Court Bouillon" recipe in 'A Taste of the West Country' by Theodora Fitzgibbon, an old book i picked up at the delightful Lloyds of Kew bookshop.

This is the whelks at the back. The foreground is mussels, not sure where they are from.

Whelk Recipe

First mix some chopped herbs ( i used thyme, a bay leaf, and garlic)
with water, white wine, some chopped shallots (the shallots are wonderful - more later) and a pinch of Maldon salt, in a small pan, and bring to the boil.

In the meantime I threw a big lump of butter and a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese into another pan, with chopped cress and mustard sprouts which I've been growing on the windowsill. This is gently heated up.

Once the first pan was boiling i added the whelks and let them simmer for a bit. When it was time to eat them ( i guess i waited till i felt like any bacteria were probably dead)
that was when I added the cheesy stuff and mixed it all together.

Here is Rob enjoying it with a baked potato.

Rob said it was very nice. I thought it was ok but I must say the whelks were a bit rubbery and too reminiscent for me of a bad experience I had in the Amazon. But lashings of butter and cheese can make anything taste good. I think thats the secret really. If you like eating chewy molluscs then this recipe is by far the most interesting one I could find in my odd assortment of old fashioned english cookery books.

Anyway back to the photos.

Reasonable english table wine although Surrey Gold is much better.

Waitrose has some interesting cheeses although they seem to get a lot of produce from Somerset which is too far away for us.

This is Sussex Slipcote:

and this is Moody's Rosary Ash. It is incredibly delicious - sweet and creamy and very delicate.

The packaging is interesting because they have a series of cheeses with a map of the country its made in featured on the packet, with a big circle on the region its from. So its really easy to see where its from. This one actually looks a bit borderline but heck, its probably just in.

I keep buying goats milk but not drinking it so i don't know what it tastes like yet. I am trying to make yoghurt out of it but it isn't working.

We've been totally dependent on this apple juice throughout the diet. Its one of the few soft drinks we can have apart from the lovely Hammersmith Tap. It comes in a very wide range of flavours from sharp bramley to sweet braeburn. It's available at the local corner shop which helps a lot.

And Finally...

The nice people at Pertwood Porridge oats found Rob's blog about the oats and sent us a whole box full of them.

They are really good and we are investigating new recipes since there are now so many oats in the kitchen. Bread with oats in is next up I think. Oat recipes will appear here soon.



  1. A little story about whelks and cockles:
    When I was in Cornwall on holiday some years ago I saw this van selling mussels, cockles and whelks. I knew what mussles were (Miesmuscheln), but wanted to find out what the other two were, so I asked.
    "Them are cockles, them are whelks" he pointed.
    "And what do they look like when they're alive?" "They've got shells".
    I have since found out that whelks are some sort of sea-snails and cockles are Herzmuscheln I think.

  2. Any update on this ?

    i.e. Pertwood Porridge oats... They are really good and we are investigating new recipes... Oat recipes will appear here soon.

  3. Yes there is a recipe for oat biscuits, very healthy, very easy to make, very yummy.