End User food and drink fun stuff

Important announcement on a Sunday morning

george_foreman_grillThis week we procured a George Foreman grill – family sized and henceforth referred to as the GFG. £20 from Lidl but I’m sure it is also available from other good supermarket and electrical retailers. This follows on from a similar acquisition by our daughter heading back to university for the new term. Hers wasn’t family sized but that is not material to this discussion.

You need to know that the GF is perfect for cooking breakfast on a Sunday morning. Due to the non uniform -sized nature of the raw materials involved (ie the ingredients) there are however some modifications to the normal cooking instructions that you will need to make.

Mushrooms and tomatoes are thicker than bacon and egg so you can’t have the lid down. The recommended cooking times provided by the GFG, with suitable disclaimers regarding food actually being properly cooked – it is an American product, are really only valid if you have the lid down and are thus cooking on both sides simultaneously (that’s at the same time yawl). It’s not as efficient this way but sometimes concessions have to be made for the sake of the art.

An element of judgement therefore has to be applied when cooking breakfast in this way with the GFG.

You should begin by preparing all the ingredients in advance and have them ready next to the GFG on the kitchen worktop. Any form of worktop is ok. It doesn’t have to be granite. Mushrooms should have their stalks remove which is a bit of a waste but necessary for this recipe. Switch on the GFG several minutes before you need to start using it. This is a guess but one imagines that one needs to wait a while for the cooking surface to reach its optimum temperature.

When the grill is hot enough place the mushrooms face down and the tomatoes with the round sides down on the left hand side leaving a suitable space for the bacon and egg that is to follow.

End User fun stuff

Goooooood Morning – one Weetabix or two?

how many weetabix do you have for breakfast?It’s Tuesday morning and you find me full of beans, enthusiasm and a thirst for life. Outside it is a nice minus two degrees Centigrade and there is a hard frost but the sun has risen above the horizon and is doing its utmost to drive the low lying mist from the Lincolnshire fields. V pictureskew.

Driving in, work continues on the Lincoln bypass and there seem to be more men in high viz jackets than usual, all staring down holes and contemplating their fate. They are clearly trying to make progress before the Christmas break and it made me glad for once that I had the comfort of my office (panoramic windows & sweeping vistas over the car park etc) to get to.

As I walked in the the office I called in on the marketing department and happened to be carrying a new box of Weetabix for the purpose of breaking my fast. Suzie, who is our highly intelligent Head of Marketing with, as I recall, a degree in French posed a question that with hindsight made me think.

“How many Weetabixes do I have for breakfast?” She also asked a supplementary which was “do I eat my Weetabix when it is still firm or when it has gone soft” .

These are seriously good questions and I easily answered that I have two biscuits, thank you very much, accompanied by a banana (sliced) and upon reflection I tend to eat my Weetabix at the inflection point. ie the point at which it is about to turn from firm to soggy. I’m not sure I could eat it fast enough to have finished the lot before it went soggy but that is by the by.

The notion that some people might eat more (or less) than two biscuits had never occurred to me but is certainly food for thought1.

My question to you, dear reader and before I move on to weightier matters such as the Draft Communications Data Bill Report that was released this morning,  is how do you like your Weetabix or do you have an alternative preference for breakfast?

1 sorry – couldn’t resist that one

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Hreodburna – a Twittersphere tour with farmer Christopher Day – some images not for those with weak constitutions

The Red Lion Inn in Redbourne Lincolnshire has a fire stationI met Christopher Day on Twitter. I’ve no idea when.The wooden cross on the green in Redbourne People follow you. You follow people. You start to connect. Connect often enough you begin to notice and engage with them which is what I’ve done with Christopher. His Twitter name is @themanorhousebb.

I’ve met him a couple of times before today, once at LincUpLive and then again at LincsTweetMeet. During some online conversation I mentioned that my favourite vegetable is the pea.  Christopher grows peas and he invited me to see some pea picking in action.

Hreodburna, which in Old English means reedy burn, is as you may know, the historical name for  Redbourne in Lincolnshire. Redbourne is your idyllic English village and was to me only previously known for its pub.  The Red Lion is a wonderful  17th Century coaching Inn and a stopping off point for LincolnThe old Hadley, Simpkin and Lott fire engine in redbourne RFC on the way back from away matches in the North of the county.

The car park of the Red Lion on this occasion was the place that I had arranged to meet Christopher to go and see some vining action.

What I would never have noticed in my rugby playing days was the fact that attached to the Red Lion is a fire station containing an original horse drawn fire engine (click on the header photo for a better view of the fire station). Made in 1831The paddock at the Red Lion Inn in Redbourne Lincolnshire used to hold the horse that pulled the fire engine by Hadley, Simpkin and Lott of London the engine is manually operated with bars on either side that were raised and lowered to pump water.

The sign in the fire station window informs the enquiring mind:  “The rural disturbances of 1830-1 provoked at least 28 cases of Arson in Lincolnshire. The owner of the Redbourne Estate, the Duke of St Albans certainly owned an engine by 1834 and it is reasonable to presume that this is the same engine, bought to protect his property. There was no county fire service in Lincolnshire until 1948.”fishing in Lincolnshire

The horse for the fire engine lived in a paddock at the back of the Inn and the first job the firemen  had before attending an incident was to catch it.

Things have moved on from those days. We moved on to see the pea harvest which is going to be the subject of another post. In the meantime Christopher was kind enough to show me around his farm which includes some carp fishing lakes. I offer here some photos of one of the lakes – a hugely relaxing place to spend a day. Note the bait set up. Click on the thumbnail photo for a close up shot of somebait (maggots) do not click if you have a medical condition of the bait – not for the faint of heart.

Alternatively watch the short video (18 years and over only). Amazing where you can get using Twitter isn’t it?