Chez l'abeille

Culture. Travel. Writing. My world in words and pictures


In which I go to Kerala. Part 2: Spice up your life (again).

masala dosa

The best masala dosa in a roadside cafe.

For many years I lived in a part of London that is well-known for Southern Indian restaurants; the variety and tastes of this regional cuisine have long been my preferred go-to curry night menu. Give me bonda, vadai and masala dosas over tikka masala anytime.

Travelling across Kerala, it’s not hard to see why it is called “The Land of Spices.” This part of India is lush and verdant; the hills covered in a mosaic of tea bushes and the waterways lined with coconut trees. So many of the different spices typically used in Indian cooking grow here and a visit to a spice plantation was a real insight into the cultivation of the spices that live in my store cupboard.

 

Pepper

Green peppercorns

Surprisingly, although there are several different colours of peppercorn, they all come from the same climbing vine and are the product of different stages in the  development or treatment of the seeds. Historically, pepper has been called “black gold”, much prized for trade or as a commodity for payment in its own right – hence another pepper related phrase still in use: a “peppercorn rent”.  Peppercorns are traditionally picked by men, due to their height from the ground and the difficulty in climbing trees if dressed in a traditional sari.

 

Cloves (2)

Young Clove buds

Cloves are usually a dark brown, hard spice we stick in oranges or chuck into mulled wine. I don’t think I’ve ever considered what they look like before they arrive in my little jar from the supermarket. It turns out cloves are actually the bud from an evergreen tree – they start out pale green and gradually turn red as they develop. These were a surprise but not quite as much as the cardamom plant.

 

Cardamom

Cardamom seeds

This grows on a low down plant that was quite easy to miss. Again the dried-up, three-sided cardamoms in my kitchen bore no resemblance to the fresh, young seed pods. The cardamom flower has an orchid like quality which somehow matches the aromatic fragrance of the really fresh pods. cardamom is also one of the most expensive spices and is typically picked by women, who don’t have to climb trees to get to them.

 

One of the most interesting activities I took part in during my trip was a cookery class in Thekkady. This was led by the hilarious Sheril, whose catch phrases of “mixing, mixing,” and “cooking, cooking,” lasted longer than the night we visited his homestyle restaurant! Over the course of an evening we prepped, cooked and devoured a really delicious meal – using many of the spices we had seen earlier in the day. As I can’t share the smells and tastes of the food, I shall leave you with a visual collage of what we cooked and ate. You’ll just have to imagine the rest.

 

©Chez l’abeille  2018


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Montalbano, Sono…

Montalbano sonoIf you watch “Inspector Montalbano” the sun is always shining. Sicily bathes in golden sunlight that illuminates the buttery stone buildings of fictitious Vigata. Our heroic Chief of Police wanders the streets in his reflective Ray Bans, solving crime then lunching on Linguine with sea-urchin and a nice glass of something alcoholic to wash it down with at his local trattoria.

My week in Sicily was wet torrential. So there was only one thing for a bunch of avid Montalbano fans to do: hunt out some of the programmes most loved locations.

Our first stop was the tiny seaside town of Punta Secca. It became evident that, after the beach, the B+B that doubles as Montalbano’s home is probably the key draw. Just as we arrived, the rain actually stopped for a short while, which meant we could get out of the car and have a wander around.

The house is exactly as we see it in the shows but there must be a fair amount of post production to remove the motley collection of beach houses and businesses that we definitely don’t see spoiling the Inspector’s peace and quiet. A regular event in each episode is his solitary swim, brought to life by a hardy local who was to be seen defying the weather and causing the visiting fans much excitement!

Enzo's Restaurant Punta Secca (4)

Turning left around the lighthouse and following the beach front took us to the lunch location of choice, Enzo a Mare. Generally Montalbano is the only person out on the terrace savouring the linguine with sea-urchin, but in reality, even on a blustery, rain-sodden day, the terrace was packed with diners tucking into some of the commissario’s favourites.

Fortified with local wine and ultra-sweet cannoli, our next location was the nearby maze of a town: Scicli.  Regular watchers will be familiar with the town hall which doubles as the exterior of the Chief’s police station. It is an impressive building in a very pretty, paved street and it wasn’t hard to imagine our hero casually parking his Fiat and leaping up the steps.

Our final location was the impressive Castello di Donnafugata, known to Montalbano watchers as the HQ of the Sinagras, the local Mafia family. The lure was the terrace, from which the Mafia henchmen watch every visitor’s approach. Unfortunately the opening times for the castle were so confusingly reported in the various guide books and websites we checked that by the time we arrived it was well and truly closed. Despite that, even from the outside, the magnificence of the castle was apparent.

The fictional world of Montalbano, created by author Andrea Camilleri, is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of Sicily. Visiting the sites used in the programme drew back the tourist curtain a little and despite the weather was a great way to explore and appreciate this fascinating part of Italy.

©Chez l’abeille  2017

 


In which I go to Crete. Part 3: Rethymnon

Rethymnon (2)

It’s a few weeks since I got back from Crete but since then I have been trying to recreate some of the flavours I experienced there. It’s not so easy to track down Cretan wine in London, but having discovered a rather delicious wine from Peza in the local Oddbins and coupled it with a home made filo pastry, spinach and feta pie, today I’ve come reasonably close!

There was much eating and wine drinking in Rethymnon too. It’s a busy old town but small enough to get around comfortably on foot. It’s also brimming with restaurants. My favourite spot was Raki Ba Raki where I finally found horta, the steamed or boiled cretan greens (or weeds as I’ve seen them described) which are delicious when drowned in olive oil and lemon. The closest similar plant I have found back home is dandelions, so I might have to wait until I go back to try them again. I have read that the greek word for vegetarian is “hortofagos,” which apparently means “weed eater!”

Sitting above the narrrow streets of the old town is the fortress or fortezzo. This Venetian bastion has been around since 1580 and was designed as a place of safety against Ottoman attack. This plan failed in 1646 when the Ottomans besieged the city and the Venetians surrendered. Inside the grounds there is a mosque and an orthodox church, giving testament to the varied history of the island. The views are magnificent from the parapets and it’s easy to see how this spot would be chosen to defend the city behind it.

At the foot of the Fortezza is the Contemporary Art Museum, which has a variety of shows throughout the year.  I wasn’t too engaged with the work by the artist Nikos Viskadourakis that was on display when I was there. Through intensely worked pieces, using a limited acrylic palette of reds, blues, blacks and ochres he explored the myth of Odysseus in Hades – I guess you might need more than a passing aquaintance with book XI of Homer’s Odyssey to really see what was going on. However the building is worth a visit and in the heat of summer the aircon would be delicious.

Walking around it’s easy to see where the Venetians left their mark in other ways. The Rimondi Fountain lies at its heart, providing drinking water for animals and the people alike in times of drought. Equally the old harbour provides a lovely sheltered spot for some people watching, especially after church turns out on a Sunday morning. Despite the touristy air, there’s also a relaxing, homely atmosphere in Rethymnon, which made it a great place to finish my Cretan soujourn.

©Chez l’abeille  2017


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Oh, Honey Honey.

Bees feature rather a lot in the world of Chez L’abeille. This is a good thing because they are rather an important part of our world generally and in some cases are in rather a perilous situation. Even today a friend has shared an article about bees going onto the endangered wildlife list in America. I was intrigued then, when I heard about a very local supper club  event hosted jointly by Gosnells Mead and Bee Kind and Dine, who provide sustainably sourced meals, which aim to engage more people in the issues within our food systems. Bees, food and drink all rolled into one evening – why not?

Firstly some info about mead. I have to admit, the first (and last time) I drank the stuff was on Lindisfarne. It can’t have made too much of a lasting impression because I haven’t gone out of my way in the intervening 20 or more years to seek it out. But this is 21st century Peckham, so it came as no surprise that there is an actual mead brewery about five minutes from my doorstep.

This, however, is modern mead – still made from honey and water but blended to make an entirely surprising, light and exceedingly tasty beverage. During the course of the evening we sampled drank several bottles of the current Gosnells’ range. (And admired the exceedingly lovely labels!)

The London mead is a delicately flavoured mead with a subtle sweetness and was a refreshing opener for our meal. Our second bottle was the hopped mead which had more strength but still maintained the honey notes of the drink. My favourite (not least for its fabulous label) was the citra sea mead which will be finding its way into my fridge asap! For this limited edition brew, honey is combined with lemon peel, tarragon and hops then blended with sea water as a surprise ingredient. The lemony, tangy flavour went particularly well with my monkfish main course. We rounded off the evening with the winter mead – not bottles this time, but more measured tumblers. This one is definitely worth savouring over desert.

Our accompanying supper was equally delicious. As we arrived the potatoes were cooking outdoors on a large open grill which whetted the appetite nicely. The flavours of honey were threaded through the menu in our appetiser and desert, but my favourite dish was the perfectly cooked Cornish monkfish in lieu of pork belly. As you will also see below, the cuttlefish, tomato and polenta starter disappeared before I remembered to take a picture!

Information, fabulous food, conversation and mead all combined into a very entertaining meal. I for one will be round to the nearest Gosnells’ stockist (also five minutes away) with a new admiration for this very old drink!

©Chez l’abeille  2016


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Spice up your life!

Tastebuds were tingling this weekend after the fabulous Ginger Jar team treated over thirty supper club aficionados to their sumptuous “spice edit”.

After a break in supper club service, in part due to their move to a new kitchen in Herne Hill, the GJ brigade were on top form as they showed us what can be done with those unused jars of spices cluttering our kitchens.

Each course, which included the star-anise spiced rum cocktail on arrival, featured a signature spice. As the evening kicked off we were treated to lemongrass, garlic and onion seed based canapes, with the crispy guidilla pickles in an onion seed tempura batter voted the favourite, though the crispy artichoke heart with ajo blanco came a very close second.

Once seated for supper we continued on our trip around the world of spices. Pink peppercorn and toasted coconut gave confit king prawns a subtle sweetness with hits of peppery heat. This was followed by a carrot, shallot and coriander based dish, which focused on the fresh flavours of Middle Eastern spicing and ingredients.

The star of the evening was undoubtably the richly dark Mexican ancho chile salsa.  Coating the perfectly cooked steaks (meat and cauliflower) it had a depth of flavour and subtle heat that provided the perfect partner to the accompanying Jerusalem artichokes with nutmeg butter. Our table included two vegetarians so the sharing platter of flat iron steak had extra portions for the four remaining meat eaters – suffice to say they cleared the plate! Dessert kept us down in South America with a light and very pretty tonka bean and vanilla pannacotta with spice roasted apricot coulis, edible flowers and shards of black pepper meringue.

Ordinary spices mixed with ordinary ingredients created a fine dining menu of unique flavours; Ginger Jar supper clubs are always tasty but this was a sure fire way to spice up a not so ordinary friday night in SE24 and maybe inspire a revisit to those spices lurking at the  back of the kitchen cupboard!

Ginger Jar Food: http://www.ginger-jar-food.com/contact/

©Chez l’abeille  2016


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In which I pop over to Paris: friends, food and pharmacies.

For quite a few years I have visited various parts of France with my old friends Mardi and Neil. This year due to various house purchasing shenanigans on their part and writing courses on mine, we have been a bit tight for free time but we finally managed to organise a fun and food filled weekend get together in Paris. Pourquoi Pas?

Friday: I arrived earlier than the others so took advantage of the time and had a walk around the quartier of Montparnasse. Then we regrouped and headed out to Frenchie wine bar in the 2nd, where we got in first, ate our way through most of the menu and were decreed “cool” by our lovely waiter! A full review of the evening was written up here, complete with the pictures of what we ate! Definitely worth a drool over. Curiously it was rammed with English speaking patrons but I guess most of the locals were en congé”. It is August in Paris after all!

Saturday: We strolled out on a rather cool morning after a heavy night’s rain and headed to the Hilton where a display of models “en Lego” was on offer. It also meant we got to use the Hilton toilets as well. Continue reading

Lobsters ready for cooking


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Something fishy going on…

Getting up at 4am is not a normal occurrence at Chez L’abeille, but when you want to see one of London’s historic markets in action it’s essential. I was heading to the Billingsgate Market Seafood Training School to take part in their “morning catch” class, which includes a tour of the market in full action, hence the (very) early start!

Having caught the first tube from Southwark (05.31am, should you need to know) to Canary Wharf, my first impression of the market, as I headed over the bridge towards the main gate, was the smell of very fresh fish. My second impression was just how busy it was at 6am, although because of the upcoming Easter weekend, today was apparently especially busy. Billingsgate is a “free and open” market, which means anyone can go there to buy fish and with 98 stands and 30 shops there’s plenty to buy.

As the rather bleary eyed class gradually assembled, we were sent off to walk around the stalls and buy the fish we would learn how to prepare later. The choice was vast*. There are stalls which focus on mainly British species and others who specialise in the warmer water fishes of the world, ones who only do shellfish or just frozen produce. The boxes of fish are often labelled with their port of origin and I did spot a little bit of Cornwall in a pile of “falfish” boxes. After much deliberation and because a cup of tea beckoned, I decided to go for the rather scary looking gurnard, a fish I wouldn’t normally buy because I know little about how to handle it. More of that later!

The second part of the class was a guided tour of the market and I was lucky to be in the group taken around by Robert, one of the market inspectors – a man who appeared to be hugely respected by the merchants and whose knowledge of all things fish seems to be limitless! Things I learnt from this part of the class: Continue reading

Ginger jar supper club menu


Back at the chef’s house again!

I was so excited by the fact that I was going to eat back at Chef Jenny Newall’s kitchen again that I forgot my camera. Thank goodness for mobile phones then. However the quality of the pictures may be a bit worse than usual so forgive me. The food, however did not fail to delight.

My appetite had been whetted earlier in the day by teasers on Instagram and twitter – some fabulous looking hazelnut caramel balls appeared to be in preparation. What’s not to like! On arrival we were greeted with a cocktail, delicious canapés and the lovely warm glow of a working kitchen; a pleasant contrast to the damp winter gloom outside.

And so to the food. Napkin folding lesson! The pixie boot

The antipasti was an individual cauliflower, fontina cheese and cavolo nero gratin, with the most delicious roast garlic and pecorino cheese flatbread. I failed to get a decent picture of this, but I can offer the table entertainment in the form of napkin folding art. (I have friends with many talents.)

I did, however, manage to capture the remaining delights of the evening. For the pesce course, I had the balsamic and beetroot cured salmon with blood orange, fennel and winter leaves. The alternative to the salmon was salt baked beetroot. The earthy flavours of the beetroot were perfectly contrasted with the bitter – sweetness of the blood orange, a combination I shall be repeating in my own kitchen.

The secondi course was a treat; a courgette pea and broad-bean ragu with spinach and ricotta gnudi. Now I have become a bit of a gnudi fan recently, after finding a fairly easy recipe in a recent Jamie Oliver cook book. These were light, tasty and far less overpoweringly cheesy than mine. I shall have to consult with the professionals for some tips.

And so to dolci. This was a tirimasu inspired delight of cocoa pastry stacked up with whipped marscapone, a marsala espresso reduction and the long awaited hazelnut caramel balls!  Delicious.

I had brought several friends along with me, who had not been to this supper club before. By the end of the evening serious plans were being made to all go again, which I would say is a sure sign of a successful evening! So here’s to the next one. And this time I won’t forget the camera.

©Chez l’abeille 2015

 


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Food heaven: A quick visit to Borough Market.

“Food Heaven in SE1” was the original title of this piece which I wrote in 2009 for Mardi at eat.live.travel write. I recently visited the market again and this prompted me to give it a refresh and repost it here!

Victorian ironwork above Borough MarketAll London foodies know just where to go for some of the best produce around: Borough Market, just south of London Bridge.

Now the food may be just out of the estuary/sea/abattoir/soil but the notion of a market here is very old indeed with trading in this area going on from, oh, about 1014AD. In fact the market is currently celebrating 1000 years of trading – I don’t think you get much older than that! The current location has been in existence since 1755 and today it has become a successful, thriving, quality food market attracting locals and tourists alike.

Sited in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral and close to London Bridge Station, the market sits underneath a series of Victorian railway arches. As you weave your way around the interconnected areas via alleyways and arched tunnels it has a truly Dickensian feel. Entering the market you are first assailed by the noise. The vaulted brick arches echo back the cries of vendors and customers alike creating a buzz of excitement that you just cannot ignore.

As you move further into the market you find yourself gradually being accosted (in the nicest possible way) by the stallholders, people who are passionate about their produce and keen to share this passion with everyone they make eye contact with. You can easily talk and taste your way around the globe, jumping from Turkish delight to Italian focaccia and onto French saucisson, and taking in some English Stilton as you go. I was there for lunch and particularly enjoyed the fresh pumpkin filled pasta from La Tua Pasta, whilst my colleagues had a very purple looking beetroot gnocchi; all of us thought it was an excellent value meal on the go.

Produce is varied – you’ll find all the essentials: wine, olive oil, spices, speciality bread, and prize-winning cheeses. The greengrocers’ stalls are laden with seasonal fruit and veg. When I last visited rock oysters were also a hot favourite as they can be sold in the UK all year round, unlike the natives, which can only be sold when you have ‘r’ in the month.

As you emerge from the market, back into the bustle of Borough High Street it’s guaranteed you’ll be lighter in the wallet because you’ll be carrying bags full of some of the freshest, most delicious food you might ever hope to eat. If you’re ever in London, go visit this award-winning centre of food heaven!!

©Chez l’abeille 2014

 

 

 


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Eating at the Chef’s House!

I think I first learned about supper clubs a few years ago whilst in France, watching a travelogue programme called “Fourchette et sac-a-dos”. In the show the excitable host Julie took a tour of London but in particular a Brixton supper club. The idea of paying complete strangers to eat in their home was quite intriguing. So when a friend of mine announced her own supper club, I decided it was time to go eat at the Chef’s house. Although its not quite her house, but the very spacious, professional kitchen of Chef Jenny Newall, owner and head chef of Ginger Jar.

Jenny Newall at work in her kitchen

The food focus for the evening was Italian, as Jenny had recently returned from her honeymoon to Italy. On arrival we were given a choice of aperol or prosecco as an aperitif, plus a non-stop array of tasty canapés, my favourites being the squares of polenta with a variety of roasted vegetable toppings and the crispy arancini. (It was hard not to keep eating these, they were that delicious!) After a chance to drink, eat, mingle and get to know the other diners (and catch up with some old friends) we were seated for the first of many courses.

Fontina, red onion & raddichio tartlet w/ thyme potato puree & blood orange reduction

For the next few hours the food just didn’t stop. The chard & butternut squash raviolo with caper butter was a highlight for me – mainly because I am anticipating making something similar for a supper party in the near future. The idea of making ravioli for six is daunting enough, so watching the brigade of talented chefs turn out a four course meal for at least 40 people was pretty impressive. The fontina, red onion & raddichio tartlet with thyme potato puree & blood orange reduction was equally delightful. Every plate was scraped clean and if I could have decently licked out the coffee cup full of Espresso macchiato chocolate pot I might well have done so! 

So, what did I make of my first foray into a supper club? The food was beautifully presented, extremely tasty and the company highly entertaining. I’ll definitely be first in the queue for the next night at the Chef’s house.

 

©Chez l’abeille 2014

Chocolate 2CV


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In which I spend a few weeks in France. Week deux.

Bergerac: home of Cyrano. Or at least home to several statues of him. Nonetheless it’s a very lovely town. This is where we based ourselves for the second week of our sejour in France (for part one look here).

This week we were joined by Kathy and Colin, Mardi and Neil’s friends from Toronto. Fortunately our new house had many rooms and many bathrooms so we all fitted in very well!

So what did this part of the region have to offer us? First up (although not too early – it was Sunday after all) was Issigeac, a mediaeval village situated on the edge of the River Dordogne. With a massive weekly market in full swing it was a bit tricky to take in the full glory of the houses. However, a stroll around some of the back streets helped get a sense of how this village would have felt in the past. Curiously it’s also the first place outside of Cornwall/UK that I’ve seen selling pretty passable looking pasties – the tourtes de cornouailles!!

Next: Bordeaux, where we saw some great public art, a botanical garden and a chocolate 2CV! The Miroir d’eau was built in 2006 and on first appearance looked like a paddling pool. I was a bit confused at this point as it is called the water mirror and although it reflected the surroundings I have to say was a bit unimpressed…

then magically it changed…

and finally it became a vapour cloud before it started all over again.

The botanical garden was an intriguing mish-mash of plants collected over the years and provided a lovely spot to walk off the inevitable three course lunch and the fabulous chocolate we bought at Maison Georges Larnicol!

Often we have a distance side trip and this year was no exception: La Dune du Pilat, the highest sand dune in Europe. I visited here around 23 years ago. With an annual growth eastwards of 1- 5 metres a year I guess it could be at least 23 metres wider than the last time I saw it. There certainly wasn’t a visitor’s centre and proper toilets! You scramble up the dune, look around and then skid your way down again. The traffic to get there was dreadful (August, France, one road to get to the car park…) but it was worth the stress in the end.

Further trips took us to the old towns of Saint-Emilion and Sarlat le Caneda, for  excellent wine, food, and the eternal search for public toilets (there are none it seems).

The week was finally rounded off with a rather wet and windy trip on the Dordogne in a traditional flat bottomed Gabarre. We did end up huddled behind our umbrellas on the return leg but the river itself was teeming with birds and other wildlife (including the very loud wedding group who rudely talked all through the guides commentary).

All too soon though it was time to pack up our presents and purchases, wake up early and make the long treks home after a hugely enjoyable fortnight. See you all again next year?

 

©Chez l’abeille 2014

Sunflowers in france


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In which I spend a few weeks in France. Week 1

August in the south west of France with old friends and new…what could be better than that. I met my friends Mardi and Neil just over 10 years ago when we were on the same tour to Cuba and we have been on many a trip to France and elsewhere since. This year, in between sight-seeing, they were completing the purchase of a house which meant I also got to see how the legal system in France works!

Week one was spent in St Colombe en Bruilhois, a tiny hamlet in the Lot et Garonne department. The gite we had rented was spacious and had the added bonus of a garden with many chairs for much relaxing, drinking rosé, reading and snoozing! As usual we also wanted to find out about the products of the region and looked for the best in educational activities: the tasty La maison de la noisette (hazelnuts), the fabulous Musée du Pruneau (prunes) and the eclectic Musée du Miel (honey). There was also a second (dreadful) museum of honey but it was just a bloke in his shop, talking in incomprehensibly accented French so we snuck out fairly rapidly.

Several days were spent around Nérac, a market town which sits on the River Baïse. This is where the newly acquired maison de Madame Michels and Monsieur Phillips is situated. We spent a jolly evening with Mardi’s local friends Kate and Tamsin at the night market and generally wandered around the old town admiring the buildings. However our timing also coincided with the world barrel racing championship. I use the phrase”World” in the loosest sense, as in it is only local French people taking part. We did consider entering as “L’equipe du Commonwealth” as we could have represented Australia, Canada and the UK, but on seeing the barrels decided against it.

We did take to the river but instead of barrels we opted for the more sedate river cruise! The Baïse has been navigated since the 13th century. The canal was built by Haussman (he of the posh shopping street in Paris) in 1850. The arrival of the trains started the decline of the river as a working waterway but it is a beautiful spot nonetheless.

Having spent a busy week (all those things you do on holiday: sightseeing, cooking, buying houses…) we then packed up to move on to Bergerac. On the way we stopped at Latour-Marliac. This turned out to be one of the loveliest places we visited. The first European non -white lilies they developed there were exhibited at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris and were seen by Claude Monet. Subsequently Monet bought lilies from Latour-Marliac to build his water gardens at Giverny. It is truly a “Jardin Remarquable”.

So on to Bergerac and week 2!

Carved vegetables Lambeth Country Show


Vegetables. But not as you know them.

The annual Lambeth Country Show is a South London institution. It has been going for 40 years and I guess I would have started going around 1985 when I first moved from London SW15 to London SE15.

However there is one thing that surpasses the Lambeth Country Show: The Lambeth Country Show vegetable sculpture class. If you type “Lambeth Country show” into Google you tend to get vegetables as the top options.

In 2013 we had these gems:

In 2014 there was an aquatic theme:

This is generally my first port of call, followed by the craft stalls, the food hall and then a nice cup of tea and cake in the cafe. Throw in some camel racing or jousting and that just about sums up a perfect weekend outing.

 

©Chez l’abeille 2014

Tagliatelle and ravioli


In which I learn to make fresh pasta.

Up early on a Saturday morning and of to City Lit where I was booked on a course entitled “Perfect pasta:making your own fresh pasta”. I’ve always wanted to know how to do this and for the sake of an early start here was my opportunity. I didn’t think it was too complicated but it just always sounded a bit scary.

The class was quite small and everything we needed was ready and waiting – bowls, ingredients, utensils and yes, pasta machines!!

rolling pasta strips using a machine

The pace of the class was brisk but well structured; a mix of watch a demonstration then do it for yourself – with the right amount of help when you needed it. Working in pairs we managed to produce some pretty decent pasta I think.

ravioili filling laid out on a pasta sheet

Filling the pasta

 

Getting the top sheet in place

Getting the top sheet in place

finished ravioli

Cutting the pasta

Tagliatelle and ravioli

Ready to cook!

I’ve now bought a pasta machine of my own and although I haven’t had time to lay all my bowls, ingredients, utensils and machine out yet I shall be very soon!