THE VERY BRITISH FISH AND CHIPS…

 

Did you know that according to Wikepedia fish and chips first appeared in the 1860’s and by 1910 there were more than 25,000 fish and chip shops across the UK, and by the 1930’s there were over 35,000. The National Federation of Fish Friers say that there are now 8,500 fish and chip shops across the UK.

Historic UK site says that the potato is though to have been brought into England from the New World of the 17th century by Sir Walter Raleigh although it is believed that it was the French who invented the fried potato chip.

In 1839 Charles Dickens referred to a ‘fried fish warehouse‘ in his novel, ‘Oliver Twist‘. The first fish and chip shop is believed to have been in Mossely, Lancashire in the North of England. It was sold from a wooden hut in the market and then later transferred to a permanent shop which had an inscription on its window which said ‘ this is the first fish and chip shop in the world’.

Towards the latter part of the 19th century and well into the next century, the fish and chip trade expanded satisfying the needs of the growing industrial population of the UK. Then the steam trawler brought fish from all over the North Atlantic, Iceland and Greenland and the steam railways meant the fish was distributed easily around the country.

Apparently in 1931 fish and chips became so essential in the British diet that one shop in Bradford had to employ a doorman to control the queue at busy times. Even the Territorial Army enjoyed it with special catering tents erected at training camps in order to give them fish and chips before battle.

The National Federation of Fish Friers said that in 1999, the British consumed nearly 300 million servings of fish and chips which equates to six servings to every man, woman and child in the country. The British Fish and Chips is by far the nation’s favourite take-away.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF BREAD…

Bread comes in so many different types, from bagels, ciabatta, tortillas, potato, garlic, you name it you will find one out there.

 Bread is a low-fat staple food for many people and a good source of carbohydrates.

 They are made with different flours including white, wholemeal or wholegrain.

 Whole grains are grain foods in which all parts of the train are intact and retained during any processing.

 According to wikipedia ‘ Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients’.

 The Real Bread Campaign has absolutely everything you need to know about bread and more. The Real Bread Campaign are fighting for better bread in Britain. The national network brings together everyone who care about the state of bread in Britain.

 It has an online guide dedicated to helping you discover places to buy ‘Real Bread‘ and bread making courses and lessons on loaf.

 For me, ‘real bread‘ taste very different from processed breads and loaves and something I can never say ‘no’ to if it’s a freshly made one in a Restaurant.

 

 

PRETTY TEA ROOMS IN PRETTY EASINGWOLD…

It’s worth a visit to the lovely Georgian village of Easingwold to appreciate the lovely tea rooms and cafes available. The Clark’s have two to choose from, Clark’s Tea Rooms, Market Place, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3AG Tel No 01347 823143. This tea shop has all the same cakes, breads and pastries sold at their other shop ‘Clark’s Cafe’ bakery.

It’s divided into three rooms with walls adorned with local artists work and a smokers parlour at the back.The position of this tea shop in the central Market Place is perfect for a stop while shopping where you can enjoy their delicious home-made cakes and a refreshing pot of tea.

Clark’s Cafe, 195 Long Street, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3JB Tel No 01347 821285. This shop started back in 1925 when the Clark’s grandmother-in-law used to make scones and tea and sell it from the kitchen window to road repair men and cyclists.

You can see from the displays of canal-wares around the room that the owners enjoy narrow boats.

There is also a pretty garden with outside seating for the good weather months.

Everything is made on the premises with the speciality being the all day breakfast, ploughman’s lunch and the set afternoon or cream tea. This comes with a selection of sandwiches, scones with cream and cakes and tea.

A GREAT GIFT FOR ANY TEA, CAKE AND CHOCOLATE DEVOTEE…

I have just published my book ‘A Little Book on Tea Cake & Chocolatewhich would make a great gift for anyone who loves tea, cake and chocolate. 

This little book on tea and cake is a guide about one of our favourite beverages. It explains tea pairings, tea and chocolate, tea and health, tea and sandwiches, fascinating tea facts, buying the right tea, tea to help you sleep and tea cozies and teapots. It also features over one hundred tips on baking cakes and has some recipes for delicious loaf cakes. It finishes with several lovely tea quotes.

A great book for any tea devotee. It’s available on Amazon for £2.99

Over the last three months of spending hours after hours and days after days at the hospital, where my Dad was,  I started making notes of some of my posts on tea, cake and chocolate as I felt sure I could use it in a book.

There are nineteen chapters which cover all the tea topics I have mentioned above plus tips on how to make the best cake, pastry, and more. I also cover baking apps and recipe books old and new.

I finally finished it at the weekend and it is now available to buy as a paperback and hopefully as a kindle read soon. I would love some feedback if any readers bought the book.

 

GROWING YOUR OWN TEA…

We are not talking about herbal teas either, but real tea: Camellia sinensis. You don’t need a large garden to grow your own tea, a planter on a balcony would work just fine.

‘You could try growing Camellia sinensis in a greenhouse, or in a pot that you can bring indoors during cold winters.

The Camellia sinensis plant is a small shrub about 1-2 meters in height, though it will grow taller if you don’t prune it. In the fall, your tea shrub will flower with small white blossoms that have a delightful scent. These plants are often grown as ornamentals. For planting, Camellia sinensis likes well-drained and sandy soil that is on the acidic side. If you are going to grow your tea in a container, add some sphagnum moss to the potting mix. You’ll need some patience, too. Your plant should be around 3 years old before you start harvesting leaves.

A great site with all the details on growing your own tea is ‘Guide to Growing Tea’, and you might be able to get seeds at your local nursery or try online at Amazon.

From that plant, you could make black, green or oolong tea. Fascinating stuff and for all us tea lovers, its another thing we can try growing in the garden.

FIVE REASONS WHY SOUP IS THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD…

Now Autumn is well and truly kicking in, the nights are starting to draw in and the mercury is on a slow downward slope, our bodies start to crave the warmth of comfort food. But instead of opting for stodgy, carb-based staples that will comprise all the salads you ate during the summer, discover afresh the ultimate cold weather comfort food – soup. Quick and easy to prepare, extremely versatile, nourishing and healthful, it’s a great comfort food to turn to when it gets chilly outside. There are so many great qualities that mean soup deserves to be your new best friend this autumn…

1. PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME…

Modern life seems to be a constant rush, so it’s little wonder that we see an inexorable rise in the popularity of convenience foods and takeaways. One of the great benefits of soup is that it can be made in advance, frozen easily and reheated quickly. Or you can simply pop your ingredients into a soup-maker and enjoy fresh food ready for when you come in in the evening – check out a few of the best soup makers.

2. A SATISFYING MEAL…

Another problem with junk food is that it’s a lot of empty calories – you may fill yourself up with unhealthy treats only to find that you’re hungry again an hour later. Soup can be made as hearty as you like – try bulking it out with potatoes and pearl barley for a traditional Scotch broth, lentils and beans for a spicy Mexican flavour, pasta in a Minestrone or noodles in Asian-style udon. The possibilities are endless – you could even make deluxe cheesy croutons on top of a French onion soup. Soup has a large water content, which means it keeps you hydrated as well – people often confuse hunger with being dehydrated. Studies have even cited soup as a diet aid for this reason, as being hydrated means that you’ll feel satisfied for longer and are less likely to reach for calorie-laden snacks.

3. SOUP IS A HEALTH AID…

It’s a fact that most cooking methods reduce the amount of vitamins and minerals in a vegetable. Making soup is the only method that doesn’t, due to all the vitamin-packed cooking water becoming part of the broth. Homemade chicken soup has also been proven to help alleviate colds and flu due to its ability to clear mucus and act as an anti-inflammatory to soothe aching muscles.

4. IT HELPS YOU EAT MORE VEGETABLES…

If you are trying to achieve your five a day, soup is a great way to get more vegetables in easily. Try adding peppers and onions to homemade tomato soup, or coming up with great tasting new combinations, such as butternut squash, leek and shallot. The only limit is your imagination. Plus, if you have children who are fussy about eating greens, it’s a great way to sneak extra nutrients in!

5. IT’S SUPER EASY TO MAKE…

Even if your culinary skills leave a lot to be desired, soup is easy to make. You can experiment by adding in any ingredients you like, and the whole thing is very hard to mess up. You can even vary a recipe by making a batch of soup and then adding something new for the following night.