TGIF ---its been a fairly hectic week and I 'm going out for dinner with friends tonight, toodle-pip!
I have been having a bit of a Crime Fiction fest (In between reading other books, some of which I’ve written about on this blog) and recently came across a book by Laura Lippman entitled By a Spider’s Thread featuring a feisty female PI called Tess Monaghan. To my joy and delight, this is just one of a whole series of books with Tess as the lynch-pin. Isn’t it wonderful when you find there are six or seven books by an author you’ve just discovered, and can look forward to reading?
By a Spider’s Thread is set in
For years I have been reading the crime fiction by Sara Paretsky featuring her gritty female PI V.I. Warshawski and all are set in
Political correctness raises my blood pressure – and I suspect it does the same for many of you. So read no further if high blood pressure worries you…because this is another example of Local Authority craziness.
Some councillors in Totnes (an ancient seaside town in
No, it is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke (it’s almost May in case you hadn’t noticed) it is just one more example of the way some folk have become totally out of whack with common sense.
I’m not anti-vegetarian (although none of my best friends are veggies), but I do get hacked off at how much we are all supposed to pander to particular groups. If I am producing a meal for people and there is a non-carnivore among them I will always prepare a vegetarian option. But if I go to eat a meal prepared by a vegetarian, will they have provided a meat option for me? Will they hell. Not that I object to that, in fact I wouldn’t expect it – but recovering the leather furniture with plastic???? What madness.
And if I were a council taxpayer in Totnes, and my local taxes were going to be used on this lunatic idea I would be down at the Town Hall making a serious protest.
Ominvores of the World Unite !
So Marco Pierre White, the über celebrity chef, has come out as a fan of Knorr chicken stock cubes, after all these years of masquerading as a purist who has made the average cook feel guilty for not making every thing by hand from scratch. Whatever next - is he suddenly going to come clean about using Paxo stuffing, or packet Bechamel sauce?
Seriously though, I am not fanatical about anything in cooking, though my instant stock of choice is Marigold Swiss bouillon which contains less salt and no MSG.
But I do make chicken stock regularly - approximately every fortnight. The reason is that whenever I do a big shop at Waitrose or Costco, I always buy a Rotisseried chicken. As soon as I get it home I strip the cooked meat off, and it gives about 8 servings, ideal in with pasta, with salad and baked potatoes, and in sandwiches for packed lunch or padkos. Then the carcass goes into my trusty pressure cooker together with a few other bits and bobs and low and behold 1.5 l of stock.
NO BRAINER CHICKEN STOCK
1 chicken carcass (and if you happen to have a chicken thigh or two lying around which you can add, so much the better)
2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into big chunks
2 celery sticks cut into biggish pieces ( use the tougher outer sticks from a head of celery)
1 medium onion cut into 8 pieces (if you leave the skin on, it gives the stock a lovely golden colour)
3-4 stalks of parsley
1 stem of fresh thyme (or teaspoon dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
5-6 grinds of black pepper
Put everything into a very large lidded pan. Cover with 3 litres of cold water and bring to the boil; Simmer covered for about 1 hour, cool and strain. Keeps in fridge for 3-4 days. Freezes well.
I haven't given pressure cooker instructions, because they all differ slightly, but about 20 mins at pressure is ideal.