Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pepper Caesar Salad

Dinner, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

First of all make the sauce. Put 5 or 6 large heaped teaspoonfuls of mayonaise into a small jug. Add enough water to make it as pourable as single cream (about 4 teaspoonfuls). Add one crushed garlic clove. Add about an ounce of fresh grated parmesan cheese. Add Black pepper and sea salt to taste. If at the end it is too runny add more parmesan and mayonnaise and if it is too thick add more water.
Note 1. These measurements are very rough. I find the grilled peppers and the romaine lettuce very sweet and thus like the sauce to be hot. I therefore put in quite a lot of pepper and garlic. Your taste may differ.
Note 2. I have tried making the sauce without salt and it does not work. The epicure in me says it has to be sea salt.
Note 3. This does work with bought ready made mayonnaise. As the sauce has a calorific value of about ten million if you are using Hellmans or other I suggest you get the low calorie kind.

Put the sauce in the fridge.

Now take two peppers. Red yellow or orange. Only the wilfully obstinate or contrary claim to like green peppers. Use two of different colours to make it look prettier. Cut longwise into four and get rid of the stalk and the seeds. Put under a medium to hot grill for about 15 minutes until as much of the skin is black as you dare. Peel off the skin. Cut the peppers into long thin strips.

Make the croutons. Brush all over large cubes of wholemeal or granary bread with melted butter sling them onto a baking tray and leave in the centre of a oven (gas mark 6) for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Use butter or lose the respect of your peers.

While they are cooking cut or tear a large romaine lettuce into strips 2 - 3 inches wide. Put them into a bowl remembering to mix up the leaves. Artistically lay the strips of pepper on the top. Sprinkle a little grated parmesan cheese all over. Put the croutons on top of the salad and serve. Sit down and shout "Oh God I've left the sauce in the fridge" get up and fetch it.

Organic Car Parking

One of the stalls at a farmers market organised by the Green Grocers on Earlham Road in Norwich. The Green Grocers is a wonderful shop and amazingly for this kind of shop in Norwich the prices charged are reasonable.(Not Supermarket prices admittedly but comparable to corner shop rather than costly delicatessen)

The shop is great and groovy; it is the customers that are a problem. After looking at the farmers market I slipped into the shop to buy some tomatoes. While I was in there someone decided to park in one of the bays outside the shop. Fair enough that is what the parking places are for. Unfortunately they decided to reverse their urban Range Rover into the bay with the result that the shop was pumped full with diesel exhaust fumes.

It is an irony of our times that if someone walked into the shop smoking, modern etiquette would allow us to scream at them to put the cigarette out but we are so in thrall to the car that although Car exhaust fumes are far more injurious to health than secondary smoking no one says a word of complaint. Furthermore the effects of exhaust fumes are more immediate; just ask anyone with asthma.

In the queue to pay for my tomatoes I find myself behind the driver of the car but I say nothing. I pay for my organic, newly carbon monoxide soused goods and leave. I will continue to shop at the Green Grocers because it is such an excellent shop selling wonderful and tasty products but I wish some of their customers were less self absorbed and thought of others.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Royal Engineers Memorial, Mundesley

On one side, two rather clumsily written inscriptions read

Dedicated by Sir Timothy Colman KG
HM Lord-Lieutenant Of Norfolk
2nd May 2004

This is a memorial to the many brave
Royal Engineer bomb disposal personnel
who were killed while clearing British Landmines
from the Norfolk Coast between 1944 and 1953

It is thanks to them and their colleagues
that our cliffs and beaches are now safe
for everyone to use and enjoy.

Those who survived will never forget
Those who did not will never be forgotten
Author Unknown

One does not mourn brave men
one salutes them
Dereham District Coroner, A H Wood, 1959.

On the other three sides 26 names are listed.The youngest was 19 years of age, the oldest was 45.

The plaques at the base are cheaply made, of the type you buy from while-you-wait shoe repairers. The wreaths at the base were all weighted down with large flints from the beach below. While I was there, which was only ten minutes, loads of small children kept running up to it, excited by its torpedo/bomb shape, just to touch it; thus the bomb, insures that they are not forgotten

Among the listings there was one of three people killed at the same time and place. Presumably this was a team fooled by a booby trap set by their own side.

A feeling of sadness was amplified by the unwanted imagining of an epitaph that read "They died so we could build sandcastles"

Monday, April 02, 2007

Lying about a Lotus

Lotus wheel, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

They were trying to sell this as eco-friendly (yes really) at the Forum yesterday. Maybe part of being eco friendly was not washing it as the paintwork was smeared and sticky to the touch.

The Parish Church of St Peter's Mancroft may be seen reflected in the paintwork.

To take this 'snap' I had to lie down on the ground and I kept thinking "I bet Tim Caynes or Hindolbittern or Leo or someone else from the Norfolk flickr group is hidden behind some lamp post recording me do this." A photograph of me lying on the ground could never be a thing of elegance and would most likely recall to any viewer the bathing habits of the warthog.

Technical note: Lying on the ground to take a photograph of a car is known as the Lotus position.