Blogging rituals. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a bit more time to work on my blog and have discovered that I’m a reclusive blogging creature of routine and ritual. I can’t write unless I’m at my desk, and it’s the morning. Take today as an example. Woke at 6.15am, showered, then started writing on the laptop in the bedroom. I managed to write a depressing rant about the ‘dark side of the blog’. It wasn’t enjoyable to write and doubtfully entertaining to read (and we never will, because I’ve deleted it). I had breakfast, made a coffee, moved to my desk and then, suddenly, a peace and clarity fell upon me. I had found a little space in my world where something positive can …come and read more!
Vegetables boiled in water. Yep, that’s all it is, easy peasy. Making your own vegetable stock at home is one of the fundamental kitchen processes that you just have to do now and again. It’s so easy, it doesn’t use up much time and it’s basically impossible to overcook. And if you have left over vegetables, peering over the edge of the compost, it’s a super efficient use of them before they go. Now, although there are some traditional staples used to make vegetable stock, such as carrots and onions, you can actually use whatever you want. Just remember that the vegetables you use will have an effect on the flavour, colour and clarity of your final broth. So beetroot …come and read more!
So, first take a pack of King-size Rizlas. Ooops, wrong kind of smoking! Ignore that. Let’s start again. Underage Smokers When I was growing up, smoked food meant a couple of things to me. Firstly, it meant smoked salmon, those luscious pink slithers of rich flavour, associations of good times and parties; Christmas, family birthdays and the like. Also kippers, those stinky, smoked breakfast fish that my Dad ate and I also grew to love. As a young lad on a family camping holiday in Suffolk, we once stopped at a small smokery, where I saw a cupboard full of herrings hung out, being smoked into kippers. We bought some, and had them for breakfast the next day, …come and read more!
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, …come and read more!
To start, I’d like to apologise for the lack of activity on my blog over the last few weeks, I had hoped to avoid such a gaping hole in my posting, but here we are. However, the stark lack of online activity in the world of le petit oeuf is at odds with a frantic and exhausting time offline. A few super-large contracts have rolled in at work, calling for up to 7 day working weeks and longer hours, which synchronised perfectly with moving house. It all built up to the perfect storm. So now we’ve moved I thought I’d quickly log on to show you what I’ve left behind, the place where I produced the subjects of all the blog posts up until …come and read more!
I can’t help but feel a little bit proud of myself. My Feta, rosemary and hazelnut crunch spread, which I entered into the Guardian Cook supplement’s recipe swap was crowned recipe of the week! As well as being published in the print version of the paper, it was also published online here, at the Guardian Readers’ recipe swap page. “…recipe of the week goes to Lepetitoeuf for their feta, hazelnut and rosemary crunch; it’s sweet, savoury, and unbelievably moreish. Spread it on crackers, or sourdough, or forego the vehicle and just tuck in with a spoon.” Eve O’Sullivan I must admit that I feel giddy with excitement, and am slightly unsure how to deal with this …come and read more!