PREVIOUSLY: I set out to retrace a journey I took by night towards the Britannia Bridge, only deciding, in the end, to go further… I’d go as far as Felinheli, even though Felinheli was a ridiculously long way away…
For some reason Wortonians celebrate pancake day at the end of October. I have no idea why either. It probably started as some excuse to just eat a load of pancakes that got out of control. You don’t really need an excuse, but you do definitely have to have that one special day each year reserved especially for making pancakes, be that in October or February.
These little delights, come from my friend
(alright, one time shag) Eliza. Say what you like about her, but she did make some damned good pancakes. She was almost as good at pancakes as she was in the sack. She wasn’t best pleased when Dan, one Worton Pancake day, invited half of Beiderbecke round to her place to sample them and then she had to make fifteen batches of them. She roped me in to help, but soon threw me out again when I almost set a bowl of batter on fire… I swear that I was nowhere near the oven at the time. I begged for ages to have the recipe off her, eventually getting it by stealing it from her kitchen drawer in the middle of the night. A toilet break between shags, that most definitely was not, if you get my drift.
This is something a little bit different than my usual adventure- Usually I go to a place, wander around and bitch about things, wherever possible. Sometimes I’ll eat stuff, go into a cafe… But this is more of a complete foody review sort of thing. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, and as is usually the case the limited time only (the limited time being until I remember to delete it) PDF edition is available for download with this link:(Kyffin)
Time for another adventure… Sorry about the lack of a PDF download for this one. I really am not in the mood. Too many people have p****d me off this week.
For one summer when I was twenty years old I stayed in the Ligurian countryside, in a village called Calvo close to the French border, with a family called the Lattas. Mamma Latta was an exceptional cook and I stole half her recipe book for my own personal benefit, but this recipe was not amongst them. This one belonged to her son, Fabrizio, who would come home from work on a Thursday evening and have less than an three quarters of an hour before going out cycling with his friends. Needing a shower, a quick food fix and energy before cycling, he would throw together this simple and exquisite pasta dish and have it on the table inside of fifteen minutes. It was so simple that to get the recipe all I had to do was watch him cook it a couple of times. The most complicated part was dealing with the tomatoes, but even that was simple once you knew what you were doing.
Cut to eight years later and I pass the recipe onto our family biographer, for use on a Wednesday when he has a late lecture and only an hour before he has to leave for archery practice- Hence the name I gave it. Then it turns out that he doesn’t have lectures on a Wednesday so he has all the time in the world to cobble something up before half six. He’s still made use of it though, which makes me proud, and if I happen to be mooching round his place on a Monday (Monday has long been James’ designated Pasta night) he’ll make me some, or Macaroni Cheese if he has the right stuff. I prefer this though.
This dish, every time I eat it never fails to remind me of that warm, Northern Italian, alpine scenery and always takes me back to that long, indulgent summer with Fabrizio and Mamma Latta and their family. Forget your smothered in sauce, non-Italian Macaroni cheeses and Spaghetti Bolognese, this is proper Italian style pasta, where you can taste every morsel and the flavour of the pasta comes through beautifully. The sauce (if you can call it that) is an accompaniment rather than an addition.
Feel free to omit the garlic, but it does add an extra, nice note to the final result. You can also sprinkle with a bit of cheese (just a sprinkle, mind) if you really, really want. This is for a single serving.
What a surprise this year has turned out to be… What a change… For a moment there it looked like it was going to be a really bad year but by the end it turned itself around. I’m already looking forwards to next year, but for now it’s time for that annual run down of the songs I’ve been listening to over the last twelve months- Better known as your yearly reminder of how terrible my taste in music is. The full playlist is at the bottom. Enjoy. Continue reading “JPC’s Sound of 2018”
It feels like ages since I released a travel piece- MA work and Morfaverse 15 have put them on hold for the last few weeks. So, it’s time for a return- Back to the misty mountains. Continue reading “Ffrancon, My Dear”
Following the ‘accidental’ death of her husband, the fifth Lady Beddgelert took to cookery. According to those she foisted her attempts upon, the results were often circumspect. One that was lauded, however, was her burger recipe. The story goes that when she first introduced it to her guests in 1895 one of the footman accidentally dropped one on the floor. Thinking nobody had noticed, he picked it up and returned it to the plate, at which point he was chastised by Lady Beddgelert.
‘Don’t put it back on the plate,’ she scolded. ‘It will be filthy.’
‘In that case,’ my twice great grandmother Anna interrupted, ‘we should name it after Oscar Wilde!’ Cue much laughter around the dinner table, except for from my twice great grandfather who was of the opinion that Wilde was being unfairly persecuted.
It was my great grandfather, himself an admirer of Wilde, who nabbed the recipe from the Beddgelert househould. It should be added that in his diaries my great grandfather wished to name his first born daughter after one of Wilde’s characters. Upon reaching a seventh son, however, he gave up on the idea of Lady Windermere Morfasson and settled for Earnest instead.
The recipe is a bit vague, but it is really simple and should come out alright if you don’t overdo it with the amount of pork. Remember as well, you don’t want the burgers too thick or they won’t cook in the middle.
-Half a Bowl of Fine Pork Mince
-1 medium Egg, beaten
-Around 50 grams of Plain Flour
-A squeeze of tomato puree
– A little sprinkle of Thyme
– A dash of olive oil
-Burger Buns (or any kind of bread roll) to serve
. In a bowl place the pork mince, flour, egg, puree and thyme and mix well.
. When mixed shape into rough, round patties, not too thick. You might get three or four depending on how big you want them. They may still be a bit sloppy thanks to the egg but this shouldn’t matter.
. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the patties on each side until browned and cooked through. If your burger has come a bit misshapen in the transfer to the pan you can still, quickly, round it off again with the edge of the spatula.
. Make sure NOT to move the patty around or jiggle the pan for several minutes, until the heat has knitted it together, or else it may become misshapen or fall apart and your hard work will have been for nothing. Just let it sit, let it cook, until you need to turn it over.
. Once cooked on each side transfer to the burger buns and serve, preferably with chips.
*We hold no responsibility for this recipe going wrong, your bad cooking skills or any illness incurred by an attempt to recreate this recipe.
Picture courtesy of Harringtonbooks.co.uk
This November marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Morfvaerse, my own connected series of books, stories and other paraphernalia… But, just which member of the world famous Morfasson dynasty are you? Take the quiz below to find out!