Category Archives: Foodie/Green/Gardening

CheeseSmiles – Cheese Course at High Weald Dairy

The cheese making kit

I have just completed a one day course at High Weald Dairy, I had hoped to tweet on the day but having twitter photo loading issues so here is a quick whizz through in photos.  First things first though, it was a great day, relaxed, well organised and I learnt a huge amount.  High Weald Dairy is based at Tremains Farm in Sussex, set in beautiful countryside, it has grown and developed over the years from a small family business to one creating a wide variety of cow, sheep and goats milk cheeses that are sold through farmers markets, delis and supermarkets. The whole team at Tremains Farm are, as I have learnt to expect in cheese makers, smiley people.  Husband and wife Mark and Sarah along with ‘the apprentice’ Chris ran the day. The course took place in a training room above the cheese maturing shed, with a teaching kitchen and place for teams of two to work on their cheese, a soft cheese had been part started and the cheddar was worked on throughout the day. The course materials are good too, with plenty of detail and information on suppliers, cheese record keeping, etc so lots of take home value is included.  My main interest was to learn the processes and equipment for hard cheese making and maturing, to work out if it is feasible to do this at home.

The picture above is a valuable one to me for the little blue jug and the blue manmade cheese cloths. Up to now I have been transferring my curds with a ladle but the little jug is much more efficient.  I also tend to use cheese cloths from Lakeland but they aren’t quite big enough, having a generous sized cloth definitely helps and the blue does mean if there is any loss into the cheese it would show.

Soft cheese draining

The picture above is the soft cheese curds draining, they were left with minimum disruption to gently give up their whey.  Just occasionally we moved the cloth to softly tumble the curds allowing puddles of whey to fall into the container below. The final processing, salting and adding flavourings was carried out at the end of the day, I created a cayenne and chilli version and kept one batch plain (I may add some horseradish from the garden to half and try the other half with fresh blood oranges). The soft cheese is delicious and the flavours enhance over the following 24-48 hours.

Soft lactic cheese with cayenne and chilli

 

The other main cheese production of the day was a cheddar. This gave the opportunity to stir the curds as they were reheated in their whey, a key part of the process the curds reduce in size and increase in ‘ping’.

Stirring the curds as they warm

 

The resultant curds are then strained and later pressed lightly in a single block. The block is then cut and stacked, the cheddaring process. Later this is broken down by hand into smaller bits, milling, and salted before putting into the press for the final stage.

Milled cheese being added to mould

After pressing, turning and pressing again the cheese emerged, pale and interesting.

The pressed cheddar

 

Now my little cheese is sitting in its cave, actually a cardboard box with a cup of water to raise the humidity and has become mellow yellow. I am exhibiting my best efforts at patience while it matures and becomes a star in its own right.

Of course I have brought the stages of the day together in this post; one of the great things about cheese making is that its not a hurry, there are pauses and opportunities to do other things.  Have coffee, chat, a wonderful lunch was provided (no surprises that cheese featured heavily) and a tour of the dairy manufacturing, packaging and cheese storage rooms. we also made mozzarella with much elastic stretchy, pinggggy fun!  The cheese below I really like the look of, the shape is from the colanders that the cheese are formed in and they remind me of the sourdough breads made by @pumpstreetbakery that take their form from the proving baskets.

The cheese store

 

Huge thanks to everyone at High Weald Dairy and the great company of those who were also taking part in the course, it was a superb day and actually as it was pouring with rain outside I can’t think that there would have been a better way to spend the day!

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Tidying up after the Royal Wedding – found 4 Queens, 1 King, 5 Crowns and a Royal Oak

It has been a real British Bank Holiday Weekend.  A Royal Wedding, broadcast over a huge TV screen to a packed Market Hill in Framlingham, bike riding and a climb of the church tower. All credit to all involved for pulling the whole shebang together both at the London end and locally.  I know it involves a lot of work and many unsung heroes to make such a success.  Bill Bulstrode was in his element and all the crew who did everything from catering to marshalling did a fabulous job; even dealing calmly with the few cars and lorries that decided they absolutely had to drive up the Hill.  The huge screen supplied by http://odmtv.co.uk/ was very impressive, they even added local adverts to the coverage.

Cake produced by Kitty's of Framlingham

So stuffed full with hog roast I decided I needed a new cycle route challenge.  A bit of royal tidying up.  I plotted a journey and have remapped it for you as if done from Framlingham (my version was well over the 40 miles).  The journey covers

The Queen’s Head Brandeston, The Victoria at Earl Soham, The Crown at Bedfield, The Crown at Brundish, Queen’s Head at Stradbroke, Royal Oak at Laxfield, The King’s Head at Laxfield (aka the Low House), Dennington Queen, The Crown at Great Glemham, The Crown and Anchor at Framlingham and the Crown Hotel at Framlingham. [by the way if you are a website optimiser designer some of these guys need help!)

Click on the picture below to go to the full route on Map My Ride, there is one short off-road section after the Crown at Bedfield which can be tricky in bad weather, but there is a road alternative if necessary.

To add to the pleasure of the weekend I manage a climb up the tower of Dennington Church, great use for the 360 degree panorama app = Click on the picture below to see the view from the top.

Click picture for 360 panorama

Cakes, Rides, Local Food and Silicone Knickers


The weather has been amazing in the UK; for Easter Bank Holidays it is unparalleled, not surprising then that I haven’t written anything here for ages.  There seem to be pairs of things queuing up; please skip to the bits that interest you most.  In the following order we have:

2 Apps; the 360Panorama and the Moleskine

2 Cakes; a giant Jaffa cake and a sweet, tart, redcurrant tart

2 Fungi;  A Dryad’s Saddle Paper experiment and St George’s Mushroom

2 Foragy bits; Sea Purslane and an experiment with cleavers and milk in an attempt to make cheese

2 Fabulous cycle rides, mapped from Framlingham, one following the Alde and one Green Bagging in Bow and Arrow Country

2 Local Food Discussions; why does Suffolk have a strong local food culture and a new local food festival?

2 Swims – How is my training going? – first sea swim of the season

Two Apps – 360Panorama and Moleskine

I have recently downloaded two apps for the iPhone that I am enjoying immensely. The first I heard about from @ssilvestori  who showed pictures of Lecce using it. Fantastic images; Silvestro is currently cycling around Puglia to generate interest in the small towns of the region.  His website is worth a gander, he offers food and wine courses and much more besides. The 360Panorama app allows you to take 360 degree images that can be shown flat, like the one below, or if you have an iPhone, the images can be uploaded and viewed as interactive 360 images.

The second app that I am enjoying is a digital version of the Moleskine note book.  I think it is going to be great fun for gardening and foraging notes, especially as it allows you to geotag pictures.  Now if it could just capture sounds and smells, and if I could draw a little better….. However I am quite pleased with my cover and a simple gardening note.

Two Cakes – Giant Jaffa Cake and Sweet, Tart, Redcurrant Tart

This being Easter cake baking seems essential. I have been quite pleased with two cakes this holiday so I am recording them here so I don’t lose the recipes. The first is a giant Jaffa Cake. Based on a Guardian recipe designed by Ottolenghi and supplied by the lovely @downatheel, it is a rich almondy, moist cake.  I adapted it by adding a jelly layer. Using 300ml of fresh Clementine juice and gelatine at 1.5 times the normal ratio.  I set the jelly in a soup plate before scooping it onto the cake.  I allowed the chocolate coating to cool as much as I dared before covering.

The second cake is described as a tart but is somewhere between a cheesecake, meringue and a desert sponge. It is sweet-sour and just plain lush. I used frozen currants which worked well but makes the meringue very tricky to apply as it part freezes as you mix them in. The whole cake is gloriously messy to make, but well worth the effort.  The recipe can be found on Catalina Bakes.

Two Fungi – Dryad’s Saddle and St George’s Mushroom

Spring is a joyous time for mushrooming, mostly because the spring ones are a bit easier to identify.  A friend brought me a Dryad’s saddle.  Not many commentators declare this to be edible, but it is supposed to be able to be used to make paper. I cooked it for hours, smushed it, strained it and ended up with some thing crispy stuff – nothing to write home about or on…. but it had an interesting transulcence so it might be useful added to other materials.

Much more exciting was the early appearance of the St George’s mushroom. One thing I have learnt is the earlier it arrives the less likelihood of worm damage.  This year there were far fewer, so I only picked two, but they were in tip-top condition. For the record, this year’s photograph April 18th whereas last year they didn’t appear until May 8th – what a difference a year makes. This year I sliced them and placed them with trout and Jack by the hedge, wrapped in foil and cooked on the barbecue.

Two Foragy bits – Sea Purslane and using cleavers to make cheese

Spring is a great time for foraging on salads, two of my favourites at the coast are samphire and sea purslane.  The samphire was not much in evidence this week but there were some lovely snacks of crisp, salty, purslane to be had.

Another favourite of mine is cleavers, a fresh pea-pod taste that makes weeding a pleasure.  I had read that it was used in the past as a rennet for cheese making.  I found a recipe for feta cheese and bought some goats milk.  I heated the milk, added the yogurt and then decided to squeeze a massive handful of cleavers into the milk mixture.  I left it and left it for days at room temperature.  After two days I had remarkably fresh smelling yoghurt, no goaty smell, no cheese though. I think that cleavers other title of ‘milk sweet’ might be interesting to explore further.

Two fabulous cycle rides – Orford/Iken/Alde and ‘Green Bagging’

This spectacular weather has been a great excuse for some serious cycling. Regular readers will know I am hoping to take part in the Dunwich Dynamo so I am steadily increasing my distances.  I don’t seem to be able to increase my average speeds though so I think I will be on the bike for in  excess of 10 hours.  Several chums have asked me how I manage, especially now I have a bike with a more racing style seat.  The seat is quite comfortable, I am naturally ‘well upholstered’ and I have recently invested in silicone knickers, with thick padding they are supposed to be good for up to three hours – so do I need to wear four pairs?

Two great rides though.  I have remapped these from Framlingham for you, parking in Framlingham is good at the Elms car park.  Both rides are mostly on very low traffic routes.  The first takes you to Orford, where there are plenty of pubs and the wonderful Pump Street Bakery, I also include a slight side track to High House Fruit Farm where they have fresh apple juice and Asparagus.  Points to watch out for on this route too Adders! on the Iken lanes, basking on the tarmac.  It is worth stopping and strolling down to the river for a spot of foraging (see above), you may also see Alpacas between Blaxhall and Farnham.  Click on the image below to go to the full map at MapMyRide.

The second ride was my Suffolk version of Munroe bagging.  I recently downloaded an app called Hill Lists, needless to say Suffolk doesn’t feature.  However, if someone would like to create the antidote I think it could be used for bagging greens, bottoms or castles all of which abound round here.  In this ride I count nine Greens, it goes over two commons, the one at Wingfield complete with tethered cattle.  It is worth checking the Wingfield website before you leave, if you have time to stop they have magnificent arts exhibitions and can offer tea and coffee.  There are plenty of pub stop-offs, if your timings suit;  The De la Pole at Wingfield, the Low House at Laxfield (actually named the Kings Head, but called the Low House) and the Queen at Dennington (actually named the Queens Head but known as Dennington Queen) all have solid reputations for food and ale.  If you just want quick supermarket fayre there is a shop in Laxfield and Framlingham has a full range of shops, coffee houses, pubs and a cycle repair shop.  This journey is largely traffic free and you will find miles of Bow and Arrow country – remember too the #bowandarrowtweetup if you are interested in joining a few of us for drinks or to watch The Social Network on 25th May 2011 at Wingfield Barns.  As before click on the map below to go to the MapMyRide site.


Two Food Discussions – Why does Suffolk have a strong local food culture and a new local food festival?

One of the features of  Twitter is that it is not a forum or a place for lengthy discussions; until one breaks out.  A few comments and before long a group of us were involved in a discussion about why Suffolk and Norfolk have a strong local food culture, as opposed to other areas which seem to feel a bit adrift.  You can read and add to the full conversation synopsis here.  It ranges from great products and producers, through sympathetic media and a relative absence of the ‘big stores’, but covers much more besides.


Pride in local food is important in so many ways.  There has been a food, craft and music festival at Framlingham College over the last three days.  The pre-publicity did not give many clues about who the exhibitors and demonstrators would be and I knew that a couple of local food related people were not involved so I wondered what the outcome would be.  Framlingham has a bit of a reputation for events being called off due to appalling weather, with the Gala rained off, fireworks not even making it to the stage of damp squibs etc.  However, the setting could not have looked better in glorious sunshine, looking at the castle across from the college green was a rural scene befitting of Midsommer Murders.  There were a few local food suppliers, notably the Chilli Company, Jimmy’s Farm, Suffolk Cup Cakes and local chef Emma Crowhurst was providing demonstrations.  There were also suppliers from further afield so it had the air of the food stalls at a county show.  It will be interesting to see if the event is run again and grows to include more local suppliers, they certainly had the best possible of weathers and things looked reasonably busy, with plenty of cars in the car parks and people wandering the grounds and at the demonstration.  I bought chilli sauces, curry sauces, sausages and enjoyed Emma’s demonstration, not least because real time demos are so much better than edited TV for things like sugar work.

Two Swims – How’s my training going?

I think I’m on track for the Grethathalon two swims; one the Great East Open Water Mile and the other a dip at Dunwich Beach preceded by the 120 mile overnight Dunwich Dynamo bike ride.  I am gradually increasing my miles on the bike. I have been doing more reading around the subject and beginning to understand why the training plans also focus on shorter, faster rides.  I hope this will make me try and ride faster, to build up the relevant muscles, mitochondria etc to improve my overall performance.  It has to be said I am a bit sedentary at the moment.   


Yesterday I did my first sea swim of the season, at Dunwich Beach; no way was I going to attempt crawl or put my face in the water though, so back to the old chestnut of controlling the drowning reflex.

If you would like to make a donation, I am supporting Diabetes UK this year.  My Just Giving page is here.

Most Splattered

Back on Shrove Tuesday I asked which cook book people always turned to for their basic recipes.  The one that is permanently covered in cooking splatters.  Mine is the Cookery Year Book – a Readers Digest staple of the late 1970’s and early 80’s no dinner party could be completed without it.  I was stunned by the number of responses:

 

Good Housekeeping, BeRo and Delia feature heavily but what a response!!!

@SimonMagus = Dairy Cookbook and Good Housekeeping

@DanHigham = Leon: Naturally Fast Food

@Jocassels = every cookbook she owns is splattered #verymessycook

@SuffolkCupcakes = Good Housekeeping

@mcliffe = The (all new) Purity Cook Book for general basics and The Compete Book of Mexican Cooking (Ortiz)

@WordCheck1 = 1943 ‘Complete Cookery’ by Lilian Mattingly that was my mum’s, with a familiar recipe for ‘rock cakes’

@easternsparkle = McDougall flour book

@JewelleryGenie = my grandmother’s (Cookery Book for Brides – subtitled ‘to love and to nourish’) has lots of scribbled notes in it from her

@Suffolkbloke = Tamsin’s Kitchen Bible and Four Seasons Cookery Book

@SaffronKate = (1)Margt Patten’s Everyday CB, gift from worried MiL when 1st married! & (2) Delia’s Cookery Course (I bt)

@tbosuffolkcoast = Several by Nigel Slater are v. splattered as are ones by Annie Bell &Tamasin Day Lewis.

@janehamerton = I love my new one by Diana Henry

@8CW = 1000 Recipe Cookbook – from when a student plus Larousse’s Gastronomique

@Emma_Crowhurst = Leith’s Cookery Bible, it has all my old trusted basic recipes, I love Diana Henry 2, I used to teach her @ Leith’s back in the day

@SpiersC = Gammon and Spinach-Simon Hopkinson. Promised myself I would cook every recipe in it – have ticked off 2/3 so far…

@mwschaefer = Jam it, Pickle it, Cure It is always in my kitchen

@josordoni = Alistair Little, Italian Kitchen.. this is THE BEST tiramisu recipe ever! http://prune.it/lYxj

@cardiffbites =  St Delia

@Jo6789 = good housekeeping

@DomesticJules = Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess.  for basics, cakes and pastry either Nigella – Domestic Goddess or my 1950’s copy of Good Housekeeping Compendium

@stillcooking = reference has to be larouse. Fail safe recipes probably the complete Robuchon (my old boss)…p.s. later..realised I spent Larousse incorrectly.well chefs are terrible at spelling.CB revision- the good cook(timelife) cakes & pastries

@shopkeeperswife = delia’s complete cookery course. ‘a new edition for the 1990’s’!

@JaqMart = BBC Good Food website – every recipe you’ll need. That or the Bero recipe book that I got free when I collected enough tokens.

@goodshoeday = delia smith cookery course the late 70s/early 80s version

@trufflepigpopup = Bouchon by Thomas Keller would be mine, fab buttermilk chicken and I have made a mean quiche from it too!

@direbonappetit = basics is always to delia complete or a very old 1960/70s good housekeeping!

@susannewilliams = my childhood learn to cook book!

@Meadowitch = 1001 recipes

@Sarah_Woolford = A tie between Delia and Be-ro……wonder what decade that places me in?

@niamhirl = Same answer for most splattered and where I go for basics is “Cookery for absolute beginners” by Lynette Baxter. Copy is 16 yrs old

 

Thank you all – great list and some fabulous memories of cook books lost (what happened to my learn to cook book with the dog making Croque Monsieur?)

 

 

 

The taming of the (mu)shrew(oom)

Time for a few confessions. A lovely person called Mr Truffle recently ran a creative writing competition; create a piece of writing about ‘how to buy truffles’.  I entered with a piece heavy on double entendre and won!  You can read my entry on Mr Truffle’s pages here, sadly I posted it before I finished editing so there are a few glitches in the last couple of paragraphs – but hey I won and am now the proud owner of 20g of truffles.  But what to do with them…. watch this space.

Second confession – my interest in this topic is not a new one.  Ever since I read, Taming the Truffle  – the history, lore, and science of the Ultimate Mushroom by Ian R Hall et al, I have wanted to plant my own truffiere; who knows, one day, maybe.

 

Pop-out, Pop-up

It’s been a while since I blogged – so some catching up to do. Let’s start with a playlist for those with Spotify – Click Here

This post is in three stages:

  • The Fantastic Truffle Pig Pop-Up in Brandeston
  • How do I give feed back when asked – “is everything OK for you” and whilst OK it’s not great
  • Why detox anyway?

The Truffle Pig Pop-Up

Way before Christmas, the delightful @suzannewilliams started mentioning the idea of a Pop-Up restaurant to be held at Brandeston Queen’s Head for one weekend only. I liked the idea; but from mid-January to mid-February I like to detox. For me that means no meat, wheat, dairy, fish, tea, coffee or alcohol. Now Suzanne’s other half is a great cook, I know because he has influenced the food at Brandeston Queen for some time now in his role as consultant, so I was rather sad to think I might forego the pleasure. However, quick as a very fast cheffy knife, they came back with ‘so? We’ll take you on, tell us what to avoid,’ thus a cunning plan was born.

A group of tweeting friends and other halves, six of us in all including @adrianmelrose, @fiswaff and @spudballoo decided to book. In the meantime Adrian experienced an epiphany (if that’s not too strong a word for it) and decided to become a vegan too, having read Eat to Live. Did Truffle Pig rise to the challenge? – You bet they did.

The aim with Truffle Pig was for Suzanne and David to run the show in their way, putting their stamp on everything from the food, suppliers to service and publicity. This is importantly different from acting as a consultant where you are influencing, advising and supporting others to develop their ideas. What a sign of a truly professional relationship though that the host location for this Pop-Up was Brandeston Queen’s Head who are current consultancy clients.

From the moment we walked through the door, coats were taken by attentive staff and we were directed to our table. The meat eaters had menus to select from but the detox two had each course introduced with due ceremony. To start was cucumber jelly with apple sauce and salad, delicate, colourful little roundels of jelly perfectly set and light on the palate. The main course included golden beetroot in a vegan consommé, rosti potato, with pak choi and tight spinach bundles. Desert was a trio of red fruit delicacies. For meat eaters there were such spectacular delights as pig’s head starter, pig’s trotters or blade steak for main course these of course were anything but ordinary. Every course created with the accent on flavour and beauty.

This was an evening to savour a long, leisurely meal with some absolute wow factors built-in. As if to prove that I’m not a food blogger, I failed to photograph anything as I went along; so many thanks to Suzanne for the photographs.

The extra good news is they are about to Pop-Up again. Follow @trufflepigpopup and register at their website to receive more information.

So half way through the detox and I was being treated like a queen – all good. Then came the end – time for a blow out meal but…

How do I give feed back when asked – “is everything OK for you” and whilst OK its not great

At the end of detox month, time for a meal out. I shan’t name the place (but if you think it’s you, ask). I have always said I’ll post the positives here and if there are negatives I’ll give feedback direct. First meat in a month, first wine etc, etc. I don’t think it was my palate being askew, if anything it should have been heightened and relishing good food. So how do I, or should I even, give feedback when food is OK, as in nothing to complain about (which I would do) but just uninspiring; the location hollow and empty and the whole experience leaving a feeling of – well we’ve tried it and now we know not to go back again? “Fine”. I would genuinely welcome your views. Since that meal another impromptu lunch date was totally unspectacular too – I swear, what gave the appearance of freezer sausages in freezer stew-pack veg with some watery stock does not constitute a sausage casserole in my book – “interesting”.

However I refuse to end on a down note – today I went to Marlesford Farm Cafe, squashed goat pie, mash and mushy peas – simple, fabulous in a deservedly busy, carefree atmosphere. p.s. no goats were squashed in the making of the pie, it is goat cheese and squash. When asked I was happy to say -“it was great thanks!”

Why detox anyway?

I promised Niamh a fuller response to her tweet to me (above). My version of detox might be more appropriately called a month’s rest. It is not intended to be a whole life change, but just to get me back on track after the Christmas excess, before you ask, I know I should just be less excessive over Christmas. It also is linked to dropping a few pounds in weight and getting out and active once again, fit and ready for the spring. It works for me. Basically I just eat super healthily for a month and then slide back into eating other stuff gently with the aim of being better with my self control thereafter. I am not trying to remove weird and wonderful substances from my body in weirder and wonder-fuller ways. I am more than happy to post Ben’s YouTube clip below, I don’t disagree with what he says, there is far too much hype about products etc., not sure that this clip is any more scientific than some of the things it is commenting on though. Many cultures, for many years, have had some period of abstinence, often fitting with religious festivals or timing that neatly fits with seasonal shortages or periods when eating certain foods might be more dangerous due to climate. None of this is new, a period of rest, a little pause, regroup and then off we go again.

One final comment:

RIP Broadhouse Hotel. Catering and hospitality is a difficult world. The Broadhouse Hotel recently announced its closure. It was a great place to stay. Sadly staff, customers, investors and suppliers will all have been impacted – it is such a pity, I can’t begin to understand the economics of it all, I hope others can and good will come of it in the long run.

Just deserts?

I’ll admit I’ve short-changed the blog again in the last two days, just uploading stats from my phone doesn’t really count as blogging, sometimes though busy, busy doesn’t allow for more.  However I have done the exercise.

Today I went for a long bike ride.  It was really cold but I decided to cycle to Fram the long way.  I was a bit miffed that the mapmyride on the phone cut out so I have had to log the trip manually.  I hope the problem was caused by the elastic bands I’m now using as seat belts for the phone and that repositioning them will make things better.  The plan was to hit 70 minutes as per my programme.  However I realised I was going to reach Fram too early so added an extra loop.  that last section was killing the windchill factor was horrible and I now have cracked lips to prove it.

Once I reached Fram I treated myself to fruit tea and polenta cake at the Dancing Goat.  Not sure if it was entirely within my detox rules but the closest I could get – just deserts?  I then bought about a stone of fruit and veg at the market so the journey home burnt extra calories.

The Stats

Total 16.27 Miles 13.54 out in 80 mins didn’t time the return journey.

Time taken for feet to thaw out 45 minutes.

 

 

Getting down and dirty

I guess if I will go out in brand new trainers I should expect trouble.  I blame this book:-

I’m trying to improve my cycling technique and last night read the section on cycling through pot holes.  Carefully raising myself in the seat I went for it, cushioning the jolts on my body perfectly.  However the phone bounced out of its cradle and into the road; I stuck my feet down into deep muddy water and the rest as they say is history.  Tomorrow I will be on he look out for elastic bands to act as seatbelts for the phone.

Never mind – it’s a great time for some look ahead foraging.  The catkins are out; I’m trying to mentally note my future nut stocks.

The Stats:

11.54 miles in 1hr and 3 mins as Moderate ie controlled even effort.  1 mile dog walk as cool down.

Smoking Zebra Sausages – Moonraking and Janathon update

I’ll start with a thank-you.  The lovely @sausagekinguk popped over with my prizes from his blog competition.  A great collection of books two by a sausage expert and one on exotic meats.  So thank you kind sir!  I hope the sight of the locals preparing for badminton was not too much of a shock.

My Janathon update – I’m really pleased; before badminton I did a bike session at the gym.  The plan was 50 minutes, easy speed.  So I upped the rpm to the 90s and actually spent some of it over 100 all at level 7.  I managed 14.6 miles

Another day of rain and darkness – today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year.  I tried to photograph the moon in a puddle.  Standing in the lane, in the dark, dog on lead in one hand like some ancient moonraker trying to fool the customs men.  I really should ditch the dog and find a tripod if I ever want to be successful at this stuff.  But here is my Suffolk 365 of the day, not a reflected moon in the end but taken leaning on a gate post.

Last Night I dreamed of Chickens, but ate duck…

 

C'est n'est pas un poulet traversé la rue

 

 

A lot to pack into one post: Illustration Friday, Janathon and Suffolk 365 including a mini restaurant review, iPhone app review and a local music link; but I’ll be swift.

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is ‘chicken’.  I found a poem by Jack Prelutsky called Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens, follow the link the poem is quite cutesy.

As for Janathon – today I went and did session 7 of my plan.  I had managed to miss it unintentionally so for the Stats: 1,000m done as 5×40 warm up 15×40 (every third set with pull buoy) at speed and 5×40 cool down.  I was the only person in the pool for most of my session so no need to negotiate swimming sides rather than loops in the lanes.

Disseat

 

Last night I was lucky enough to get a visa to travel over the border to Norfolk.  There is a great town called Diss, one town – so many puns.  There is a little secret in Diss called the Singtong, it is only open in the evenings and Fri and Sat lunch.  As a welcome change from standard Hong Kong Chinese food the Thai style menu is a bit different.  Not sure if it still acts as a coffee-house during the day, it used to.  It is on the first floor and has the air of going to your aunties for supper, small friendly and family run.

Today’s Suffolk 365 picture is a bit of a cheat really.  I found myself listening to twitter on the radio.  Well specifically started with Radio 4 listening to @hen4 who was on Open Country, talking about her yurt and tree growing on Exmoor. Then via Twitter I discovered that @theprofithunter was on Radio Suffolk.  I tried to find it on iPlayer on the iPhone and it appears that Suffolk doesn’t exist – so that will be my Suffolk 365 picture for today.

Never mind  in the end my trusty Tunein Radio App (it has like a gaddzillion channels)  picked up Radio Suffolk, but I only caught Scott’s newspaper reviews.  Then I made a quick trip via the same app to the World Service where Ed Sheeran was being interviewed.  This lad is currently doing amazingly well, having self promoted his tracks and being top of the downloads.  He is from Framlingham and his MySpace is worth a visit if you’ve not heard him before.

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