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The Second Day of Christmas – Sprout Chocolates Anyone?

Hello, excuse me whilst I walk over your sleeping bodies on the floor.  I’ll be round with bacon butties later.

This is the second day of Christmas, my beloved has sent turtle doves and if you scrutinised your invitation you will realise that is the train of thought I am following today.  Here I am picking through the leftovers from yesterday wondering what unusual food combinations I could come up with.  I have some once cooked giblets and a little Christmas pudding so perhaps a mock turtle soup.  If you have a strong stomach you might like to read the wikipaedia article on mock turtle soup – I wonder why it fell out of fashion?

On the topic of unusual food, whilst out to coffee with @josordoni and @flyingchef1 I  bought some Sea Salt Chocolate from Pump Street Bakery @pumstreetbakery– that was gorgeous, made by Rococo Chocolates and sadly I did not treat it with the respect the price tag demanded, it went very quickly. Whilst in Orford I also bought a smoked ham hock from Richardson’s smoke house and made Nigel Slater’s Elephant Stew.  The stew is not made with elephants but ham hocks; so perhaps it is really mock elephant stew. My friend @goodshoeday quite rightly pointed out who wants food that reminds you of eating ellies anyway.  The final thought on the stew was that it was ‘all-right’, but in conversation with @theflyingchef1 we are agreed it needs a little something.  I would a) partially precook the hock in a pressure cooker then b) add some Aspall Premier, the potatoes, carrots etc and maybe some veg that would thicken the sauce more like aubergine or FlyingChefs thoughts were butternut squash and c) would cook the last stage in an oven casserole so it dries out a little more.  The question is with all those changes would it still be elephant stew or would it be mock-mock elephant stew.

Do you have a classic ‘mock’ recipe – one that really works that you could share?

And as a second comment (so I don’t inadvertently publish your answer)  The Russian Roulette question for today; before I ask it you might like to warm up with this game……

Q2  What is the expected lifespan of a turtle-dove?

If you are feeling cruel you might like to make these ‘truffles’

And finally I leave you with Franz Ferdinand

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Orford – an eastern food capital? Pump Street Bakery is open!

Orford is rapidly becoming a mini food capital of the East of Suffolk.  It has provenance with Pinney’s smokehouse and Oysterage  and a wide choice of pubs that have done good business for years. The Saturday market does a roaring trade and there is an award wining butchers. The village shop has had new life breathed into it too.  The latest addition is Pump Street Bakery, which has just officially opened.  I whizzed in at 10.15 this morning and they were already practically sold out of pastries – the pain au raisin, with my coffee was spectacular though.  The café element is one long table where you sit together with the other customers, a log fire blazing and enjoy the company.  Say hello to Jo (aka @pumpstbakery on Twitter and @PatOrford), if you read the journal on their website you will realise just how hard they have worked to turn a building that had been unoccupied for years into a business.

As I wandered around Orford I was struck by the architecture and the impact of competition in what is an intriguing little village. The bakery is one of the few Suffolk Pink plastered buildings, the predominant material here is brick. Houses range from the commanding to petite cottages, hunkering down to avoid the weather. This is a place of contracts, spitting distance from the sea, yet miles from it; protected by the Ness. This means a long river trip for anyone wishing to get out to open water by boat or in the season a ferry over to the Ness and a walk across the spit to find the sea.  The Ness itself has been a site of mysterious goings on for years.  The many eating places have their chalk boards outside ranging from the slightly intimidating “Smart lunches, more formal lunches on Sundays” (perhaps not the place for me to go after a long muddy bike ride or dog walk then) to the children horses and parrots welcome, humans by appointment. I like the bakery having no external signage at the moment, like a ‘best kept secret’; you feel as if you are wandering into someone’s house.

Part of the beauty of Orford  is that there is something for everyone. I hope the many people who stay in holiday houses there enjoy and make the most of the special treats on offer as much as the locals.

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