We Have Escaped Again !

Yes, we have escaped again, on a road trip to a Haunted Scottish Castle. Bearing in Mind that London has been moved into semi special measures, we are not allowed to Mingle, but that’s Ok, I’ll just mingle with Himself and and Vice Versa.

We are on a reconnaissance trip to this Castle on the East coast of Scotland, delayed from May. Apart from Himself having a contre temps with a kerb negotiating the narrow road around Loch Lomond, (but better than having a contre temps, with an oncoming truck,) we managed to find our castle without too many difficulties.

But back to London, last week was spent trying out a couple of new ideas and recipes. Namely, gnocchis with a twist. I had bought some celeriac with my Vegetables from Watts Farm, without a firm idea what I was going to do with it, be it baked, or remoulade or what ?

I decided I could make gnocchi celeriac with potato would fit the bill.

  1. 1 celeriac +/-500 Grams, peeled and diced
  2. Equal amount of potato also peeled and diced
  3. 5 cloves garlic, left unpeeled
  4. Tablespoon of olive oil
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 100 grms flour


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
  2. Toss the parsnips and potatoes in 2 tbsp of the olive oil and tip into a roasting tin along with the garlic cloves. Roast for 40 mins or until the veg is completely soft.
  3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
  4. Squeeze the garlic from their skins, discard the skins.
  5. Tip everything into a food processor along with the flour and salt, season well, then blitze until well combined and holding together as a dough
  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tip the dough onto a floured surface, cut into four chunks and roll each into a sausage about 35cm long and 2.5cm wide, or there about. Wrap the sausage in cling film secure the ends with string. And drop onto the boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the water and leave to cool.
  3. When cool unwrap and cut into slices about the thickness of a finger.
  4. Dip the gnocchi lightly in some flour.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and add the gnocchi in batches and fry on both sides. When golden, remove and drain on paper. Repeat until all are cooked.

At this point one can decide if to use them straight away, or as I do, flat freeze them, then when frozen, bag them and put them in the vegetable section of your freezer until you need them. 

Meanwhile, Himself periodically goes Rogue and takes himself off to a grocery store. His store of preference is Selfridges ( for uninitiated read Harrods or the smartest grocery shop that you know). He normally buys me Oysters but this time around it was Shrimp and Squid! Simply marinated and grilled on a Barbecue, ummmm! Delicious!

He knows the way to a Girls Heart, Seafood, Seafood and more Seafood!

What’s in a Name?

Have you ever wondered who comes up with names? Names for companies, names for streets, names for New Towns and even names for children?

In France for example there is a lemonade drink which is actually very nice ( full of sugar of course) , originally made by Perrier, since 1954 and the name resembles the sound of the bottle upon opening. What is it? PSCHITT! Umm. Not a good name in English!

When we lived in Belgium, for the first year our street was called ‘ Chemin de Chample’, the next year, it was decided that as there was larger Chemin de Chample not far away, it would have to change. Hence it became Chemin de Tombe! Who wants to live inTomb Street? Not us, so the three houses signed a petition and had it changed to ( and this was a mouthful) Chemin de la Commaderie! Try putting that on any forms ! Anyway it was historical, as there had been a Crusaders Tomb found near by.

However, another street nearby was called Rue des Habitations Modern, who would want to live there? Who came up with that name ? Well, now I Know, as the other day going to Richmond Park, we came across Flyover Close ! Seriously? How would anyone sell their house in Flyover Close?, But actually it is called Floyer Close, but near enough , especially on a casual glance !

Meanwhile, I have had Mangoes to use. After my delivery of the most beautiful Mangoes from Spain, I put them all to finish ripening and they were delicious, not a bad one amongst them. Of course they all ripened at once and so I was faced with the dilemma of what to do. So I puréed them all and froze them in measured quantities.

And so it was this week that I decided to make Mango Ice Cream and experimented with No Churn Mango. This was mainly as I was being lazy and not wishing to get out my Ice Cream machine ( it is rather on the heavy side as it has a freezer unit included.)

I used

  1. About 3 cups Mango purée, which I had cooked to reduce the liquid,
  2. 1can sweetened Condensed Milk
  3. 600 mls double cream To make it is very easy
  1. Whip the cream until stiff
  2. Add the condensed milk and combine
  3. Fold in the cooled Mango purée
  4. Put into a suitable container and freeze.

Soften slightly before serving, can be served with some whipped cream or just a mango slice or two. I also have sprinkled some Speculoos dust on top. Speculoos, to the uninitiated are typical biscuits from Belgium, often served in cafes alongside a cup of coffee. Slight spice taste, great dunked in coffee and made into dust to sprinkle on Ice Cream. They can be bought at Amazon !

I nearly always have a mango or two in the house as my local store a small one, two minutes away have them, not as good as my Spanish ones, but Hey Ho ! Not bad.

One night on the weekend, following on from having our Mexicans to stay in France. Is Pizza Movie Night! I always used to make my own Pizzas, when my kids were smaller and so I have now resurrected a Pizza Pan , I have to say a rather posh one, a Le Creuset Pizza Pan, being cast iron, it gets suitable hot and works very well.