OOPS! It hasn’t been emptied ( in this case the Herring)

We had Herrings today, I have always eaten herrings cooked by dipping them in flour and gently frying them. This is how my mother cooked them and at the time the local wet fish shop, always had herrings locally caught, ( odd name don’t you think, Wet Fish? Of course they are Wet, ) I have just read that the Scottish way of cooking fresh herrings is to dip them in fine oat meal and then fry ( make note to self to try this next time ……. If there is a next time, but maybe I’ll just go to Billingsgate……. The UK’s large fish market in London).

I’m not sure how often one sees herrings in fish shop these days, in fact, where are the fish shops? Living in central London probably doesn’t help, I could go to the lovely Selfridges ( now owned by a Thai/Austrian group). However, if they did have herrings …. Most unlikely, more like Monkfish or Dover Sole, they would cost an arm and a leg. However, one of my online fish sellers, not only had Rock Salmon ( Huss, or Gurnet, again hard to find) but HERRINGS ! So I ordered some, both the Gurnet and the Herrings. However, they not only came frozen but the herrings had not been cleaned! Didn’t really pose a problem, but brought to mind CHICKENS. Chickens don’t have anything to do with Herrings, but to me they do! Many years ago living in very much rural Normandy, the highlight of my week was to go to the market. The poultry man had fresh chickens and at a good price. I simply asked “c’est qu’ils sont déjà vides?” ( are they already emptied? The reply was also a simple one “Ils sont à vider”( they are to be emptied! But I missed in his thick Norman accent the one little word À ! Needless to say, when I got home I discovered I had to gut the chickens!

Also a long time ago whilst living in the USA, I found that I had an issue with Yoghurts. If I drove 20 miles or so to a health food shop I would have been able to find yoghurts not full of colourants and other additives, but locally it was impossible and so I had one of the first home yoghurt makers. Therefore, I made for my kids, for many years, homemade yogurts, usually plain but sometimes, we called them Jammy Yoghurt , which is when we added a small teaspoon of homemade jam to the bottom of the mixture for a treat.

And so here we are in the French Alpes and I despair, each time we come. The supermarket shelves are full of yoghurt, 692 types to be precise, BUT and it is a But finding just plain old Yoghurt, preferably Greek, preferably Not nonfat ( they have stiffners added ) not with a multitude of flavourings, not with sugar, and most certainly not with chocolate chips. Lidl, the discount supermarket, does a good 1 kilo pot, but Lidl is a 35 minute drive away and so once again I’m making yoghurt.

Weirdly, all those years ago, making yoghurt at home was so simple, so I was surprised upon reading the instructions for my newly acquired British Yogurt maker.

  • Turn the machine on and set at a temperature 42C
  • Boil 1,125 ml milk and whisk
  • Let the milk get cool, to a temperature of 32-43 C ( obviously you will need a thermometer for this as this is the correct temperature)
  • Add125 mls of plain yoghurt and whisk to blend

Well what a PFAFF ! I didn’t do any of this all those years ago and so I experimented.

  • Mix 1 jar ( the jars that come with the machine) of plain Greek / plain yoghurt with 1 jar of dried milk powder.
  • Slowly pour onto this stirring all the while 3 pints ( UK) (7 jars) of Long Life Milk.
  • Pour into the jars and place them without lids into the machine and switch on to 42C and set time to 8 hours!
  • At the end of the time, the machine Beeps . Remove the jars, put lids on and refrigerate!
  • Maybe using Long Life Milk is the answer, certainly here, daughter and granddaughter and even Himself ( he who never eats yoghurt) all declared it a success!

One thought on “OOPS! It hasn’t been emptied ( in this case the Herring)

  1. Herring are hard to find. I had a craving for unsweetened, pickled herring so I decided to make my own, Couldn’t find herring anywhere. As for yogurt, you are right to de-pfaff the recipe. I just stir a teaspoon of yogurt, any kind, into a pint of SS milk. Don’t screw the top on, and put in the cupboard overnight. Usually works. I have never had issues with undesired mould or bacteria. But sometimes in winter, it takes 2 days to set.


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