Posts Tagged ‘lamb’

Hey Little Lamb!

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Every time I catch a bus down Wilmslow Road towards Didsbury, we go past a large Middle-eastern/Indian/Asian supermarket that sells everything you could ever imagine from every country you can think of (except Australia.) It also appears to sell cute little lambs. I think I might get myself a pet for my last few months in Manchester.

lamb

Too cute!

A Two Hour Drive for Lemon Ice Cream

Friday, October 10th, 2014

*Warning: The following blog post contains discussions of food regurgitation (aka vomiting.) If you don’t want to hear about it, don’t read further.

I will travel great distances for good food and when my cousin, Les, told me about a lemon ice cream that could only be described as “orgasmic,” I decided I needed to try it. I have never heard anyone describe a food as orgasmic as repeatedly as Les did about this ice cream. Clearly it was good and clearly I needed some.

The fact that the ice cream was located a two-or-so hour drive at the Inn at Brough in the Lake District didn’t really bother me. Thankfully Les was so keen on this ice cream that she was willing to drive me there as a “Birthday Adventure Treat.” So yesterday my birthday continued in the form of a drive through the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District and an amazing lunch at the Inn at Brough. I’m a lucky girl.

We arrived at the Inn for our booked time slot of 1pm and were greeted by the very friendly staff members who knew that Les was ‘that woman who keeps calling to check they will have the ice cream.’ The restaurant was empty, but it was a rainy Thursday and apparently the place is booked out on weekends. I could see why – Brough is a small village and the Inn sits proudly in the centre, offering a comfortable place to come and sit, drink and eat. We were looked after by a delightful lady who was friendly, welcoming and very, very polite. The Inn is attempting to be a little bit fancy and the service reflected this. I preferred when she kept looking out of the window and across the road to her house where a man was pruning her trees.

View from window

Our rainy view

We ordered some wine and then our food, our grumbling stomaches dictating that we should both splurge and try the lamb and redcurrant pies seeing as the lamb would be local and therefore delicious. This was Error #1. Our menu reading eyes and greedy stomaches were far too hungry for their own good. We were told the pies would take 25 minutes to cook during which time we just salivated more and more for tender baby sheep.

When our food arrived we both recoiled at the size of the serving and made “Gosh, I’ll never finish this” noises. But as we tucked in and tasted the tender lamb, buttery pastry, crisp potatoes, sweet carrots and some heavily buttered snow peas, we couldn’t stop. Soon we had both devoured the majority of our food, not quite finishing simply to ‘leave room for the ice cream.’ This was Error #2. Hindsight suggests I should have chosen a cheese and pickle sandwich but I know it wouldn’t have been as delicious as the pie.

Lamb pie and vegetables

Mmm… pie.

It was really good – the meat wasn’t fatty and the flavours were fantastic although I didn’t taste much redcurrant. The chips were seriously crispy – these giant potato chunks had obviously been doused in some sort of animal’s fat and deep fried. Too good to stop eating. The vegetables were alright but nothing special. The snow peas were limp and dripping butter and the ratatouille looked and tasted like it had been made a few days ago and reheated. But overall it was a top plate o’ food.

The lovely server knew we were wanting the lemon ice cream for dessert and said she would give us ten minutes to digest before bringing it out. Such a wise lady. She would have been even wiser to suggest that we have a cup of tea instead. But no, we were there for the ice cream and so we should have it. Error #3.

Three balls of soft yellow ice cream were served rolling around on a plate with a chocolate swirl biscuit as garnish. It didn’t look beautiful but who cares? If this ice cream is really orgasmic then does presentation really matter?

Lemon ice cream

It ain’t pretty but it sure tastes good.

Les dived in first as I took the necessary photographs and there was that silence that you only get when people are sitting enjoying food on the other side of the table. She was a happy lady. The ice cream was creamy but not overly sweet with the lemon tang biting through. It was really, really good, although I kept getting strong hints of egg which kind of put me off. After one and a half balls I was reaching my cream/fat/excess food limit but I struggled on for the sake of having driven two hours to eat this dessert.

Was it orgasmic? I’m not quite sure but I am not a citrus lover. I also have difficulty eating large amounts of cream-based items and would never normally have three scoops of ice cream. But the flavours were definitely delicious and it was very good homemade ice cream. Compliments to the chef.

Reclining back in our seats, our over stuffed bellies were now grumbling in disgust at our greed. I had a cup of peppermint tea to aid my digestive system and Les had a cup of coffee. Both were served with shortbread biscuits on the saucer. Perhaps these were the ‘waffer thin’ mints that broke Mr Creosote in the infamous Monty Python scene. We were both feeling a little unwell.

I would like to point out, highlight and emphasise the fact that neither Les nor I believe the Inn at Brough was to blame for the events that followed. The food was perfect, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it whatsoever and I think you should definitely eat at the Inn. It was our own personal greed and in ability to handle rich food that led to us both experiencing moments of nausea that may or may not have resulted in one of us revisiting her lunch near the roman ruins of Brough Castle. Let’s just say, I will do anything to avoid vomiting so you can add up the clues by yourself to work out who it was.

Brough Castle

Scene of many battles and at least one upset stomach.

And so, with our disgruntled bellies and our acceptance that it just served us right for being greedy pigs, we headed off on an exploratory journey of the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales. Apart from intestinal explosions and the fairly insistent rain, it was a great day out and the meal at the Inn was definitely worth the drive. Perhaps not surprisingly, neither of us are in a huge rush to go back for more lemon ice cream, no matter how orgasmic it may be.

Trough of Bowland

A yellow beetle is the only way to roll on the Trough of Bowland

Sheffield’s Resident Pig

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Last weekend I went and caught up with my brother and sister-in-law in Sheffield. It is handy living a 50 minute train ride away from my family. It is a significant improvement on a 24 hour plane ride; that’s a long way to go for a hug. My visits to see Ben don’t generally involve much other than sitting around drinking coffee, cooking dinner and then going to bed early. But sometimes it is this sort of relaxed comfort that is exactly what you need to remind yourself of the good things in life.

Saying this, on Saturday afternoon things turned wild when Ben and Zoë took me to Heeley City Farm to meet the animals residing in central Sheffield. Nestled in a residential zone of the city, Heeley City Farm is a community based animal farm, café and garden centre. It is a fantastic space to bring kids and is also highly entertaining for us older folk. Who doesn’t like looking at lambs? Here are some of the characters we met on our visit:

Goat butts.

Goat butts.

What?

What?

Winner of the Best Animal of the Farm competition.

Winner of the Best Animal of the Farm competition.

We think this is a chipmunk but there was no signage to confirm or deny.

We think this is a chipmunk but there was no signage to confirm or deny.

We went to the café for afternoon tea and each had a piece of homemade cake. Flavours included a vegan pear cake, lemon polenta, and I had a sticky ginger cake. They were all quite delicious and clearly made with love and community spirit. Happy cake always tastes better.

Listening Live

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

There’s something very enjoyable about watching live music. A few years ago I very rarely went to music gigs but recently I have been trying to attend as many performances as possible. I particularly enjoy watching local bands do their thing without the sound and light spectacles you find at a large scale concert. It is raw talent (or not) being played out in front of you and you either like it or hate it.

Last night I went and watched Simon Marks Tapestry at Mojo’s in North Fremantle. I was there to support my boyfriend’s sister who is in the band and I was pleasantly surprised by the performance. They were launching their EP and I wasn’t sure what to expect as it was the first time I had watched them play but their skills as musicians was impressive and made for an entertaining show. Perhaps knowing someone on the stage makes a difference (I did manage to start liking operatic metal because I was dating a rhythm guitarist) but it inspired me to have another poignant moment where I wished I was that talented and that I could move my arm back and forth while holding 2 wooden items and instantly create beautiful sounds.

Once upon a time I learnt the violin. I enjoyed learning songs and I wasn’t that bad at it. Learning to read music was quite enjoyable as it was similar to learning a new language. However I didn’t keep it up because practice wasn’t my thing. I used to sit in my bedroom and pretend to be practising (I was actually reading novels) and half an hour later emerge pretending I had done theory when Mum and Dad questioned the lack of sound. Yes, I was bad. And I now regret it immensely because if there is one thing I am jealous of it is musical ability. I don’t honestly believe that if I had continued playing the violin I would now be world famous, but I wouldn’t now be thinking “What musical instrument can I take up?”

Last night after the concert I had all sorts of ideas running around my head about how I am going to start taking piano/ guitar/ violin/ singing/ drumming lessons and become musically inspired but I then took a moment to reflect and realised that I am probably doing enough ‘creative learning’ as it is. I’m making jewellery, I have book ideas running through my head, I’m learning French and this week I start a four week latin class. I think that is enough. So I have decided to leave the music to those who do it well. I will continue to attend performances and I will be the one who taps her feet and enjoys the songs.

Rock on, kids.

On another note, one of the best things about last night was that there were a lot of Bridgetown expats in a Freo pub. Only that combination could result in a lamb turning up and being carried around and fed milk from a bottle. Apparently it had been found in the back car park (clearly it had jumped ship) and so the kind country folk were looking after it. Priceless.

Lamb

Aww... too cute! Don't you just want to eat it!