The start of something

The start of something is always the hardest part of the journey.

2018  has started and there are many things to reflect on and many things that need to be started.  Our plans for this year’s travel and adventures are well on the way.

Part of the delay in the kick start of this year has been the other writing love in my life, my play writing, has taken a front seat at the moment due to my second play being published.  I have put my links at the bottom of the page in a shameless self promotion.

No excuse is a good excuse, I know.  But in any case this is an excuse that I am proud of.

Any way, on to the next thing, we’re off to an exhibition at the National History Museum.  More to follow…

Plays!

 

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Elfy Sushi

For a long time I have been trying to work up the courage to make my own sushi.  So tonight, is the night.

For preparation, I have ordered a bamboo mat for rolling the sushi, sushi rice and the nori sheets.

Ingredientsimag2416

Nori sheets
Sushi rice
Salmon filets x 2
½ bell pepper
Garlic
1 x can of Tuna
2 tsp Tahini
Avocado

Method

Pre-cook your sushi rice in advance so that it has a chance to cool right down.  I cooked about a cup of rice and this made 4 rolls.

Gently fry the garlic and bell pepper in a pan, add some chilli if you like a bit of spice.  Add the salmon in the same pan. once cooked though allow to cool in the meantime, mix the tuna, tahini and a little oil.

Lay the bamboo mat out on a clean surface or chopping board.  Lay a nori sheet on the top of the bamboo mat.  Spread a lay of the sushi rice on the nori but leave a good 3-4cm at the front of the sheet.  Spread a decent amount of tuna on the end furthest from you, lay some sliced avocado along side the tuna and roll towards you tightly.  Slice up.

Repeat with the salmon, slice it and lay across the prepared nori and rice.  Add the bell peppers and garlic across and roll.

Yum.

It tastes amazing, its fresh and healthy.  The first roll is not tight enough and a bit fiddly to eat.  I will definitely make this again.

 

Disaster in the kitchen Elf

Nougat a wonderful soft, chewy, sweet and decadent treat and the perfect homemade Christmas gift for friends and family.

So, I set about researching for a recipe that is easy enough for a first-time nougat creator and a recipe that does not insist on lots of crazy equipment.  I settle on one from Good To Know

So, I set out my ingredients, and at the start everything is going IMAG2241 (1).jpgwell.  I follow the instructions.  Bit by bit it becomes apparent that I need 2 more sets of hands.  Whilst trying to keep an eye on the temperature of the syrup, I realise the almonds are starting to burn.  I quickly whip them out of the oven.  Phew, rescuable I just take out the few almonds that are beyond it.  Then I start to separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites.

Now, I do not have a standalone mixer, just a hand held…this is where it starts to go terribly wrong.  I’m desperately multitasking, trying to watch the syrup and whisk the egg whites.  The egg whites are ending up everywhere as I resort to trying to keep whisking whilst holding the thermometer in the syrup.  The temperature does not seem to be rising at all, then suddenly its burning…I’m not even sure how, it doesn’t look like its burning but the fire alarm is now going off so it must be!  In a last ditched attempt to rescue the situation I try to gently and slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites…whilst whisking.  I definitely do not have enough hands I can’t hold the heavy syrup pan and whisk…it’s not physically possible.  I imag2245am spilling boiling sugar everywhere!  EVERYWHERE! I give in and try to do it in batches.  A last minute hopefulness takes over as it seems the mixture is setting.  It’s quite brown though…that’s not right…. Anyway, I pour the mix into the trays line with rice paper (oh, yes, forgot to mention I miss-clicked and ended up with a garish green rice paper rather than the pale green Christmas colour I had hopped for).

The mix sort of sets, we try it.  It is horrible, genuinely I have never baked anything that tastes more like the scrapings of a fire place.  It goes in the bin.

I try again… because I am mad.  I haven’t yet gotten the sugar syrup off the benches!

The second attempt is mildly less manic and terrifying, helped by enlisting Mr Elf.  This time however, the mix just stays like a rather melty ice cream looking smuch between garish green paper.  It tastes good this time, which is something…. I think.  In any case, it too goes in the bin and I make shortbread instead.

I recommend buying your nougat at the supermarket and enjoying as a treat that does not leave you wondering how you got egg whites in the toaster!