Sunday, 9 August 2015

Breton Lobster - a Sunday Lunch Tradition



I love Breton Lobster.  The first Sunday following our arrival  in Brittany we cycled to the local market, we  headed straight to the fish stall and bought a selection of Seafood.  Last Sunday we bought two Lobster, two Brown Crabs. We had a fabulous lunch.


I boiled the lobster, followed by the crabs . Once the lobster were boiled it was important to cool them down rapidly, I normally run them under a cold tap for a while, which works perfectly. I always marvel at the transformation from blue to red, there is something so amazing about this change.


For that first lunch we kept the lobster meal simple, eating it with a home baked, Buckwheat Soda Bread and salted Breton butter.  A teaspoon of mayonnaise,  a squeeze of lemon and  a twist of freshly ground pepper,  are  all that are required to bring out the delicately perfumed flavour of the locally caught lobster.  And don't forget a glass of Champagne!

To cook the Lobster you will need:

  • Large Pot of Boiling Water
  • 3 handfuls of Seasalt
  • 2 x 650-750g lobster
  • Brown Bread
  • Salted Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon
  • Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. When you bring the lobsters into the house, from the market or foraging, place them in the fridge (this is a humane way to prepare them for the pot)
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil (Stock pot size)
  3. Add three largish handfuls of seasalt (the water needs to be as salty as the sea)
  4. When the water is fully boiling put the lobsters into the pot
  5. Place the lid on the pot, and watch for it to reboil
  6. Time your lobsters from this second boil
  7. Keep the water as close to boiling as you can, but watch that the pot does not overflow
  8. Be careful removing the cooked lobsters from the boiling water, I use two large slotted spoons
  9. Place them in a colander and run under cold water until cooled
  10. Remove the claws from the lobsters
  11. Remove the head
  12. Cut the shell off the lobster tail, I use strong kitchen scissors
  13. Cut the lobster tail in half and remove the black intestine, this is very obvious
  14. Serve the lobster with the Brown Bread and Salted Butter
  15. A squeeze of lemon, black pepper and mayonnaise are also great additions
  16. Seafood picks are useful to remove the meat from the legs and claws, if you don't have any then I suggest that the cook removes the meat by cutting the shells off before serving the food
We are fortunate that in addition to buying lobsters at the market, my husband sometimes finds them in his lobster pots.  His boat is registered locally and he pays for a mooring at a tiny little natural port, which entitles him to two lobster pots.  He and our daughter set sail and check the pots every couple of days, it's so exciting when they bring a lobster home.  (I'm also very happy with Mackerel which they often catch!)






Saturday, 6 June 2015

Recycling French Yoghurt Pots - an e-book

I often find myself wandering off into new areas (for me) of Social Media.  It's simply amazing how many varied platforms for sharing both your skills and interests there are!

Whilst we were having our new kitchen and pantry installed, (plus two bathrooms and a bedroom) I found Pinterest was a great distraction.  I had to spend hours at the Laundrette, as we couldn't use either the washing machine or the tumble drier.  Sitting exploring, pinning and making new boards was a great way to pass time and I moved from 300 followers to 13,000 which was a fabulous bonus, it's wonderful to have connected with so many people.

Once the house was reconfigured I  found I was too busy to devote the time needed to Pinterest and although I still love it and spend a few minutes every day there, my focus moved to Instagram, where  I am slowly trying to improve my skills.  At the same time I tried to move my blog to Wordpress, which took a great deal of energy, but simply didn't work for me,  for a few months I lost focus and concentration.


I still took photos, still had ideas, still wanted to be creative so I decided to explore self publishing, purely for myself.

Last summer I ordered a book from Blurb, which contained my favourite photos from my first year of Instagram.  It's a lovely little book, and a delightful record of a wonderful year.




 I was pleased with the quality of the paper and the photographs and thought that I would make myself a second book, with the challenge of incorporating some (small amount of) text.  Again this book was simply for myself, I wrote some text and collated photographs for a little book:  Glass Yoghurt Pots.


The book is a small collection of fun ideas for recycling the gorgeous glass yoghurt pots that are found in markets and supermarkets throughout  France.





 I'm delighted with this book and now I would really love to order a set to give to friends, but because it would be a print to order run, it would prove very costly, if not prohibitive.  Fortunately there is another option, I can give my friends a copy  as an e-book for free! At the moment it's only iPad compatible, but should you have an iPad and wish to download a copy please click on this link:









Do let me know if you enjoy it, and should you wish,  please feel free to share it with your friends. (if you really don't like it then simply delete - it's free after all!)



And start collecting those yoghurt pots next time you're in France.








Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Simple Human Bin (for Lakeland)

I firmly believe that anyone attempting to produce good meals needs decent equipment. Can you imagine cooking without saucepans, washing up materials, and great ingredients? A good kitchen also needs great organisation, and I really appreciate sturdy, reliable equipment right down to the kitchen bin I use.

I was therefore happy to be asked by Lakeland to write a review of this Simplehuman 30 Litre Touch Bar Kitchen Bin.

The bin arrived extremely well packaged. I was impressed with it's size and also the shape, which I think would fit into most kitchens, far more easily then the traditional round bin that I used to have.

The bin came with it's own, easy to fit, bin liners, which have proved themselves sturdy and reliable. They fit inside the inner casing and the lid pops on neatly.

Kitchen Equipment Simple Human Bin from LakelandOne of my favourite features of the bin is it's tidy presentation, the black lid and inner casing are both strong and easy to keep clean, and I love the fact that I can open it, even if both hands are full, I simply push the flap with either my hip, knee or elbow and it quietly opens for disposal of kitchen waste.

The bin was indispensable in the kitchen during a baking day, and also whilst I cooked both Sunday lunch and tea. I did not have to keep tying up the bag and running to the outdoor dustbin, it had a large enough capacity to take a full day's waste.

To really run it through it's paces I tried it in other situations in the house too.
My daughter was having a fun day one weekend making craft.  This involved copious quantities of  paper, glue and  sparkles, and there was a great deal of re-planning and thought.  Much of the paper ended up as scrap, and instead of finding the craft room ankle deep in scrunched paper, I found it all neatly stowed in the bin.  It was very simple for me to take the bin bag to the paper recycling centre and empty it.

Kitchen Equipment Simple Human Bin from LakelandI also used the bin in my utility room, when I was having a tidy up, again it's size was a huge advantage.  I filled it with junk and it saved many trips to the outdoor dustbin.
This bin is a perfect addition to the kitchen, it sits neatly at the end of the workbench, near the sink.  It's shape ensures it is not intrusive.  It has saved a great deal of toing and froing.  I can use it in other rooms in the house when needed too. And it has a stain free surface, so resists fingerprints and other marks remarkably well.

The Simple Human bin is available from Lakeland, follow the link here.  The bin is available exclusively online, and as I have said the delivery service was super and the bin arrived in perfect condition.  Whilst you look at the bin, it's worth having a quick look at some of the other Simplehuman kitchen equipment that Lakeland stock, there are many lovely, labour saving devises there.

Many thanks to Lakeland for sending me the bin, which I am delighted with.  I was asked to write the review, once I had received the bin, I have not been paid for this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Previously published on JudeMagee.com.