Mow the lawns before the rain arrives

June 19, 2021

I only mowed the lawns Wedensday, but one day dry, rest of the week rain, at elast that wa sthe forecats a couole of days agio,

Little grass cut, which was what I had expected.

From Wilco grass seed and compost maker.

Grass seed scattered, compost make on the compost heaps. Annoying the box, no mention of what it contains.

From the farmers market, tomato plants, var Alissa Craig and Gardeners Delight. Maybe I should have bought their heritage varieties, probably a mistake not to. Too much to carry.

Tofu and salad at Bailgate Deli

June 19, 2021

I was in two minds to eat at Bailgate Deli, it was a cool day, cooler than of late, but fish and chips at Elite on the Bail has not been up to their usual high standards of late.

A table was free, I took a seat.

I wished for falafel and salad.

All they had was fake burgers, not their usual menu. Oh why, when vegan food, vegetarian food, can be excellent, it does not have to ultra-processed vegan crap. I should have left, eat at Elite on the Bail.

I was offered, toasted tofu, maybe I was offered fried tofu, with salad. It sounded disgusting but was surprisingly quite good. Generous portion size.

Next weekend? Sadly more ultra-processed vegan crap. Obviously avoid weekends and eat weekdays. A shame because it will give any visitors a bad reputation of the place.

Lincoln mid-summer farmers market

June 19, 2021

Farmers market in Castle Hill is usually a waste of time, not worth a visit, other than to pick up cheese and raw milk off the cheese stall.

Bus into town packed.

To save going around the houses, I hopped off the bus and waked over the railway station. Not sure if it saved time or not. Had I wished to walk up the High Street, it would have saved time, but I wished to visit the market.

City centre packed, worse I have seen to date, even Hotel Chocolat had a queue, something I have not seen before.

Quick look in Central Market. I wanted various herbs and spices to make herbs de Provence. When I said what I wanted them for to make herbs de Provence, already had herbs de Provence. Makes life a lot easier.

Walk and Ride running over five minutes late, I was thinking of walking when it turned up.

Steep Hill busy, Bailgate busy, and to my surprise, farmers market was also busy. Many more stalls than usual.

I was pleased to see the strawberry guy, as his strawberries are excellent.

From the farmers market, tomato plants, var Alissa Craig and Gardeners Delight. Maybe I should have bought their heritage varieties, probably a mistake not to. Too much to carry.

I had wished to eat at Bailgate Deli. All they had was fake burgers, not their usual menu. Oh why, when vegan food vegetarian food, can be excellent, it does not have to ultra-processed vegan crap. I should have left, eat at Elite on the Bail.

I was offered, toasted tofu, maybe I was offered fried, with salad. It sounded disgusting but was surprisingly quite good. Generous portion size.

Next weekend? Sadly more ultra-processed vegan crap. Obviously avoid weekend and eat weekdays. A shame because it will give any visitors ad bad reputation of the place.

I noticed the car park was packed, usually empty, and whilst I was eating, a constant flow of people, usually no one around.

Walking down Steep Hill, many people around.

I am loaded with too much to carry.

An espresso, sat outside Madame Waffle,.

Saturday, town centre full of drunken scum, binge drinking bars full of drunken scum, binge drinking bars loud music blasting out. No surprise, we are seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases and start of a third wave.

From Wilco, loose grass seed and box of compost maker (but no mention of what is inside).

Only because I went to catch a different bus did I catch a bus running at a different time. No traffic through the city centre.

Then mow the lawns.

The best Panama Geisha of 2021?

June 18, 2021

Panama Geisha, the best of 2021?

I am pleased Patrik Rolf then went on to qualify, one of the best coffees in the world.

In the same locality we have Hacienda La Esmeralda where Geisha was discovered or rediscovered, for more on this read God in a Cup, and the estate of Ninety Plus, located Boquete, Volcán and Renacimiento.

Several things struck me from the farm, Finca Deborah.

  • shade grown coffee
  • beautiful wooded hills
  •  coffee protects the environment
  • the care the farmer Jamison Savage takes with his coffee beans

I contrast the introduction looking at the green beans with green beans I was asked to look at from Cameroon. The Cameroon beans had insect damage and black mould. When I tried to explain the condition of the beans was not acceptable, supplier became angry. Would not listen when I was trying to help, telling them if they wish to be taken seriously they have to address these problems, they cannot ship poor quality coffee beans.

I am pleased Patrik featured the farmer. Someone grows the beans, we need to know more about the farmers. Unless they care, we will not be drinking high quality coffee. We also need to thank the roastery and the person who brews our coffee.

We have our green coffee beans, how do we roast, how do we brew?

Slightly longer roast time, slightly higher roast temperature. This would appear to go against perceived wisdom, if we think of cheap crap commodity coffee, roast the shit out of it to hide any defects.

Then when we get to brewing, again contrary to perceived wisdom, leave to rest for three, four, five weeks.

And then, grind, store in an airtight container, brew the next day, which appears to go against perceived wisdom, grind and brew fresh for each cup, otherwise lose all the aromatic oils, coffee will oxidise.

Interesting to try, three different Geishas, same farm, same variety, different processing of the beans.

I recall something similar a couple of years ago. twelve different lots from the same farm, a cupping session at Taylor St Roasted.

I was tempted to order.

Synchronicity: Intrigued to stumble across this, of my friends at The Underdog, one of my favourite coffee shops in Athens, using beans from Finca Deborah for the World Barista Championship Boston 2019. It is always an honour and pleasure to be served a coffee at The Underdog and if time permits and not busy conversation about coffee. If The Underdog rates this coffee, then Patrik Rolf is in very good company.

Foot note: I tried to order. Too late, Sold Out. 

Normandy Pork and Cider with Tenderstem

June 18, 2021

Peel potatoes, cut into wedges, par boil for ten minutes.

Potatoes in roasting pan, rapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper. Oven fan 200 C.

One red onion, slice into wedges, add to the potatoes in roasting pan after fifteen minutes.

Add two diced garlic cloves.

Cook potatoes and red onions for a further thirty minutes.

Core, then thin slices one apple.

To a frying of hot rapeseed oil, fry the sliced apple for a couple of minutes. Remove to a plate to return to he pan later.

Add two pork loin chops to the pan, season with alt and pepper, cook a couple of minutes each side until brown.

Douse in dry cider. Boil off about two-thirds of the cider.

Add double cream for the sauce.

Add mustard, add chopped chervil

For a little over five minutes, add the tenderstem broccoli to the water used to par boil the potatoes.

Drain the broccoli, remove from the oven the potatoes.

Plate, pork loin, potatoes, broccoli, pour over the sauce.

Delicious.

I was not going to use the pot of double cream, I thought I had a pot already open but did. Used about two-third of a small pot of double cream/

The French mustard was a mistake, overpowered the pork.

The smell of the cider boiling was not pleasant. I thought maybe substitute craft beer, eg Brew Dog Puck IPA, but then would not be a tilt to a classic Normandy dish.

Maybe try again but this time with new potatoes not old, but still roasted, fresh peas instead of broccoli.

Served with Brew Dog Punk IPA. I think red wine would be a better choice.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and fifty-four

June 17, 2021

Cooled than yesterday when reached 27C, misty and muggy.

Anticipated thunderstorm over night did not happen, it did though rain and gave the garden a good soaking.

On bus into town I alighted south of the railway line, to save trip to bus station all round the houses.

Two options, walk over railway line over footbridge over the station which brings out by bus station and Sincil Street, or alight and walk up the High Street.

I chose the latter, walk up the High Street.

High Street south of the level crossing quiet. But cars and delivery people passing through. Why no enforcement?

Pino closed, changed hands, has now reopened. I looked inside. Shrink-wrapped sandwiches, poor choice of cakes, over-roasted crap corporate Italian coffee. Why bother? A street with two greasy spoon cafes opposite, two corporate chain coffee shops around the corner, poor location with low footfall.

Talked to a black girl having a break. She said she worked for a charity. I was baffled, even more baffled when I asked was she a volunteer and she said paid commission.

No, one of these pop up scams where stood in the street. Never pay a penny. They rarely work for the charity.

She had come all the way from Sheffield, different city each day, depends on where she is sent.

Walk and Ride failed to show. Catch the next one.

Too late to eat in Bailgate. Sausage roll from Redhill Farm. I also bought extra virgin olive oil from Lesbos. Very expensive but one of the best. Although first of the season would be last season. When in Athens in the autumn it is first of the season. And this was only a 50ml bottle. I also bought 50ml of rape seed oil.

And 750 g of minced pork. No too much 500g. I thought I can always buy 250g if I have got it wrong. I had got it wrong. I only needed 250g.

Walk back down Steep Hill.

Cappuccino at Madame Waffle. I did wish for espresso.

Butstook over 25 minutes to get out of the City centre. Usually a coupe of minutes.

Risotto primavera

June 16, 2021

Pot of vegetable stock.

Chop and dice carrot and onion, fry in large frying pan for 15 minutes.

Add Arborio rice.

Splosh of white wine.

Asparagus, bend and break off wooden stems, drop into vegetable stock pot.

Slice tips off asparagus stems, slice stems into short sections.

Ladle stock into frying pan to stop drying out. Continue for twenty minutes.

Add last ten minutes, asparagus stems, sugar snap peas that have been topped and tailed.

Last five minutes, add asparagus tips and peas.

Add a knob of butter and Old Winchester cheese.

Serve, with a little Old Winchester cheese as dressing.

Accompany with glass of white wine.

Follow with slices of watermelon as dessert.

Mowing the lawns before thunderstorm

June 16, 2021

Very little grass cut, thunderstorms expected overnight.



Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and fifty-two

June 15, 2021

Not as hot as last few days, but sunny and warm.

Luckily a P C Coaches small bus, into the city by going around Lincoln and approaching from the North.

Sincil Street busy. I expected with the chaos, few people in town.

Back way up Steep Hill, I am surprised number of people on Steep Hill, Castle Hill and Bailgate.

Baffled, last week walking down Steep Hill, Bookstop Cafe appeared to have closed, other passers by thought so too, not open, and the sign had gone. Today, open and yes, there was a sign.

Sadly fish n chips at Elite on the Bail still not up to standard. Fish excellent, chips not so, though an improvement on what has been served of late. I thought serving old chips, maybe, but I think more fundamental either different cooking oil, different cooking or maybe different potatoes.

Walking back down Steep Hill, Bookstop Cafe closed, no sign. All very odd.

Back down in town, a cold brew at Coffee Aroma. Not very good, not of the standard of their espresso or cappuccino.

I look in Hotel Chocolat, manager not there. [see The Eco Press]

Usually sat outside Coffee Aroma, cold or at least chilly. Not today, late afternoon sat in the sun, too hot.

Massive M&S lorry came through what is a pedestrian street. Nearly took the tables, at least a metre to spare the other side of the lorry. Either deliberate by the driver, or not fit to drive, either way should be disciplined. Why not at least an hour later? The High was packed with people. But at fault, the dysfunctional local council allowing traffic through a pedestrianised city centre.

Nightmare getting out of the city. What should have taken a couple of minutes, twenty to twenty five minutes.

Speaking to the driver when I alighted from the bus, he said even worse yesterday.

Relax in the garden with an espresso tonic.

Sunset one week before shortest day

June 14, 2021

This evening, another stunning sunset.


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