Archive for December, 2021

Lincoln New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2021

Lunchtime pleasantly warm and sunny, more like a spring day than last day of the year. 15C nearby Conningsby. Bodies ill for the planet.

Luckily I find local butcher open, he had warned me yesterday would close early afternoon.

Walking through Lincoln Central Market butcher, fishmonger and zero waste store have gone.

A new venture at St Mark’s local business and art. But a corporate chain, wrong location St Mark’s dead. Why no such venture for Lincoln Central Market once the tat kicked and and renovated as ideal location?

City centre busy.

Walk and Ride to Lincoln Cathedral.

Many people around and yet half the businesses closed. Many closed for several days over Christmas and New Year when lots of people milling about, then in January when dead will reopen. This happens every year, the same businesses then whinge lack of business.

Fish and chips Elite on the Bail. Packed. Each visit busier.

Walk down Steep Hill. As with Bailgate, large number of people milling around but many businesses closed.

Binge drinking bars quiet. Maybe too early, or maybe people acting sensibly.

I was tempted a coffee, but Madame Waffle closed and I did not know if Coffee Aroma closing early.

Annoyed, no extra virgin cold pressed olive oil in M&S.

— to be continued —

Terrace Cafe Nottingham Castle

December 30, 2021

Cafe associated with the Gift Shop closed, staff shortages. I walked up to the Terrace Cafe located inside the Ducal Palace. When reach the top, very windy, views over Nottingham.

Initial impression a prison canteen.

By the counter a display of unappetizing cakes.

I was there for a coffee, but whilst there I thought have a bowl of soup. Soup of the day, tomato soup, served lukewarm. Had I checked the price I would not have ordered, a rip off £6-25 for a bowl of soup.

A cappuccino ordered. Chocolate dumped on top. I took it back. Girl apologised and said she would bring me another coffee.

it did not look good. Cheap crap catering supply coffee. I left untouched after a sip.

I asked what it was. Girl brought out a bag and confirmed cheap crap catering supply coffee.

I had noticed as I walked through the Gift Shop coffee from a local roastery, Stewarts of Trent Bridge. Why did they not use? Gift Shop a different company.

I was not surprised the poor quality. The same outsourcing company that does such a bad job for Lincoln Cathedral Cafe.

The only good point, views over Nottinhham if manage to grab a window seat (I did not).

If visiting Nottingham Castle avoid the Terrace Cafe. Eat and drink before or after visit.

Just down the road The Specialty Coffee Shop, excellent coffee. Kigali and Cartwheel Coffee excellent coffee and cakes. Cartwheel Coffee excellent lunch. To eat Ugly Bread Bakery. All local businesses that take a pride in what they serve.

Nottingham Castle

December 30, 2021

Nottingham Castle impressive from the outside but not once inside.

The castle grounds resembles a city centre park.

I would recommend walk along Nottingham Canal from Nottingham Station, then up to Nottingham Castle. This takes past an old inn Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem 1189, doors leading into caves and a statue of Robin Hood.

The Ducal Palace I did not explore. Cave tours not taking place. Castle staff I found helpful.

Outside the Ducal Palace, very windy, views over Nottingham. Easy to see why Henry VII chose as location for his castle.

Cafe associated with the Gift Shop closed, staff shortages. I walked through the grounds up to Terrace Cafe located inside the Ducal Palace. Initial impression a prison canteen.

If visiting Nottingham Castle avoid the Terrace Cafe. An outsourced outfit and it shows. The same outsourcing outfit that gives Lincoln Cathedral Cafe a bad name. Expensive and poor quality.

Eat before or after a visit. Just down the road The Specialty Coffee Shop, excellent coffee. Kigali and Cartwheel Coffee excellent coffee and cakes. Cartwheel Coffee excellent lunch. To eat Ugly Bread Bakery.

Local businesses that take a pride in what they serve.

I would recommend free entry to the grounds, charge for entry to Ducal Palace and tours of the caves.

And get rid of the outsourcing operation for the cafes. Why not inquire of 200 Degrees? They would do a better job than the current outsourcing operation.

Nottingham mild late December afternoon

December 30, 2021

Train to Nottingham more like rush hour.

A different route through Nottingham. Usually out the side entrance of Nottingham Station, to the main road, cross Nottingham Canal and into the city centre via derelict shopping centre. Today, as I wished to vist Nottingham Castle, along Nottingham Canal and walk uo to the castle.

I would recoemnd this route, as Nottingham Castle si impising a swalk uop the hil, and takes past ket poinst f interst, Ye Old Trip to Jersualm caves, and a sratut oe o obin Hod an dwhat I assume to be his Merry Men.

Ye Oled Rip to Jerusleam claims at … to be the olded in in the country. Iufotuate it s owned by aGreene Kink an dnot an indoendent Free House.

Along Nottingham Canal then up to Nottingham Castle.

Built by Henry VIII impressive walls atop of a sandstone bluff.

— to be continued—

Cottage pie reheated

December 29, 2021

Remains of cottage pie three days ago allowed to cool then popped in the fridge.

Today removed from fridge, allowed to reach room temperature.

Fan oven 175C with lid on. Lid removed last ten minutes.

Maybe less time, when lid removed, gravy that had leaked out bubbling away.

— to be continued—

Pasta with Lincolnshire sausage

December 28, 2021

Adaption of ‘pasta with local sausage’ from Eating With Friends (Kennedy special edition no 13: 2021).


  • garlic clove
  • onion
  • 200g best sausage meat
  • 200g pasta
  • over ripe tomatoes
  • red wine
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper to season


Sausage meat in a pan with olive oil. Cook until brown. Remove for later.

Add one chopped opinion and garlic clove. When brown, return the sausage meat.

Slosh of red wine.

Sprinkle with dried oregano.

Add over ripe tomatoes.

Add a little tomato puree.

Leave to simmer.

In a pan of boiling water, pasta for five minutes.

Add pasta, a little of the pasta water. Simmer for one minute.


Eating With Friends

Eating With Friends was conceived as an idea during the most difficult months of the pandemic. — Chris Kontos

Eating With Friends a Kennedy special edition for when we were in lockdown, people eating at home, a selection of recipes, essays, drawings and photos.  Recipes from friends ad favourite restaurants.

In his editorial Chris Kontos (editor in chief Kennedy) mentions a favourite dish h e likes to cook, pasta with local sausage. Each island its own distinct sausage.

My adaption, keeping to the theme, Pasta with Lincolnshire sausages. I did not have to skin the sausages, I asked Redhill Farm for the sausage meat they use for their excellent Lincolnshire sausages.

On a Greek island, would pick oregano growing wild. I used dried dried oregano, sprinkling a little, not sure how much to use.

Kennedy Magazine is a biannual journal based in Athens, Greece. Its aim is to explore the views and ideas of certain individuals that have influenced our aesthetics and cultural wanderings in one way or another.

Kennedy Magazine on sale in Foyer Espresso Bar, one of several top end magazines including Standart.

Also found in Anana coffee shop.

On his Road Trip to Greece, Gordon Ramsey and friends visit a local sausage maker.

— to be continued–

Salmon fillet with jacket potato

December 27, 2021

Jacket potato 120 minutes fan oven 150C.

Metal skewer through potatoe helps inside to cook. Turn over a couple of times.

Salmon fillet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Fan oven 180C for 20 minutes.

Serve potato cut in half, season with salt, lashings of butter.

The last of fresh salmon. Food stalls are being kicked out of Lincoln Central Market.

Salmon adaptation from Together latest cook book from Jamie Oliver.

Cottage Pie

December 26, 2021

Olive oil, mince, the sauce, tomato purée, red wine, evaporated, cook for 3 minutes, potato, mash, season, golden,18-20 minutes, crispy, shepherds pie, done. — Gordon Ramsey

I have tried cottage pie from Curtis, M&S, Coop, Charlie Bigham’s, but never made from scratch with the ingredients.

Half a kilo of of mince beef. What to do with? Cottage pie?

One onion, one carrot, chopped, in a hot pan with olive oil until brown.

Remove from pan and put to one side.

Add mince beef, season with salt, cook until brown.

Return chopped onion and carrot to the pan.

Add gravy, a slosh of red wine, simmer until nearly all the liquid has gone.

Add tomato puree, mix in.

Add a handful of fresh peas.

Place in an oven proof dish.

Add mashed potato as a topping. Fluff up with a fork.

Here I cheated. Never be afraid to cheat and take short cuts. Mashed potato from M&S.

Add the secret ingredient. Thin strips of vintage Lincolnshire Poacher cheese on top of the mashed potato.

Place in fan oven 200C 30-35 minutes.

Cottage pie should be brown and crispy on top.

Excellent, very tasty. I could not believe how good it was.

I made sufficient for three to four people. The question now is, once cooled, can I keep in the fridge for a couple of days then hot it up in the oven?


  • shepherd’s pie – lamb
  • cottage pie – beef

Thanks to Gordon Ramsey for guidance, upon which I improvised.

Christmas dinner

December 25, 2021

Roast chicken, with Hasselback potatoes, pigs in blankets and runner beans.

roast chicken

Stuff chicken with segments of satsuma. Sit on a bed of carrots and sticks of celery. This enables air to circulate beneath the chicken, excellent as base of gravy.

Smear with butter or similar to stop from drying out, sprinkle with salt to crisp the skin. Repeat with butter or similar a couple of times whilst roasting.

2kg chicken, fan oven 180C, 45 minutes per kg (twenty minutes per pound) plus 20 minutes.

pigs in blankets

From local butcher Pepperdine.

I wanted six, they sold me ten.

I used five, save five for another day.

Hasselback potatoes

A trial run yesterday as never made before. Today take to another level.

Thinly slice potatoes, but not all the way. I cut a branch off a shrub. Ideal.

Then take to another level.

Chop one small onion, one clove of garlic, a handful of walnut halves chopped. Mix in a bowl, then add olive oil and salt.

Drizzle olive oil over the sliced potatoes in their roasting pan. Nestle the pigs in blankets around the potatoes, top with a couple of overripe cherry tomatoes, scoop mix out of bowl onto potatoes. Do not spread out, as will spread out whilst cooking.

One hour, fan oven 180C. Join chicken in oven for last hour.

sliced runner beans

Yes, I know not local, but it is Christmas.


Secret ingredient Swiss vegetable bouillon powder.

Add water from runner beans, add to roasting pans when roast complete.

red wine

Red wine courtesy Grecian Park Hotel.


Christmas slice from local bakery Curtis was not that great something missing. Add double cream, takes to another level. Who needs Christmas pudding?


Excellent chicken. Succulent, not dry, not undercooked or overcooked, skin crispy.

OMG Hasselback potatoes were taken to another level. The gravy too, taken to another level.

— to be continued —

Hasselback potatoes

December 24, 2021

Hasselback potatoes I had never heard of let alone tasted until Jamie Oliver mention on his Christmas show Channel 4 on Monday.

Medium size potatoes slice thinly, drizzle with olive oil, oven fan one hour 180C.

This is a trial run for Christmas Day when I will up the game.

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