Sunday, 23 December 2012


Sunday started with a leisurely breakfast of croissant and coffee and birthday greetings from 30% and BMS. It is my forty ninth today but, as anyone who knows me well will be aware, I normally tend to keep things low key at this time of year and celebrate my birthday in March. Today was however slightly different as a luncheon reservation had been made at The Bridge in Bidford on Avon.

In advance of lunch I took T&M for a walk around the Three Miler and was back home in time for a wash and brush up before we drove out to Bidford. We had a fantastic table looking out over the river and, as the river was in flood, the swirling waters were literally inches below the edges of the decking outside the window adding a touch of drama to the meal. . The food was lovely and, for me, the star of the meal was the starter of chicken livers and bacon. That is not to say that the main of kidneys was not good but the starter was just unbelievable.

It would be nice to say that a boozy afternoon followed but that is never going to happen with a birthday two days before Christmas and we returned home to tidy up for the big day. Once the house had some semblance of order I took half an hour out to kick off my latest curing experiment ...

... yesterday I picked up a whole Salmon at the supermarket and two pounds of it are to be put to one side and cured as Gravlax. The cure recipe seems fairly straightforward; salt, sugar, black pepper and chopped dill are mixed and spread over one of the pieces of fish followed by a splash of gin. The other piece is laid on top so that the skin is on the outside. This cure sandwich is then tightly wrapped in cling film and placed in a pyrex tray. a slightly smaller glass dish/tray is placed on top and weights are added. This is then refrigerated for three days. each day the weights are removed, any liquor is poured off and the fish is turned...

... if all goes well I should have cured Salmon for Boxing Day supper with a side of cream cheese and a garnish of dill.

As the evening rolled on I finally found time to have a fiddle with my Birthday/Christmas present; a new Canon D60 body which will hopefully bring an end to the nightmare I have had with Canon camera bodies over the past eighteen months.

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