Chantilly Cream – and how it contributes to the British phenomenon known as the ‘FatBerg’

Yes folks, I’ve discovered something new. It’s called the ‘Fatberg’.

What’s a fatberg, I hear you ask (nay, yell) at your screen. ‘Tell me! Tell me now!’ Okay.

A fatberg is like an iceberg. Except it’s not made of very cold water. No. It’s made of fat.

‘No shit, Sherlock’ some of you less than genteel readers might be thinking. ‘And where the hell do you find a fatberg?’

In London’s sewers. Yes, that’s right; sewers. You think I’m joking? Take a look at this:

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Pic from County Clean

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Trifle! And How It Can Help You Stay Connected With Your Children.

This weekend we visited one of my sisters’ homes and celebrated my oldest niece’s birthday. The event highlighted for me the inevitability of growing up and getting older. The third generation of my family now consists (my side) of 2 children (boys), one nephew, and now no less than four nieces.

The youngest of these is not yet one (at least I don’t think she is, I’m really rubbish at ages and birthdays) and is still small enough that even though she can sit upright she has a tendancy to roll around on her backside and then flop forward and face-plant if you aren’t careful.

Nevertheless she provides good entertainment value: I was holding her (she is small but seems to weigh her equivalent size in lead) and gave her one of those baby biscuits; she was happily chomping on it and then when I looked down she seemed to have forgotten it. I pulled her hand up so she could see it and then she reacted like it was something she had never seen before and she continued gnawing at it; the whole episode made me think that babies have memories like goldfish – 3 second retention span.

This made me think about the boys – one minute you are changing nappies, reminding them to go to the loo and so on, the next minute you are explaining to their teachers that they ‘are good kids’ and that ‘they just need a firm hand’ and whatnot.

Nevertheless I have found that the older children get the more useful they become…especially in the kitchen. The capacity for children to eat food (especially males) is quite amazing. The oldest boy now only seems to appear when he requires fuel. He sort of just appears like a jack-in-the-box, eats, and then disappears.

So in an attempt to stay connected with these people, (seems like the best description), I try to encourage participation in the kitchen.

And there is no better way to encourage this juvenile collaboration than when making trifle. It’s simply irresistible.

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Beef Jalfrezi, Maybe Korma, Maybe Bhuna

Maybe I don’t know. You see sometimes recipes from the web or a book are a bit of a pain in the rear. All that ’2 tbsps of this’ and ’1/2 ounce of that’ leads me to wondering whether the writer really measured all these things out.

I mean have you ever followed a recipe faithfully,  tasted the end result, and been left wondering ‘Did they ever actually eat this pile of crap’?

So, with a big pile of left-over roast rib from Boxing Day (don’t worry I didn’t make this creation yesterday or anything) I decided to ‘do a curry’. The result certainly looks enticing, at least I think so….

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Chocolate Mousse with Double-dipped Mega Truffle

Isn’t chocolate a wonderful thing? I could start some rambling eulogy to its powers but instead I will just get right down to business – the creation of a boozy chocolate mousse and some accompanying chocolate truffles.

The diet coke is not required. And what’s the cherry liquer doing there – that bottle seems to be in everything we do on this blog

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Chocolate, Pears and Pastry: When Puddings Go Bad.

‘What’s the prognosis Doctor?’

‘Well sir, it isn’t good.’

‘For heaven’s sake man, give it to me straight. I can take it.’

‘Well….you’re just shit at cooking with pastry.’

‘My God. I can’t believe this is happening.’

‘You’re not alone sir. Many, many good people have come to terms with this reality.’

‘But I just don’t think I can take this kind of rejection.’

‘It becomes easier…with time.’

And so on to my latest pastry-based culinary disaster. And I blame many, many things.

I blame the Hairy Bikers for a recipe that was never going to work.

I blame the tosspots who produce ready-rolled puff pastry. Have these morons ever actually cooked anything with this crap? Its so thin its useless.

And lastly I blame my hands – hot, sweaty bloody things that turn pastry to useless slippery mush in two seconds flat.

Even so it all started so promisingly – with a nice collection of ingredients all weighed out and ready to roll:

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