21 March 2011

A mere Trifle

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A Lush Raspberry and Peach Trifle

I was hanging out with the sis last weekend, chewing the fat and generally making myself useful while she prepared her signature dessert, a lush raspberry trifle.  It is really easy to assemble apart from the custard, which is real custard as opposed to packet, using Nigel Slater's recipe.  However even that doesn't take long and tastes so good it is worth the effort.

So follow the pictures and simple instructions, prepare in advance and wow your friends with a dessert worth leaving room for.

Egg yolks and caster sugar
 Beat together 125 grams of caster sugar with six egg yolks.  Separate the yolks from the white using the shell to cup the yolk and pour the white into a separate container.  If any fragment shell falls into the bowl the best way of picking it out is using the shell to scoop it out, guaranteed the quickest method.







 
 It'll only take a couple of minutes before the golden yolks (free range of course) will have turned into a creamy consistency.

In the meantime warm 600 ml of milk with a split vanilla pod to boiling point and start to assemble the trifle layers.


Buy a madeira loaf, slice to fit into the bottom of your trifle bowl, you can buy lovely second-hand cut glass ones from charity shops like the one opposite Carluccio's in Brighton.  Failing that, my sis went for individual portions in large tumblers.  Add a layer of raspberry jam, also made by the mum sis collective and repeat.  Add a layer of peaches, from a tin will do, then raspberries, fresh or frozen from Lidls will work and a splash of Madeira wine.





Back to the custard, add the creamy mixture to the hot milk and stir over a low heat.  Warning, do not take your eyes off the custard for a moment, otherwise you'll be bent over a sink full of cold water reviving curdled custard.


When custard curdles













Custard restored, leave to cool before adding to the trifle and finish with whipped double cream, squirted out of a can will not do.  As I left before the cream was added and my sister didn't take a pic of the finished product I leave you with a photo of the unfinished article.



13 March 2011

Watts, the fishmonger of St James' Street, Kemptown

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The Fishmongers of St James’ Street
93 St. James's Street, Brighton BN2 1TP 
Tel: 01273 681288



One of the benefits of living in a place as interesting and full of interesting people as Brighton is discovering the independent shops that have thrived on local reputation and are supported by their local community. These are the people that give Brighton its unique identity and are worth seeking out if you are visiting or living in Brighton and haven’t yet come across them.


Watts shop front

Firmly of this mold are Mike and Mary Watts, a couple who have owned a fishmongers in Brighton for over fifty years and are still, but not for much longer providing fresh fish to the Kemptonians for their supper.


As I was just about to take a picture of the colourful shop front I thought it only decent to pop in and ask permission. Minutes later I had been introduced to his industrious wife Mary out the back and Mike was rolling out some black and white photos enlarged to poster size that a photography student had taken a few years earlier and brought in the week before. As Mike unrolled a candid portrait of three men, himself, his dad and a friend stared back at us. What made it so poignant is that in the intervening time his father had died. The memory of his father, the name above the shop, brought tears to his eyes and mine, having also lost a beloved father and as I stood there he told me of how St James’ Street had been lined with people out of respect for his father when the horse and carriage drove past. 

Later investigation online revealed that Mike's father has also inspired artist Daniel Locke to turn an anecdote relayed by George into a series of drawings, capturing his memory of a haunting moment during the second world war out at sea.



Watts the fishmonger, Kemptown

Mike and Mary Watts



Google also revealed rave reviews over his mackerel pate and a great deal of bonhomie for this very warm hearted man. I took away a trout for my supper and a wish to go back soon and see them again before his family succeed in persuading him to close up shop for the last time.


Mike Watts, fishmonger


2 March 2011

Going Out for Comic Relief

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At this time of year there are many indications that the long cold winter is on the turn, from the occasional smell of spring in the air, to golden syrup and lemons going on special offer in Morrisons and events appearing in aid of comic relief.


To make sure you don’t miss out on the best opportunities available to go out, have a good time and share the wealth, I’ve listed some upcoming events to book your tickets for.


Soul Casserole Comic Relief Fundraiser

Soul Casserole
Sunday 13th March
7:00pm - 11:00pm

Soul Casserole are on a mission for people to see Africa differently and with all the proceeds of this event going straight to Comic Relief, the team will be presenting a night of energising live music combined with their own inimitable funk on the decks.  There are 5 pairs of tickets up for grabs in collaboration with Juice FM 107.2 and there is already a lot of buzz around this event as Soul Casserole’s following builds momentum all the time. On the night in the main room music will be brought to you by the Kalakuti Millionaires, the Brighton-based collective fusing 70’s Nigeria and Cuban Carnival using an Afro-psych organ, Latin percussion and a Fela Kuti-esque mix.  Also playing will be This is Elvis and The Burning love band, formed by the artist Jim Devereaux, who has been performing as Elvis Presley since he was 18 years old and can claim to have performed in front of the big man’s family as well as alongside members of his original show band. Having formed The Burning Love Band in 2007 for the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death they will be providing the rock and roll element of the evening.  While in the bar the Soul Casserole DJs Dee, Alkie Tuner and Evil broke Elvis will be spinning Motown and Upfront funky beats to keep everyone’s groove on and will be updating everyone throughout the night as to how much money has been raised.



01273 673311 , The Concorde 2
Tickets available from Rounder records (South lanes) Resident records / Ticketweb, See Tickets, Gigantic and Dome box office.

ENTRY £5


St Patrick's Day Ceilidh



Thursday 17th March
7:00pm - 10:00pm

As Irish music is known for its toe-tapping, hand clapping, a-hooting and a-hollering appeal, or that could just be me and other Irish-inclined folks, this is sure to be loads of fun and very welcoming.  The Irish dancing school Hopping Mad Scoil Rince na hÉireann (Ireland’s school of dance) has organised a ceilidh, pronounced Caley, with some dancing that everyone can take part in, which they say will be ‘nice and easy’ and be putting on a bit of a display of both soft and hard shoe dancing as well.  Keen to make this right good craic (pronounced crack and you don’t smoke it), this is a bring-your-own-bottle affair, with buffet and soft drinks available for purchase.

St John the Baptist parish hall, Bristol Road, Kemptown

ENTRY £2 all proceeds go to Comic Relief
or if you can't make it please donate


Krater Comedy Club

Thursday 17th March
7:00 pm doors open

Well established as the comedy night to go to in Brighton, Krater Comedy Club at Komedia have joined forces with the BBC to help raise funds for Comic Relief.  As part of the ‘Do Something Funny For Money’ campaign, Neil Pringle one of the BBC South East radio presenters is being mentored by Komedia's Jill Edwards, which will culminate in a 3 minute slot at the Krater Comedy Club.  Neil will be learning the ropes, writing a routine, then performing it on stage - not for the faint hearted to the say the least.  However, with their resident Compère Stephen Grant having just received for the second time the Best Compère at the Chortle Comedy Awards for 2011 and Komedia picking up the Best Venue in the South award there is a good chance you'll laugh your socks off even if Neil crashes and burns.  And while you are there you can even enjoy a tasty munch and some booze too.


01273647100, Komedia, 44 - 47 Gardner Street Brighton BN1 1UN

ENTRY £6 / Concession £3.50 / Meal Deal £13