Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Fluffy cloud reflections

Rudyard Lake Nestled in the Staffordshire Moorlands is a 2.5 mile long lake of fluffy cloud reflections and jetties of colourful boats moored in bobbing lines. This was the 'Blackpool of the Potteries' where the North Staffs train chugged in bringing 19th century day-trippers aplenty in their promenading best.

The Aquatic Fete was the Bank Holiday attraction, watched by spectators all bodiced and bustled or Dundeary whiskered and frock coated. Marching bands trumpeted by lakeside views and a tight rope walker triumphed across the ripples. He is still remembered in a carved 150 year old beech tree. 

Built as a reservoir for the Caldon canal system the lake is surrounded by wooded hillside and dotted with wondrous boat houses built by wealthy Victorian worthies. Through lake margins of reeds and the ivy that clambers oak and the silvers of the birches, a whisper of a cold breeze murmurs a little giggle of those fish jugglers and mermaids that wooed the crowds.

A bridge of love locks leads to a bench where I catch a new romance sat talking and parallels a love that started here in 1863 between the parents of a man all Jungle Book'd and Just So'd. Will they call their child Rudyard too?

Five miles of magic paths, speared green with spring bulbs through dark winter earth, booming with the squeaky wheelbarrow woodland of the Great Tit and oars slicing through skyscape water. Funambulism, fancy frocks and fish in the imagination for a little while.
Blondin on his type-rope yellow boat Rudyard Lake canal feeder boats on the lake spring love lock bench love colourful boats lake fun boat race Lade of the Lake boathouse boat house lake and clouds

Friday, 10 February 2017

Cheshire cheesy new potato pancakes

I'm thinking of springtime food now, light and fresh with vegetables and herbs, evening meals with perhaps a bit of light starting to creep in and slowly the winter disappearing. 

I was inspired by Tesco Cypriot New Potatoes to make a spring feeling dish. They are available in 750g or loose and will be available in Tesco stores until the end of March. With their earthy flavour I wanted to conjure a meal up that was reasonable quick and filling and thought of a pancake filling incorporating one of my local products, Cheshire cheese. 
Cyprus new potatoes

For the pancake

125g Plain Flour
2 medium eggs
350ml Semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp of vegetable oil   

For the pancake filling:
Tesco Cypriot New Potatoes, about 500g chopped
1 medium white onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Sprinkle of paprika
1 tbsp plain flour
100g Cheshire cheese, 
100ml Semi-skimmed milk
200g Natural plain yoghurt
Spinach leaves, a handful
Chives and parsley garnish
Chilli flakes, just a sprinkle

Cut the new potatoes and boil until soft, around 20 minutes.
Fry the onion in the vegetable oil  and some paprika until golden.
Add a tablespoon of flour to create a thick pasty
Add the yoghurt and whisk, slowly adding the crumbly Cheshire cheese
Add the milk until sauce reaches a creamy consistency. 
Add the potatoes into the sauce and the spinach leaves too.

Make the pancakes by sieving the plain flour into a bowl and then make a well in the centre.
Add the two eggs and the milk, whisking into a batter.
Oil a frying pan and place a ladle full of the batter into the pan
Cook for a few minutes and of course practising flipping is necessary. 

To serve:
Place cheesy potato sauce onto the pancake and garnish with herbs and a sprinkle of chilli.

A delicious mid week dinner and we all love pancakes so there might have even been some sweet ones afterwards too. 

cheesy potato pancake

This is my entry into the Tesco and Foodies100 #CypriotNewPotatoes challenge.