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Harters's Profile

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gravy making

Could you explain how that works for me please?

I understand, of course, that American recipes are usually written by cup volume but, as in this case, if a recipe is in ounces how do Americans translate that into volume? Is there a conversion table that does the conversion for you in regard to the various different ingredients?

about 2 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

Abergavenny/Monmouth area

We keep thinking of a return visit when the food festival is on in Abergavenny.

about 2 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

gravy making

Not sure if I'm missing something here but, as the recipe gives quantities in ounces, doesnt that inherently imply you'd measure by weight?

I accept that I can get confused when ingredients are in ounces, rather than metric and even more confused when there's American cup measures involved. so apologies if I am missing your point.

about 3 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking

Hot Pepper Jelly

Currently using one from the South Devon Chilli Farm. Quite a good balance between sweet and hot but I'd prefer it a little hotter.

about 8 hours ago
Harters in General Topics

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

We'd catering the sister in law's birthday thrash this lunchtime, so that'll be the main meal of the day.

There's thinly sliced rare topside of beef. There's a three tomato tart that often features in summer dinners at Harters Hall (spicy tomato chutney spread on puff pastry, then topped with halved cherry tomatoes, sun-blush tomatoes and thyme). There's prawns. There's assorted salads including this Mary Berry carrot & red rice one that was on the TV only the other day - http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/fie... . There's cheese, of course - Snowdonia "Black Bomber" Cheddar, Blackstick's Blue and Manchego.

And Mrs H has baked a lemon curd cake for "afters".

Dinner-time dinner will be pizza.

about 9 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking
9

Derek Cooper, R.I.P.

about 10 hours ago
Harters in Food Media & News

Food as a reward/punishment

Similarly, we don't have children (by choice) but have several nieces & nephews. We regard our job, as an uncle and aunt, as to be approachable & supportive to the kids but not to take sides if there is dispute with parents.

It's interesting how they have different attitudes to food which, we think, relates to where they were raised. Two grew up in America, with one of their siblings raised in the UK. Another nephew grew up in Spain. The Spanish one has always had more of an interest in food. When they used to visit us, he would come to the supermarket with us and we'd always say he could have anything he wanted. It was always something from the fishgmonger - usually whitebait, which he'd eat with ketchup. Through his teens, we'd periodically take him out for a meal , often to an "ethnic" restaurant (something his parents would never do). He'd always say that he didnt always enjoy his meal but it was always an interesting experience. I doubt he could pay us a greater compliment.

about 10 hours ago
Harters in Not About Food

LAMB - Domestic vs imported

Interesting observation. Here in the UK, I only buy locally raised lamb - finding NZ lamb to be too mild in flavour for my tastes.

I suspect that it's a combination of factors that give the British lamb its extra taste - breed of sheep, how/where it's raised, age at slaughter, how long its hung, etc.

about 11 hours ago
Harters in General Topics

Abergavenny/Monmouth area

Apologies - it's the Walnut Tree that has a star.

Wishful thinking on my part that Stephen Terry should get one at the Hardwick(he held one when he was a previous owner of the Walnuut Tree).

about 11 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

Abergavenny/Monmouth area

The Hardwick at Abergavenny (well worth its Michelin star). And the Walnut Tree at Llanddewi Skirrid.

about 22 hours ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

Fred

If memory serves, you are Jewish?

I've got a great story in the book of a Jewish soldier going to the platoon Christmas dinner and writing home to his mother that chicken had been provided for him, instead of the pork everyone else was having.

He survives the war and appears to have emigrated in the 1920s to live in Jerusalem.

about 22 hours ago
Harters in Home Cooking
4

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

Yeah, me too - for the "bon appetit" phrase. The others I did know.

Granny Harters came from Wales but I dont think she spoke Welsh. I used to work with someone who travelled from just over the border each day. She said it was weird in her area as you get one village speaking Welsh as a first language, whilst the next village speaks English.

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

Noswaith dda, Gio. Croeso.

Diolch, Steve

And that is now just about my total command of the language - apart from heddlu (police) and traeth (beach)

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking
1

BOGO's -- how do they work where you are?

Where I am, BOGOFs are BOGOFs. That's the deal.

1 day ago
Harters in General Topics

No call back on that reservation?

I try to phone during business hours (although not when they are likely to be very busy with service). Sometimes that's not possible due to several hours time difference between me and them. In those rare circumstances, it's not uncommon for there to be no return contact. I assume that it's possible that (a) they didnt want to make an international call and/or (b) they hadnt understood my poor attempt to speak their language. Their loss - I'm a good customer.

1 day ago
Harters in Not About Food

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

Smoked haddock, Jersey Royals, baby leek, baby fennel.

Aberfen cheese - from the farm of the very excellent Bodnant Welsh Food people. Pretty much like a Red Leicester. In the same way that their Aberwen is pretty much like a Cheshire. And none the worse for that.

Mwynhewch eich bwyd!

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking
9

More British mystery meat in kebabs

At least one of my local takeaways offers curries based on chicken, lamb or meat.

No need for fake shepherds pies if their using beef - just correctly call them cottage pies.

I think the only real question here about the FSA's survey is why would anyone be surprised. We are talking about bottom end food sold very cheaply by manky takeaways.

1 day ago
Harters in Food Media & News

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

Gio

If you're really going to try it, then bear in mind it will be powdered ginger, not fresh. It wouldnt have been until the 1970s that fresh ginger really started to become generally available for British cooks.

1 day ago
Harters in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

You're all too kind - but lovely people. Thanks for your comments.

As to Gio's question, publication outside the UK is a matter for the publisher - they are a specialist military history publisher and I just don't know what their business profile is elsewhere. I guess the way to find out is to see if the US site of Amazon carries any Pen & Sword books.

I'll offer you one recipe:

Gingerette Pudding
(Thrift for Troubled Times, 1915)

Quarter of a pound of suet
Quarter of a pound of treacle
Half a pound of flour
One ounce sugar
Rind and juice of one lemon
One teaspoonful of ginger
One teaspoonful of carbonate of soda
Half a gill of milk

METHOD: Chop the suet, add to the flour, sugar, carbonate of soda, lemon rind and ginger. Make a well in the middle, add the treacle and milk and mix until the mixture drops easily from the spoon. A little more milk should be added if necessary. Put into a greased basin, cover with greased paper and steam for three hours.

2 days ago
Harters in Home Cooking
5

[Llandrillo, Denbighshire] Tyddyn Llan

No cockles but there was a laver "ball". I think the seaweed was just mixed with oats and fried.

2 days ago
Harters in U.K./Ireland

What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition!

We've been away overnight - big pub lunch yesterday, big Michelin starred dinner last night, followed by the "Full Welsh" breakfast in the hotel and a big pub lunch today.

As such, we're going to pick at some bits and pieces we bought at a farm shop on the way home - nice looking pork pie, some Welsh "Abergoch" cheese, salad.

A bit of a shame really. We should be having something more celebratory as I have something to celebrate. My third book has found a publisher. I may have mentioned that I was writing this book - about food during the period of the Great War. Well, the publishing company rejected it twice, as did other publishers, and I thought I may have to self-publish but they've had a change of heart. So, "Bully Beef & Biscuits" (provisional title) should be out in around 12 months time. I'm a bit chuffed!

Apr 17, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
20

[Gresford, Wrexham] Pant-yr-Ochain

There’s quite a lot of things I like about Brunning & Price pubs. But I think the thing I like most is that, although a small chain, each pub is run autonomously, so the landlord and his chef can set their own menus. So, there’s always something of interest even if you know that there must be some central guidance that says there must be some dishes that have to be on the menu for example, I’m sure I’ve never been in one of their pubs and there hasn’t been some form of long braised lamb dish.

There are other things that appeal to us. There’s obviously some discretion for the chef to source locally so, for example, the menu may mention that the sausages are from the village butcher or, as today, the cheese selection is mainly Welsh, with the only English one being from just down the road in Nantwich. The buildings are always interesting in themselves; there’s comfortable seating and tables are spaced well apart. And there’s always beers from small local breweries.

Today, we were only in the mood for a lightish main course. A fish finger sandwich was anything but a few of Captain Birdseye’s on supermarket sliced white. Here it was strips of cod, breaded, deepfried and served up on thick slices of of good tasty bread. A dollop of tartare sauce and a little leaf salad completed the plate. A warm salad across the table – fried baby squid, king prawns and chorizo sat on salad leaf, sliced roasted artichokes, peppers, etc. Really tasty. We shared a bowl of chips.

Just about everything you need from a pub lunch.

Apr 17, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

[Llandrillo, Denbighshire] Tyddyn Llan

When a place describes itself as a “restaurant with rooms”, rather than a “hotel with Michelin starred restaurant”, you know that food is at the centre of the operation. We’d booked an overnight deal, which got us a lovely room, bara brith & Welsh cakes with tea on arrival and a very decent “full Welsh” in the morning. And, in between, three courses from the dinner menu.

There were good canapés – a gougere was memorable. And an amuse bouche of asparagus soup was bang for seasonality and flavour.

Asparagus also featured in my starter. Still just with a bit of bite to it, it was perfect for dunking in the crispy duck egg. The egg must be tricky to get right – presumably boiled and peeled, it’s breadcrumbed and fried. Delish! As was the scattering of morels which decorated the plate, along with some watercress.

Dressed crab and langoustine was the other very restrained starter. Clean flavours here, enhanced with a fennel salad and pea shoots. Another winner that was helped down with the lovely bread that had come in the basket.

That was followed by a main course that needs to have little more said about it than to give the menu description – “roast turbot, with leek risotto, red wine sauce”. It did exactly what it said on the tin – everything perfectly cooked, everything doing what it should do.

I’d had a big lunch and had intended to show something of restraint with my ordering but a plate of local organic piggy was impossible to resist. There was long braised cheek which I’d have happily eaten just on its own. There was a little fillet, just cooked through. There was a breaded trotter. And there was belly and black pudding. Now this was something of a culinary work of art. The belly had been roasted. It had then been cut into its layers; black pudding had been interleaved and it had then been reassembled. And, as you’d hope, there was perfectly crisp crackling. Also on the plate, a fondant potato, some apple puree and a good savoury sauce.

For desserts, one order of prune and mascarpone ice cream which was rich and fruity. And one order of rhubarb and champagne jelly trifle which was all sweet, fruity and boozy in every mouthful.

We took coffee in the lounge. It came with petit fours which, truth be told, were not that brill. But that was the only minor criticism that I’d make of the evening. Everything else was bang-on. It’s a menu of food that just makes sense. There’s no fancy foams nor technology getting in the way of flavour. And service, from the two young women, was entirely right for the place – approachable but “proper” if you know what I mean. However, it’s a dining room without much atmosphere – OK, there weren’t that many tables occupied but you felt that, like everyone else, you had to speak in hushed whispers but, other than that, we liked it there.

Apr 17, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland
1

[Llandderfel, Gwynedd] Bryntirion Inn

This isn’t an area which seems well endowed with good eating opportunities. So, it was with some relief that a bit of Googling turned up this pub, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, a few miles from Bala. It’s a quirky sort of place, with a small bar area, bedrooms upstairs and a commitment to Fair Trade. They also make some play of their green credentials – rain water is used for flushing the pub’s toilets, for instance. There’s a decent looking menu – perhaps a bit too long for such a small place and there was the disheartening “ping” from the microwave. However, lunch wasn’t at all bad.

I ordered the house speciality, bryn bara – literally “hill bread”. What they do, and I kid you not about this, is to cut a large bloomer loaf in half, down the middle. They then slice the half along its length, like a giant sandwich. Well, not “like” a sandwich, but “as” a sandwich as they then stuff it with a well flavoured stew of Welsh Black beef, mushrooms. Wonderfully, the beer based gravy soaks into the bread so the inner bit is nicely soggy whilst the outer crust remains, erm, crusty. Alongside, a bowl of broccoli and cabbage and another vast bowl of chips. I cannot recall being served such a large portion of food before – it really was enough for two and, even with the healthy appetite I’d brought with me, there was no way I could finish it.

There was a more restrained lunch going on across the table. Pretty much a bog standard ploughmans – cheese, salad, pear chutney (a bit too sweet) and more of the bloomer bread. But the cheeses were all local – Black Bomber from the Snowdonia Cheese Company, another from them flavoured with cranberries (it was the last of a Christmas “special”) and, for a blue cheese, Perl Las.

Good lunch. We waddled back to the car happily. Well, at least I waddled.

Apr 17, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland
1

Tayyabs, London

I've also had the lamb chops and the dry meat curry on past visits, based on recommendations. As Phil says, they are OK. It's not somewhere I'd be in any rush to go back to - Tayyabs may possibly still be "special" for London, but it's easy to get similar quality (if not better) in other UK cities.

Apr 17, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland

Ireland deserves it's own board.

I thought I'd sensed something of wind-up in bowiemike's OP. You know, a possibly contraversial post from someone who hadnt posted anything in the previous three years. Good fun though, even if we hadnt fallen for it.

Apr 17, 2014
Harters in Site Talk

Ireland deserves it's own board.

Funnily enough, Mrs H and I were only talking this morning about a resurgence of good food in Northern Ireland. She had recently listened to the Food Programme on Radio 4 where it had been discussed. Much was being assigned to the not inconsiderable number of chefs who had trained and worked at Paul Rankin's "Roscoff" (sp?) and had then gone on to set up their own places.

Apr 17, 2014
Harters in Site Talk

I'm sorry you don't like what I ordered, but keep your thoughts to yourself

I would never consider criticising the choice of my partner of some 42 years standing. I might ask her how she was enjoying it in a certain tine, but never an overt criticism

Apr 15, 2014
Harters in Not About Food

Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower

Priceless.

I love stories about complete fuckwits (not either Snuff, of course).

Apr 15, 2014
Harters in U.K./Ireland
1

What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

Rich Hall was great. Dinner was shite - perhaps the worst food I've had in a while. You expect better, even from chains.

Apr 15, 2014
Harters in Home Cooking
2