Sunday, 21 June 2009

Bruges Report I

Places we visited......
Stadhuis, town hall dating back to 1375
Basilica of the Holy Blood, with actual blood from Jesus
Church of our Lady, tombs of Charles the Bold and Mary of Burgandy, Michaelangelo sculpture
Gruuthuse Museum, 1400s house with lovely interiors and old chapel
Hans Memling Museum, interesting medieval hospital with amazing altarpiece by Hans Memling
St Salvator Cathedral, huge church from 1100s on
Groeninge Museum, art and applied arts from early Renaissance
Folk Museum, in old almshouses
St Anna's Church, amazing baroque interior in black, white and gold

Bruges is a great city for walking, crammed with tiny old streets and interesting shops.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Food culture

Had interesting cooking session with my Stepmum today. In Chinese culture, noodles are for welcoming and dumplings are given when you leave. I always wondered why weird dumplings were forced on me often as I was legging it towards the car! The Chinese have symbolic foods for just about every occasion, as do we if you think about it. She showed me how to make boiled dumplings which are a bit like stuffed pastas. A mix of pork mince, prawns, cabbage, spring onion, ginger, garlic bound with egg is placed on a dough round held in the hand. This is then pinched and folded together to make a parcel which is boiled. They are dipped in Chiangking vinegar as you eat. This is a traditional dish from northern China.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Great Food Magazines.

For me there is only one great food magazine; Gourmet (US publication). Which I first discovered at my bros house in St Louis. Try it, you'll like it. From hence this summer dessert triumph. EASY. One sweet pastry case. One big tub marscapone cheese (mixed with 1tspn each vanilla and lemon juice if you can be bothered) Strawberries or possibly raspberries. Bit of syrup made with booze (port preferably)or fruit juice and sugar. Put cream cheese in pastry case. Top with fruit. Top with drizzle of syrup. Like cheesecake but easier. No accompaniment needed, it's all in there. Gorge down not worrying about fatty cream cheese and concentrating on healthy fresh fruit part.