#29 FOOD NEWS: Move over Montalbano!

Every monday


arlesford sign

There’s no announcements for severe delays or instructions to stand clear of the closing doors. No need even to mind the gap. Set in the 1920s, after witnessing ‘murder at The Ultimate DeMise Hotel’ in the waiting room of Arlesford train station, we board a Thomas the Tank Engine style steam train to solve the murder whilst enjoying a 3 course meal.

car detective actors watercress

Good old honest food; tomato soup followed by lamb chops and mint sauce, topped off with a slice of cherry pie.

lamb n cherry pie

With a detective pack of clues, the actors and actresses pass through the train for you to grill them. The most difficult bit for me was trying to think of clever questions when my cherry pie arrived. I just wanted to shout, ‘OMG! Nom nom nom!’ Hhhuumm not very 1920s.

actress train lamp

Points are given for guessing the correct killer and motives. Lucky my very intelligent sister-in-law was on our team; The Montalbanana’s (I helped with the name). We came joint 3rd with 26/28 points! Whoop! Whoop! Oh… I mean jolly-good show.

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Great for a night out with a difference, there’s 4 murder mystery evenings a year. Understandably popular. Book early! Watercress line murder mystery

Make a weekend of it

The Angel is a comfortable Citylodge hotel with free parking and wifi (and a 24 hour bar! I’m not sure if you’ll get a Bombay Sapphire but it’s perfect for a little night cap). A fifteen minute drive to Arlesford station. It costs around £49 per night for a double room, plus an extra £7.50 per person for a delicious full-English breakfast.

#12 FOOD NEWS: Breakfast special

Every monday

Full English or a continental pastry? I’m a massive fan of the English breakfast but it occurred to me that it could be taken to dizzy heights with a few Italian twists!

WEEKEND WONDER: The Embellished English

britalian breakfast final1

Garlic and balsamic roast tomatoes

Oliveoil and balsamaic tomatoes

Place 3 halved plum tomatoes and 2 whole garlic cloves in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with dried oregano and season to taste. Roast at 190’C, 170’C fan, gas 5 for 30 mins. Serves 2 (double for 4).

The sausage

Place Sicilian Inspired Pork Sausages (Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference, £2.50 for 6) in a baking tray above the tomatoes and cook to pack instructions at 190’C, 170’C fan, gas 5 for 30 mins. If you’re lucky enough to have an Italian deli nearby or if you’re self-catering or camping in Southern Italy seek out pappagnotta – the ultimate Italian sausage.

Dreamy creamy scrambled eggs

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Whisk 4 large eggs, 6 tbsp whole milk and 50g mascarpone. Season to taste. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat in a non-stick frying pan, add the egg mixture and allow to sit for 20 secs then gently fold and stir with a wooden spatula. Allow to sit for a further 10 secs and fold and stir again. Repeat until the eggs are soft softly set. Serves 2.

Crispy pancetta

sizzling pancetta

Place the pancetta in a dry non-stick frying or griddle pan over a medium heat for 3-5 mins, turning once, until crispy.

Britalian Tip

Add some courgette flower fritters if you have the rest of the day to walk (or sleep!) it all off!

WHEN YOU NEED TO BE UP-AND-OUT:

4 weekday 5 minute breakfasts…

Superfood smoothie

Whizz and go!

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Beetroot & blueberry smoothie

Place 125g cooked beetroot (half a pack of cooked beetroot in natural juices),  100g blueberries, 25g goji  berries, 60ml pomegranate juice, 1tsp honey and a squeeze of lemon juice in a blender. Blend for 1 minute and serve. Serves 1

My Calabrian breakfast
Although I’m never in a hurry when in Italy, breakfast is a quick affair – just a little entree to LUNCH.

My Italian breakfast

Lipton English breakfast tea (Mama Romeo likes to make me feel at home!), Pan di Stelle biscuits (good Italian deli’s sell these in the UK or you can even buy them from Amazon.co.uk, from £2.95) and a fresh peach. A seemingly odd little mix that I’ve grown to love.

Mummy ‘E’s’ mega cereal breakfast
Setting her up for a day of teaching 11-15 year olds. No wonder it’s quite hefty.

Super cereal crop

Top your favourite ready mixed granola with milk, a large spoonful of Greek natural yogurt, a small handful of berries and a few slices of kiwi fruit (or top with any fruit that needs using up!).

Slow release energy fast! 

 Perkier porridge pots

These little pots of joy from Perkier are perfect for busy days, pop one in your bag on the way to work and simply top up with boiling water.  Perkier was set-up by Anne Perkins and her partner Steve; fed up with the lack of choice and the price of gluten free products, Anne decided to do something about it. Perkier porridge pots are available at large supermarkets for around £1.50 each. For full product range visit http://www.perkier.co.uk

GREAT GADGET

Running out of cupboard space? These stackable Leaning Tower of Pisa espresso cups are perfect to keep on the worktop – making it even easier to reach for that morning coffee. Fab and functional! £19.99 www.menkind.co.uk

leaning tower of pisa_In situation