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FIRETHORN1

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  1. I made a roast Sunday dinner last weekend and as we all know, a roast dinner without Yorkshire pudding is anathema to most Sheffield folk! However, due to my complete failure to find any "normal" flour, I experimented by using chickpea flour and adding a bit of baking powder in the hopes that it would make them rise a bit. The downside is that they turned out absolutely nowt like a normal Yorkshire pud - they barely rose at all... and I would describe them as being more like a denser, slightly eggy-tasting version of an Indian chapati. The upside is that they were surprisingly tasty - and they soaked up the gravy a treat! I will definitely go back to making proper Yorkshire pud as soon as I can get hold of the appropriate flour - but in the meantime, the chickpea flour "Yorkshires" are a passable substitute. 🙂
  2. Interesting to read all the posts about not being able to buy flour in Sheffield. I live in London and after the initial panic-buying madness during the first couple of weeks of lockdown, I've managed to get hold of most things - but never, ever any flour. I've got loads of big supermarkets within walking distance, loads of smaller supermarkets like Nisa and Londis and dozens of independent small local shops too. I've been in Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrison's, Asda, Lidl, Aldi and all the local shops at different times of day, yet none of them have ever had any flour of any description. The only kind of flour I've seen anywhere since lockdown is stuff like gram flour, chickpea flour, rice flour and coconut flour in the ethnic shops. These are fine if you're making stuff like onion bhajis, chapatis, etc - but not so good if all you want to do is bake a Victoria sponge or make a crust for a meat and 'tater pie!
  3. ….go to the dentist's.…..and the hairdressers for a haircut. I'm thankfully in good health - but I look like a bin-man's dog right now! 😀
  4. thanks alan p. Having done a bit more digging, I've found out that baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are exactly the same thing. It's just that we Brits call it bicarbonate of soda and the Americans call it baking soda. Baking powder is slightly different, in that it is made up of one part bicarbonate of soda and 3 parts of an acidic ingredient - usually cream of tartar. All of them are raising agents and do the same thing, but as alan p said, if you use bicarbonate or baking soda, you need to use a lesser amount and make sure that there's something acidic in the other ingredients you're using - like lemon juice, for example.
  5. Can anyone help me out here? I've been given an American book of baking recipes which often refers to baking soda and bicarbonate of soda, but never to baking powder. Are these ingredients all the same thing, just called by different names, or is there a difference between them all and what they are used for?
  6. Thanks for your advice Pkingy. I got some good quality shin beef from a posh local butchers. It was eye-wateringly expensive, but worth it - because it turned out absolutely delicious. I made my take on a fancy beef stroganoff, with cream, brandy, mushrooms and all the trimmings. I browned the beef first as you suggested, and cooked it for hours until it was falling-apart tender, then served it with some fluffy rice and tender green beans .It turned out really well - and my friend loved the dinner I cooked for her.
  7. Please forgive me, I know this seems like a daft question, but I don't like beef at all and never use it, in any form, when cooking for myself. However, I'm planning to cook a special birthday dinner to deliver to a disabled and isolated friend and as slow-cooked beef dishes are her absolutely favourite meals, I was thinking of doing something along the lines of a beef stew and dumplings, beef hot-pot, beef casserole - or even summat a bit more exotic.... like a beef vindaloo or a beef rendang or massaman curry. My dilemma is knowing exactly which cut of beef to use for the best outcome! I want something that's not too fatty, that can be cut into large-ish chunks and that will be tender, but will retain it's chunky shape, even after many hours of being slow-cooked in the oven or on the stove- top. I've looked at recipes online, but I'm still a bit unsure of the best cut of beef to use. Shin beef? Chuck steak? Stewing beef? Braising steak? I'm a decent cook - lamb, chicken, pork, game, fish, shellfish etc are all easy for me - but beef is just not something I'm used to cooking with - so any advice will be much appreciated!
  8. I've lived and worked in London for over 40 years now, so the first thing I'd do is travel up "home" to Sheffield, by myself, to spend some time with my 81 year old mum and my brothers and their families. The second thing I'd do is just swan around London, visiting my friends, or inviting them to come over to my place and let me cook them a nice dinner, share a few drinks etc. The third thing I'd do is just jump on a train and take a day trip to the coast - either by myself, or in the company of any of my friends who wanted to come with me.
  9. Thanks for all the replies. I agree that any employer - not just the fruit farmers - should have to pay at least the legal minimum wage and provide the required training and PPE for employees. If the jobs require the workers to live in or on site, the accommodation and food provided to employees should be of a legal standard too. If all the above criteria are met, then all fit and healthy people should be working...if there is work available. The benefits system should only exist for people who are unable to work, due to illness, carer responsibilities etc. No fit and healthy person, who is capable of working, should be allowed to live on the state just as a "life-style choice". If they refuse to take any legally paid job that meets all the necessary criteria, then stop their benefits - and give more to the people who really deserve to be on benefits.
  10. Interesting reply fancypants! I live in South East London and regularly shop in Asda, Tesco, Iceland and Aldi - but I haven't seen crispy pancakes available for years now...either Findus or "own brand" versions. I also agree with pkingy and RockersRule that, although they are still available, some things like tomato ketchup and HP Sauce have definitely changed for the worse down the years. Henderson's Relish is a prime example! I still love it, it's still great stuff and I still bring a few bottles home with me every time I visit my family in Sheffield - but there is no doubt that it's really changed down the years. In the old days, it was dark brown in colour, a bit cloudy and murky and a bit thicker in consistency. These days it's jet black, very thin and clear in consistency - and very garlicky! I love garlic- but in Henderson's, so much garlic just seems a bit wrong somehow....😁
  11. Before I start ranting on, I want to stress that this post is definitely NOT meant as any sort of criticism of the foreign (mostly Eastern European) workers, who are coming here to do this work. Obviously, the seasonal fruit and veg needs to be picked and distributed when it is ripe and ready and before it rots in the fields. If the British employers go into these poor countries and offer the workers some sort of crap low wage, and some sort of basic accommodation to do this work for a few weeks, then I think that they have every right to take up the offer and I don't blame them one bit for doing so!. My argument is - simply - why the hell is this work not being made available to Brit workers, before the foreign workers are invited in to do it? Our government's stance is that they have to fly in the foreign workers, as Brits are apparently not prepared to do this kind of work - because the pay is so low...because the accommodation and catering is so appalling - e.g 4 or 5 workers having to share ramshackle caravans in farmers' field, or having to doss down on camp beds in barns and farm buildings, without even the most basic of amenities. I also understand that as well as paying poor wages and providing crap accommodation - the British employers claw back a lot of what they pay these workers in the first place, by charging them extortionate rents for the caravans they are living in and the food they are being given. Don't get me wrong - I don't believe that any workers - foreign or domestic - should be exploited in this way, but the simple fact is that these fruit and veg picking jobs are just not being widely advertised or offered to Brit workers - and despite all the concerns about poor wages/conditions etc, I think we should at the very least try to fill these jobs internally, before we fly in workers from overseas. If the Brit workers really do refuse this work - fair enough - fly in the foreign lads and lasses to do it for us - but at least give we Brit workers an chance to apply - before the work is offered to the foreign workers.
  12. The recent supermarket shortages got me to thinking about foods and drinks that I used to love in years gone by, but which are no longer available in the shops these days. The first ones that came to my mind were Nescafe Blend 37 instant coffee - and Findus Crispy Pancakes. The Blend 37 coffee is still sold on Amazon - although it's quite expensive - but the crispy pancakes seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth.(Yes, I know they were crappy "junk food", but I really used to like them as an occasional treat)! Which old-style foods and drinks do you still miss being able to get hold of?
  13. Thank you Moirahyde, for this very interesting information. Much appreciated.
  14. I wonder if anyone has any memories of my great grandfather, Reuben Berry? I grew up being told that he "the last horse and cart coal delivery man in Sheffield". I doubt that he was "the last", but I know he delivered coal by horse and cart, because I remember going out, on the cart, with him and my dad, to collect the coal money on Saturday mornings, when I was a small kid. My memories of my great grand-dad are rather vague. He lived on Penistone Road North and worked in and around the Wadsley Bridge and Hillsborough area for many years. He died around 1966/67 when he was in his early 80's and I was about 7 or 8 years old. I know that in his later years, he delivered coal for a firm called Hawley's, but I think he may have run the delivery as his own business in his younger years. He was a widower since the early 1940's and had 4 children - 3 daughters, my great aunties Edna, Phyllis and Lily, and a son, Len, who was my grand-dad. I never knew my great aunties, but I remember grand-dad Len very well. He lived until I was my early 20's. Great-grandad Reuben was stone deaf. He always wore a flat cap - even indoors - a collar-less shirt and waistcoat - and trousers that came up to his armpits, held up with a wide leather belt, with the buckle twisted round to the side. I don't remember Reuben particularly fondly - he was quite nasty to me and my little brother when we were small and we were scared of him - but I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has any recollection of the old cove.
  15. Thank you for the reply deejayone - I watched the video agree with you that Andrew comes across as a very genuine, down-to-earth bloke - and I really admire his talent. I also totally accept your point that private land can be costly to manage and maintain - especially if some visitors don't respect the surroundings and commit acts of vandalism/theft etc. Good to hear that they have regular open days. This is definitely a place I intend to visit as soon as it's possible to do so.
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