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  1. Thanks Medusa. I've learned something from you! I bought something called Orzo in a fairly obscure ethnic shop a couple of years ago - which I assume is the same thing as the Orzotto you refer to. I enjoyed it and looked for it again, but was never able to find it. I always assumed that Orzo/Orzotto was a kind of pasta, or maybe a kind of rice - and it was only on reading your reply that I realized that it was actually a kind of barley. I'll keep looking for farro or orzotto - but will use pearl barley as a substitute if I can't find it.
  2. Just wondered if any of you fellow Sheffield foodies have ever eaten or cooked with farro? It's a wheat grain, and when cooked, it's supposed to be fairly similar in taste and texture to a nutty kind of pearl barley. Apparently, it makes a really brilliant risotto. I've cooked a pearl barley risotto before, it turned out well and we really enjoyed it. It made a nice alternative to using risotto rice. I've searched high and low for farro, but haven't been able to find it in any shops - not even the poncey delicatessens. It's available online, but costs a bomb - and when you add the delivery charge - well - it would probably be cheaper to buy caviar!
  3. Despite all the good advice from Taxman and Chinaski, I'm embarrassed to report that I'm still no good at cooking squid or octopus! My local wet fishmongers has recently re-opened - and this week, I bought a beautiful-looking whole small fresh octopus - with the tentacles on it, the intact ink-sac, the whole works! I cooked it tonight, mediterranean- style, slow-stewed with onions, garlic, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, white wine and finely chopped fresh mediterranean herbs . It looked and smelled delicious when cooking, but at the end of the day, although the sauce was really lovely, the octopus itself was so chewy and rubbery as to be virtually inedible - like trying to chew an old bicycle tyre or a mouth full of rubber bands! My dinner wasn't a complete write-off though - the lovely sauce was delicious with pasta and I enjoyed it - but I'm sorry to say that - in spite of valiantly trying to chew it until my jaw almost snapped in half - most of the octopus flesh itself has ended up in the bin! I would so, so love to be able to knock up the sort of soft, tender octopus and squid that they serve in restaurants ...... but I'm nowhere near achieving that yet!
  4. My hairdresser re-opened on Tuesday of this week and because it's a small salon, with only 2 hairdressers and a long list of clients, I thought it would be ages before they could fit me in. However, to my surprise and delight, they gave me an appointment for this week Friday. I can't wait! I haven't had a trim since last December - and my hair currently looks like the bin-man's dog's!
  5. The only shop I've seen that sells these fermentation crocks/jars is Lakeland. They do a 1L jar for £8.99 and a 1.4L jar for £9.99. They are not water-sealed though. The water-sealed versions seem rarer and much more expensive. There are water-sealed Zhi fermentation crockpots on Amazon, ranging in price from about £35 for the 1.5L size, up to about £170 quid for the 10L size.
  6. I understand and agree that nobody should be allowed to post anything derogatory or offensive, but why have all the posts relating to the murder of George Floyd, or the re-writing of history, been arbitrarily closed? There are many different views, but I don't recall seeing anything racist or offensive on any of these posts before they were closed down. Why are the people who run the Sheffield Forum preventing these subjects even being discussed? That's offensive in itself!
  7. Thanks for the replies everyone. Much appreciated. Hopefully I'll be able to come to visit and stay in my mum's house soon, now that the restrictions are being relaxed a bit.
  8. I desperately need to come up to Sheffield to visit my 80-odd year old mum, but under these draconian "Covid rules", I'm not allowed to stay overnight in her house, as I usually do, because she is classed as being "extremely clinically vulnerable". She's a double-amputee, with both legs amputated above the knee and she also suffers from COPD and respiratory issues, She is totally housebound and wheelchair-bound and has Carers who visit 3 times a day to take care for her basic bodily needs, She has lovely, kind neighbours who do her shopping and/or cook food for her and leave it on her back step. Her Carers are lovely, they do a truly fantastic job, but there's no-one to do the other stuff that my mum needs to keep her going ….like cooking her a fresh, home-made dinner, doing the dusting, hoovering and general housework etc. I know that I can't come and stay in my mum's house under the current restrictions, but if there was a Sheffield hotel or B&B open, I could - at the very least - come up and spend a bit of time with my owd lass. Does anyone know of any Sheff hotels or B&B's that are open for business these days?
  9. I too seem to remember commenting on a previous thread on this subject, but can't find that thread now. I was born and brought up in that area and a close relative lives on Loxley Rd - a very short walk from the proposed new development. Like some previous posters, I have mixed feelings on this. The Loxley area is mostly very picturesque, with lovely countryside all around, but there are definitely plenty of long-derelict old brownfield sites that are ripe for redevelopment. These areas have been abandoned eyesores for many years. There's definitely a need for more housing in Sheffield and building on these derelict brownfield sites makes sense, but I strongly feel that at least 50% of any new houses/flats built should be social housing. This should not just be an excuse for developers to build nice houses in a nice area and make a vast profit from people on middle-class incomes who can afford to buy them. There needs to be social housing for poorer people too! There also needs to be more thought given to the infrastructure of the whole area - things like schools, shops, doctors and dentists, cafes, pubs, libraries - and in particular, to public transport links. That area is currently very poorly served by public transport.
  10. 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. 🙂
  11. 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!
  12. ….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! 😀
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
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