Monday, 24 December 2007


This year, much as every year really, Christmas finds me staying with family in Lincolnshire. This raises certain issues with my eating British scheme, since it would be rather rude of me to insist on only eating British food. However, I have so far been pleasantly surprised that quite a lot of the food we've had so far has been British. The interesting thing is that this is not a consequence on some deliberate effort to buy British, it's just that the food that has been bought from the supermarket has been mostly British. Some of the vegetables even came in bags which had pictures of the farmer that had grown them printed on, which made it seem much more personal.

For example, yesterday we had vegetable soup followed by boiled beef with onion sauce. The soup was made from white cabbage, leek, carrot, swede and onion, all of which were British! Not only that, but there were all grown in Lincolnshire! This is a typical Norwegian dish and the beef is boiled in the soup before being fished out towards the end. It makes a great antidote to all the fried, grilled and roast meat that is normally consumed at this time of the year, since the boiling makes it really tender and all the 'goodness' is preserved in the soup.

On Saturday, we visited a farmers market which was being held in a town near to where my family live. It was very much like the farmers market in Edinburgh, although there weren't quite so many stalls selling really exciting things, such as cider and 'grow you own' mushroom kits. However, there were the typical assortment of stalls selling vegetables and meat and a few other bits and bobs, such as hand-made chocolate. I only recognised one local company, which was Pipers, who make my favourite crisps (I think I may have mentioned them before).

I brought back from Edinburgh some of the Cairn O'Mohr fruit wine that I bought at the farmers market up there a little while ago. After I got quite tipsy at the stall from trying so many of their products, I ended up buying two bottles of the 'Berry Christmas' fruit wine, made from raspberries, strawberries and a hint of spices. We opened one of the bottles yesterday and it was really very nice! It's a little bit like mulled wine in that it has a hint of spices to it, but we served it cold and it was really rather refreshing. I'm no wine expert by any means, but I would think that this would go best before or after food, rather then during. It certainly has enough character to be drunk on it's own, although it is quite strong!

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