Saturday, January 21, 2012


The cook shop also sold... in the summer peasecods, fresh peas boiled in their pods which you ate like artichoke leaves, dragging the peas away from the pod, but first dipping them into melted butter with added salt, pepper and vinegar. (This was called 'scaldings of peas', still being sold in exactly the same way in the 1850s.)
British Food - An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History [p.61], Colin Spencer, 2002

What we've got here is 12th century fast food.

The cook shops operated around the Thames as early as 1190, and probably earlier. There was also various meat dishes, including savory pies, but the peasecods have caught my interest because they seem pretty easy to make, and tasty to eat.  As soon as I can get my hands on some peas in the pods, I'll try this out. I may have to wait until summer; I've never seen frozen peasecods a la edamame.

I don't know that these were really quite as long lived as Spencer says. Henry Mayhew doesn't agree that they were still being sold this way in 1851. Emphasis mine.
The sale of hot green peas in the strees is of great antiquity... In many parts of the country it is, or was, customary to have "scaldings of peas," often held as a sort of rustic feast. The peas were not shelled, but boiled in the pod, and eaten by the bod being dipped in melted butter, with a little pepper, salt, and vinegar, and then drawn through the teeth to extract the peas, the pod being thrown away... None of the street-sellers, however, whom I saw, remembered the peas being vended in any other form than shelled and boiled as at present.
London Labour and the London Poor: a Cyclopaedia of the Condition and Earnings of Those That Will Work, Those That Cannot Work, and Those That Will Not Work. Volume 1 [p.180] Henry Mayhew, 1851

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baking Bread

homemade toast
I enjoy making bread. It's a nice project for a cold day, and it's not really as complicated as all that when you have a good recipe. I tend to go for over complicated stuff, but this weekend I kept it simple. I chose a recipe has just four ingredients, yeast, water, salt and flour. It makes fantastically dense and yeasty bread.
collecting the stuff
I'm not going to actually give you the recipe, unless you ask. If you're in to it, you should get a book about baking. I have the book of bread, which is pretty good, but whatever.

I will show a lot of pictures though. Here we see the yeast going creamy.
Salt and a bunch of flour go in.
It gets mixed up, and stuck on the counter.
work surface
needing kneeding
Kneeding takes about ten minutes later. I don't have a machine or anything. Just good, old fashioned hands. Once it's nice and elastic, and all the gluten is activated, it rises for a couple hours. The stovetop has a warming pad, which sped up the rise.

mr dough, you're kneeded
he is risen
he is beaten down
After splitting the dough in half and putting it in pans, it rises another hour. Then, finally, actual baking.
he was panned
he rose again
Then cooling. Then slicing. Then eating.
Eating eating eating. Yum yum yum. This bread is fantastic with butter. It makes a pretty good sandwich too. I could see myself eating this stuff as my primary bread. I'll be making it again.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cheesy Beanos

Cheesy Beanos
I am so having these. Just need to get some proper beans from somewheres. (via the guardian)

Thursday, January 12, 2012



with egg
So, after this post I was going to make some chogochujang and follow it up with a nice kimchi bibimbap. Well, it turns out my gochujang expired in january 2010. I decided to give it a miss.

I still went ahead with the bibimbap though. Had to use sriracha though, and old rice and an overcooked egg. But it was still a tasty dinner.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fried Mac&Cheese Balls

mac and cheese balls
People ask me, "do you go out very often, over there in Bremerton?" The thing I tell them, and this may shock you to the core of your being, is "no."

bunch of balls

more fried stuff
The main reason being is that my heart can't take it. Spicy fried mac and cheese balls are tasty, yes. But I don't want to die like that. I want to live!  And what else is on the menu? Fish and chips. I might as well bacon up my sausage (warning, awful video)!

This is the Bremerton Bar and Grill (warning, awful music), btw. Right doon by the ferry dock, in that old bank what's now a restaurant. You know the one. The one they turned in to the Bremerton Bar and Grill.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Herring

Happy New Year, dear readers. You will probably know by know of my affinity for tinned fish. So for my first meal of the year, I broke out a tin of fried herring. Obviously, I just have some sitting around; see point one.
It's german, tangy and slightly spicy. And it's quite good on toast. Have it with with sparkling wine and you've got the breakfast of champers.
In a can
on toast
in bits

Turkey Curry

cooking up

The idea for this meal came from outside of casa rakkaleff (which is still a thing. white stripes metaphor, yadda yadda). It came from an Irregular Shed. Since he's half a world away, he can mention a boxing day dinner on boxing day, and we here can copy him also on boxing day. The internet. It's tops. (Why I waited to post this I have no idea)

So, yeah, turkey curry. In true casa rakkaleff style this was both a joint effort and made up as we went along. It started with onions. Then some peas and curry powder. Like, four tablespoons of curry powder. We don't play around.

Normally casa rakkaleff curry has diced tomatoes from a can, the juice of which is the base of the sauce (anybody who wants to argue over the authenticity of this need to remember two things. 1. the hot peppers that curry is known for come from the same continent as as the tomatoes. and 2. we're crackers). This time we went for chicken stock.

Of course, we weren't waiting for hours. Who plans out a meal more than an hour in advance [smart people? -ed]. We thickened it with some yogurt.

And it was good. I had the left overs for breakfast the next day. That's the kind of man I am.

finished product