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"Taster - a small quantity or brief experience of something, intended as a sample" Oxford Languages

I actually wasn't going to do a post today - it''s getting quite late in the afternoon, but since I am only reheating leftovers for dinner and since it's still only 4.30 I thought I might gather together a few of the little things I have seen here and there. It's the weekend after all.

I'm not sure I really have gathered much together this time. I was going to start with the vanishing of puff pastry from the supermarket shelves, but I think I have done this before somewhere. Suffice to say for about a month now there has been none - there now seem to be a few packets reappearing, but still not butter puff pastry. it's a mystery that nobody seems to have an answer for. Who said you can find an answer for everything on the net. It's not true!!!

Thomas Straker and All Things Butter

Thomas Straker is a British chef and restaurateur who became an Instagram/TikTok sensation:

"His All Things Butter show, featuring 50 days of butter in flavours ranging from crispy-skin chicken to whisky got tens of thousands of views on YouTube and millions on TikTok for each episode. He scoops the butter out in dollops that look like gelato and eats enough butter on camera to concern a cardiologist." Australian Financial Review

He began doing this in lockdown in 2020 - not being a user of any of these social media things, I am so very much behind on all of these things. That's not an actual video above, but it doesn't take long to find one if you are interested. Weird eh? He now has an extremely successful restaurant - probably because of all the social media buzz, bit it's not particularly butter oriented. What are his favourites?

"My favourite so far has probably been the caramelised red onion butter, although the roasted chicken skin one is up there. Probably the weirdest is salt and vinegar crisp butter but it was an absolute revelation." Thomas Straker

My charlotte mould

Hidden away in one my less used kitchen drawers is this old charlotte mould. I don't know what it's made of - certainly not stainless steel - maybe tin? I cannot remember when I bought it - maybe way, way back before we came to Australia, and I think I have probably only used it about once. I really should throw it out although it's probably verging on antique, but I just cannot bring myself to do so. When I renovated the kitchen I did indeed throw out a whole lot of stuff but, no I just couldn't do it to this. It seemed so hand-made and somehow valuable although I have no sentimental memory to attach to it. Odd.

Then recently I saw Jamie Oliver make something in a charlotte mould - I cannot remember what now, and it made me think of it.

I probably made an apple charlotte long, long ago and I did think of having another go at it. But honestly I'm not sure how safe it would be to make anything in that particular dish. It looks if it's made from something that we now know to be potentially poisonous.

A charlotte seems to be a kind of pudding with a sponge finger exterior. Apple charlotte was the only kind I knew of in my early days but a quick look on the net showed me all sorts of other things. I might do a proper post on it some day.

I mean why Charlotte?

This was a recent article in The Guardian and there was also another one in Bon Appétit by Isa Zapata which featured 17 different recipes including this luscious looking Pasta al preserved limone.

From personal experience I can tell you that they are dead easy to make and will last for ages in your pantry. No need to take up valuable fridge space. Sami Tamimi says you can even freeze them:

"when life gives you too many lemons, it’s time to turn to the freezer: Remove the pips, blitz the preserved lemon(s), then decant into an ice-cube tray and freeze.”

Then they become an easy to hand flavour booster for just about everything from cool summer drinks, through dressings, dips and sauces to marinades for roasted anything. I've always got a jar in my pantry. They are wonderful.

And I think that's all from me for today. Not even a recipe of the week.


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