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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Roast Rib of Beef, Nottingham Food and Drink Festival and a bad haircut

The weather  yesterday was pretty darn hot here so, just to make the temperature even hotter, I put my oven on for three hours and roasted a large piece of rib of beef purchased from a new  butcher in the village. I probably could have got a piece from work but I couldn’t be bothered going in on my day off and spending nearly two hours commuting on hot buses there and back. Besides, I fancied having a few cool lager beers in my back garden and airing my lily white legs in the sun. The green dustbin has now been removed (the council  no longer collect them) so I can now visually enjoy a full view of my little cottage garden and lavender bush unimpeded by a  gigantic plastic waste bin.

Next door’s cats helped me with the cooking (by looking at me adoringly) and enjoyed a few slithers of raw beef for their efforts. My neighbour, Jo, dropped by while I was watching Paul, the movie, with some fresh salad leaves and some tomatoes from her allotment. I shall enjoy those today in a beef salad sandwich or two.

I took the bone out of the joint and trimmed some of the slightly blackened bits of beef around the bone. The darker meat smelt slightly off was just a bit off colour and the whole joint cost £15 so I wasn't going to throw it all away. The butcher told me that the meat came form cows near Netherfield, a place north of Nottingham. I like to buy local when I can.

I added some whole spices, cloves, cinnamon bark and star anise to the cooking process and cooked in the oven for three hours on a medium heat. I ate it later with new potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots and leeks and a generous amount of horseradish sauce. It was yummy but the house, even with the back door open, was baking hot.

rib of beef with spices

By the way, I gave myself a haircut the other day and rather messed it up. I use an electric trimmer to save money on paying a barber or hairdresser and I got inspired to trim away after a few beers and left my head looking a little varied in the length department and I broke the trimmer into the bargain. My new one cost me thirteen pounds! Ouch! At least I look OK now. What do you think folks? Beard trimmed, bushy eyebrows trimmed and a smooth baldy head.

hairy and not so hairy
I have been busy recently at work and have been working lots of overtime as well as mentoring the new young man on the meat counter and working on my NVQ level two Meat and Fish Counters. The staff on the counters thought that I’d turned spy the other day as I documented (photos) some of the meat products we sell as part of my NVQ. It was a case of cut it up, display nicely, take a photo. All good fun.

I got sent a press release a while ago about the Nottingham Food and Drink Festival. I have edited it for brevity and content and added the events I would like to attend. The previous two events have been great and this one looks equally so this year.


The Nottingham Food and Drink Festival is back for 2011, with organiser ‘We Are Nottingham’ announcing an exciting new format for this year’s event.
Extended from four days to twelve, the Festival runs from Wednesday 29 June until Sunday 10 July. Venues across the city will be showcasing the best that Nottingham has to offer with a series of seasonal and speciality Festival menus under four price categories: under £10, £11-£15, £16-£25 and over £25.

Visitors are being offered unique food and drink experiences at bars and restaurants.  There are over 120 special events in bars, cafes and restaurants.

In addition, fans of local produce will be able to indulge themselves at a special Food and Drink Festival market, taking place in Old Market Square from Thursday 30 June to Sunday 3 July. With in excess of 70 stalls, and including a demonstration area, Festival organisers are promising the largest food and drink market that Nottingham city centre has ever seen.

Nottingham has a fantastic selection of big name and independent venues and one of the broadest ranges of cuisines on offer outside of London. It therefore makes complete sense to make the venues the true stars for 2011.

For more information on this year’s Nottingham Food and Drink Festival, visit , follow @nottsfoodfest on Twitter or go to the dedicated Facebook page

Looking at the packed programme I would love to try my hand at sushi making at Chino Latino, focaccia making at Carluccio’s, the tea tasting at Lee Rosy’s Tea , Tapas Tuesday at The Golden Fleece and Beer and Food matching at The Kean’s Head. I might pass on the belly dancing at Eviva Taverna, although I do have a good sized belly these days. Incidentally, the spellchecker didn't like the word Focaccia and suggested alternatives: fogyish, dogcatcher, quackish, freakish and cowcatcher!!

I shall certainly be heading to the Market Square for the Food and Drink Festival Market to check out the olives, The Cheese Shop, offerings by Memsaab, Mrs King’s Pies, Yoyo Noodle and The Wellbeck Farm Shop. A lot of the time the events are on I am actually working so whatever time I get to browse and participate will be limited but no doubt enjoyable.

Finally, I want to catch Nottingham's sausage king, Johnny Putztai doing his sausage making demonstration and talk about different ways of using sausages in cookery.


Janette said...

Looking very dapper with the new hair cut Mr Lowe! Will try and catch some of the food event myself!

Phil Lowe said...

Thanks Janette, went to the tea dance launch this afternoon. Not that many folk around but I am sure it will all hot up as of tomorrow.

Gailsman said...

So Rushcliffe Council have done away with recycling collections. Amazing!
And you've explained the reason why the big teachers/civil servant demonstration is going to take place in Trinity Square on Thursday, rather than the Old Market Square. Sounds like there should be some good foodie things going on for the next 2 weeks

Tim said...

Looking good!

Jean said...

I might just make the effort to go to the food fair, they are always fascinating.
Your beef sounds delicious.

Anonymous said...

I think your haircut looks fine. The festival is a must-do. Hope you learn lots of new tricks.

Karen said...

No recycling bin? That's terrible.
Your hair look ok after you bravely cut it yourself. We have one of those hair trimmer things, & I very reluctantly cut Steve's hair with it, almost having panic attacks in case I do something too drastic. But he says it's saved a small fortune & gives me something to do!

Food Festival sounds good, I'd forgotten about it. Might wander into town on Saturday to look at the stalls.

Judith said...

That's a promising little patch of garden. The lavender is lovely. Is there room there to grow some salad greens of your own, in a pot or two?

All That I'm Eating said...

Like the hair cut! Good to hear you weren't going to waste a bit of the beef. No matter what the temperature I could always fit in some roast beef.

khushi said...

I am always appalled by the high prices of hair cuts and other things salons provide, in western countries. I grow my hair and eyebrows and go without a facial etc when I spend some time abroad....till I return home. It's so affordable here, no one has to cut their own hair.