Yearly Celebrations.

Due to being lost in a foggy haze of work, this year crept up on me. My first proper foray into my thirties. Nine years until I’m forty, etc. Few things in this strange old world are better than waking up to eggs benedict (with Parma ham no less, fancy…), lunch followed by a walk around beautiful Chichester harbour, a trip to Southwick Brewhouse, an afternoon nap (getting old innit?) and a trip to a new favourite local haunt. I’ve been a content chap for quite a while now, long may it continue.

eggs benedictpintmackerelgreenropechainboatsweedboatswagIPAsdelirium

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The Americas Cup World Series – Portsmouth.

The biggest date in the sailing calendar has arrived. The ACWS is an event that the city has been gearing up to since it’s announcement and the creation of Ben Ainslie’s BAR HQ down The Camber. Pops and I made sure we were out in the middle of it for the first day group practice. Never before had I seen so many different crafts side by side on the Solent; ribs, yachts, speedboats, ferries, hovercrafts, catamarans and landing crafts. A pretty special moment. Lets see what the next couple of days bring.

Edit: It was rain.

cloudsfrigateteam oracleQHMspinnakerBARBARweed

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The Strong Island Co Summer Range Shoot.

Zero to do with food but a great day out nonetheless. Making this perhaps the furthest shoot from home we travelled to the scenic Hurst Castle in Milford on Sea, Dorset. A fantastic mix of boats, harbours, lighthouses and a great view of the Needles. The new tees and accessories drop soon here.

larksferryrustlight housecaterpillarpeteclimbinghatkatehaze

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H-O-M-E.

Straight back into it with a 30th BBQ on the evergreen Campbell Road. Shants courtesy of Irving and marinated meats from Elm Grove’s Med Supermarket. It’s nice to be home; this cool sea breeze is positively delicious.

Irving AdmiralLeoteeBBQFloyd

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Toulouse Addendum.

borderbaby footrestaurant lamb chopsboulotmeat

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Home Made Guac.

Pure unadulterated joy.

guac

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Lobster Thermidor AKA The World’s Most Flamboyant Dinner For One.

Well this is pretty much it. My time in Toulouse is just about over. Office goodbyes have been had and the bike is packed and on it’s way back. So I’ve decided to celebrate my four months here in the best way possible; good food. Lying in bed I thought that I had to make the next couple of days count before I return to my meal planning lifestyle; cue the king of all crustaceans. I have fond middle class childhood memories of pops coming back from another business trip to Boston with live lobster that he carried through as hand luggage, because you could back then. I feel that we need to get back to those days…

lobster

Ingredients:
1 lobster, alive
For the butter:
150ml dry white wine
1 shallot, very finely chopped
handful tarragon leaves, chopped
handful parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
juice 1⁄2 lemon
pinch paprika
dash Tabasco sauce
5 tbsp parmesan, finely grated
140g butter, softened

Method:
First make the butter. Put the wine and shallot into a pan, then bring to the boil and simmer until nearly dry. Tip into a bowl to cool, mix all the ingredients together, roll into a log, using cling film or foil, then chill to harden. Can be frozen for up to 1 month.

ingredientswhite wineshallotsmixbutterrolled

Next comes despatching this fine creature. I’m very much one for keeping things humane, so I placed the lobster in the freezer for 30 minutes to put it “to sleep”. Once done I laid it on it’s back, and using a sharp kitchen knife, pierced it just under the legs and pulled down through the head. Done. Being a limp wristed liberal lefty, before doing so I told the lobster how much I loved and respected it. It’s completely up to you if you want to give your lobster a few final words, whatever helps you sleep at night…

sup!goodbye!

Have a large pot of salty water on the boil and dip your crustacean in head first. The lobster will still be exhibiting movement in it’s legs, however these are just the nerves at work. In fact its best not to watch too much because that shit will come back and haunt you my friend. Leave the poor (tasty) bugger in there for 20 minutes. Remove with tongs and leave to drain in a colander.

cooked

Snap away the claws from the lobster. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the lobster in half and wash the head cavity under cold water, then dry with kitchen paper. Lay the lobsters, cut side up, on a baking tray. Crack the claws and remove the claw meat. Divide claw meat between the head cavities. This can be done the day before and the lobster kept in the fridge ready for grilling.

halvedpickstuffed

Heat grill to high. Next you are supposed to slice the butter into thin rounds and lay it along the lobsters so all the meat is covered, however the slicing into rounds part didn’t work out too well. So crumble that shizz. Grill for 5-8 mins until the butter is bubbling and starting to brown. Put the lobsters on plates, pouring any butter from the tray over them. Serve with new potatoes and some dressed salad leaves.

dresseddone

Christ almighty that was naughty.

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