Friday, September 10, 2010

taking a hammering

it's funny, the things you learn whilst cooking for an almost living; that when you're tired you'd rather do anything than write a blog, that you eat better when you're not cooking food and that hitting stuff can be therapeutic. this last few weeks we've had to hit the oven quite a lot. the problem is that it is old and was mis-treated by the previous owner. we had to give it some serious care and attention when we took it on; removing the best part of 5 kilos of grease, both hard and soft. the application of several helpings of moisturiser and a deep clean by a friend who is a gas fitter. however, even with all that care and attention, it still harbours one problem; every now and again the gas feed is disrupted. how, why, when, what for (i guess that's why again) we don't know but when it happens near service it can cause panic. once it happened in service and we had to work on two rings and a hot-plate, fortunately there was only about 20 in, so we managed. but, as the cooker gets older, the frequency of disruptions is increasing. last friday and last night it blew out altogether. the solution, hit it with a hammer. sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it helps. once i kicked it and it came back to life but the door hinge hasn't been the same since, so no more kicking.

on the subject of a kicking, last night was our quitest since the buzz review of 2008. we had one table of four and i left early (on the buzz night it was one paying table and the buzz people, who were not, although we made them pay for drinks and desserts i think). one day, i'll write down the maths of my theory of dining frequency but then again, i probably won't.

Recipe for watermelon and roasted pepper gazpacho.

watermelon, 400g

roasted red peppers, if buying jarred, then buy in oil not vinegar. 200g

couple of shallots or a mild onion

couple of cloves of garlic

veg stock, cold

white wine vinegar

salt and pepper and lemon juice and possibly sugar

blitz first four ingredients with enogh stock to get the consistency you require. in spain it would be thinner than i would serve it. season with the last ingredients to your taste. don't skimp on the vinegar. do you know what, with raosted beets this would make a good borscht technique.



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