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Scrambled eggs on toast with garden herbs

Sometimes it takes the simplest of meals to remind you what real, good food actually is.  I had this revelation last night as I tucked into my dinner for one of scrambled eggs on toast.

Mr Rigg was away for the night and my dinner choice was based on the fact that I really couldn’t be arsed to make anything more just for myself.  We have a lovely farm up the road who produce organic eggs, so I always have a large tray of their eggs on hand for quick meals.

Picking chives in the garden

This time I had treated myself to some of their white Leghorn eggs, which I scrambled in my own sweet fashion – melt a healthy amount of raw butter in a saucepan, crack the eggs directly into the hot butter without whisking prior (I had two whole eggs and an extra yolk).  Next I turn the heat down and let the eggs cook a little in the butter without touching them, then I use a spoon to break them up.  This way you end up a mixture of quite distinct ‘white’ and ‘yolk’ but also some standard pale yellow scramble as well.

I considered skimming some cream off the top of our raw milk to add to the pan of eggs, cream in scrambled eggs is divine – don’t bother with milk! Anyway, that seemed like too much effort, so I just seasoned with salt and pepper and added generous amounts of snipped mint and chives from the garden, plus some pretty purple chive flowers.

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After a breakfast of croissants, stocking opening and snacking on multiple treats, we don’t normally need much more for Christmas day lunch than a big plate of smoked salmon to share.

Father Christmas (thanks Mr Rigg’s mommy) sent us a gorgeous side of smoked salmon, and what couple be easier than thinly sliced seeded rye bread, thinly smeared with salty butter and spritzed with lemon juice.

Sometimes I like to grate a little lemon zest over the top, but this time I took some inspiration from my new Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals book and sprinkled over some crisp green cress. 

That little bit of greenery helped lift my feelings after so much rich and sugary food.

All helped down with a nice glass of special fizz, bought all the way back from a holiday in the Loire Valley.

13/01/11 – somehow this post was published as January 2010…rather than January 2011 – I just found it in the wrong place!

Last night I was in London for the National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards 2010.  I had planned my trains to give me an hour wandering the streets of Soho visiting a couple of food places I’d sussed out.  To cut a long story short I missed my train so spent my hour sat at Warrington Station feeling sorry for myself and wishing I was in London.

This is me bored not walking round London…

Gutted.  Anyway, I had just enough time on my way through Soho from the tube to stop in at the Nordic Bakery.  As a former resident – if only for 8 months – of Vancouver an opportunity to gorge myself on cinnamon buns wasn’t to be missed. 

How I miss this time of year in Canada when cream cheese frosted sticky sweet cinnamon buns come into their own.  Gooey, sticky, chewy, sweet, sugary, fragrant, spicy…all of those and more describe the cinnamon buns I found (and lived off) whilst I was studying in Vancouver.

Vancouver style cinnamon buns…

Image: via TravelPod

Back to last night’s story, I found the Nordic Bakery on Golden Square in Soho.  The counter was filled with savouries – thin slices of rye bread topped with smoked salmon, cheese and dill pickles, and something I else I can’t remember.  Then there were the sweets – blueberry buns, oatmeal cookies, tosca cake and…cinnamon buns.

They weren’t quite as I had imagined – basing my vision on those that I ate in Canada.  Rather than a swirl somewhat resembling a Chelsea bun, the cinnamon buns at the Nordic Bakery are a somewhere between a croissant and pain au chocolat shape.  Incredibly sticky and utterly delicious looking.

I bought two cinnamon buns and two blueberry buns, which were boxed up and treasured carefully across Soho, through a night of awards, on the tube, on a train, and all the way home to my little house in Cheshire.  And they made it not too squished.

We ate them for lunch (!!) today warmed a little in the oven.  They were scrumptious, heavily spiced and fragrant with cinnamon and sticky (did I mention they sticky…?) with sugar.

More tomorrow on the Fine Farm Produce Awards.

Image: LondonEats

Still lacking a decent camera so have found some great images of the Nordic Bakery online just as I remember it – check out LondonEats’ review.

Last night we had a simple supper of homemade trout pate spread thickly on slices of pumpernickel bread topped with a morsel of homegrown lettuce.

The recipe was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s version in his book River Cottage Everyday.  I had planned to follow it to the letter, but it seems that I picked up soft cheese rather than crème fraîche while out shopping, so I ended up making it up and tasting it as I went along. 

We ate the pate on slices of the Barbakan’s pumpernickel bread, which was delicious – dark, sticky and chewy.  Every mouthful felt good for you.  It has been agreed we must eat more of it more often.

Here’s my version, without exact measurements – mix and taste, then amend.  Alternatively follow Hugh’s recipe.

Smoked trout pate

Feeds 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter

Approx 250-300g smoked trout (I used a combination of smoke trout and hot smoked trout)
A couple of spoonfuls of soft cheese/cream cheese
A dollop of mayonnaise
A couple of teaspoons of English mustard
Lots of lemon juice
A good grinding of black pepper
A bunch of chives, snipped
Chive flowers

In a blender add half the smoked trout, the soft cheese and mustard.  Blitz.  Add more soft cheese if it’s a bit dry and the mayonnaise.  Add a good amount of lemon juice and the ground black pepper. 

Blitz and then taste.  You want it to have a good punchy kick of mustard, but not overpowering.  And a nice fresh lemony background taste.  I added a tiny splash of water just to loosen the pate a little.

Flake the remaining smoke trout and stir into the pate – this gives a nice texture.  Also stir in the snipped chives and the chive flowers which you should pull from the head.

Eat with pumpernickel or a dark rye bread and a crisp green salad.  This would also make an excellent canapé – a tiny chunk of bread spread with pate and topped with a piece of lettuce or a sprinkling of chives and chive flowers.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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