We’ve linked before to Southend blogger and writer Jack Monroe- especially on issues of poverty and how to feed yourself on ridiculously low amounts of money.
Things are looking up for Jack . As the BBC reports:
- Until two months ago, Jack Monroe was unemployed, and unable to claim all her benefits. She struggled to feed herself and her young son on a budget of £10 a week. Often she ate just a single meal a day.
- She started a blog on how to eat cheaply. In February she became a trainee reporter on her local paper, The Southend Echo. She has just been offered an advance of £25,000 to produce a cookbook for Penguin.
And Jack was on BBC1 at 8:40 this morning , talking about eating on £1 per day – and will be on again at 9:40!
[Youtube added April 29th]
There’s a new planning application in:
Planning Application number: 13/00192/COU
Parish: Hockley Parish Council
Responsibility:Committee /Weekly List
Change of Use From A1 (Shops) to A4/Micro Pub (Drinking Establishments)
Location: 21 Main Road Hockley Essex
You can find more details on the council website here. This is at the former Marie Curie premises.
If you look at the application, the applicant explains that their ethos is to
“Provide real ale for customers in an environment that promotes conversation and social interaction. There will be no lagers , spirits, gaming or vending machines”
As usual, District Councillors should not make their minds up in advance of any planning meeting.
Southend’s Jack Monroe has created an “Earthy Red Wine & Mushroom Risotto” that serves one person for 36p. Despite the low price and the name, there isn’t any earth in it….
Still needing easy but comforting food with this cold, I decided to go for carbs and wine and goodness… I’ve never known anyone else to use red wine as a risotto base before – that’s not to say its not been done, I’ve just not seen it – but this works beautifully. As far as comfort food goes, I had finished this, from a bowl on the sofa wrapped in a heavy blanket, before I had finished typing the recipe…
See the recipe here.
From Rayleigh’s own food blog, a recipe for roast potatoes that adds in some white wine:
I’ve got roast potato recipes here, here and here for starters. But this was another twist, derived from cooking Heston’s perfect chicken (again). The chicken there is treated with a boozy butter baste. I’d gone a bit crazy and made too much, so decided to slather it on the potatoes. And with a little lemon and garlic to really boost those flavours I think it’s a great alternative!
Any white wine would work, but I had some Pinot Grigio a-wastin’ so that’s what I used. You want something sweet-ish here I think, a dry wine could turn out bitter with such fierce roasting.
Could be good on this cold weekend:
We are seeing more small businesses in our area producing quality food and drink.
At last night’s Shopping Evening at Downhall School, you could find Fen’s beer from Rawreth, Schucks preserves and chutneys from Hockley, and also Love.Cake from Rawreth.
We’ve never mentioned Love.Cake before – they make exquisite cupcakes. Look out for them! The ones in the picture are chocolate & honeycomb, and strawberry and cream. (apologies for the slight fuzziness of the picture; it was taken last night; only one cake survived until daylight.)
Tomorrow we’ll be writing some serious stuff about the District Council Core Strategy .
But in the meantime – If you want to know how to prepare a really good chilli in 15 minutes, have a look at Rayleigh’s own food blog, Big Spud:
The genius here is to disassemble chilli con carne’s parts (spiced meat, cumin, beans, tomatoey sauce) and cook each part separately. This way you get a “best of” chilli with all the things you love but in a fraction of the time.
Good luck to the Spice Hut in Hambro Parade, Rayleigh , who told us this week that :
We have been nominated for an award by British Curry Life for Chef of the Year 2012. The award ceremony is being held on 14th October at London’s Park Plaza hotel from 6pm until 11pm.
So tomorrow evening could be a big night for them…..
According to the Bangladesh Daily Star:
A show on curry is set to begin in London’s Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel on October 14 to celebrate Britain as the paradise for global curry lovers.
The UK-based Curry Life Magazine is organising the show, World Curry Expo, where curry and everything related to curry will be on display to attract visitors, curry lovers and restaurateurs.
First of all, congratulations to Schucks Chutneys and Jams from Hockley for reaching the finals of the Essex Food and Drink Awards last night. They didn’t win, but it was still an achievement for such a small business to get so far.
You can buy their stuff at Ven’s shop in Hockley, which is the retail outlet for Ven’s Brewery in Rawreth. (What do you mean, you didn’t know there was a brewery in Rawreth?)
Ven’s sell Schucks products, plus bottles of their own beer, plus a good range of other local beers, cider and wines, including Paglesham Punch Cider. (What do you mean, you hadn’t heard of Paglesham Cider?)
The real question is – are these beers and chutneys any good? One of us on the Onlinefocus team carried out some research today. Ven’s Gold is a pale golden colour with a very good taste, without feeling too heavy. Schucks Caramelised Red Onion Chutney is a bit of a surprise when you open it, with quite long wisps of onion and shallot inside. But it has a very nice homemade taste, and you don’t need too much of it , so is quite economical.
Take the beer , the chutney, a fresh roll and some cold meat, and you have a very pleasant combination. A couple of bottles and a jar of chutney could make a very welcome present for the right person.
The Punchbowl at Paglesham is up for sale:
“This delightful destination inn is located just off the A127 near the coastal resort of Southend on Sea in the hamlet of Paglesham.
This quaint hamlet is located within the catchment area of many similar affluent villages and towns in addition to being situated close to Chelmsford, Billericay, Basildon, and Wickford and the coastal resorts of Clacton on Sea, Southend on Sea and Wallasea Island where the RSPB Wild Coast Project is situated, making this superb inn ideally situated to draw trade from the nearby surrounding towns and villages. The hamlet of Paglesham forms one of Essex’s’ oldest fishing villages and the area was once renowned as a smuggling centre. Including being home to one of the more famous smugglers in the region, Hard Apple, who was actually the parish councillor and local constable William Blyth….”
The description is fair enough – except for the bit about Clacton. Seems odd though that they mention Wickford, instead of Rayleigh…
Over the years, quite a lot of things we’ve mentioned on onlineFOCUS have been picked up by the press, and we are always pleased about that.
It doesn’t often happen twice in one week.
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