Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Book Review~ The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

I love classics, and this is a really classic book.
Number of chapters~ 11.
Author~ Joan Aiken
Plot~ Bonnie Green's parents are going abroad because her mother's health is bad. Her relation Miss Slighcarp comes to look after her and her orphan cousin Sylvia, who comes to live with her. The story is set in an imaginary period of England's history. Packs of wolves are everywhere in the country. The boat Bonnie's parents are on sinks and Miss Slighcarp tells the girls that they are dead. She sends them to an orphanage where they work very hard for Mrs Brisket. Their friend Simon helps them escape and they go to London to find Sylvia's Aunt Jane and to find out whether Bonnie's parents are really dead. In the end Sir Willoughby and Lady Green return to Willoughby Chase having survived the shipwreck and Miss Slighcarp, Mrs Brisket and their friend Mr Grimshaw are brought to justice.
In spite of the title, I found the story was not so much about the wolves. It is the first book in a long series and I'd really like to read the next ones. I recommend it for any age.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Recipe #2

Bacon-wrapped Beef Rissoles with Tomato Concasse and Garlic Butter

I made this for the main course of my parents' wedding anniversary dinner.



150g beef mince
1 slice bread
1/4 small onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed herbs(I used rosemary, basil,
oregano and thyme)
1/2 tsp each ground cumin and ground paprika
Salt and pepper
2 large rashers of cured bacon
Kitchen string


3 medium tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh or dried basil
Salt and pepper

Garlic Butter

50g softened butter
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp fresh or dried parsley or oregano

Combine all rissole ingredients except bacon in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Set aside. Combine butter, garlic and herbs, mix well. Use plastic wrap to roll into a log and place in fridge to harden. For the concasse, remove stems and cores of tomatoes by cutting a cone shaped piece from the centre. Score a large X on the base of each tomato. Prepare a large bowl of iced water. Put another pan of water on to boil. Lower tomatoes into boiling water, leave in water for 10 seconds, then move tomatoes immediately into the iced water. When cool, peel off skin. Cut tomatoes into quarters. Remove seeds and juice and dice remaining tomato flesh. In a bowl combine tomato, oil, and seasonings and stir. Set aside. Shape mince mixture into rissoles. Heat some butter or oil in a frying pan. Fry rissoles for 5-6 mins each side until dark. Remove rissoles from heat, wrap 1/2 rasher of bacon( cut rashers in half lengthways) around each rissole, secure with kitchen string. Return rissoles to pan, cook a further minute on each side or until bacon is browned. Remove from heat, keep warm. To serve, arrange a large spoonful of concasse on each plate. Remove string from rissoles, position two rissoles on each plate beside the concasse. Take garlic butter out of fridge, cut into thick slices. Place a slice of butter on each rissole. Serves 2. This recipe can be easily multiplied.
Next~ Book Review #2 - The Wolves of Willoughby Chase