30 December 2010

lacquered ham (la cuisine de Monica)

My dear friend and foodie Elisa emailed me the video to French grandmother Monica's recipe for Jambonneau Laqué in November.
And I knew I had to try it for our informal dinner of sliced meat and pickles betwixt Christmas and New Year.

Elisa's posted her version of the dish on the Wildfood forum too.

It's gently citrussy, light, & importantly not at all sweet, and is a refreshing change to the clove studded or mustard version.

and as Monica says in her video transmission, keep that broth/ bouillon, surprisingly it's not salty


1.5 kilo boned gammon here (or ham hock)

for the bouillon: turnip, carrot, leek, onion, parsley, celery, pepper (no need for salt)

for the lacquer: the juice of grapefruit, 2 lemon, 2 orange, lime, & honey


soak your ham in water for 24hrs, changing periodically
then poach your ham in the oven, in water flavoured with those bouillon ingredients, for 2hrs30 at 150
& leave it to cool in the stock

heat a squeeze of honey and add half the grapefruit juice, the lemon, orange and lime
place the ham into the pot, and baste on the hob for 10 mins

add the remaining grapefruit juice & lid on, put the ham pot into the oven for 30 mins, basting two or three times

if your syrup isn't reduced, put your pot on the hob again and baste until the juices are completely reduced and have glazed the joint - this should take 4 or 5 minutes only

cool, and serve with boiled potatoes and red cabbage

27 December 2010

... that blogger picture

Warm clothes and boots on and up the Leckhampton Road looking back at Cheltenham

further up towards Cricklade

that's the Malverns at the cloud line in the background,
from the high point of the Cotswolds 

passing the tasty hairy Belted Galloway cows

and back home for a slice of
and to try out my instant pocket photo printer

20 December 2010

2. How to make a painting frame

It's wonderful to have made your oil painting.
But framing your piece of art costs a lot of money.

So why not make you own frames!   
You need 2 pieces of specialist kit, that I couldn't find a work-around for

- the mitre cutter

- the v-shaped staple tool
but when you make two or three large frames, you've recouped your money.
~  ~  ~

First, buy your moulding woods, they come in 3 metre lengths.  
The cheapest is £2 - 3 per metre, but it goes into £15 - £20 metres the more fashioned the frame wood 

I prefer to buy the cheapest I can get, and sand, polish and paint it myself afterwards
  • always measure in millimetres
  • measure the sides of your canvas to the exact millimetre
  • measure the depth of your moulding (not inclusive of the routed recess) and double it
  • add 2 millimetres for a comfortable fit
Once your 4 sides are cut with accuracy, you need to glue them and staple them:

not too much wood glue
match up the inside angles - and not the outside corners!

wipe any excess
and leave for 24 hours
gently insert v-shaped staples
paint it

I use two coats of Farrow and Ball eggshell paints, 1 part water : 1 part paint 

beeswax your frame
buff to a silky finish
secure your picture to frame

One last tip before we see some frames.
People pay a lot of money for oil paintings, so don't forget the back.  I buy upholsterers' Hessian for a finish to the reverse of my pieces of work

staple and stretch the Hessian
to keep your painting reverse protected
a selection of small frames