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Recipe Number Two  August 2002

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 Well its been a funny old last month, I think its all over, well it is now, I am referring to the world cup football as England’s hopes went pear shaped the commis chef promised me that the kitchen would return to normality, and the continuing talk of Beckham and England’s progress would stop, and in its place would be kitchen talk, questions like why has my hollandaise split, it's the sort of language that I understand rather than the finer points of Beckham’s hair style. The commis chef, and the young lad that washes up for us are more or less of the same age and it came to light that when the world cup was on and it seemed that England might have been in with a chance, the commis chefs visit to a tattoo parlour was made. Whether it was due to light refreshment that he said he had not consumed but the intended single tattoo on his arm with the words Beckham forever, became the partner for another tattoo and this one was in a more private area of his body. It was after a lot of persuasion that it was revealed and I must confess that in the light of a full moon or in this case a flickering faulty fluorescent light fitting it did have a certain attraction, and this was the unanimous decision of the kitchen and waiting staff. The young chef is now working as many hours as he can to save up the money to have Mr. Beckham’s tattoo removed, so after all that the world cup did do me a favour. It was good to see union flags and bunting outside local businesses many for the Queen’s Jubilee and others for the football, it was sad to see as soon as England was out of the world cup many of the flags came down, I like to fly the union flag from the restaurant all the year round- and I like others had it flying upside down Slap my wrists. This was brought to my attention by a very kind gentleman that rang the restaurant on a Saturday night and with only fifteen minutes before forty five covers would be arriving, with sauces still to be made and a desperate attempt to cool down the potatoes for the brown shrimp dumplings, and a stuffing to be made for the pork fillets, I was informed that the flag was upside down, it's the sign of a ship in distress I was told, it was at that point the sweet pepper sauce boiled over, and thought of abandoning ship was in the back of my mind, may be on this occasion the flag was flying correctly.

 So to this month’s recipe   Oranges in caramel     serves four

 I thought with the B B Q season in full swing and lots of fresh salads I would offer a simple dessert that would be a refreshing end to a meal, Oranges in Caramel

A trolley terror from the 60s if ever there was one, a collection of badly trimmed slices, pith included laying in a sticky syrup. However if you take time to peel the fruit carefully and make a proper caramel the result is a revelation, and a good slosh of Grand Marnier will not go amiss.

 8 medium size oranges   150 ml cold water  225g caster sugar   150ml very hot water

 Peel the rind with out the pith from four of the oranges and cut it in to very thin strips, blanch them in a small pan of boiling water and after a few minutes drain the blanched peel, rinse with cold water and set aside. Peel all the oranges to the flesh, over a bowl to catch the juices. Put the sugar and cold water in a medium size saucepan over a low flame shaking the pan as the sugar dissolves, raise the heat and boil rapidly, until the syrup turns to a rich amber colour.  Remove the pan from the heat, cover your hands with a tea towel and slowly pour in the very hot water. Stir the caramel with a wooden spoon until it is thoroughly blended. If it is lumpy return the caramel back to the heat. Add the orange zest to the syrup at this stage. Put your oranges in a bowl and pour the caramel over them.  When cooled place in the fridge to chill. Serve with ice cream.

Colin Rushmore
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