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Recipe Number Thirty Two December 2005

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In the words of Status Quo, “here we go, here we go, here we go again!”  Yes folks its here again - Christmas, it's the time of the year when two matchsticks are required to hold open my eyes, as the workload doubles and the thought of taking a little rest in the afternoons is like finding a chicken with teeth.  Its that time of the year when, although it seemed as if it was only a few weeks ago, I climb up into the loft at the restaurant to collect the black bin bags that contain the Christmas decorations. Mrs R. normally stands at the bottom of the open loft hatch to catch the bags as they descend.  She has remarked that over the years I don't give her clear instructions when the bags are about to drop down.  Never mind it only happens once a year.

It's the time again that bags and bags of brussel sprouts have to be prepared and this is a job that Dan the commis chef loves doing - well I think it is as I often hear him muttering as he stands at his table surrounded by a mountain of sprouts.  I once heard him tell the other young chef that joined us in the summer, that there were two things that he loved doing - one was mussels and the other was, something, sprouts. I must confess that I did not catch the other words that he also used to described them.

Looking back over the year, its been a funny old year, and one that's seemed to have flown by so quickly.  I suppose as you get older time seems to slip away faster then when you were younger; when a summer’s day seemed to last forever.  I remember many years ago when, in the early 1980s I was in partnership with my good friend the late John Brundle, Martin, the racing driver’s Dad - those were the days when Martin was still in Formula Three.  We had an old saying in Kings Lynn: “if you sneezed at one end of the High Street, it was reported by someone that you were dead at the other end of the street”.  News used to travel fast in those days, and as the news of this unfortunate soul travelled further afield so more juicer bits of information would be added.  Oh yes - poor old Sid, or was his name Fred, it was rumoured he had met with his untimely death by many means.  Some reported that he had been run over by a car while other reports came in that it was the four o’clock bus travelling at high speed that rendered him to an early grave.  The only good thing, in a way, was that nobody actually knew who Sid or Fred was and conversations like, “you must have known him, big chap, wears a flat cap, walks with a limp, has a dog, lives over North Lynn”, which of course would probably leave a lot for the imagination to ponder on.

As many of you are aware, when I opened Rushmore’s Restaurant I always said that after cooking for over four decades this restaurant was to be my swan song.  As a young boy of sixteen I entered into a love affair with food.  This affair has been fuelled by my wish to succeed and a great passion for what I was doing, and I suppose in a way I have been successful and this has only been achieved by my customers that I feel I have given pleasure to over the many years by dining in my restaurants.  Now I have come to an age when Mrs R and I wish to slow down a tad or two so after all these years of cooking day and night we decided to put the restaurant up for sale, and to be up front and inform customers of our intensions, so there you have it, as they say straight from the horse’s mouth.

Like Sid or Fred I sneeze - the latest news is that Gordon Ramsey is buying the restaurant and is in contest with Gary Rhodes who has put a bid in as well.  It only comes down to which one will come up with the money first.  This was, of course, music to my ears when I first heard it from a lady in the restaurant so when I hear that Prince Charles or Lord Lucan is also interested in buying the restaurant I will let you know.  Life at Rushmore’s will continue with the same passion as I have always installed into my cooking, and I will probably be still moaning about the heat in the kitchen in the summer of 2008.

As the 25th of December draws closer a friend told me that her husband had invited around ten of the family around for Christmas Day lunch so with a look of fear on her face she asked if there were any tips that I could give her to take some of the pressure off the big day. One of the things that I thought might be of help was for her to prepare and cook all the vegetables for the lunch the day before.  Once the vegetables had been cooked they can be quickly cooled down by running cold water over them, then put into containers and covered with cling film and placed in the fridge.  On Christmas Day all she had to do was to pop a few pans of boiling, slightly salted water on the stove and pop the already cooked vegetables in to reheat - job done!

The other day when I saw my Grandson he came up to me and said “Granddad, do you know that it won’t be long before a man dressed in a bright red suit with a long white beard will arrive on a large sledge, pulled by six reindeer?  And do you know Granddad, he is going to come down the chimney and leave me lots of presents?”  I smiled, and replied “yes I believe he may if you are a good boy”, now who is putting that rumour around. . .

Merry Christmas to you all.

Colin Rushmore
Mrs R. and all the staff at Rushmore’s

Spiced Cranberries

With fresh cranberries now readily for sale in the shops, how about having a go
at making a fresh cranberry sauce this year? You will require 1lb of fresh cranberries,
a qt oz of root ginger, whole cinnamon, and whole allspice, also about 6 cloves,
half a pint of cider vinegar and 8oz of brown sugar.

Pop the washed cranberries into a saucepan with all the spices that
have been tied in a muslin, pour over the cider vinegar and bring to the boil. 
Simmer the cranberries until soft and begin to pop, after say 25 minutes
add the brown sugar and simmer for another 20 minutes,
remove the spices and pour the cranberry preserve into warm jars,
serve with your Christmas turkey or cold meats.


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