Controversy rages over what shape of plate food should be served on: Square plates are an ‘abomination’ according to a report about MasterChef judge William Sitwell’s view in the Telegraph. Apparently Mr Sitwell is to hold a ‘Square Plate’ amnesty at the Towcester Food Festival on the 7th and 8th of June 2014. He doesn’t plan to destroy them Greek style. He’s going to give them to charity. This means they will still be in circulation and may be re-used. I can’t really stand a round plant pot on a square plate can you?
The square plate issue came to light in the BBC MasterChef competition when Mr Sitwell (a judge by invitation) made it clear he didn’t like a contestant’s food because it was served on a square plate. He is of the opinion that a square plate suggests a chef using one raises presentation above flavour.
A lengthy report from the BBC tells that these drinking vessels may be returning to some pubs frequented by young people in London. They disappeared from pubs around 2001 when the company making them, Ravenhead Glass in St Helens, closed their factory. Apparently they come from Turkey now.
Not everyone is so nostalgic. Some think that the old glass tankard is not so good for the beer as a modern narrow glass. Tankards have the wrong open surface to volume ratio, I believe, which allows the bubbles to escape too soon after pulling the pint. Yes these pubs PULL their pints, unlike many other modern pubs.
See the video below, from St. Chad’s College Bar, Durham (not in Dalston), which shows how a Real Ale should be dispensed. Unfortunately an ordinary beer glass is being used here, not a Glass Tankard.
I always wanted to try this (put dry ice in water) and last year I got the opportunity. When I bought some meat from Donald Russell it was delivered packed in dry ice. Dry Ice is frozen CO2 i.e. solid carbon dioxide.
This dry ice was used to keep the meat cool in transit. The meat and dry ice are transported in a polystyrene box which provides lots of insulation. However, over time, the heat does percolate a package like this and the dry ice sublimates. (That means it turns to vapour with no intermediate liquid state.)
Usually there is some solid CO2 left in the package on arrival. If There wasn’t any left the meat temperature may rise too high and the meat would be spoilt. So this is my source of dry ice.
The first thing I wanted to do, as soon as the meat was stored in a cool place, was put the dry ice in water and watch it bubble away and the vapour flow out and down the side of the container. I caught it on video below:
As far as I am aware the visible vapour is the water vapour giving the air its humidity cooled until it condenses.
Some people think teapot cleaning is unnecessary and that it spoils the flavour of the tea. If they have traditional brown earthenware teapots they probably don’t see all the tannin stains on the inside. With a stainless steel teapot you see them all and they start to form very quickly from new, or after cleaning. Tannin makes a teapot look disgusting. Not something you want guests to see when you make them a cuppa, or when they make one for you.
Teapot cleaning can be avoided by keeping it clean. One way is to make sure it’s emptied and rinsed out immediately after use. Letting it stand with old tea in it until the next mash allows the tannin deposits to grow.
The video here demonstrates another method of opening food cans without a traditional can opener.
This Is Another Method Of Opening Food Cans
This is another method for opening food cans without a can opener. It involves grinding off the folded over edge of the can. The grinding material is in this case is flat concrete laid on the ground. I must warn you it does get a bit messy when the can begins to open:
This post contains instructions on how to avoid spilling juice from cartons or Tetra Paks®, with a rectangular cross-section, while opening or lifting them. It’s quite natural to grip cartons by the easiest method (the broad sides) while opening them, or lifting them when they’re still full, causing the contents to pour or squirt out inadvertently. Cartons with a square cross section are indifferent to the sides that are gripped when lifting or pouring.
You go to the refrigerator and take out a new cool carton of juice. You hold it firmly and take off the seal and juice spurts out at you and runs down the side of the carton, or you pick it up after removing the seal and juice pours out as you grip it. Before you’ve got it in a glass you’re in a mess. This is usually caused by the way you grip the carton.
This post discusses dinner at Finbarrs Restaurant. In reality Finbarr’s has an apostrophe before the “s“, but in order to make this post stand out in search engines I have had to make all references to Finbarr’s Restaurant look like this: Finbarrs Restaurant without the apostrophe.
In Durham there are lots of narrow hilly streets and the river has a big hairpin bend in it so you can walk over one bridge and after a short distance, without doubling back, walk over the same river again. The Market Place is pedestrianised and on quite a steep slope, but it’s all very clean with more pedestrianised streets leading off it. Even the Market Hall on one side of it has a severely sloping floor inside it, and a two storey staircase to get up to it on one side. Here, in the featured image, is a nice view of the River Wear taken from Elvet Bridge. I presume the rowers are sporting university types.
“It’s a bit nippy, a bit dull and there have been a few showers.” – Helpful Colin, May 2012
Dinner At Finbarrs Restaurant
We finished the day with dinner at Finbarrs Restaurant which we came across while walking out of the town centre earlier in the day. It’s No.4 on Trip Advisor’s list of Durham Restaurants (at the time of writing), and deservedly so. It has a very nice ambience and we saw plenty of customers on Friday night. It also has a very nice bar area. NOTE: It can be difficult to find. Walk to the end of Waddington Street furthest from the town where there is an Arriva bus depot. To the right of it is a hotel through an archway. Finbarrs Restaurant is around the back of the hotel off the car park and cannot be seen from the street. There is a sign for the restaurant on the left as you enter from the street by the bus depot.
Sadly it slipped down to No.10 on Trip Advisor’s Durham Restaurants by 24/12/2014.
As of 2019 it is No. 16 out of 238 on the Durham restaurant list. It was also a Certificate of Excellence winner for 2016 – 2019 according to Trip Advisor.