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Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Beautiful Bowes Museum

In some ways my blogs are very like London buses. You wait for ages and then three come at once and then at least one of them isn't heading in your direction. I don't get many comments, but sometimes it's five and sometimes it's none. I realised recently that my commenting pattern on other people's blogs was very similar. Some posts strike a note and need a response and others are just lovely to scroll through. Also you might be glad to know that, there are no trains on this blog at all.
Please believe me, all of you who stop by, that I appreciate it even though I don't know. There is a way of finding out how many people have been looking at my blog but then...quite a few of them could be me looking to see how many people have been looking at my blog.
Today was absolutely gorgeous weather. It's not often that we "oop north" have better weather than down south, so we went to the Autumn Fair at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.
You can read bits about the Bowes Museum from the link but a quick mention from me about the place is that it is a museum and built for the purpose by the very rich couple who spent a lot of their lives travelling around Europe and visiting exhibitions and buying, collecting and gathering gorgeous stuff. They were an amazing couple and left this to the nation. (If you go round the back you can tell from the big blank walls that it was never meant to be a dwelling). They already had grandiose homes down the road and in London and Paris. It is high on my list of venues for visitors. I have even had visitors ask to go back. That also gives us a chance to visit the Antique shops in Barney and the lovely artisan shops.
We enjoyed a cooking demo at the Autumn Fair.
Pigeon breast salad to the top right and rabbit loin rolled in prosciutto crudo with fancy veg, to the bottom left. I had never tasted pigeon before so went eagerly for a taste. I judged it as a combination between calves liver and some fine steak. I enjoyed it but I don't think I would cook it. DJ chose not to taste it. The rabbit , was not a new ingredient to me. I cooked it often in Oz. I, too would have cooked only the loin or the front legs. The rest is tough and was minced up for the cat. There isn't much that I haven't tasted in my life. Snails top the list of things I haven't tasted. The challenge is with you... I give you things I have eaten...crocodile, snake, frogs' legs, shark, emu, buffalo, etc. I have eaten them all.
We returned home with some delicious titbits. From the top right and clockwise. Compte cheese from France and really grand tasting. Two bottles of Black Paw Brewery "Bishop's Best", from a brewery in Bishop Auckland, two samples of ewe's cheese from Tuscany but imported and sold locally by a family in Masham, North Yorkshire. One of the cheeses is truffle flavoured and the other  is walnut flavoured and covered with a walnut leaf.
We have tasted all of these for a small luncheon on returning home. Then... I went out.
I have to prepare 30 blancmanges for next month's W.I. meeting. So I went round to Tesco to peruse their ingredients. And I was just in time for the FISH counter sell-off. I got four scallops, a crab, some haddock and some smoked salmon.
I had a battle with the crab. It was full of dark red meat...roe, probably. I've never done a crab before but have watched it done often by my uncles. It seems to have been a "man's job" because seafood was often the job on the side. Coal miners went out fishing when they were on a shift that allowed them to. I had the scallops for tea. The small amount of crab will make a sandwich for tomorrow.Does anyone know why my crab was full of dark red stuff inside its top shell?
Tinker has been so happy in this late seasonal sunshine. She is very fond of small fluffy things and regularly removes the screen wiper, from the TV in the front room and brings it into the snug. She delivers it to DJ and presses on his slipper to let him know. He throws it to the other end of the room and she returns with it to start all over again.
Cheers Gillian


chillsider stitching and opinions said...

You have a screen wiper ! Classy.
The crab reminded me of Callie chuntering along on her lead [can't let her off yet] with a stick in her mouth, oh no, it is a crab. She was very loathe to let go, couldn't eat it ourselves as we didn't know how old it was and the resultant doggy poo showed us we were wiser that her.
Re. Timetables, I mood swing between hatred and sulks to oooh that's quite good. It is my lack of stamina that separates this mature student from the bouncing babes, sadly.

Lyn said...

We almost went to that museum once but I can;t remember why we never got there!
I love the idea of your cat retrieving things for you...just like a dog and a ball!
I'm not good with seafood though.

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