Friday, 3 December 2010

Where do Cricketers go in their 2point5_age_of_man?

Richie Richardson leans on his bat in Haverhill 2008
Where do Cricketers go in their 2point5_age_of_man?

Sitting in front of the screen listening to the cricket on BBCiPlayer I was, wondering what do cricketers do in their 2point5_age_of_man.  Michael Vaughan was considering a change of career from one sighting/sitting position to another.  The Adelaide sight screen was a study in man energy conservation.

Sitting in a chair that made sure the operators' legs didn't hit the ground (at least one short Australian exists!), the digital age meets sight screen.  With the flexing of a single finger the screen with seated operator moves to the appropriate position.  No sweated labour of Ground Apprentices moving heavy screens here.  Michael Vaughan in  a mirth of laughter suggest one needs to be installed in Lords.  We have the moving roof of the Millennium stadium, we could have the moving screens of Lords to rival.   It could be a same iconic classes of commentators as Pigeons, Seagulls, Buses and Chocolate cakes.  Although Michael Vaughan was looking for the lady who provided the ice creams yesterday, a trend that might not take off as there's no postcode for Adelaide on Tesco Home Delivery.  

As the temperature approaches 37C and tea is within sight it is a cool  2C outside according to the BT Home page. It has warmed up!  It was -3C at 230 am.

Don Bradnam is being discussed at tea.  A little known fact is that Bradnam's family originated in West
Suffolk, at Withersfield.  If his family had stayed in West Suffolk it's doubtful he would have had the fame, or might not even had played the game.  Can we claim him as one of ours?

So local produce. Very cold day coming up core body temperature may be dropping.  As a 2pointfive_age_man I have been experimenting with some local recipes.  My interests in agriculture, education and sustainability apart this isn't a bad recipe.   Something prepare

Winter Vegetable Soup
(Hyper links accessed 3/12/10)
This soup like minestrone can be made with a variety of different vegetables.  Canned varieties of both soups tend to be tomato based but this isn't local and definitely not seasonal.  Base vegetables are leeks and potatoes, and can have as many blemishes as they are going to be cut up and "stewed".  The basics ranges of supermarkets are good for this, fresh markets are useful but you tend to buy whats on the sign ie 5lb for 2, if you can actually get to a market.

Why don't green marketeers turn up on a Friday on Industrial estates  just before lunch or as people on way home?

This makes a lot of soup so some thought needs to be made as to storage if you are a single owner occupier 2pointfive_age_man and haven't arranged a come dine with me experience.

Serves: 6 to 8  in one go  Cost:   approx 70p per litre       Preparation time: 15 - 20

Cooking time: 5 - 10 minutes hands on, 40- 50 minutes left to itself (Football Focus or Saturday Kitchen) approx  1 hour total +- 5 post main preparation

Food miles: Maximum single ingredient 30 miles from Suffolk

Amount of Waste produced: Peelings approx; 300 g

Equipment needed

You can improvise as long as the saucepan holds the volume (something that a lot of recipes do not tell you until you find out yourself as it slops over the top, usually on the cooker), pretest volume with water, mugs as measuring cylinder - 1 tea mug approximately half a pint

Large Saucepan or Straight stock pot - needs to hold a volume of  4 to 5 pints  or  (liquid plus solids of vegetables)  (1 pint = 570 ml)

Pyrex  Measuring jug (so doesn't crack if you pour hot liquid into it,  experience of using some so called -Pyrex resulted in the "smashed windscreen" effect on the Kitchen floor)  or tea mug

Large knife

Smaller vegetable knife

Blender -  cheap blender  capable of holding  at least

Chopping Board


Code    Multiple use (will be used in other guises) , Essential , One off

Multiple use
2.5 to 3 pints (1420 -1710 ml ) Stock made from Chicken or Vegetable Stock Cubes - these made up to brand's recommendation - can use cold chill stock but probably won't make a lot of difference to final taste

Bouquet garnii-  translated as parsley stalks (fresh), sprigs of thyme (fresh), Bay leaf (dried)  can be tied together with string including a bit of celery  Alternative dried parsley teaspoon, dried thyme and two bay leaves.  If  buying celery try use in other recipes/courses same day as can be one of those mysteries in the back of the fridge (also expensive).

Butter or olive oil



Flour (plain)

One off



Turnip (rare to find now so parsnip alternative)

White onion


Swede  (Parsnip, onion, carrot, swede can be bought in supermarket as stew pack)


Fresh Parsley


Method or How to?

Prepare first (15 minutes tops)

3 large potatoes,  peeled and diced (not too small as will fall apart)

3 leeks, trimmed then shredded ie cut across the length into sections 5mm or there abouts worth the effort and one of those mindless manual tasks that can clear the mind as you concentrate on the large knife

1 Onion chopped reasonably finely
2 carrots, cleaned or scrapped, diced  slightly smaller than potatoes as a harder vegetable and will take longer to cook

2 sticks of celery. cleaned and chopped

1/2 small turnip or whole  parsnip, cleaned peeled and diced, again a hard vegetable compared to potato so slightly smaller

1/2 small swede peeled and diced again a hard vegetable compared to potato so dice slightly smaller

Have ready for the next stage 

1 to 1 1/2 oz  (25 to 35g) of butter, or olive oil

1 oz (25g or 2 dessert spoons/ 1 tablespoon) Flour

Stock (see above)

Salt and Pepper   

Cooking Hands on section (10 minutes)

  1. Melt butter in saucepan or add 2 dessert spoons  of olive oil on a very low heat 1 or 2 on electric hob, add all the prepared vegetables clamp lid on and allow water to sweat out gently check after a few minutes give a stir making sure heat not causing everything to stick.
  2. After 5 or ten minutes leeks should be starting look a little limp onion starting to look clear now add the flour, sprinkling over the veg (flour will allow the soup to thicken a little as it cooks)
  3. Add the stock half pint to start with stirring so flour doesn't become a lump (helps if stock still warm), then add rest of stock still stirring
  4. Add Salt,  pepper  Bouquet garnii or substitute.
  5. Bring to a boil, as soon as continuous boil almost achieved turn right down so bubbles only just appearing (simmer)
Cooking Hands off (40 -50 minutes)
  1. Cover and leave to simmer 40 to 50 minutes check as feel needed to make sure heat low enough so nothing sticks to bottom.  Finished when hardest vegetables are soft.
  2. Remove bouquet garnii.
Post Production

For chunky soup serve as appears at end of cooking

For smooth thick  soup put in blender, might require couple of batches.  Start with pulse just in case motor can't cope with volume and solids can add a little milk or cream now.  Return to saucepan on low heat to stir, turn off after happy with smoothness.

Serve with chunky bread.


Can be stored in plastic juice jug with lid in fridge for up to three days.  Has to be cold before put in fridge.  If have kilner jars can be also stored in jar after sterilised for 4 to five days.

If you have made smooth soup. Can also be put into freezer bag portions if able to stand bag up as it freezes.  Defrost heat slowly so doesn't separate.

A bit carried away with this Blog but dulcet tones of Geoffrey Boycott's "when I were a batsman" analysis now on the iPlayer.  England have avoided Seagulls or Seagulls have avoided being hit and requiring mouth to mouth,  seem to be mentioned as much as the ice creams and the ride on sight screen.  Have to look at my copy of Wisden's History of the Ashes check the chat against the hysterical record.

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