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Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Easter in the Cotswolds

I spent my Easter weekend in the Cotswolds wandering around in fields of perfect green grass, petting cute lambs, clambering over stiles and squeezing through kissing gates. Oh and I ate a lot too.

Dinner #1 was consumed at The Fox Inn in Stow-on-the-Wold. A few vegetarian options graced the menu; a pumpkin risotto; mushroom tart; poached pear, endive and Roquefort salad; and a lasagne.

I went for the mushroom tart and the lasagne. The mushroom tart arrives. It is little frisbee of deliciously light puff pastry with a haystack of rocket on top. After some poking around with my pitchfork, I uncover some mushrooms which are very tasty but lacking in quantity.

My main is a little better than the usual token vegetarian lasagne. Unfortunately the redeemable qualities of the eggplant/aubergine, capers and sundried tomatoes are drowning in an ocean of cheese and white sauce. Strangely enough, the other orders of lasagne at our table received a sensible distribution of dairy - the chef must have had some sort of fit whilst assembling my dish.
The Fox Inn had a nice atmosphere and the staff were great. I'm unable to comment on the meat dishes, but the vegetarian dishes I tried could be pretty good with a little extra thought.

Dinner #2 was an EXCELLENT four mushroom (shitake, enoki, shimeji, and the normal white cup variety) risotto prepared by Guy of Guy's Opinions fame.
For a similar recipe, take a peek at Joan's risotto

And for a good mushroom guide check this out

Near our temporary home was our one-stop organic gourmet shop - the Daylesford Organic farmshop. Noteworthy items were the olive, cornichon (mini gherkins), pickled garlic, and caperberry mix; and the herb and gruyere tart.

All the food available is of a high standard, but shopping here WILL break the bank. Food education and good, simple, organic fare should be accessible to all, not just the obscenely wealthy. Nevertheless, 2 cents aside, I'll be savouring every skerrick of my £5.95 organic blood orange marmalade.

The past few days have made me fantasise about my dream farm. Fully self sufficient with a huge vegetable and herb patch, 2 dogs, a few cats - including my cat Mr Meow and a Russian blue, 2 goats, 2 miniature goats, 2 alpacas a few chickens and a Shetland pony.
The End.

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