July Letter from the Ferns Vegetarian B & B in Newport, Shropshire: chatting about: poached eggs, Food Safety & Hygiene level 2 and growing tomatoes

Nearly everyone wants poached eggs these days. Well they are very healthy – and it you drink a glass of fruit juice at the same time, the iron in the egg   becomes very easy for the body to absorb, and so the egg is more nutritious. I used to make my poached eggs this way. Firstly,  I crack the egg into a dish  to make sure there are no egg-shell bits ( not allowed in Hygiene courses!). I also add a small amount of wine white vinegar to help the  egg white set in the pan. I also swirl the water around in the pan just before the egg goes in to help the egg hold its shape. I have recently tried the brand new ‘Poachies’ method, whereby you put the egg in a little ‘Poachies’  pocket. However, the eggs end up triangular!

poached egg

A ‘Poachies’ egg

The Guardian ‘Word of Mouth Blog’ did an excellent piece on the pros and cons of poaching eggs , whether to whisk or  the sitting at bottom of  pan method  i.e.  Marcus Wareing, who trained at the Savoy versus Delia. To be honest Delia’s eggs look like mine. The blogger says, ” The shallow pan gives me something that looks rather like a softer fried egg – the yolk is prominent atop a base of white. It’s perfectly cooked, but visually, a bit of a let down.” Then I tried the whisking method

whisked poached egg

Poached egg using whisk to stir up the water

and although mine didn’t come out quite as nice as Marcus Wareing eggs, it looks pretty good, and far more interesting the flat laid on the bottom of the pan poached eggs. So I shall be whisking from now on. remember – the fresher the eggs, the better the poach. I get my eggs from a Shrewsbury farm (Hollowdene Hens at Withington) and sold by our little corner shop on Station Road. Last month I passed my level Two Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering (City & Guilds Accredited).

Level 2 Food Safety & Hygiene for Catering

Level 2 Food Safety & Hygiene for Catering

It was quite tough! Resulting  from this work,  I really have to use a Food Standards Agency  “Food Safety Management System”, which I am working on at the moment. It’s like COSSH , but for food.  I need to work out procedures and records for dealing with all aspects of the kitchen and the food. it does show guests that I am up to the mark when it comes to my kitchen and my food. In summer time, my guests  have food from the garden – raspberries, peaches, figs, pears – whatever is in season. Here are some of my green house tomatoes – green at the moment

Green house and tomatoes

Green house and tomatoes

If you want to save money – and let’s face it we all do – do what I do, when the side shoots are coming, pick them off and  plant them, as if you were doing cuttings for any other plant. They root very easily. Here are three – waiting to be transplanted into the garden, when the weather gets cooler. I have another 6 that have already gone in the veg patch.

Tomatoes from cuttings

Tomatoes from cuttings

And finally, here is a shot from my kitchen today – lovely! From my kitchen window Best wishes to you all Linda

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