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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2007/11/13 12:48:40 (November 2007).

[Monday 12th November]
Chie got on a train back to London this morning, whilst Vera and I were bound for North Wales to spend a few days at my Dad's house. Before heading off I popped into the centre of Abergavenny to buy some warm clothes - a fleece and a scarf - as winter seemed to have arrived very suddenly today, and I'd anticipated it would be even more so up North.

We got on the train at midday, and had a very pleasant and tranquil run up to Bangor, taking in the gentle scenery along the England/Wales border, followed by some nice sea views along the North Wales coast. We arrived in Bangor just before 4, and parked ourselves in a coffee shop and waited for Dad, who then took us back to the house, by way of the frighteningly huge new Tesco just outside of Bangor.

Back at the house we had Pimm's Winter (warmed, with apple juice) as a sort of aperitif, which seemed to be quite popular. Dinner was then entirely vegetarian and rather superb - I know from a meat eater's point of view it is probably hard to accept that the words "lentil bake" and "delicious" belong in the same sentence, but it really was fantastic. Despite being a long term vegetarian I am actually pretty critical of a lot of vegetarian food particularly of the variety that uses lots of pulses and grains, but this was deeply satisfying and tasty, full of umami. Apprently the secret was to soak the lentils in red wine.

Comment 1

John, that sounds quite interesting about soaking the lentils in red wine. Although I am not vegetarian, I do like a good lentil soup (it is fairly traditional here in Greece, too) and I was wondering, how long do the lentils have to be soaked in red wine and is the red wine hot or room temperature? Sounds very much worth trying!

Posted by Bryan at 2007/11/13 20:17:01.

Comment 2

Yes, I agree with Bryan - the red-wine soak sounds a wonderful idea! :) As does the Pimm's Winter!

Posted by Nigel at 2007/11/14 16:33:31.

Comment 3

Hi, I'm Ana from Spain
I found your web page because I want to know when pubs close in th nigh normaly.
Can you anwer me??

Posted by Ana at 2007/11/16 10:57:20.

Comment 4

Bryan - sorry I forgot to ask my Dad the exact details before I left - perhaps if he happens to read this at some point he might fill us in.

Ana - I have a suspicion you are not a real person, but if you are, pubs normally close at 11PM in the UK. Individual pubs can now apply for a later license, but so far not many actually have - at a very rough guess I would say less than 5%.

Posted by John at 2007/11/16 15:38:42.

Comment 5

No problem, John - it sounded very tasty, and I reckon a lot of what may seem to be everyday foods can be made a whole lot better with a touch of imagination like that. I had never considered soaking lentils in anything except water, but the idea of adding a different flavour to them in the way you mentioned is so simple and at the same time ingenious. Having said that, in my salad days when I first came to Greece I once tried making lentil soup with lashings of tabasco and a good tablespoonful of cumin. I called it "lentil surprise". And it certainly was. About 3 hours after eating it! :-)

Posted by Bryan at 2007/11/17 10:02:26.

Comment 6

Why isn't my nice comments RSS feed working any more?

Posted by John at 2007/11/20 21:48:49.

Comment 7

Oh, I think I might now why...

Posted by John at 2007/11/20 21:52:11.

Comment 8

That would be because I was writing out in Unicode, but reading the previous version in using some other encoding.

Posted by John at 2007/11/20 21:53:03.

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