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Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown, Day 3 France

 

Bonjour, we have arrived in France. We didn’t have croissants for breakfast, this was a terrible mistake as they make a fabulous start to any day, neither did we consume a thick syrupy coffee standing up at a bar. Thank goodness I found a bottle of cognac given by a builder to us at Christmas, it set into play the possibility of having Coq au Vin. In France they serve frites, in other parts of the world known as skinny fries (sadly I only found thick chips so I had to substitute). The art galleries are truly inspiring in Paris, the smell of freshly baked baguettes, elegant language and beautifully dressed Parisians – what can I say, France is a wonderful country. To cheer us up, lets eat Coq au Vin and brie, drink French wine and dance on the table.

Ingredients

Low calorie cooking spray

4 rashers of bacon (130g)

3 gloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 chicken thighs, skin removed

2 chicken legs, skin removed

2 chicken breasts, skin removed

3 tablespoons of brandy or cognac

2 teaspoons of tomato puree

2 rosemary sprigs

2 bay leaves

Salt & pepper

600 ml of red wine

150 ml of chicken stock (use 1 chicken stock cube)

2 tablespoons of plain flour

250g mushroom quarters

Parsley leaves, for garnish

Frites (skinny fries)

Green beans or carrots.

Macaroons & Madeline cakes

French Brie, cheese biscuits and French wine.

 Method

To make the Coq au Vin:

Use low calorie cooking spray to cook 4 rashers of bacon (130g), remove from frying pan. Fry 3 gloves of finely chopped garlic and 1 large onion finely chopped with spray. Set aside with the bacon.

Remove skin from 4 chicken thighs, 2 chicken legs and 2 chicken breasts, fry with low calorie cooking spray, add 3 tablespoons of brandy or cognac for 10 minutes, then add 2 teaspoons of tomato puree, 2 rosemary sprigs, 2 bay leaves, salt & pepper and 600 ml of red wine and 150 ml of chicken stock (use 1 chicken stock cube to make this). Add 2 tablespoons of plain flour, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Then add 250g mushroom quarters, bacon/garlic/onion and remove bay leaves/rosemary sprigs. Garnish with parsley leaves.

Serve with frites (skinny fries), green beans or carrots.

After the meal: serve macaroons & madeleine cakes with coffee and a cheese board including French brie and cheese biscuits. Serve meal with French wine.

For fun while you are eating dinner, think about discussing who are France’s most interesting artists, scientists, business people, inventors. Who is their greatest fashion designer?

Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown, Day 2 Spain

Day 2 and we are already in Spain, which is fabulous because Spanish people are gorgeous and their food is fun, especially tapas. We’ve decided to have a Spanish meal because the small local supermarket had run out of meat yesterday. What was I thinking? I shopped at the end of the day and unsurprisingly there was little left yet there were a few things remaining in the shop’s fridges. Spanish chorizo sausage, Spanish omelette and olives on the ambient shelves. This called for a trip to Spain, France would have to wait for another day. What the hell do you do with chorizo? Looking online on the BBC website I found a recipe for Spanish casserole, which was so simple and tasted delicious my family are asking me to cook it again.

Ingredients

1 x chorizo sausage into fine slices, making circles.

2 x cans of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g can of butterbeans

Spanish omelette

Mini sweet red peppers stuffed with cream cheese

Black olives

4 x tomatoes, cut each one into 6 sections

Anything else you have spare in the fridge that’s healthy, for cold tapas

Method

To make Spanish tapas: (Top tip, present each dish in its own bowl.)

  • Spanish Casserole – Chop 1 x chorizo sausage into fine slices, making circles. Put in a saucepan and cook for about 5-7 minutes until some of the fat comes out of them and they look slightly browner. Add 2 cans of canned chopped tomatoes and 1 can of 400g butterbeans, lightly cook for 20 minutes on medium. I know it’s so easy you can’t believe it.
  • Buy Spanish omelette and bake in oven for 20 minutes at medium heat.
  • Buy mini sweet red peppers stuffed with cream cheese, place in a bowl.
  • Black olives place in a bowl.
  • Cut tomatoes into chucks and place in a bowl.
  • Anything else you have spare in the fridge that’s healthy add into a bowl, I found some pasta with pesto and cheese in my fridge so added this as an extra dish of cold tapas.

Drinks – serve tap water and if you’re feeling in need of alcohol, Spanish sangria, Spanish wine or beer.

This meal, simple as it is, is my family’s favourite meal so far….to be continued. Tomorrow we are off to France, au revoir.

Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown #1 England – Fish & Chips

We start our round the world food journey tonight in England. But if you live in another country, start from where you live. We could choose beef, roast potatoes with Yorkshire puddings, or the country’s most popular food: curry. Instead, we’re going for the easy to cook option: fish and chips. Now to focus on the job in hand: to eat our way round the world in 20 days.

Fish and chips with mushy peas

Ingredients

4 cod in breadcrumbs, frozen department of supermarket

4 large potatoes, chopped into chip sized lengths

Low calorie cooking spray

2 cloves of garlic

½ large onion chopped

250g frozen peas

100ml chicken stock

Method

  1. Buy cod in breadcrumbs from the frozen department of the supermarket and cook according to instructions. If you are near a fishmonger you can buy haddock and brush with egg and roll in homemade breadcrumbs, spray with low calorie cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Chop 4 large potatoes into chip sized lengths. Place in a microwave bowl, add a little water and microwave on full power for 7 minutes. Remove the chips from the bowl and dry off any moisture on kitchen paper. Spray baking tray with Fry light and place chips on tray, spray chips with Fry light. Bake at 200 degrees for a fan oven, (220 degrees for other ovens) for 30 minutes. Turning after 15 minutes. Or for the really easy option, order takeaway fish and chips!                       
  3. Mushy peas recipe – Melt 15g butter into a saucepan, add 2 crushed garlic cloves or use lazy garlic (2 teaspoonfuls), half a large onion chopped, place into a saucepan with Fry light, cook lightly until soft. Place 250g of frozen peas and onion and garlic with 100ml of chicken stock into a blender or hand blend in bowl, blend until the peas are mushy. Or for a quicker option, just cook frozen peas.

For fun whilst you’re eating dinner – discuss who are England’s greatest artists, scientists, business people, inventors. What are the weirdest phrases English people use?

Later: 

We failed to eat England’s best experience of all, afternoon tea, a shocking omission and I apologise. We missed out on a chance to have tea with milk, cucumber sandwiches with the crusts removed, homemade cake, scones, jam and cream, and also to dress for the occasion. I may have to come back to my home country to correct this omission!

Eating round the world for 20 days in lockdown

Lockdown 2020. We don’t go out unless it’s for essential food or for exercise once a day. How are we going to stay motivated to stay at home, help ourselves, our families, our communities and the NHS have enough resources to cope with this health crisis? Isn’t it about our perspective and how we approach the challenge? The great thing about creativity and imagination is that a constraint provides an opportunity to think in new ways, press the reset button of what’s important in our lives.

 Moroccan chickpea tagine

I began to think of ways we could travel as a family as we were frustrated by not being able to go out, by searching on the internet, watching media in all its forms and also tasting the food from different countries. I thought how about experiencing and enjoying some of the smells and tastes of travelling without breaking the lockdown.

 Spanish tapas

My mum is a former A&E sister who is both practical and fun, NHS staff are simply the best. When I was younger she hosted a Jurassic Park evening and cooked us dinosaur bites, dinosaur eggs and dinosaur poo for dessert (don’t even ask, but it did involve chocolate), with the Jurassic Park film was playing while we ate dinner. During this Coronavirus lockdown she’s having a Harry Potter week, during the Olympics she and her sister eat the food from the country the Olympics isbeing hosted by. They ate Chinese food when the Olympics were in China, Greek food when it was in Greece, you get the idea. My mum’s sense of fun and examples have caused me to ‘raise my game’ and I decided to take my family around the world at dinner time in 20 days during the lockdown. All the food is healthy, the recipes are gathered from many years of keeping random free leaflets from: The Daily Mail on healthy comfort food, slimming world magazine leaflets and current BBC Good-food online. I’d love to tell you I’m a great cook but I’m not…I’m just an adventurer exploring ways to make the most of every day.

 Greek charcoal kebabs & feta salad

We’ve started in England and travelled east, we arrive back in Ireland at the end of the trip. We have no travel costs, only the cost of the food and a bit of imagination. At the end of each day I tell my family where they are travelling to the next day and shout up the stairs ‘We’ve arrived in Italy, dinner time’. This series of blogs will provide you with all you need to do the same trip, but feel free to delete a country or add in different country. My friend Michelle told me her boys would be staying in Italy for the duration! On one occasion last week my local supermarket had sold out of meat apart from a large chorizo sausage. They also had a Spanish omelette and olives, I don’t think I have ever cooked chorizo before but I found a simple and delicious recipe on BBC Good-food and we went to Spain that night. So we’re staying adaptable, and using what we’ve got, change the meat for beans/quorn/lentils or another vegan/vegetarian option. And if you can’t buy fresh food, choose canned and if you can’t buy canned – choose a different country to visit with the ingredients you do have. And if all the ingredients are unavailable, draw and colour in your dinner on a piece of A4 paper and eat whatever you do have.

Here’s our itinerary and on the following blogs you’ll see the details of ingredients and recipes and the photograph of what it genuinely looked like once cooked. Have fun, life is a gift, value the adventure.

  • England
  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Sweden
  • Russia
  • China
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • USA
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • South Sudan
  • Morocco
  • Portugal
  • Ireland

With a final blog #21 on afternoon tea back in England. Happy travels. Let’s all keep motivated while restrictions are in place to follow guidelines and help protect the NHS.

NFU debate at The South of England Show, 2019

NFU debate

Kristy backs British Farming, spending days visiting farmers in Sussex and Kent to listen to their concerns. She campaigns for supermarkets to promote British produce and for consumers to buy red tractor/union jack labelled goods.

Campaigning in Haywards Heath with Mid Sussex Conservatives

Campaigning photo

Kristy Adams out campaigning in Haywards Heath with the Mid Sussex Conservatives for Cllr Howard Mundin.

Skateboarding and dancing in the rain

His lips were blue with the cold, his whole body shook. My son and his three mates, all aged 17 had decided to skateboard in the pouring rain, just for a laugh. They arrived home soaked through to the skin after hours in the cold and wet. It was the beginning of the election campaign, an onslaught of aggressive nasty online material had already started. Shocked by the outright lies, my character was being trashed and I was being accused of things I had no experience of. The lads had come round to hang out, jump on the trampoline, skateboard and roar with laughter. Like seagulls not knowing where the next meal would come from they scavenge food in any form. Their normal teenage existence seemed so appealing, my new normal was filled with online and newspaper reports with hateful attacks from people dying to get their voice heard. Journalists like vultures picking over my carcass, picking over the debris of media attacks and re printing more gossip with little regard for the truth or respect. It was heartening to find three journalists who wrote with a high regard for truth, Frank, Angi and Juliette appeared as beacons of decency. As the media storm hit I had to learn how to dance in the rain. I encouraged the lads to borrow my son’s dry clothes and then drove two of them home. One teenager had posters of the opposition party all over the front of his house, he spoke of the party his parents supported and their views, as we chat I speak of tolerance and the importance of hearing different views. Oh the irony of me making sure he is home safely when they campaigned for the opposition.

It is within my lifetime that we have seen mobile phones, email, Twitter and FaceBook invented and become part of our everyday. The culture of online speech and tone has changed to regularly include aggression, swear words, and disrespect towards women are considered normal. They aren’t my normal, I refuse to agree with it. I tweeted to my supporters a copy of Michelle Obama’s statement ‘They go low, we go high.’ I refuse to deal in lies, hate and disrespect – they aren’t my currency and if they are yours, come away from the dark side and think again. I don’t blame you, I lay the blame for making rudeness in the public space acceptable at the feet of Anne Robinson on TV’s The Weakest link, a programme no longer aired. Her abrasive rudeness was surprising at first and then people laughed as she ridiculed her guests, and it became normal to be rude. Years later aggressive, tart phrases laced with acid comments started on new media and haven’t stopped. The snowball of online comments written about everything from a woman politician, her physical attributes and the colour of her skin through to medical staff at Great Ormond Street treating the sick baby, Charlie Gard. Some comments are supportive and some were outright nasty and negative. In the case of the politician, they were racist. The hospital spokesperson said the comments including death treats towards their staff were totally unacceptable, they were right to identify the posts as unacceptable. It’s time to reflect and decide if we want bad manners and disrespect as part of our culture. In his book ‘I can’t believe you just said that’ Danny Wallace (Sunday Times writer) argues ‘Rudeness is a form of rebellion that we must rebel against. Not because it weakens us, but because politeness makes us stronger. It gels us together.’

We can change the culture of speech and regain responsibility for our words online, in doing so we respect ourselves and others. It seems like a mammoth task, yet it can be achieved one post at a time. We all have a responsibility to create a culture that we would be proud to pass onto our nation’s children rather than training them in hate and contempt. The choice is ours, and so is the online legacy we leave behind.

Campaigning with Boris Johnson

“Boris

Kristy said, “Boris is a joy to be with, his instant connection with people and his passion to see the best services provided for every person shone through.”

Campaigning for local and Euro elections


Look East Filming

As Area Chairman of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Conservative Party, Kristy campaigns with the
Chairman of Cambridge City Conservative Association for the local and Euro elections.

BBC Look East attended to film the campaign and spoke to Kristy.

Kristy Adams meets David Cameron

Kristy Adams with David Cameron
Kristy Adams meets David Cameron in Milton Keynes as he tours the country supporting local businesses.

Kristy said “I am delighted with our Prime Minister who prioritises businesses of different sizes and champions them. As a business person it’s heartening to see the leader of the country taking such a keen interest in small, medium and large sized business.

Conservative policy aims to reduce the red tape that businesses endure, and free them to be more successful and employ more people. The Prime Minister is doing an excellent job in pushing this forward.”