summertime - a busy bee in a flower

Summertime – Flowers and Bees

Summertime. In the countryside. On a sunny day. Just sit back and listen to the buzzing of the bees as the flit from flower to flower collections pollen. I was there with my camera (Lumix TZ100).

Weald Smokery – Great Lunch Stop

It’s always good to find somewhere different to eat, especially when it’s not the usual “pub grub” style of food. And so it was at the Weald Smokery near Flimwell in Sussex. We spotted a chalkboard sign advertising the food, on the main road heading towards Hastings, so stopped to check it out for our lunch

Smoked Seafood Lunch

Common to many bistro style cafes Weald Smokery offers a selection of sandwiches along with a few meals. All looked tasty and interesting. Following the “smokery” theme we opted to share a fish pate and a Fish Sharing platter.  Service was quick and very polite, and we didn’t have to wait long for our food, sitting outside in warm sunshine.  We were definitely not disappointed and enjoyed a tasty and ample fish meal.  The pate was served with salad leaves and toast. The sharing platter included salmon, trout, smoked prawns (which I had never tried before) accompanied by taramasalata, a dill sauce, salad leaves and olives, and an assortment of artisan breads.  Sitting in the sun in this countryside spot it is easy to think that you are in the countryside, and forget that it is only 17 miles to Hastings, at the coast, and a good source of fresh fish, as we discovered on our visit to Robertsbridge on a previous trip. 

A Bit More about the Weald Smokery

The Weald Smokery is one of a limited number of smokehouses in the UK producing smoked foods by traditional artisan methods. It has been family owned for 30 years, and has received awards for its products. Do check out the website

Why Visit this Part of Sussex

Flimwell is a village on the A21 route between the M25 London ring road and Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea, both on the coast and popular in the summer holidays. The village is situated in an Area of Natural Beauty, and is inside “1066 Country”, near the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Medieval Bodiam Castle is nearby. 

Pay The Area a Visit

Travelling down towards Hastings? Stop in and have a look around.  Or just take a day trip…. 
Plump Pigeon enjoying a spring evening

Plump Pigeon in The Sun and Digital Zoom

A plump pigeon comfortable on his perch in the afternoon spring sunshine.

This guy was totally not fussed about me getting closer with the camera.

Actaully there was a particular reason for the shot. In good light I wanted to test the digital zoom on the LUMIX TZ100 camera. Digital zoom is not something I am normally very keen to use. Essentially it is a cropping of the original image carried out in camera. On most cameras which I have used in the past, it’s better to process the raw image and do the crop in post processing. The in-camera process reduces image quality.

On the TZ100 I have been surprised by the digital zoom results. Judge for yourself. This hasn’t been printed yet, but I will get it done at some point.

Settings: f/6.3 (sweet spot on this lens, it seems) 1/125 s, 35mm zoom equivalent of 500mm – optical zoom goes to 250mm, so it’s 2x digital zoom. The camera will handle up to 1000mm equivalent.

A beautiful blue sky on a spring day above a tree newly clothed with leaves

A Fine Spring Day – At Last!


Blue and Green on a Spring DayIt seemed to take forever. But finally we have A beautiful spring day. Hot and, unusually for the UK, not a cloud in the sky. It was a busy day, with little opportunity to get out with the camera, but this picture of the blue sky contrasted with the new greenery just needed to be taken. Hopefully this will be the first of many days like this!

Photo Notes

Shot with that great little camera, my LUMIX TZ100. Shots are straight out of the camera. In the middle of the afternoon the contrast was high, but still showed off  the green tree against the blue sky.

 

 

#season #spring #springtime #sun #sunnyday #sunnydays #ukspring #ukspringtime2018 #ukspringtimesunshine #ukspringtime #uksunshine Posted on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BiewEINAtAd/ – @hairy1travels.

 

 

Check some more spring photos on my photo site at pixels.com.
Sell Art Online

 

 

Oia Donkeys

  Oia. Beautiful white buildings, blue seas, fantastic views. And donkeys.
Arrive at Oia by boat and you have two simple choices – ride a donkey to the top of the cliff or take on a vary steep walk up the cliff path.
Here, the donkeys are heading home as the day heads towards sunset. from 500px Oia Donkeys
via IFTTT

Bunny Chow - Home made in the UK.

Bunny Chow – A Durban Speciality

 

One thing that has to be a part of any trip to Durban is a Bunny Chow. But Durban is far away, so I had to make one at home. There is something really delicious and comforting about a serving of good curry in a hollowed out loaf of bread with the gravy soaked into the bread! That’s my latest attempt above. A lamb curry garnished simply with coriander leaves. A bunny chow is, of course, eaten with fingers, using the bread.

 

History of the Bunny Chow

 

The bunny chow appears to have originated in Durban in the 1940’s, though there are different stories about how it came to be. One way or another Durban, and for that matter a good part of kwaZulu-Natal, has a large population of Indian descent. Durban is known for its curries.

 

The bunny chow is basically a curry in bread, with the bread used as a bowl. Originally the curry would have been vegetable, but over the years mutton and chicken have become common. I have also eaten beef curry in a bunny. And, of course, it is unusual to find a mutton curry in the UK, so lamb it is!

 

Typically it comes, in Durban, as a “full” (i.e. 800g loaf), “half” (half an 800g loaf) or a “quarter” (typically half a small, or 400g loaf). The middle of the bread is carefully removed as a single piece, leaving the crust as the bowl. The crust is filled with curry, and the bread removed from the middle used to top the filling. Sambals can be added as necessary.

 

Bunny Chow in the UK and Making Your Own

 

There are a number of places in the UK advertising bunny chow in various forms, though I have only once sampled a local version, from a South African kiosk in Camden Market in London. I have heard that it is popular in some places, with pubs offering it on one day a week, then two, then all week.

 

If you are making your own bunny chow, there are two parts to remember:

 

  1. Bread which can form a bowl;
  2. Curry which has plenty of rich gravy. It can be meat or veg.

 

Personally I prefer to make the curry to fill the bread, but you can buy the curry from your local Indian takeaway. The do look at you sideways if you don’t order rice or naan, though.

 

Simply remove the centre of the bread, fill the crust with your chosen curry, and enjoy!

 

A Google search brought up a few UK based bunny chow restaurants. Not surprising as there are a few South Africans around:

 

 

My Bunny Chow Recipe

 

I have a big family, so this is intended to feed 8 people. Curry freezes well, though we rarely have any leftovers to freeze.

 

Play with quantities and spice mix as you wish, using this as a base.

 

This recipe has been used for mutton and beef, and, with a couple of variations, chicken. In the UK i use it with lamb.

 

Ingredients

 

  • Cooking oil
  • 3 large white onions
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Ginger – I use about half of a ginger root from the supermarket
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 6 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 3 or 4 chillies – depending on how hot you like it. I use 4 supermarket chillies
  • salt to taste
  • 2kg meat
  • 3 tins tomato
  • Coriander leaves
  • Bread – 4 x 400g loaves, farmhouse, split tin or small sandwich loaves

 

Method

 

Brown the onions. add the garlic and ginger and fry it all together for a minute.

 

Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt and stir it all up together.

 

Add the meat, mix it all up and mix it all up well. Let it cook for ten minutes.

 

Add the tomatoes and chillies, turn the heat down and let it simmer slowly for about an hour. It’s cooked when the meat is tender and the oil is rising to the surface.

 

Cut the loaves in half and carefully remove the bread from the centre in one piece. Fill the crusts with curry, garnish with coriander leaves, put the removed bread and top and enjoy.