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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Take a lemon: tastebud travel

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. This post is by Nicola Baird 

It's so easy to eat your way around the world. You can do it at a restaurant (fancy a Mexican?), food mall (noodles anyone?) in the supermarket aisles, in your store cupboard (just keep harissa paste, curry powders, and pesto in stock for a chance to cook Thai, Indian or Italian).

But it's British food fortnight - the time when we're all urged to try eating local food, to get a sense of place on our plate. 

So if you are in Leicester have an apple and a hunk of Stilton cheese. If you are in Somerset have cider and an apple pie. Etc...

I love British food, but was quite surprised how little I long for it when I'm not in the UK - what I like is to eat food that's grown locally wherever I am because that way there's a chance it will be fresher, tastier and possibly even prepared with love. Jams bought at a fete or pre-Christmas event are a brilliant way to stock up your store cupboard without ploughing yet more of your money into a supermarket.

There are loads of ideas about how to find and choose British specialities, without paying over the odds on this website.

Lemon curd recipe
I love tarte citron, but thought it was out of my cooking orbit being so French.

But lemon curd is a traditional English condiment (think Little Miss Tuffet eating her curds and wey), and it is surprisingly easy to make. You could even make blackberry curd if you wanted to remove all food miles and a bramble bush is easier to find than a lemon. I adapted a Nigel Slater recipe - just melt butter with sugar over a bain marie (I put some water in a saucepan, got it boiling then removed the lid and put a thick china bowl to rest in the saucepan). Then I squeezed in the juice of one a lemon, and as it was unwaxed grated the rind too. I was quite pleased to use up this lemon as I had no other plans for it. Then beat a fresh egg and pour into the melted sugar/lemon/butter mix. Stir, then beat (with a whisk or fork), for about 10 mins - until you can feel the mix thickening.

From the Observer...Makes 2 small jam jars (or for 1 jar)
zest and juice of 4 unwaxed lemons (or 2 - but I only had one and a half)
200g sugar (100g)
100g butter (100g)
3 eggs and 1 egg yolk (I used one egg, just ignore the egg yolk unless you have one to use up)

Then pour into a clean jar and when it's cool add the lid. It keeps in the fridge well for about three weeks, and is stunning - spread on toast or as a filling for a pastry based tarte citron. I even spead it on filo pastry, rolled it up and cooked as a surprise pudding.

I say surprise meaning my family were impressed when I suggested we could travel with our tastebuds, right now, for Sunday lunch, to France - except that actually lemon pie is really a British dish. Enjoy!

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