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04 Aug
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Euro Blogging By Post 1 - The Round-Up.

Euro Blogging By Post
Euro Blogging By Post.
Oh, the stories I have heard. The fun and the mild panic as people fail to find boxes, forget to add baking powder to their signature dish, bravely cope with exploding pesto jars and stay up til one in the morning baking to get their culinary creations out in time! Oh, what fun. Except, perhaps, the exploding pesto.

I received a late night text from Jeanne of Cooksister fame. "Just INHALING your bread!! You crafty devil, saying nothing about being my 'secret Santa'! When I saw it was u I KNEW there would be bread! Thanx so much!"

Ho, Ho, Ho - all part of the surprise. The bread in question (along with a bottle of Beneden Sauce, some locally made white chocolate with raspberries and blackberries and half a dozen honey and ginger biscuits made from local flour, honey and butter) formed my parcel in the Euro Blogging By Post event.

The bread was adapted from a recipe in Waitrose Seasons magazine - Proscuitto and Artichoke Schiacciata. Recipe follows but I decreased heavily the amount of dried mushrooms in the recipe and actually forgot to top the bread with olives! It is great served with a simple tomato and basil salad, recommended cold but I prefer it warm. Served with a bottle of Pirie Pinot Noir from Tasmania (tasting note to follow) this was a superb Summer Evenings dinner.

Meanwhile Nathalie is having great fun with cook books and cherries and making her recipient (which just happens to be me) a cherry cheesecake! Yipeee!! It hasn't arrived yet... I cant wait.

Zabeena over at A Lot On My Plate is having great fun with a pile of boxes and what looks like an excessive amount of string. And then we have Pille at Nami-Nami, who has a superb looking package from Passionate Cook. Johanna has prepared a great array including a jar of pesto, cantucci and a jar of fragolaceto. No, I had never heard of it either!

Pertelot's Gift to A Cat In The Kitchen
Pertelot's Gift.
Today (Thursday) Dagmar of A Cat In The Kitchen expresses delight at the parcel she received from Jenni of Pertelote. Nice that food bloggers are discovering other writers they have never stumbled across before and great too that they are so generous! Jenni stuffed some homemade vegan cookies in her parcel plus ingredients and the recipe, oh, and dried strawberries and a little book - The Etiquette of English Puddings! Superb - contents as shown in the image.

Friday Update: Zabeena and family give a hearty thumbs up to their parcel from Moria of Who wants Seconds whose generous package contained "sensational" cookies amongst syrup and other culinary delights.

Saturday Update: The Thorngrove Table surpasses herself in sending Celia at English Patis a feast - homemade lemon curd, Gelee de Shiraz (both with Thorngrove labels!), Gentleman's Relish - all of which Celia has seen but never tried. Success there then! Later Jenni emailed me to say her Cheese-Rye Bread-Chutney combo arrived at Pertelote Head Office but didn't last very long! Zabeena fulfilled the brief by making the Chutney from home-grown apples.

More write-ups to follow, I hope, as the remaining parcels arrive and everyone blogs about the delights they receive.

Cheese and Coffee Package
Cheese and Coffee Pack
Monday Update: Think I may be the last to receive my parcel - but, by 'eck sonny, it was worth the wait! Nathalie of Cabbages and Kings supplied a pack of "The Best Coffee Ever" (which is brewing as I type), a lovely looking Cherry and Goats Cheese Cheesecake (never met, but she knows me sooo well!) and two cheeses - St. James (a soft cheep's cheese made by Martin Gott near Bath winner of the best unpastereurised cheese 2005) and St. Gall (Irish cow's cheese made to an Emmentaler recipe). Wow!

Tuesday Update: Moira at Who Wants Seconds received her parcel from Pille - but worryingly they both seem to be taking an unhealthy interest in wooden spoons. They must be really keen cooks or something...

Friday Update: All the packages have arrived I believed. Not everyone has yet had a chance to post about their 'surprises' but Anne has. I am worried about Anne. She has succumbed to the bloggers fetish of writing about cats - and Celia is not helping this affliction by sending a Field Guide to Cat Butts! I kid you not. She did unwrap some jealously-inducing oatmeal cookies, massaman curry paste and a bottle of cherry brandy though, so there may yet be hope and salvation! Tania has also received her parcel today. There appears to be a South African theme to this one... which means it can only have come from... fanfare... Cooksister who has been throwing biltong, bobotie spices and Wilson's toffees around with wild abandon. So careless...

Sunday Update: I think we are nearly done with the write-ups now as Chocolate and Zucchini posts about her parcel from Sweden. Sweets apparently. And Plopp (yep, thats me rolling on the floor larfing). Amongst a wonderfully inventive selection there is Jungle Howl (Djungelvrål) which, being salty licorice sounds just totally bloody awful!

Prosciutto and Artichoke Schiacciata
This is what it SHOULD look like!

Proscuitto and Artichoke Schiacciata
  • 40g Dried Forest Mushrooms (I used dried Porcini and a lot less than 40g)
  • 350g Very Strong Canadian White Flour (I used a flour from the local Wessex Mill)
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated
  • 3 tbsp White Truffle Oil
  • 2 70g packs Proscuitto Crudo Affumicato (I only used one pack but should have used two)
  • 180g Artichoke Hearts (Again I used about half this amount)
  • 125g Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 pitted black olives (which I forgot)

Rehydrate the mushrooms in boiling water for twenty minutes. Drain well and roughly chop. Place flour, yeast, Parmigiano Reggiano, mushrooms and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowel. Add truffle oil and 200ml hand-hot water (I used half the mushroom water made up to 200ml with water). Mix to a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for an hour until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 200C/Gas6. Lightly oil the base and sides of a 23cm round spring-form tin. Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece to a 23cm round. Place 1 round in the tin, pressing to fit. Scatter over half the prosciutto and half the artichokes. Place the second layer of dough on top.

Pierce the dough all over with a fork and scatter the remaining prosciutto and artichokes over the top. Dot with teaspoonfuls of ricotta and scatter with olives. Drizzle with some artichoke oil and season generously with black pepper. Cover and leave in a warm place for half an hour.

Bake for 40 minutes or until dough is risen and golden.

Euro Blogging By Post Map

02 Aug
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EBBM1 - they are starting to arrive!

Package at the Post Office
Package Away!
Have you got yours yet? The Euro food parcels are starting to arrive - Pille just unwrapped hers and Celia says "yum yum yum" over hers! I am falling behind; I can't find a box big enough.

UPDTAE: Package posted. Grief, I do hope xxxxxx likes it. And yes the picture is my parcel on the Post Office Counter. Full round-up to follow.

31 Jul
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EBBP1 - And we are off!

Euro Blogging By Post
Euro Blogging By Post.
This is so exciting - 14 bloggers from 5 different countries (England, Scotland, Sweden, France and the Netherlands) are this weekend baking, making and packing little food parcels for dispatch to another blogger. Each participant was only told yesterday where to send their parcel but they do not know who is sending one to them in return. I cant wait to see what every one produces. It sounds like most are being exceptionally generous and joining in with such enthusiasm and gusto.

So a different week and a different logo - I hated that ginger bread man - so smug and so naff - and a slight change of name too. This little blog happening is now officially EBBP - Euro Blogging By Post. Put the weekend of the 24th September in your diary for EBBP2.

UPDATE: Pity EBBP also stands for Elizabeth Brady Bypass Proposal :-)