When plain water will not do

It seems that someone figured that calling parsnips ‘Hydro cooled’ made them sound a bit sexier than parsnips are normally meant to sound. I wonder how ‘hydro cooled’ is different to water cooled…which, after all is the same thing but not in Ancient Greek.

It’s not like these things just pop into my mind as I walk to the gym (though quite a few other odd things can do…often) but when one spies a cardboard veg box sitting atop a bin, one can’t help but be forced to consider the implications.

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m being facetious because it’s parsnips.

According to Niagri Engineering

“Rapid cooling soon after harvest to remove field heat from produce is essential for obtaining maximum shelf life. Hydro cooling is considered one of the most effective means of cooling a wide range of fruits & vegetables…Niagri Hydrocoolers are manufactured to suit your requirements. They can cool products down to just 2⁰C…Produce is fed into the self-contained tank and the product is submersed in cold water. Water passes over the refrigeration coils to cool as it rains on the produce below. The rain bars help to maintain consistent & even temperatures inside the chamber. The product is then discharged for unloading.” from http://www.niagri.co.uk/

That’s a bit more involved than just a quick wash under the tap. The next time I’m confronted by a menu that features parsnips, I’m going to insist that mine are hydro cooled.

Fresh produce was not the only bit of nature I had to contend with today. While the rest of the house (Mirinda, Fi, Lauren, Andrew, Jason, Emma and Freya) went to Petworth to see the deer and have lunch in a brilliant pub called the Duke of Cumberland, I waited in for the arrival of our Christmas tree.

It turned up not long after lunch and I had a jolly fun time getting it upright and, after a few hours of wrestling, removed the multi-layered packaging.

Tubby 15th-ish

The branches need to settle and drop down a bit and it’s a wee bit crocked but it’ll be ready for dressing tomorrow. To facilitate said dressing, I headed up to the loft for the plastic boxes full of Christmas paraphernalia.

It was then into the kitchen to start preparing dinner. I decided to make the moussaka given this seems to have now become the favourite meal in our house.

There’s a certain artistic satisfaction in preparing a meal over a long period. It’s all a question of having everything ready when you need it. Mind you, I almost fell at the final hurdle when I’d forgotten to grate the cheese while the ‘custard’ was in dire need of stirring. Fortunately, my sous chef (Jason) was on hand to help out with a number of judicial twists of the wooden spoon. This was after he’d set the table for me which included some seriously impressive napkin folding.

Salted aubergine ready for frying

I served the moussaka with ribboned cumin cabbage which I thought worked very well. At least everyone said they enjoyed it. And they ate it all.

Before and after dinner there was a lot of organising going on for tomorrow. Jason wants to meet Preston in London. Not to be too confusing, he’s not meeting IN Preston in London. Preston is a kid he went to school with who is living in Leeds. (The other Preston is in north west London and lies somewhere near Wembley…I think.)

It was finally decided that rather than meet in the middle of London, that Andrew, Jason and possibly Lauren would travel to Kings Cross to meet Preston and his mum. They would then visit something called the London Bridge Experience though it came a sad second to the London Eye which I think Andrew had his heart set on visiting but which turned out to be hideously expensive.

Lauren ummed and ahhed a bit before claiming she’d be up and ready to leave at 08:30. While this was going to be a challenge, we all accepted that it would be fun to watch.

After I allowed Fi to help me clear up, everyone went to bed while I relaxed, watching Nurse Betty for the umpteenth time. A seriously brilliant movie.

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One Response to When plain water will not do

  1. Mum Cook. says:

    Your tree doesn’t look very tall I know it has to drop but not as tall as you have had before. love mum xxxx

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