New recipes

Discovering the Treasure at London's SeeWoo

Discovering the Treasure at London's SeeWoo

Do you love nothing better than going to a Chinese restaurant, or cooking your own Vietnamese dishes at home? Are you always keen to discover authentic Thai recipes? Simply put, do you have a passion for Asian cuisine? If so, SeeWoo, the “Oriental food specialist,” is the shop for you.

If you have had a chance to pop into SeeWoo then you already know that, with its plethora of goods, it is one of the most versatile supermarkets you will ever visit. They carry over 8,000 exotic products to choose from. You can buy Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Thai, and Vietnamese food from SeeWoo. There are three locations in the UK—in London’s Chinatown, Glasgow, and Greenwich.

So what can you expect? The Greenwich SeeWoo is huge, but it’s organized well so it is fairly easy to find your way around. However, with so much to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming at times, so a shopping list may come in handy.

Interestingly, SeeWoo has been operative for 40 years, a fact which reflects its ability to change with the times whilst remaining unique. Where else can you find live lobster, pak choi, cream cheese, red bean dorayaki pancake, jasmine tea, Brazilian papaya, and fortune cookies all under the same roof? If you feel like making your own sushi, or creating your own authentic Chinese takeaway, you will find all the ingredients that you need. There is also the possibility of purchasing other culinary products such as cooking utensils, pretty crockery, and even festive decorations. The variety is really outstanding.

The nicest thing about SeeWoo is the amazing value. For example, you can purchase a family-sized soy sauce or sweet chilli sauce, a large pack of green tea or jasmine tea, or a pack of king prawn spring rolls for a fraction of the price you would normally pay elsewhere.

If you are a SeeWoo novice, you will be amazed at what you can find, and the price at which you can find it. All in all, you will not be disappointed if you visit today!


Discovering the unexpected benefits of veganism

When I first began to consider veganism, I didn’t think much further than the fact that I wanted to stop supporting industries which are cruel to animals. I don’t remember predicting any benefits that I, personally, would expect to get from the lifestyle - instead I thought that it would involve countless awkward conversations, tasteless food and martyrdom. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Here are three unexpected benefits which I have found as a direct result of going vegan.

1) Self belief

Veganism is now natural and easy for me, but getting to that stage involved getting through some trickier weeks. Making it through that time, and learning how to adapt along the way, showed me that I’m capable of more than I thought. When other people find out I’m vegan, so many of them respond with "I couldn’t do that". For a long time, that was the way I thought too. Personal change is possible, which means that wider change is too.

Holding my own in conversations with people who aren’t open to vegan ideas, as well having the confidence to close down conversations which aren’t going anywhere, has shown me a lot about myself. Gradually learning to stop being apologetic about my choices has been empowering too. It’s so easy to preface a restaurant order with "sorry to be so awkward", but that just makes others think you’re less secure in your choices than you really are.

2) Enjoying food more

I have an uncle who likes to point at nearby objects (like cardboard or furniture) and say "That probably tastes better than your food!" It was sort of funny the first time. I get it though - I’m also guilty of having absorbed stereotypical views of vegan food in the past.

But again, once I got through those initial "aargh what can lunch be" few weeks, a whole new world of food opened up to me. Each day brought a new question which I needed to address creatively – is it possible to make these chocolate brownies without egg? Can I make a vegan stir-fry in fifteen minutes? How do I make this curry creamy? (Answers: yes yes coconut cream!)

And the best news – I can still enjoy all my old favourites. I still eat chocolate, sweets, doughnuts, ice cream, and if I want I know where I can buy all of those things without making them myself (UK dwellers, check out this blog and this one if you want to know too!). But the fact that at times it can be a bit more of a treasure hunt means that I value these kinds of foods more than I ever did before. And finding out about these new and exciting treats is actually really fun!

3) Connection to other animals

Prior to going vegan, I had always thought of myself as a ‘cat person’. We’ve never had a dog as part of the household, and I didn’t feel particularly close to them. When visiting friends with dogs I felt like I didn’t know how to interact with them. I wasn’t a fan of them jumping up, the slobber, the smelly hands.

That all changed quite quickly. I’ve long ago abandoned the ‘cat person’ label. Now I treasure all interactions I have with different species. Any such instance is a highlight of my day, whether it’s saying hello to a pony while on a walk (I live in the countryside, if you couldn’t tell), or meeting a new dog, even if I get smelly hands and fluffy jeans. I feel connection to each animal I see, now that veganism has helped me to see them as they really are - equals.

I didn’t know veganism would be a pathway towards a happier, more creative, more fulfilling way of living. Those first few tricky weeks were the time in which I learned the most about the vegan lifestyle and how I could make it work. If you’re on the brink of choosing a vegan lifestyle then embrace that learning curve the repercussions of choosing veganism are further-reaching than you would ever expect.

If you or someone you know wishes to experience these unexpected benefits too, you can ease into veganism with our 30 Day Vegan Pledge sign up here for daily support, information and advice.


Discovering the Treasure at London's SeeWoo - Recipes

There are whispered stories of great men of Naples’ history who have solved the ultimate mystery - the recipe for eternal life. Follow in their footsteps and see if you too have what it takes to unlock the secrets of immortality.

  • Walk around discovering interesting buildings, monuments and historical details
  • Solve puzzles while exploring with your friends
  • Learn true stories from the city's history

Sign up to our newsletter below to be kept up to date with the launch of our first Naples game!


Family Learning: 101 Surprising Ideas Inspired by Art

An exciting and engaging course full of ideas for adults and children. Created during the quarantine by our expert educators, this course provides you with many hours of activities and research that will inspire at every age to bring children and grown-ups together through play and learning.

Family Learning: 101 Surprising Ideas Inspired by Art

A course designed for adults and children Family Learning contains five themed modules, each with nine chapters overflowing with ideas for research, stories, craft, cooking, videos from around the world and, of course, art history, all giving you many hours of inspired activities. Led by expert-educator Jacqui Ansell, the course focuses on building skills and knowledge through research and play. It is centred around intergenerational learning, with adults and children learning together, and from one another.

The course will encourage you to explore curriculum subjects such as biology, creative writing, drama, design, English literature, French, geography, history, computing and more. Designed for those working with children (either in a professional or personal capacity) the activities and ideas will also appeal to adults wishing to hone analytical and artistic skills. You don&rsquot even have to be artistic to enjoy taking part, because the course contains activities that are tailored to many diverse ways of learning such as:

  • At home with children in search of ideas for entertainment and education.
  • Away from younger relatives and wanting ways to connect with them remotely.
  • For adults looking to develop your own art either therapeutically or for business use.
  • For teachers, storytellers or museum educators looking to use this course as professional development and inspiration for future ideas and practice.

Taking as a starting point Henri Rousseau&rsquos famous painting Surprised! Tiger in a Tropical Storm, the course models an approach to apply to other artworks. It pursues innumerable paths of enquiry, focusing on knowledge and skills building. Learning together, and from one another, means that this course breaks through boundaries between subjects: a food-making activity includes craft, art, nutrition, numeracy and literacy a close look at subject matter brings you to mathematics and genetics. Learning at home enables you to carve out your own timetable and curriculum and encourages you to be creative and adaptable: key skills in the current climate.

This course gives you the flexibility to engage with it whenever you like, in a way that suits your time and resources best. There is no requirement for prior knowledge.

This course is self-directed. Students will have 12 Months from registration to complete the course.

This course contains video but is not video-led.

Request for Information

Image: Henry Rousseau, Surprised! Tiger in a Tropical Storm, This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighbouring rights.

Writer's Statement

As a writer and tutor for distance-learning courses for over twenty years now, it is very gratifying to see how a mutual love of learning can bring people together.

As well as specialising in tutoring adults (to post-graduate level) I have a keen interest in intergenerational learning, and through my work as a gallery educator (at the National Gallery, London, and at other major London art galleries) I have devised innumerable learning programmes. I have therefore seen at first-hand how discussing art can get people of all ages and interests connecting more deeply with one another through sharing skills, achievements and ideas. With this in mind, I have developed, alongside the whole Christie's Education Online Courses team, this brand new course (and concept). It is designed to allow adults and children to learn together.

It takes as its starting point a single painting by Henri Rousseau Surprised! Tiger in a Tropical Storm. From this source originates many varied streams of enquiry and cross-curricular activities that take in Art History, Biology, Craft, Design, English literature, English language, French, Geography, History – even Mathematics. You could say that we cover an 'A-Z' of subject matter (from 'Art to Zoology').

Life skills such as cooking are developed with ideas for Tasty Treats and Nutritious and Delicious meals. We provide 10 unique and downloadable recipe cards to keep, and multiple art and craft makes with illustrated step-by-step instructions. We even include games to play to build vocabulary and enhance mental agility.

Family Learning was created by a team working closely together yet far apart. It contains all my passion for art history, and an explosion of inspiring ideas born of a single painting. I hope that you enjoy it.

Jacqui Ansell,
Writer of Family Learning, 101 Surprising Ideas Inspired by Art
Senior Lecturer and Online Tutor

Outcomes

  • Create quality time and connections with your family. Activities are included for all ages, whether present or remote.
  • Create some quality time for yourself to unlock your creativity and enjoy art as a therapy.
  • Create time to work while children occupy themselves with high quality learning.
  • Build resourcefulness for life, with the additional resources and ideas provided within the course.

Course Content

  • Art history lessons
  • Cross-curricular lessons
  • 10 delicious and nutritious food ideas with PDF recipes to download and keep
  • Craft ideas to turn trash into treasure
  • Quizzes
  • Storytelling and drama
  • Research projects
  • Physical activities
  • Memory and word games

Course Schedule

Section One: Discovering the Painting &ndash Surprised!

Section Two: Discovering the Artist &ndash Henri Rousseau

Section Three: Rumble in the Jungle &ndash Nature, ecology and storytelling

Section Four: Fearful Symmetry &ndash Literature and mathematics

Section Five: Exploring Emotions &ndash Understanding emotion through art and anatomy

Conclusion: Quiz, Achievements and Applying your Approach

Sections each contain nine modules:

  • Opening Ideas. Facts and learning on the section&rsquos theme
  • Paths to Explore. Guided research challenges
  • Delicious and Nutritious. Healthy themed cooking
  • Tasty Treat: Sweet themed cooking
  • Ones to Watch: videos
  • Sharing Story: Films and animations from around the world
  • Creative Craft: Activities to design and make

Additional Information

The course provides tens of hours of activities, lessons and research projects. This self-directed course will be open for 12 weeks after enrollment. You will be enrolled within one working day after registration.

Disclaimer
This course contains craft and cooking activities that involve sharp objects and heat. Children should always be closely supervised by an adult when taking part in these activities.
This course includes links to external websites and videos. These links have been selected because they are relevant to the content of the course. External links are selected and reviewed when the course is published, but Christie&rsquos Education is not responsible for the content of external websites. Links should not be understood as an endorsement.

Technical Requirements
The course is facilitated through an online learning environment that is compatible with most modern browsers. It is the responsibility of students to have the proper hardware and software required to participate, along with access to Wifi. The basic technical requirements can be found in the FAQs.

Terms and Conditions
Please ensure you read carefully through our terms and conditions before enrolling on a course.

This course is available in English

Self-directed course with 12 Months access Begin your studies within one working day of registration and payment


8. Fortify Smithing

Put other blacksmiths out of business with your skills.

If you’re looking to upgrade a special piece of armor for yourself, using potions of Fortify Smithing can make those pieces even better. Using these potions to your advantage while leveling your smithing skill is too good to pass up.

Recipe: Sabre Cat Tooth + Spriggan Sap

Why Fortify Smithing is great:

  • Improve weapons and armor even better with your temporary skill increase
  • Use these potions to upgrade your armor better than you would be able to with a lower smithing skill
  • Other ingredients that can be used in these potions with similar effects: Blisterwort and Glowing Mushroom
  • Percentage of skill increase is determined by your alchemy skill and relevant perks

A Brief History of the Smithsonian

Though it may not be immediately obvious, the Smithsonian Institution is an extension of the U.S. government with congressional members sitting on its Board of Regents. It was initially founded as “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men,” at the endowment of philanthropist, chemist, and mineralogist James Smithson.

And while it’s not a regulatory agency, it is so intrinsically tied to government that it claims immunity from state and local regulations, as well as immunity from lawsuits unless authorized by Congress.

The Smithsonian was established in 1846, and was tasked with the mission of organizing the anthropological history of the United States. It is sometimes referred to as “the nation’s attic,” as it has amassed somewhere in the range of 154 million items between its myriad museums, research centers, and various facilities.

But with phrases like “diffusing knowledge,” coming from a government agency that’s been influencing the course of history since the Eurocentric days of manifest destiny, one might be skeptical about what kind of knowledge was spread and which powers it served.

Richard Dewhurst, author of The Ancient Giants Who Ruled America, points to a man named John Wesley Powell, the U.S. Director of Ethnology in 1879 who ran the Smithsonian in its nascent years. In his research, Dewhurst uncovered what he refers to as the Powell Doctrine – a paper issued on behalf of the Smithsonian, which issued a decree that no anthropological research should consider any talk of lost tribes henceforth, while also describing natives as uncultured, savage, and lacking signs of higher intellect.

“Hence it will be seen that it is illegitimate to use any pictographic matter of a date anterior to the discovery of the continent by Columbus for historic purposes,” Powell wrote.

It’s unclear whether this was Powell’s decision or if it came from instructions on high, however Dewhurst believes its clear manifest destiny tone led to the subsequent Smithsonian cover up of an ancient race of giants who preceded Native Americans.


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Learn today's words and phrases: restoring, varnish, painstaking, stroke

Prince Harry: Proud father

Episode 190508 / 08 May 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: well-wishers, settling into, delight, to die for, over the moon

Using cow waste to fight climate change

Episode 190501 / 01 May 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: erosion, degradation, dung, pasture, depleted

Meet Britain's first trainee guide pony

Episode 190424 / 24 Apr 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: hack it, coping, take it in his stride, naysayer

Harry Potter: Wizard banking!

Episode 190417 / 17 Apr 2019

Learn today's words: treasures, currency, vault, profits, turnover

The popularity of raw milk

Episode 190410 / 10 Apr 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: dairy farmer, raw milk, pasteurised, teat

The woman who feels no pain

Episode 190403 / 03 Apr 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: pain sensitivity, response to pain, pain thresholds, chronic pain

Robot grocery deliveries

Episode 190327 / 27 Mar 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: convenience, handed over, the order is placed, on its way, tampered with

Tackling food waste and obesity

Episode 190320 / 20 Mar 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: leftover, piling up, stale, culinary, loading up

Electrifying Africa

Episode 190313 / 13 Mar 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: sustainability, convert, surplus, small-scale, solar system,

Why are we ticklish?

Episode 190306 / 06 Mar 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: tickling sensation, nerve endings, electrical signals, defence mechanism

Maya Bay: Saving paradise

Episode 190227 / 27 Feb 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: landscape, tourists, tourist attraction, to dock, preservation

The harpoon that clears space junk

Episode 190220 / 20 Feb 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: mission, space station, satellite, orbit, celestial

3D printing human anatomy

Episode 190213 / 13 Feb 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: anatomy, organs, abdomen, cadavers

The changing sound of whale song

Episode 190206 / 06 Feb 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: tunes, singing from the same song sheet, embellishments, start from scratch, musical repertoire

The recycled-goods shopping mall

Episode 190130 / 30 Jan 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: second-hand, upcycled, broken-down, handmade, worn-out

Bollywood bridal wear

Episode 190123 / 23 Jan 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: luxury, in demand, swanky, off-the-rack, glamour

Frozen in time: Inside London's ice well

Episode 190116 / 16 Jan 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: supplying, sourced locally, imported, distributed, commercial

Is screen use really bad for kids?

Episode 190109 / 09 Jan 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: digital entertainment, toxic, sedentary occupation, keep you up at night, screen time limits

Taking a look at eye yoga

Episode 190102 / 02 Jan 2019

Learn today's words and phrases: eye strain, short-sighted, long-sighted, anatomically

Clothing and the environment

Episode 181226 / 26 Dec 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: junked, scrapped, incinerated, sustainable, throwing away

South Korea's gaming addiction

Episode 181219 / 19 Dec 2018

Today's words and phrases: psychiatrists, mental well-being, inclusion, express feelings, stigma

Using Buddy Benches to improve mental health

Episode 181212 / 12 Dec 2018

Today's words and phrases: psychiatrists, mental well-being, inclusion, express feelings, stigma

Underwater sound pollution

Episode 181205 / 05 Dec 2018

Today's words and phrases: listening in on something, picking up sounds, ruptured, eardrum, swamping

Moving London's dead

Episode 181128 / 28 Nov 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: cemeteries, final resting place, interred, morgue, consecrated ground

The effects of pollution on London's schoolchildren

Episode 181121 / 21 Nov 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: asthma, stunted lung capacity, exposure, particles, low emission

First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 years

Episode 181114 / 14 Nov 2018

Today's words and phrases: ground-breaking, devised, to get recognised, in the field

Train of the future

Episode 181107 / 07 Nov 2018

Learn today's words: diesel, electrification, hydrogen, coal, battery-powered

Dogs could help detect malaria

Episode 181031 / 31 Oct 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: four-legged friends, on the scent, pooches, sniff out something/someone

Laboratory-grown meat

Episode 181024 / 24 Oct 2018

Learn today's word and its different forms: tasty, tastes, taste

Cookery classes for elderly men

Episode 181017 / 17 Oct 2018

Today's words and phrases: look after (somebody), carer, relied on, take a weight off (somebody's) shoulders

New hope for brain cancer patients

Episode 181010 / 10 Oct 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: vaccine, treatment, tumour, immune system, cells

Zimbabwe's female rangers

Episode 181003 / 03 Oct 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: gruelling, a big ask, break, state financial assistance, blighted

Stonehenge wants your photos

Episode 180926 / 26 Sep 2018

Today's words and phrases: vividly, nostalgia, personalise, digital photo album

19 September 2018

Episode 180919 / 19 Sep 2018

Today's words and phrases: incarnations, iconic version, rear-engine model, archaic, outmoded

12 September 2018

Episode 180912 / 12 Sep 2018

Today's words and phrases: pensioners, contemplating life, loneliness, disability, carers

Gaspard the friendly fox

Episode 180905 / 05 Sep 2018

Today's words and phrases: unlikeliest of friendships, blossoming, befriended, become familiar with, trusting

Cambodia's tuk-tuk rivals

Episode 180829 / 29 Aug 2018

Today's words and phrases: cyclos, tuk-tuk, auto-rickshaw, ride-hailing, carriages

The secret recipe of ancient mummification

Episode 180822 / 22 Aug 2018

Today's words and phrases: preserved, embalming, antibacterial, prevent something from decaying, intact

The AI that spots eye disease

Episode 180815 / 15 Aug 2018

Today's words and phrases: on the brink of, jaw-dropping, gasp, game changer, the advent of

Strandbeests - Theo Jansen's mechanical artworks

Episode 180808 / 08 Aug 2018

Today's words and phrases: engineer, powered by, trial and error, mechanical, robust design

Child announcer on London Underground

Episode 180801 / 01 Aug 2018

Today's words and phrases: safety, take care, handrail, injured, takes notice

25 July 2018

Episode 180725 / 25 Jul 2018

Today's words and phrases: exploring, tracked, identify, monitored, carry out

18 July 2018

Episode 180718 / 18 Jul 2018

Today's words and phrases: smoulder, wildfires, smoky, plume, drifting

11 July 2018

Episode 180711 / 11 Jul 2018

Today's words and phrases: freshest, going green, pesticides, harvested, horticulture

4 July 2018

Episode 180704 / 04 Jul 2018

Today's words and phrases: flypasts, the RAF, air traffic centre, airspace, aircraft

27 June 2018

Episode 180627 / 27 Jun 2018

Today's words and phrases: passion, motivation, collective achievement, inspiration

20 June 2018

Episode 180620 / 20 Jun 2018

Today's words and phrases: critically endangered, wiped out, rearing (something) in captivity, sanctuary

13 June 2018

Episode 180613 / 13 Jun 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: pristine, microplastics, airborne, contaminated

6 June 2018

Episode 180606 / 06 Jun 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: accurate record, keep tabs on, adjust, catalogue

30 May 2018

Episode 180530 / 30 May 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: dolphinariums, in captivity, human-animal bonds, in the wild

23 May 2018

Episode 180523 / 23 May 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: put through their paces, dieticians, getting fit, leaner, burning calories

16 May 2018

Episode 180516 / 16 May 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: whirlwind romance, tying the knot, blind date, fell in love, engagement

9 May 2018

Episode 180509 / 09 May 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: a labour of love, stripped back, bare metal, painstaking refurbishment, architectural brilliance

2 May 2018

Episode 180502 / 02 May 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: lifeblood, sustenance, make a living, way of life, in the doldrums

25 April 2018

Episode 180425 / 25 Apr 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: rate, analysed, dataset, on average

18 April 2018

Episode 180418 / 18 Apr 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: depressed, open up, comfort, counsellor, therapist

11 April 2018

Episode 180411 / 11 Apr 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: eats away, chip, swishing, acidic, erode

4 April 2018

Episode 180404 / 04 Apr 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: stale bread, leftover, niche, raising awareness

28 March 2018

Episode 180328 / 28 Mar 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: sugar tax, half the price, revenue-raising measure, policies, fall in consumption

21 March 2018

Episode 180321 / 21 Mar 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: shake up, giving it a shot, a viable alternative, pie in the sky

14 March 2018

Episode 180314 / 14 Mar 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: chunks, flying buttress, brace, Gothic masonry, crumbles

7 March 2018

Episode 180307 / 07 Mar 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: litter, versatile, to hammer home, new lease of life, eye-catching

28 February 2018

Episode 180228 / 28 Feb 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: vital signs, monitor (their) progress, speed (her) recovery, medical team, heart rate

21 February 2018

Episode 180221 / 21 Feb 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: pilot scheme, gain traction, draw inspiration (from), government guidelines, champion

14 February 2018

Episode 180214 / 14 Feb 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: jobseeker, contract, short-term, candidates, the competition

7 February 2018

Episode 180207 / 07 Feb 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: exporting, generate, diversify, funding, mainstay

31 January 2018

Episode 180131 / 31 Jan 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: glimpse, hurtling, miles an hour, test track, cut the journey

24 January 2018

Episode 180124 / 24 Jan 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: glacial ice, icy seas, frigid ice, wall of life, unique ecosystem

17 January 2018

Episode 180117 / 17 Jan 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: sanctuary, rescue centre, rehab, recuperation

10 January 2018

Episode 180110 / 10 Jan 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: robot, artificial intelligence, driverless cars, autonomous cab

3 January 2018

Episode 180103 / 03 Jan 2018

Learn today's words and phrases: stacking, stock, displays, promotions, running

27 December 2017

Episode 171227 / 27 Dec 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: genetic defeat, clot, bleeding, blood clotting proteins, Factor Eight

20 December 2017

Episode 171220 / 20 Dec 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: faint-hearted, steep, gradient, weak at the knees, descent

13 December 2017

Episode 171213 / 13 Dec 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: hearing impairment, stimulate, hearing acuity, discriminate

6 December 2017

Episode 171206 / 06 Dec 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: creatures, thrive, ecology, species, food web

29 November 2017

Episode 171129 / 29 Nov 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: towers above, active, peak, eruption, lava

22 November 2017

Episode 171122 / 22 Nov 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: sell-by date, discarded, overproduction, surplus, landfill

15 November 2017

Episode 171115 / 15 Nov 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: tombs, civilisations, ancient wonders, treasure, centuries-old heritage

8 November 2017

Episode 171108 / 08 Nov 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: species, DNA, genetic comparisons, evolutionary history, breakthrough

1 November 2017

Episode 171101 / 01 Nov 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: biological clock, open-heart surgery, complications, high-risk patients, medicine

25 October 2017

Episode 171025 / 25 Oct 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: resistant, antibiotics, transmitted, prophylaxis, disinfect

18 October 2017

Episode 171018 / 18 Oct 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: sinister, threatening, in distress, do more harm than good

11 October 2017

Episode 171011 / 11 Oct 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: dumped, collections, sustainable materials, break down, micro level

4 October 2017

Episode 171004 / 04 Oct 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: desertification, erode, humidity, drought-resistant, planting

27 September 2017

Episode 170927 / 27 Sep 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: get connected, chip, tracked, tagging, smarter

20 September 2017

Episode 170920 / 20 Sep 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: a comeback, brought back from the dead, breeding programme, staging its return, released back into the wild

13 September 2017

Episode 170913 / 13 Sep 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: therapist, anxiety, depression, therapeutic quality, stimulating

6 September 2017

Episode 170906 / 06 Sep 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: Saturn, ring system, aurora, probe, atmosphere

30 August 2017

Episode 170830 / 30 Aug 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: penetrate, ponder, notorious, blanket ban

23 August 2017

Episode 170823 / 23 Aug 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: outraged, inspired by fiction, crowned, podiatrist

16 August 2017

Episode 170816 / 16 Aug 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: impunity, uncharted, keep up with the Joneses, child's play

9 August 2017

Episode 170809 / 09 Aug 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: elective, forsaking, fairly and squarely, top dog

26 July 2017

Episode 170726 / 26 Jul 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: segregated, front-runner, vehicles, internal combustion engine

19 July 2017

Episode 170719 / 19 Jul 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: breadwinner, habitat, drastically

12 July 2017

Episode 170712 / 12 Jul 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: vicious cycle, vices, welfare

5 July

Episode 170705 / 05 Jul 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: cap, stood down, remains

28 June

Episode 170628 / 28 Jun 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: brainpower, humorously, crowd-pleaser

21 June

Episode 170621 / 21 Jun 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: immune system, buzz, mammals

14 June

Episode 170614 / 14 Jun 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: set off, the wild, volunteers

7 June 2017

Episode 170607 / 07 Jun 2017

Learn today's words and phrases:

31 May 2017

Episode 170531 / 31 May 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: bacteria, hub, turn their lives around

24 May 2017

Episode 170524 / 24 May 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: grieving, overdrive, coordinated

17 May 2017

Episode 170517 / 17 May 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: myth, smuggle, has a knack for

10 May 2017

Episode 170510 / 10 May 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: condition, draw, is down to

3 May 2017

Episode 170503 / 03 May 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: trawled through, persuaded, obsession

26 April 2017

Episode 170426 / 26 Apr 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: solar power, remarkable, sanctuary

19 April 2017

Episode 170419 / 19 Apr 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: tunnelling, put a spin on, camaraderie

12 April 2017

Episode 170412 / 12 Apr 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: side-effects, green businesses, backstory

5 April 2017

Episode 170405 / 05 Apr 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: scarce, crammed, plight

29 March 2017

Episode 170329 / 29 Mar 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: triggered, unpick, unfolding, hologram

22 March 2017

Episode 170322 / 22 Mar 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: underway, stands out, making history

15 March 2017

Episode 170315 / 15 Mar 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: besieged, salvo, turnaround, upstaged

8 March 2017

Episode 170308 / 08 Mar 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: steeped in, emissions, far-fetched

1 March 2017

Episode 170301 / 01 Mar 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: upside, catching their breath, dexterity

22 February 2017

Episode 170222 / 22 Feb 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: visually impaired, engineered, heading out

15 February 2017

Episode 170215 / 15 Feb 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: fall from grace, rip-off goods, a range of

8 February 2017

Episode 170208 / 08 Feb 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: relics, comprehensive, sorted

1 February 2017

Episode 170201 / 01 Feb 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: outrageous, looking into, hermit

25 January 2017

Episode 170125 / 25 Jan 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: premature, wholesome, obesity

18 January 2017

Episode 170118 / 18 Jan 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: predominantly, devastating, cited, controversial

11 January 2017

Episode 170111 / 11 Jan 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: seedy, urban areas, cubs

4 January 2017

Episode 170104 / 04 Jan 2017

Learn today's words and phrases: mock-up, social isolation, daredevils

28 December 2016

Episode 161228 / 28 Dec 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: pioneering, safe haven, distracted

21 December 2016

Episode 161221 / 21 Dec 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: cabin feverish, harness, holographic, companion

14 December 2016

Episode 161214 / 14 Dec 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: a testament, lived rough, sanctuaries, urban oasis

7 December 2016

Episode 161207 / 07 Dec 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: in labour, keeping up, up close

30 November 2016

Episode 161130 / 30 Nov 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: mourning, cathartic release, prognosis, advance

23 November 2016

Episode 161123 / 23 Nov 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: evade tax, traces, solving

16 November 2016

Episode 161116 / 16 Nov 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: evade tax, traces, solving

9 November 2016

Episode 161109 / 09 Nov 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: storm, shattering the dreams, makeshift, inspired

2 November 2016

Episode 161102 / 02 Nov 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: airlifted, side effects, released

26 October 2016

Episode 161026 / 26 Oct 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: given the green light, severity, charity

19 October 2016

Episode 161019 / 19 Oct 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: classified, deficiency, vessel

12 October 2016

Episode 161012 / 12 Oct 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: destabilise, appetite, limiting the damage, nudge

5 October 2016

Episode 161005 / 05 Oct 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: inability, deadline, stigma, auctioned

28 September 2016

Episode 160928 / 28 Sep 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: forging, injuries, novel

21 September 2016

Episode 160921 / 21 Sep 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: potential, saddened, sensation

14 September 2016

Episode 160914 / 14 Sep 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: address, leaked, cracked

7 September 2016

Episode 160907 / 07 Sep 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: outbreaks, passed away, spotted

31 August 2016

Episode 160831 / 31 Aug 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: marine reserve, orbiting, mourning

24 August 2016

Episode 160824 / 24 Aug 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: peer, underestimated, put down to

17 August 2016

Episode 160817 / 17 Aug 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: medal tally, feeds on, cheating

10 August 2016

Episode 160810 / 10 Aug 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: wondering, to log, stylish, unveiled

3 August 2016

Episode 160803 / 03 Aug 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: questioned, remotely, insight

27 July 2016

Episode 160727 / 27 Jul 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: breaking through, eluded, blazes, prematurely

20 July 2016

Episode 160720 / 20 Jul 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: candidate, damning, trend

13 July 2016

Episode 160713 / 13 Jul 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: pressing, scene, malnutrition, so-called

6 July 2016

Episode 160706 / 06 Jul 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: on such a scale, judgement, on record, loggers

29 June 2016

Episode 160629 / 29 Jun 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: propaganda, urged, distinguished

22 June 2016

Episode 160622 / 22 Jun 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: cracks down, merciless, infrastructure, think tank

15 June 2016

Episode 160615 / 15 Jun 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: on high alert, paddling, range

8 June 2016

Episode 160608 / 08 Jun 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: to contest, victimised, swells

1 June 2016

Episode 160601 / 01 Jun 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: bitter stand-off, the heart of, thriving

25 May 2016

Episode 160525 / 25 May 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: bailout funds, samples, collaborative

18 May 2016

Episode 160518 / 18 May 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: missing, submerged, rapturous

11 May 2016

Episode 160511 / 11 May 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: highly symbolic, obliterated, inflicted, exoplanets

4 May 2016

Episode 160504 / 04 May 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: presumptive, inappropriately, long-standing

27 April 2016

Episode 160427 / 27 Apr 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: catastrophically, fall silent, scaffolding, glimpse, delivery

20 April 2016

Episode 160420 / 20 Apr 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: to date, precious, valuable

13 April 2016

Episode 160413 / 13 Apr 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: ambitious, exceptional, triumph, the height of, winning hearts

6 April 2016

Episode 160406 / 06 Apr 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: prominent, prompted, honoured

30 March 2016

Episode 160330 / 30 Mar 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: driverless, choking, toxic, abundance, predominantly

23 March 2016

Episode 160323 / 23 Mar 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: mourning, odious, abnormally, unrealistic

16 March 2016

Episode 160316 / 16 Mar 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: triggered, remarkable, outrage

9 March 2016

Episode 160309 / 09 Mar 2016

Learn today's words: violate, solar eclipse, influential, accomplishments

2 March 2016

Episode 160302 / 02 Mar 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: dominated, warning, manned

24 February 2016

Episode 160224 / 24 Feb 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: have come out, recalling, caesarean

17 February 2016

Episode 160217 / 17 Feb 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: restoring, seized, went under the knife

10 February 2016

Episode 160210 / 10 Feb 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: outsider, refurbishing, adapting

3 February 2016

Episode 160203 / 03 Feb 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: hailed, hampering, backlog, prediction

27 January 2016

Episode 160127 / 27 Jan 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: crossing, sporadic, spot

20 January 2016

Episode 160120 / 20 Jan 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: evenly, condition, boycott

13 January 2016

Episode 160113 / 13 Jan 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: vowed, partisan, bold ambition, census, iconic

6 January 2016

Episode 160106 / 06 Jan 2016

Learn today's words and phrases: announcement, suspended, bionic

30 December 2015

Episode 151230 / 30 Dec 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: nominate, replacement, manned

23 December 2015

Episode 151223 / 23 Dec 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: confront, reinforces, stepping down

16 December 2015

Episode 151216 / 16 Dec 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: plant, broke new ground, to renovate

9 December 2015

Episode 151209 / 09 Dec 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: ceasefire, ringleader, allegations

2 December 2015

Episode 151202 / 02 Dec 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: extremists, raids, pledged

25 November 2015

Episode 151125 / 25 Nov 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: striving, offset, revolutionary advances, ambassadors

18 November 2015

Episode 151118 / 18 Nov 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: on the run, legacy of, inevitable anxiety, symptomatic of, caused by

11 November 2015

Episode 151111 / 11 Nov 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: stem the flow, deteriorating, retaliatory steps, star lot

4 November 2015

Episode 151104 / 04 Nov 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: investigated, to secure, artisans, donations

28 October 2015

Episode 151028 / 28 Oct 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: vast army, cutting edge, vaping, kick the habit

21 October 2015

Episode 151021 / 21 Oct 2015

Learn today's words and phrases: displaced, launched offensives, defining moment, controversy

14 October 2015

Episode 151014 / 14 Oct 2015

Today's Headlines: Israel responds to Jerusalem attacks, Wolf war in French Alps, Man Booker winner announced

7 October 2015

Episode 151007 / 07 Oct 2015

Today's Headlines: EU to catch smugglers' boats, Iraqi girls tell their stories on stage, Toddler's miracle operation

30 September 2015

Episode 150930 / 30 Sep 2015

Today's Headlines: Dengue fever outbreak in Delhi, Drugs raid in the Caribbean Sea, UK starts womb transplants

23 September 2015

Episode 150923 / 23 Sep 2015

Today's Headlines: US investigates Volkswagen, Europe's migrant plan, The art of Pele

16 September 2015

Episode 150916 / 16 Sep 2015

Today's Headlines: Border closes for migrants, Wildfires in California, Crisis for world's oceans


‘Pen-and-ink sketches make this little book a here-be-dragons treasure map’

The Harcamlow Way (1980) and other guides to Essex and Hertfordshire by Fred Matthews and Harry Bitten

Round-towered St Mary’s church, Bartlow. Photograph: Phoebe Taplin

It began with a line on a map. Ten years ago, I moved to the border between Hertfordshire and Essex and began to explore the local footpaths. One long-distance route, marked by green diamonds on the Ordnance Survey map, was labelled Harcamlow Way – a 140-mile walk, looping from Harlow to Cambridge and back in a huge figure of eight.

The Harcamlow was one of many inventive collaborations between Fred Matthews, secretary of the West Essex Ramblers group, and his fellow rambler Harry Bitten. They published a guidebook, The Harcamlow Way, in 1980, now long out of print. I bought the only copy I could find online for £23.90 – quite steep for a battered, 50-page booklet. But this first edition walking guide helped unlock local landscapes for me, with their ancient tracks and tumuli, bluebell woods and fields of poppies.

Bitten’s pen-and-ink sketches of a church spire or thatched cottage in the corner of his hand-drawn maps are part of what makes this little book a here-be-dragons treasure map. Warnings in capital letters suggest the hazards of research: “(BE VERY CAREFUL. THE RIVER STORT IS ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE BANK. DO NOT RUN!)”

Matthews died in 2009 and Bitten in 2017, but a legacy of green diamonds across several OS maps invites walkers to follow in their energetic footsteps. In the decade before the Harcamlow, they devised the Three Forests Way, a circular route that links Hatfield, Hainault and Epping Forests, and St Peter’s Way, from Chipping Ongar to the Essex coast. I followed both these walks, finding prehistoric earthworks under bronzed beech trees, or the seventh-century chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall, overlooking marshes and wild shell beaches.

In 1984 they published a guide to the Essex Way, an 82-mile trek across the county from Epping to Harwich. I walked that too. The most memorable part was approaching the wide Stour estuary with the high tide and reeds glowing gold in the setting sun. The adventures these two fellow walkers inspired have brought me more than weekend fun. My own, slightly quixotic project to publish updated guides to the Harcamlow Way was an unexpected milestone in my career as a travel writer. It led to further guidebooks and regular work for magazines, driven by a Bagginsesque curiosity about what’s outside the door.

In their characteristically understated introduction to the original Harcamlow Way guide, Matthews and Bitten describe the route starting and finishing beside the River Stort, which is less than a mile from my house. The walk goes on, they write, “over a number of low hills and through wooded valleys” to discover “a land of views, flowers and birdsong”. They recommend taking the time to wander around villages along the way and mention several interesting relics for “railway enthusiasts”. Highlights for me include wall paintings in some of the old churches: a dancing devil in Kingston, near Cambridge, and fragments of St George in round-towered St Mary’s, Bartlow, where only the dragon remains. The gentle preface ends by wishing readers “happy walking and fine weather”.
Phoebe Taplin, author of 11 guidebooks, including two on the Harcamlow Way


RECORDINGS VIEWBurrowing for Treasure, and Finding Some

It is easy to understand why musicians of a historically inquisitive sort enjoy poring over neglected scores. The hope of discovering lost treasure is a powerful driving force, and the consolation prize -- finding music that may not be of masterpiece quality but offers respite from the standard repertory -- is thoroughly respectable as well.

For period-instrument players, especially, the need for such prospecting is acute: no matter how cleverly one reconsiders balances, ensemble weight, tone color and ornamentation, the market for Bach's "Brandenburg" Concertos and Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" is finite.

Unfortunately, burrowing in the stacks tends to be a low-yield operation, since few of any era's works stand up through the ages, and the tedium of the search can lead musicians to lose sight of their standards. Many have trudged into recording studios and concert halls bearing pleasant mediocrities that have, at most, a few odd touches to recommend them. For the most part they serve as reminders of how much music was composed to dance to, eat to, talk over or pray with they were never intended for, nor do they reward, close scrutiny.

Yet there is plenty of music that deserves better than the oblivion to which fate has consigned it. And even more crucial, there are ensembles with the taste and technique to make these pieces live again.

It is time, for example, to clear some shelf space for Lorenzo Gaetano Zavateri, a Bolognese composer who was born in 1690 and toured Europe as a virtuoso violinist before settling down as a church and court musician in his hometown. Actually, not much shelf space is required: although he lived to be 74, Zavateri seems to have published just two collections of works.

Only one of them, the "Concerti da Chiesa e da Camera" (Op. 1), of 1735, is available on CD, but the new recording by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 05472 77352 2 two CD's) makes the 12 concertos sound so vital that it would be surprising if no one looked into Zavateri's later divertimentos as well.

Zavateri's musical accent is similar to Vivaldi's, but there are moments here that are closer in spirit to Handel and even, if fleetingly, Monteverdi. Zavateri's slightly quirky or strikingly bold turns help him narrowly avoid cliched figuration, and the Freiburg players seize on them with unfailing astuteness.

The title of the set, with its references to church and chamber, suggests its scope. Some of the concertos are formal though hardly staid. Half of them are violin concertos, most with gloriously rippling lines that are played with a zesty fleetness by Gottfried von der Goltz, the ensemble's director and concertmaster. The rest are in concerto grosso form, but a few, marked "teatrale," have an almost operatic dramatic thrust. And in two named works, the "Pastorale" and "Tempesta di Mare" Concertos, Zavateri's picturesque effects give a fresh angle to typical subjects of Baroque tone painting.

Mr. von der Goltz's energy is mirrored in the orchestra's performances. Tempos are generally brisk, and in fast movements the group plays with an irresistible sleekness and fury. Tapered dynamics, balances that allow for complete transparency of texture and continuo arrangements that are ambitious but never fussy also give this music an extra spark.

Delights of a different sort, but of equal obscurity, are to be found on "Spanish Dances," a selection of short pieces from Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz's "Luz e Norte," performed by Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 05472 77340 2 CD).

Ribayaz was a theologian and amateur musician who was born in 1626 into an aristocratic family and had the means to travel the world collecting music. In "Luz e Norte," a collection for harp and guitar published in Madrid in 1677, he compiled works from Spain, Italy, France, South America and Africa. Social strata are traversed as well: courtly, rustic and urban popular dances are preserved in the book, and they mingle freely in Mr. Lawrence-King's varied selection.

A gentle pasacalles for solo harp, for example, gives way to a xacaras, a friskier ensemble piece in which Mr. Lawrence-King's band lets loose with a joyful racket. The group's arsenal includes harps of various sizes and timbres, guitars and lutes, harpsichord, psaltery, positive organ, violas da gamba, and percussion that ranges from castanets to hefty-sounding drums.

"Luz e Norte," compiled for practical use by Spanish dance ensembles, presents the music in a sketchy manner, much the way fake books do today for cocktail pianists. Instrumentation was left to the musicians, and improvisation was expected.

On both counts, Mr. Lawrence-King and his colleagues have done commendable work. In some cases, the group took guidance for its improvisations from formal sets of variations by Ribayaz's contemporaries. But what comes through more persuasively than the scholarly rightness of the endeavor is the sense of freedom and enjoyment in the playing.

A DECADE AGO, BARBARA Strozzi was known mainly to feminist musicologists seeking a hidden repertory of works by women. Strozzi quickly emerged not only as an unusually powerful voice but also as a fascinating figure.

She was born around 1619 and grew up in a rarefied atmosphere. Her adoptive father, Giulio Strozzi, was a poet whose works were set by Monteverdi and Cavalli, and Cavalli was her principal composition teacher. Her style has much in common with that of her father's collaborators: in both sacred and secular works, melody and harmony are put to pictorial and dramatic use in bringing the texts to life.

These days, Strozzi's music is turning up increasingly in early-music programs, but recordings remain rare. The latest, "Sacri Musicali Affetti" (Lɾmpreinte Digitale ED 13048 CD), collects eight sublime sacred settings by Strozzi as well as instrumental works by Bernardo Gianoncelli, Biagio Marini and Tarquinio Merula.

Maria Cristina Kiehr is a persuasive advocate. Her soprano is modest but pure and flexible, and she conveys a sense of the music's blend of drama and piety. Concerto Soave, an ensemble that includes viola da gamba, lutes, harps and keyboards, accompanies her ably and gives appealing readings of the instrumental pieces.

The Palladian Ensemble, a quartet with violin, flute, lute and viola da gamba, formed at the Guildhall School in London in the early 1990's, offers a diverse collection of English and Italian works in a lovely debut recording, "An Excess of Pleasure" (Linn CKD010 CD). The pieces are fairly lightweight, but there is great charm in the variations on Scottish airs by Francesco Geminiani and Nicola Matteis, and the dance sets and more formal works by Marco Uccellini, Purcell, Marini, Locke and Blow are played with flair and an understated yet evident virtuosity.


Discovering the Treasure at London's SeeWoo - Recipes

Say the word “Pasty” (pronounced “past-ee”), and you’ll likely receive a passionate Pavlovian response from hungry folks from several regions of the U.S. (i.e., Michigan’s U.P., or parts of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Montana, and California). Echoes of the lip-smacking cheers reverberate across the globe from distant parts in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. But the loudest ruckus of all comes from enthusiasts in a western region of England whose fierce pride is expressed through laws and regulations that define authenticity while protecting the tried-and-true recipes of old — making the Cornish Pasty a National Heritage Food (and some would argue, a national treasure more valuable than even the Crown Jewels).

While other forms of hardy meat turnovers exist elsewhere around the world, the pasties so beloved in the regions mentioned above, find their common culinary roots in English cooking. Food historians tell us that the free-form pasty co-migrated with 19th and 20th-century Cornish tin miners as the tin mines at home dried up and other hard-rock employment opportunities opened abroad.

Pasties have been a popular dish on English tables for centuries. The Oxford English Dictionary claims the earliest use of the word in English literature was in 1300. The OED’s definition of a pasty matches most modern expectations of the dish: a meat filling, enclosed in a crust of pastry, and baked without a dish. I have traced similar definitions at least as far back as 1764. Earlier definitions seem to be a bit more generic or obscure, describing a pasty as “a great pie” or “a pie made with flesh or fruit.”

I think it’s important, however, to try to consider such definitions apart from our modern expectations. For instance, “baked without a dish” could mean the pie used a standing crust instead. But when one examines 18th century pasty recipes, contrary to contemporary definitions, a completely different sort of dish takes shape: most often it’s a meat pie prepared in an earthen dish that is partially lined with a thick puff paste and then topped with the same.

Now that’s not to say that the free-form versions of the pasty are an inaccurate option for historical re-enactors and foodies. I’ll share some period recipes free-form pasties in my next post. But today, I want to give you a typical 18th-century recipe for a beef pasty that uses what some cookbooks called “a proper paste” (I say that at the risk of raising the hackles of many free-form fans).

Our recipe comes from Charles Carter’s 1749 cookbook, “The London and Country Cook.”

While most 18th century recipes were for venison pasties, other types of meats were used (e.g., beef, pork, mutton, and poultry). Most period pasty recipes also call for either neck, shoulder, or breast meat (brisket), while a few call for rump or sirloin. The previous cuts are from the front end of the animal, and are usually more flavorful than those from the rear. They are, however, also tougher due to high levels of collagen or connective tissue between the strands of muscle.

Collagen is broken down through slow roasting or boiling. Some of the best modern barbecue brisket can be roasted for 12 hours or more. If you try to roast your meat too quickly, it will turn out too tough to eat. Some 18th century recipes for venison pasties argue against what was apparently conventional wisdom: that one had to be careful not to overcook venison. To the contrary, these recipes claim that when it comes to pasties, you can’t overcook the meat. I suspect, that is why the pastry crusts on these pies are so extraordinarily thick — up to 1/2″ thick…before it’s baked! One such recipe even suggested covering the thick paste with buttered paper to prevent it from scorching due to the long baking time.

Many period recipes also suggest marinating and aging meat for several days, as well as beating it to a pulp with a rolling pin . This was done to further tenderize the meat. Beef was likely much tougher then than it is today. Most of the meat sold in U.S. markets is aged prior to hitting the store shelves, so we skipped this step…it’s another example of how modern food developments have made exact historic food reproduction difficult, if not in some cases impossible.

Carter’s recipe also uses cochineal — a red dye (“Natural Red 4”) derived from parasitic scale insects living off cacti throughout warmer climates. Carter’s recipe was the only one I found that used this ingredient. We’ve eliminated it from our rendition primarily because many people today are highly allergic to it. If you want to try it, you can purchase it online.

18th-Century Beef Pasty

1 to 1-1/2 pound Beef, cut into 1-1/2″ to 2″ chunks (we used chuck roast (or shoulder) …in honor of Charles Carter!)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon each, Salt & Pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup Burgundy wine
3 to 4 Tablespoons Suet, grated or crumbled fine (multiple period recipes suggest using butter instead)

1 Puff Paste (if you need a recipe for puff paste, watch our video or read our earlier post.)

1 pound Beef Bones, cut or broken into chunks
salt and pepper
Water

Several hours before you wish to serve your pie, or even the night before, combine the beef, salt, pepper, and wine in a ceramic or glass . Set aside to marinate.

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees (F).

Roll out your puff pastry dough to between 3/8″ and 1/2″. Lay an inverted pie pan on top of your pastry and cut out a circle slightly larger than the pan. In the center of this circle, cut out a hole approximately 2″ in diameter. Save the plug from this hole.

Turn your pan back over, and with the larger scraps of pastry, line only the walls (not the bottom) of your pan, keeping the pastry about 3/8″ thick.

Combine and roll out the remaining pastry scraps until it is about 1/8″ thick. Cut out your decorations from this piece of pastry dough, and arrange them on the top of your pastry round.

Fill your pastry-lined dish with your meat mixture. Top the meat mixture with the suet or butter. (If you are planning to use suet, be sure to first read our post on what suet is and what it is not.) Finally, cover the meat with the pastry round, and replace the plug that was cut from the center hole.

Prior to placing the pasty in the oven, place your beef bones into a cooking pot, season with salt and pepper, and pour in just enough water to cover them. This will be placed in the oven and baked alongside the pasty. This will make a lear or thin gravy that will be poured into the pie once it’s done baking. Other recipes suggest placing the bones in a Bake the pasty (and lear pot) for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. If your crust looks as though it’s getting too dark, cover it with paper.

Once the pie has finished baking, remove the center plug from the crust. Strain the lear, discarding the bones, and pour the lear into the hole. Then replace the plug. Allow this to set for about 15 minutes before serving.


Watch the video: SeeWoo Restaurant Opening photo (November 2021).