Sunday, 29 September 2013

Lake District - August 13

Langdale Panorama

A belated post up here given that this was the August bank holiday, but, better late than never!

The idea was to spend along weekend in the Lakes. Walk Saturday and Sunday and maybe squeeze some short walks into Friday afternoon / Monday morning as well. As it turned out I hardly hardly any of the planned walking! A tale of woe in many respects. However, it was still a good get away and change of scenery. Lets face it, you can't not spend time in the Lake District and not leave feeling happy!

So, what actually happened?

Slow start - busy in work earlier in the week and not quite fully organised by Thursday evening. Traffic leading to a long journey didn't help the idea of a short Friday walk and, having got there, it was looking like it was about to lash it down with rain. Priority number one was grabbing a couple of things I realised I'd forgotten from Ambleside and then getting the tent pitched! After that I settled for a quiet dinner in the pub and got my head down. Only plus sides of the day - A1, A66 is prettier than the M6 and I was able to grab a photo of the Duke of Portland Boathouse.

Cloud over the Kirkstone Pass

Coud over Red Screes

Duke of Portland Boathouse

Woken up to a leaden sky. Very dull and overcast. supposed to pick up but not looking like it while having breakfast. Felt totally "Meh", no energy for some reason also. Eventually went round to Grasmere and had a wander around town in the mizzle. I put my feelings down to the weather as I felt better when it started to brighten and I thought I'd do he simple walk up onto Helm Crag and back. I did Bowfell a few months ago, so this should be easy enough shouldn't it...

As it turns out...No. The walk out of Grasmere to the base of Helm Crag was easy enough. However, my legs felt like lead as soon as the ascent started. Struggled up and very quickly started hearing a little voice in the back of my head saying that this wasn't a good idea today. Push on slowly for a bit - a bit beyond the top of the pitched path next to the wall for anyone who knows the walk. By this point the voice in the back of my head was shouting loudly. Something just didn't feel right and I decided it was safer to turn around and head back. By the time I was back to the car I felt totally shattered but couldn't work out why...

Anyway, by this time the sun was shining properly and after a very pleasant cafe lunch I took the car over to Conniston and had some fun taking photos by the lake and looking towards Langdale on the way over the pass.

Helm Crag

 View from the highest point I got to

Helm Crag

Ecton Crag

A view of The Crinkles

A view to the Langdale Pikes

Looking up Conniston Water

Conniston Panorama

Woke feeling better in myself but the legs were still stiff and achey. Decided it was probably something viral by this point (I'd spent Saturday evening in the pub feeling really cold despite putting on layer after layer). Supposed to be meeting Rich and Dave for a Skiddaw walk. What to do?

Decided to drive and over to meet them and start the walk. If the legs weren't up to it then I'd let them go on and double back myself. Starting from Dodd Wood car park We set off along the forest paths towards the start of the Ullock Pike Ridge. Very pleasant walking in the cool of the woods with occasional views over Basenthwaite. After the woods the gentle ascent continues and rather than take the short cut we decided to heather bash our way over to The Watches.

I have to say that this is a wonderful view point and a very pleasant place to sit out and enjoy the view. Indeed, if time was short this would be a great destination it itself. This was also the decision point for me and I decided to let the others push on themselves. I probably could have made it up and over Ullock Pike, Longside to Carl Side, but, I don't think it would have been fun. Blazing hot by this point and the legs still felt far more tired than they should have. I bade Rich and Dave au revoir and and sat down to enjoy the view for a while. A pleasant walk back through the woods was followed by lunch in the old Sawmill Cafe while awaiting my friends return. This was quicker than expected as well - turns out they bailed from climbing Skiddaw as it was getting far too hot and the top was still covered by a cap of cloud. They even by passed Dodd itself on the way back it was so hot! Not just me struggling in the end...

View from the tent Sunday morning.
That bit of cloud is just covering the top of Pike O'Blisco

The Watches up ahead

Ullock Pike

Cloud over Skiddaw

Time to come home and I finally felt back to normal! C'est la vie. Still the mountains aren't going anywhere. I briefly toyed with the idea of going back to Helm Crag but decided to get everything packed and just head off home in the end. My suspicion of what the bank holiday traffic would be like turned out to be entirely correct! Still, I did grab some more photos in the sunshine before heading off the M6.

So, not what was planned. However, it was nice to get away and just take the chance to enjoy looking at the mountains without necessarily getting up onto them. Overall, still a lovely weekend getaway!

Langdale Pikes

The way to Mickleden

Crinkle Crags

And it's now sunny over Red Screes!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Shooter's Sandwich

Shooter's Sandwich in Norfolk

Well, it's certainly been busy recently. Not intentionally ignoring the blog, just not had time to sit down and write. Not even time to start reading the book I bought in the last Norfolk walk... Still, plenty to write about. This post is the Shooter's Sandwich I took on the Norfolk walk back in August. Other things to blog in the near future include a Bank Holiday in the Lake District, tomorrow's Kent walk and a lemon and poppy seed tray bake. Probably ought to be some other stuff as well but that's what springs to mind right now.

There are many individual variations on the Shooter's Sandwich. This is the "basic" version, feel free to play about with it as you wish. Easy to make (I'm sure some of you can work it out from the above photo alone), it makes a good meal whether out on a walk or sitting in the office.

Start off with a good round crust loaf. Slice the top off and scoop out the crumb so you have a hollow loaf. Keep this to one side and make up the mushroom mix. I think I used shiitake mushrooms here but, to be honest, you could use whatever mushrooms are handy. Slice up about 250 grams of mushrooms and gently fry these off with diced onion. I added some cognac and Worcester Sauce as well. Once the mushrooms are cooked and liquid reduced place this mix to one side.

Next fry off 2 steaks. Use a good steak (pointless ever using a bad steak!) and try to get some which are just slightly smaller than the loaf. Cook them to your own preference. If it being left to go cold like this I prefer it to be cooked through rather than rare. Now you just need to construct your sandwich.

Place a steak inside the hollowed out loaf, add mushroom mix on top and make sure it is pushed into any gap around the steak. Add the second steak and then the rest of the mushroom mix. Finally, place the top of the loaf back on top. An easy variation is to add some cheese in as well. Alternatively, if you like mustard or horseradish add as much as you like. This is your sandwich to make as you want.

Once all the ingredient are in and the top of the loaf back on wrap the sandwich in greaseproof paper and seal the package you have created. Sticky works or tie it with string for a more retro look! Finally - and this is the important bit - place some weights on top of the sandwich to compress it. I had half my cook books all piled up on top and left them there for about 6 hours or so. After that all you need to do is to cut it into 4 quarters and eat!