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TREACLE BLOG

Posts in treacle about town
Hamilton Christmas III
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Oh we do love a Christmas celebration at Hamilton HQ, and this year was no different. 

After a busy year of change/joy/stress, we settled in to a few days of rest at recoup, which involved our traditional untraditional Christmas dinner - three plates inspired by dishes created over the course of the year.

 

Menu

Beetroot and fennel seed cured salmon, creme fraiche with lemon zest, dill oil, pickled shallot, fresh green apple

Venison loin, black pudding croquettes, burnt apple puree, butternut puree, braised chicory, hazelnut crumb, blackberries, blackberry jus

Lemon tart, ginger ice cream, ginger syrup sponge, candied ginger, raspberry compote, almonds, mint, edible petals

 

Wonderful spending time with friends and family, but it doesn't half go quickly!?

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When The Cuzzies Came To Stay

Last weekend we had the NZ cuzzies to stay with us. We would love to say it involved more than eating and drinking, but that would be a lie...!

Here's to Aperol Spritz, roasts and the Brighton naked bike ride, oh, and this little supper that we put together - seasonal asparagus with pickles, Chinese spiced pork belly and cheek with plum and cucumber, and vanilla panna cotta with cheesecake mille-feuille. 

Hamilton Christmas II

A few foodie snaps from the Hamilton family Christmas!

Hazelnut was the theme of the day, with our favourite nut featured in every dish - Beef carpaccio, followed by hazelnut crusted cod and samphire (no picture I'm afraid!), a little beetroot and horseradish sorbet palette cleanser, and finally a layered dessert of cherry jelly, dolce de leche mousse, dark chocolate and hazelnut crumb, and lemon thyme with edible flowers.

Nutty!

Sunday with OH! Taste

This Sunday we spent the morning plating up a storm at the Secret Herb Garden, with photographer Olivia Halvorsen of OH! Taste, and good pal Hilary Sturzaker of Mymonkfish acclaim, who now also runs public relations at SHG.

After our initial meeting with Olivia (way back in June!), we were keen to collaborate on a project that brought together our passion for food, a unified aesthetic, and the beauty of an interesting Edinburgh landmark - the Secret Herb Garden was undeniably our first choice. So, after talking with Hilary over the summer it was agreed that SHG would work tremendously, but when would our conflicting diaries permit such a collaboration?? Four months later of course!

Finally, on Sunday, we were there, and the scene was set on a beautiful soft-lit morning in the glass house. After a recce of the wonderful edible flowers and herbs that were on offer in this living larder, we got started on four simple dishes that can be assembled easily at home.

We began with a crab rarebit – brown and white crab meat combined with cornichons, and topped with a layer of mature cheddar sauce. This was followed with a bowl of ripe figs and soft burrata, covered with lashings of peppery rocket and pistachio pesto.

Smoked chicken is a firm favourite of ours, so we created a dish using roasted leek and courgette, blue cheese and sprigs of fresh rosemary. Finally, that much loved retro classic - trifle, which we made in individual portions and decorated with blue borage flowers from the garden. All recipes will be added to our recipes page.

Every dish brought together the simple and clean flavours that we love here at AT, as well as herbs and flowers direct from the SHG glass house – what a luxury!

As you can see, Olivia has done a beautiful job documenting each step of our dishes, and even worked her magic on yours truly! This project also has additional significance, as Hilary was the first person we met on our Edinburgh food journey, so it felt fantastic that she was involved in one of our last projects, providing assistance and support.

After months of date deliberation and procrastination we finally got there, with lots of scrumptious food and photographs – well done ladies!

A huge thank you to the Secret Herb Garden for allowing us to use their space; if you haven't been already, then you really must. Book a tour to see the bees (or better, sponsor them!), treat yourself to a slice of cake in the fragrant glass house, or speak to the team about using the space for something exciting.

HoneyBirthday

A few ostentatious snaps from Lydia Treacle's bright'n'boozy birthday in the Meadows!

We started at AT HQ with an Asian inspired lunch of shredded vegetable and peanut salad, sticky chicken, ginger and garlic potatoes and satay sauce. Then a delicious gluten free boiled orange cake and berries on the Meadows in the sun - fantastic way to spend a Sunday!

Sunday Luncheon

Last weekend we had an impromptu Sunday lunch at Alright Treacle HQ for some of our nearest and dearest in Edinburgh.

We served up that British classic, toad in the hole (with snazzy sausages from Peelham Farm), followed by a trifle extravaganza (pimms sponge, gooseberry jelly, cardamon custard and cream, decorated with golden raspberries, flaked almonds and wild strawbs), oh, and a hell of a lot of bubbles!

ECA 2015

The ECA degree show is now over, so here a few snaps taken from opening night, including work from our own Honeybone, who received a first class honours! Well done Lydia!

Secret Herb Garden

Secret Herb Garden celebrated their 1st birthday yesterday, and we were invited to celebrate with them, with a tour of the gardens from co-founder Hamish Martin, music from the Funk Wagen (a converted VW camper), a much anticipated walk to the beehives with third generation beekeeper Brian Pool, food made by charismatic chef Neil Forbes from Cafe St Honore, shelter from impending drizzle by Stretch Tents Scotland, as well as lots of other wee treats.

Our first visit to SHG was earlier in the week, for their May Full Moon Dinner, with food and wines chosen and created by the Timberyard Team. However, it was yesterday, in the light of day, that it became more apparent how successfully Hamish and Liberty have managed to turn, what was essentially a derelict greenhouse, in to something really magical - a peaceful enclave for all things herbs (or what we may refer to as weeds) - that's right people, it's time to love your dandelions! During Hamish's tour we were passed all sorts of leaves that, as well as being quite tasty in a salad, have fantastic medicinal properties, such as the iron rich and cleansing stinging nettle, or ground elder, which can be cooked in a similar way to spinach, tastes mildly of parsley and has diuretic properties, yum yum!

If you haven't been to the Secret Herb Garden already, then you really must. Book a tour to see the bees (or better, sponsor them!), treat yourself to a slice of cake in the warm and fragrant greenhouse, try and grab Hamish for an inspiring talk about eating the hedgerow, or speak to the team about using the space for something exciting - unsurprisingly, weddings seem to be very popular this year...!

Nicolas Party, Inverleith House

Yesterday marked the opening of a brilliant new exhibition at Inverleith House in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

'Nicolas Party's Boys and Pastel is the first major solo exhibition in a UK public gallery by the Swiss artist, who has transformed the formal Georgian interior of Inverleith House into a contemporary ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ with the most expansive installation of his decorative wall paintings to date, spanning every available inch of the seven gallery spaces. The patterned murals act as a framing device and wondrous stage set for a new series of pastel compositions and charcoal drawings, delivered in Party’s unique aesthetic language.'

In short, it's a colour sensation! 

www.rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/edinburgh/inverleith-house/current-exhibitions

Precarities

Alright Treacle's very own Lydia Honeybone and her fabulous pal Abbé Webster have launched their first joint exhibition tonight, at the now defunct Bargain Spot on Lothian Road.

This incredible space has been opened up, painted, adorned and well and truly strobed for Precarities - a pre degree show, highlighting some of the gals newest pieces ahead of graduation.

The show runs from 9th - 17th April, so make sure you have a peep, and if you like what you see then this weekend's supper is a fantastic opportunity to view more examples of Lydia's artworks up-close (and translated to plate!), with our very own collaboration. Last few spaces available -  www.alright-treacle.com/upcoming-suppers/2015/4/11/goldntriangles

Canapés & Campers!

This week was canapé central at Alright Treacle!

Admittedly, we're not renowned canapé makers, nor huge fans of over-complicated fiddly bites, so when we were asked to make canapés for Creativity Takes Courage (a fantastic exhibition at Dundas Street Gallery, raising money for Maggie's), we jumped at the opportunity - but what on earth to make?!

We decided to make leaves the star, simple, effective (and slightly retro!) fresh nibbles, that all involve being put in/on/under a leaf!

The night before Creativity Takes Courage, we were also asked to be part of Love From Indie Street's valentines event at The Brotique, with Casa AngelinaCovet, Higher Love (the fantastic camper), LE DesignsLilies & Dreams, Kakao by KOoh! Ruby Shoes, The Edinburgh Casting Studio - what a great opportunity to test our bites?? 

The gallery event was one of our first commissions, having been contacted by organiser Leonora Rae back in October. 

Seeing it in action, it was a brilliant example of student's working together on a worth-while project, and from the looks of all the red dots by the time we left, these artists have done some fantastic charity work for Maggie's - well done Leonora for making it happen!

Printmaking In The Vaguest Sense

Treacle's night out!

This Thursday we went to Printmaking In The Vaguest Sense, at the Dundas Street Gallery. A printmaking show curated by, and exhibiting works from, students at Edinburgh College of Art - including our very own Lydia Honeybone. Needless to say, it was fab, and we even bought some art of our own!

If you missed it then not to worry, as there is another great exhibition at Dundas Street on Friday 6th Feb called Creativity Takes Courage, which is raising funds for Maggies.

We'll be there providing canapés (based around the humble leaf) for the event, so get yourself down and support this great cause.

Exquisite Skye

This week we were treated to an absolutely magical mini-break to Skye.

It started with a pit-stop for a few days essentials at Earthy, then we took to the road and drove the 230 miles from Edinburgh to Grant's House in Carbost, through the icy mountains of the Cairngorm's and plenty of Highland lochs.

Skye at this time of year is spectacular, and what awaited us were snow topped peaks, hauntingly beautiful open wasteland, and some pretty confused looking sheep!

Of course it wouldn't be Alright Treacle if there wasn't plenty of delicious fresh food and drink, including black pudding poached eggs, game sausage gratin, kale and chicken salad, bacon, brie and walnut pastry, and Mexican eggs, as well as elderflower and bergamot g&t's (it's our new favourite tipple!).

Excursions away from our hillside nest included a trip to Portree (a somewhat desolate port-town that is perhaps more impactful in the warmer months), a tour of the Talisker Distillery - a popular Scottish whiskey producer, that uses the fresh mountain mineral water of Skye to make their eye-watering blend's, and a quick stop en route home at Eilean Donan Castle (above).

Baubles

We know, we know, Christmas in o-v-e-r for another year, sob! But we couldn't resist posting a couple of snaps of our fledgling antique bauble collection, including a delightful Eastern European chandelier bauble with golden flames. 

They have now been safely packed away for another year, but I think the time will eventually come when our home is adorned with baubles all year round! When they're this pretty, it's a tragedy to keep them wrapped up!

Hamilton Christmas

It's our favourite time of the year. Eating, drinking and socialising in excess is the best way to spend the month of December - well, that's how we like to do it anyway!

We cooked Christmas dinner based on all of our favourite dishes and ingredients from the last year, including the starter from 'Chocolate' (crayfish tails, dill vinegar and white chocolate foam), a scrumptious new duck dish with parsnip & chestnut mash, cavalo nero, sweetcorn and pistachio, and finally, a drunken prune frangipane with flaked almonds. 

Presents opened, pink fizz popped (mainly drunk by the cat), Christmas is over for another year. Now time for the January detox...? As if!