Chocolate Salami at Tristrato

Another sunny Saturday, another walk, this time in the West Coast Hills close to Giannades. As usual when we are hiking in this area, we lunch at Tristrato, this weekend outdoors (on the first day of
November!) in the sun-dappled shade of shedding poplars.
Tristrato is a bar which does food rather than a restaurant and so no menu is offered. Instead, they bring you a selection of whatever’s ready; we had salad, chips (lots!), feta, tsatziki, meatballs, chicken in a rosemary and curry sauce, beef in paprika sauce and sausage cooked with peppers. It’s all laid out in the middle of the table in little pots for you to take what you want – beats eating a single dish, and service is quicker.
We finished with fruit and Chocolate Salami (Mosaic Cake), and everyone liked it so much I promised to put the recipe on this blog:
Chocolate Salami
350 gr unsalted butter, 6 tablespoons sugar, 8 tablespoons cocoa powder, 4 egg yolks, 15 Marie biscuits Cream the butter and sugar. Add the cocoa powder and cream again.
Blend in the egg yolks. Break up the biscuits into pieces about as big as a fingernail and gently add to the mixture, distributing them well throughout.
Using sunflower or other tasteless oil, grease a large oblong of foil.
Lay the mixture on this. Chill to firm, then form into a sausage shape, wrap up completely in the foil and chill again. Slice to serve, but don’t leave it around in a hot room for a long time – put it back in the fridge if it starts going soft. It can be made in advance and keeps a few days. Serve with lots of paper napkins to wipe chocolatey fingers (alternatively, lick it off).

bramblePuppy News

Now around five and a half months old, Bramble, my new(ish) mini black labrador, came on his first Saturday Walk on November 1st! He’s been ‘in training’ for a couple of weeks, with treks across the fields getting longer day by day. Still, two hours on gravel rather than grass is tough for a pup – but he managed fine, still trotting along jauntily even at the end. He was daunted neither by the strange dogs, nor at meeting lots of new people. I had been afraid he’d flake out and we’d have to carry him – not an easy task since despite being vertically challenged he’s thick-set and chubby. The only difficulty was his continued inability to master the art of walking in a straight line, which led to leads snagged with other leads (Bruni’s and
Bramble’s) and with legs (theirs and mine). Having proved himself, he’ll be with me on the walks from now on (he HATES being left at home alone!).

Project Gutenberg

During Tristrato lunch I also mentioned the wonderful Project Gutenberg, which guarantees that you’ll never be short of reading material ever again. The project aims to put books which are out of copyright on the Internet and downloadable for free. Yes, FREE. It’s not Kindle, and you can share them and pass them on. BUT I stress it only deals with books out of copyright, so you won’t find Gone Girl or Harry Potter. Nevertheless, with 45,000 books already dealt with, there’s plenty of choice. I’ve read – among many others – John Wyndham (Day of the Triffids), CS Lewis’s Space Trilogy, Orwell and Huxley, James Hilton (Random Harvest is a must), HG Wells, Josephine Tey and Dorothy L Sayers. I discovered Foul Play, whose author Charles Reade was more highly paid than Dickens at the time, but was forgotten by Edwardian times. And I’ve got dozens and dozens more filed away for later – all those tomes you know you should have read but never got around to. Search the site and pick up what you fancy; or, to get a specific book, type the title in Google, together with Project Gutenberg. If it’s available, it should come up first. You then click on the links and options, and you receive an e-file, which you scroll through to read. The file size is not large, so they download quickly from broadband and don’t take up much room in the computer. Enjoy!

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