Saturday, April 13, 2013

L = London and Lychees

a-to-z-letters-l
London, England is one hell of a big subject to tackle isn’t it? It’s history goes back thousands of years, there were settlements in the area before the Romans came although they are the ones who established Londinium in 43 AD which was burned to the ground by Queen Boudica 17 years later. The Romans then built another stronger town which has expanded over the centuries to become the Westminstercity we know today. I lived in London for 4 years in my early 20s – it was the place to be and the place to find fame and fortune, never managed to find either. In fact in many ways I saw more of what London has to offer as a school girl on trips. We were taken to the British Museum, the Tate Gallery, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey – all in the mornings of our visits, in the afternoons we would usually end up at The Old Vic to see a play by William Shakespeare. I remember being thrilled by the sight of a famous actress, Anna Neagle, who was playing Lady Macbeth, as our bus drove round to the theatre parking lot. When I lived there I used to work in the West End which was on the edge of the theatre district and close to Soho where some of the best restaurants can be found as well as the best food market. There used to be a place called Stone’s Chop House which had been on The Strand for years and was a fabulous place for roast beef meals. No longer there it appears. In fact I can’t find much reference to it except a very quaint old piece on English restaurants. Its such a shame when such well established places disappear.

I haven’t eaten lychees in years, I used to enjoy them. They are a fruit from China and when I lived in the UK one could buy them in cans or fresh at the fruit stalls. I haven’t seen them here, but then I haven’t looked. I am sure they are available.


Refreshing lychee and lime sorbet
BBC Good Food
Recipe by Jane HornbyLychee and Lime Sorbet
Ingredients
  • 3 x 400g cans lychees in syrup
  • 50g caster sugar
  • egg white
  • zest from 2 limes , juice from 1
  1. Drain the syrup from two cans of lychees into a small pan. Add the sugar and dissolve over a gentle heat. Bring to the boil for 1 min.
  2. Blitz the drained lychees in a food processor until very finely chopped. Pour in the lime juice and syrup with the blade still whirring - don't worry if the mix isn't perfectly smooth at this point. Tip into a 1-litre container and freeze for at least 6 hrs until solid.
  3. Break up the frozen mix, then return to the bowl of the processor. Tip in the egg white and whizz until thick, pale and smooth. Add zest from 1 lime. Return to the container and freeze again, ideally overnight. Serve in scoops with remaining lychees scattered with a remaining zest.
Leave out the egg
If you don't want to add the egg white then the flavour will be the same, but the texture will be more grainy.

Have a great weekend
Jo_thumb[2]

40 comments:

  1. Have always had a desire to visit London but to this point have never made it; re Lychees I have tried them and found them to have a gentle and almost melon-like taste. In this area they are available(canned) in most supermarkets.
    Keep chugging, we are almost at the 1/2 way point.... oh, yeah, you have all your posts done!!!

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    1. Most people who visit love it because there is so much history going back so many years. Living there gave me my fill of cities and I prefer to live in more countrified surroundings nowadays although I live in a city nowadays but right by a park so I can feel I am in the country.

      I'm glad I do have my posts done, keeping up with the visiting is taking up enough time without having to write as well.

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  2. Learning about London was a wonderful surprise this morning. New Orleans is my town of mystery and wonder. Have a GREAT weekend. :-)

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    1. Never been to New Orleans, would love to go.

      Have a great weekend yourself.

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  3. All I've ever seen of London is Heathrow Airport...countless times. Would love to venture further. Did visit Ottowa for a wedding (1992, same year we got married, in fact, it was The Engineer's best man who married a Canadian girl) and saw the changing of the guard. Beautiful ceremony!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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    1. I'm afraid I have never been to Ottawa, but of course the Changing of the Guard is an old tradition at Buckingham Palace.

      You say Heathrow "countless times" where were you going to or coming from? Sweden?

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  4. I love London! I haven't been there for years but you do not forget London, ever.
    Or at least I haven't!

    As for Lychees, I thought I had had them at Chinese restaurants locally, but unless they come canned and are bright orange, I may have been thinking of Kumquats!
    Have a lovely weekend!jean xox

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    1. No you don't Jean, it really is quite a city.

      Lychees are definitely white, mostly they are obtainable canned although I seem to remember having some fresh ones many years ago, in the UK, and they were a bit like Kiwi fruit on the outside.

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  5. We spent a week exploring London on our visit many years ago and barely saw anything. So much history.

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    1. Yes, there's a heck of a lot to see and it goes back a very long way.

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  6. I LOVE Lychees! So juicy. And I love to explore london too -we go down to the foreshore of the themes and look for old marbles and clay pipes- a little bit of history
    x

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    1. I have never done that Laura. Didn't really know you could get to the banks of the Thames in London, I lived on the River Medway for a number of years, it's a tributary of the Thames.

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  7. I love the sense of history that Europe offers. Imagine all the people who stood in that exact spot before you? What did the scene look like 100 or even 1,000 years ago?

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    1. I never thought of it that way, but then I'm not sure you do when you are born into those surroundings. When you think about it, Westminster Abbey was started prior to 1066 which makes it relatively modern by British Standards.

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  8. I love lychees! They're so perfect for summer. We don't get them easily in Chennai, India though, fresh ones I mean. More easily available in North India.

    Four Leaf Clover

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    1. I've never seen fresh ones round here (Ontario, Canada) but i must admit I have never looked specifically. They are a lovely fruit for summer, I agree.

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  9. We get fresh lychees in summer here in Tenerife, but the tinned ones are good. I buy them in a Chinese supermarket in Los Cristianos.

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    1. Yes, the canned ones are good. Where are you ex pat from Lizy? UK?

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  10. I've been to London once for a three-day stay, and in three days, I don't think we even scratched the surface. London is a BIG city and so beautiful ... loved the mixture of tradition and modern life style. Don't think I've ever had lychees ... go figure. :)
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

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    1. I think this applies to any big city, but the older, the more to see.

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  11. I am sad about the loss of that restaurant. It sounds like my hand of place.

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    1. Me too Laeli, It is a memory of my youth and was an old restaurant plus a fabulous place to eat. I don't remember how far back it went, but it was quite a long way.

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  12. My family are all from London and so I have lots of relatives there. As a teenager I wanted to live there. It seemed to glamorous. I never did. I've lived in Leicester all my life but my daughter lived there for several years. Initially she was excited at having to walk past the House of Parliament each day to get to work but the novelty soon wore off and she came to hate the impersonal nature of a large capital city and the heat and crowds on the tubes. I think it was the true London that you saw when you lived there and an artificial one that you were taken to as a visiting school girl.

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

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    1. You are so right, it does seem glamorous until you actually live there. It is actually a very lonely place to be and I have since decided that a city, is a city, is a city no matter which one. To visit fine, to live, not so good.

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  13. This sounds refreshing and delicious! Thanks for stopping by to say hi.
    Happy A-Zing.

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    1. Thanks for returning the visit Molly.

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  14. Hi Jo! Popping in from the A-Z. Well, whoever said, "If you're tired of London, then you're tired of life" was so right. There's something always going on there. It never stops and is vibrant with movement and life and tradition. I'm from there (well, south of the River) and I miss it like crazy. I've heard of the Chop Shop from Dickens, I think, but I never saw it.

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    1. Welocme Susan. As a resident, I got tired of London but don't consider myself tired of life LOL. I think its a great place to visit as a tourist, but not to live. I moved from there to Sussex and later back to Kent. I got my fill of cities at that tiem.

      Not the Chop Shop, I heard of that too, but not the same as Stone's Chop House.

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  15. Yep, your post reminded me of how much I want to travel abroad!

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    1. Don't know where you live, but when I worked in London, it was always full of Australians who were working their way round the world. There were several who worked in our office.

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  16. Fascinating. I think you hit the nail on the head as to my reasons for wanting to visit London--its long and oft times, turbulent history.I can't wait to go, and I may just look for Lychees while I'm there. :)

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    1. You will certainly find lychees in cans, you may find them fresh in the markets.

      It certainly had a turbulent history, most of which I hated to learn at school but have absorbed since those days.

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  17. That sounds delicious! Just stopping by for the A-Z Challenge. Please check us out and sign up to follow if you like what you see. Juliet atCity Muse Country Muse

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  18. Stones Chop House (Panton Street) closed in the early 80s. I remember seeing it but never ate there. My first job after leaving school was just off Carnaby Street so exciting times (its all very tacky now). London is great when you are young but these days I prefer to be as far away as possible from major towns.

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    1. Thanks Sue, I could never find out very much about them. Carnaby St. was THE place for a while, I don't think I ever went there. I so agree with your final comment, we too avoid major towns these days.

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  19. Hi Jo .. I now go back to London fairly often and rather wished I could live there now! Need a few Roman coins me thinks! I missed London and our culture when I was in South Africa ..

    Lychees - they're more available now ... and I do enjoy them .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I don't miss it at all, we never go to Toronto either. But yes, you need some gelt to live in either place.

      I have never checked, but don't think we have fresh lychees round here.

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