Logs for the Woodstove – or – Recipe for a Bad Back!



Delivered just after Christmas the logs were dumped on the driveway of the Shropshire home of Tony Sargeant. It is fortunate to live in a wooded part of the country with plenty of wood around and so relatively cheap. It does however take time and energy to stack and cover them – hence the bad back the next day. See the next post for the uncovered stack.


The great 19th Century Chef Escoffier invented Lobster Thermidor (re-named after a play being performed in Paris in 1896)


Below is the version of Lobster Thermidor cooked by Anthony Sargeant for 2017 Christmas Eve dinner.


The beautiful fresh lobster was bought from Barkworths Fish Stall in Shrewsbury’s Indoor Market (Shropshire, England). Preparation of Lobster Thermidor is simple and quick and it made for a delicious meal with just a salad and a few crushed potatoes. The lobster meat extracted in one piece from the claws was reserved and panfried separately in butter with a little lemon juice and can be seen on the right of the plate placed on the potatoes. The meat from the tail was cut into bite sized pieces and together with all the other meat extracted from the body and the legs placed back into the split half shell. before being grilled topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.

London Bus from the 1950s -This Red Double-Decker RT model was gradually replaced by the Routemaster Bus from 1959 onwards


Anthony J Sargeant was born and grew up in South London. The 179 Bus Route then ran from Grove Park through Downham and Bellingham to Catford then Brockley to Blackfriars Bridge on the Thames in Central London. Tony took this bus in 1955 from Bellingham to Brockley when he went with his mother to be interviewed aged 11 for entry into Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School.

via London Bus from the 1950s -This Red Double-Decker RT model was gradually replaced by the Routemaster Bus from 1959 onwards — Anthony J Sargeant in 1966

Cornish Lobster from previous post – cut in half with claws


Anthony Sargeant cut the lobster down the middle. The tail meat is removed (discarding the black intestine. Also the head meat is spooned out and the red roe extracted. The claws are cracked to remove the claw meat intact.


Do not waste anything there is good meat in the small legs and the lower segments of the two large claws. The real secret if to find a supplier who boils the lobster (unless you do it yourself) just right – preferably in sea water. If you find a good supplier the flesh will be firm and perhaps very slightly undercooked. Try to collect any liquid still in the shell from the boiling – it will taste of the sea and can be incorporated into final dish.

The Lobster that was Christmas Eve Dinner – Handsome or what?


A wonderfully fresh and perfectly cooked (boiled) lobster that Anthony Sargeant prepared for Christmas Eve dinner. Easy to prepare and when properly cooked can be used as the basis for any number of dishes.


This lobster was bought from Barkworths, an outstanding fishmonger in the Indoor market in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. It was cooked as that great retro-dish ‘Lobster Thermidor’. In the next post the lobster has been cut in half ready to extract the flesh.

Christmas Day Dinner – 25th December 2017


Anthony Sargeant wonders why the British are so keen on having the ubiquitous Turkey (“with all the trimmings“) for Christmas Dinner. It is after all just another dinner on another day – the only thing that matters is that you enjoy what you eat.


So this was Tony’s Christmas Day Dinner for 2017 – Steak and Kidney Pudding with Brussel Sprouts and Potato and Celeriac Mash.

Retro-food for Christmas Eve 2017 – prepared and cooked by Anthony Sargeant


Lobster Thermidor – using a billiantly fresh Cornish Lobster bought from the Fish stall in Shrewsbury market, Shropshire, England. Here it is plated and served with a few crushed potatoes (the claw meat was cooked pan fried separately and placed on the potaotes) and a fresh salad.