I was reading a comment on this post when I had a thought.
Are coeliacs a rather unique health grouping?
Is there another disease, where most diagnosed sufferers eat so healthily?
I suspect too, that if you look at a database of coeliacs, that the level of smoking and drinking is lower than the general population, But I also suspect that applies to a lot of serious diseases like cancer, stroke and heart problems.
There are other factors that come into it too. I see the practice nurse every three months for a B12 injection. I hope they might spot something like a mole turning cancerous. But they always go through a simple how are you routine, whilst performing the procedure.
So analysing a database of coeliacs, you might find the results skewed because of a high proportion of healthy eaters, non-smokers and light drinkers, who see a healthcare professional regularly.
After all, it has been shown for example, that diagnosed coeliacs, who stick to their gluten-free diet have lower levels of cancer than the general population.
I made a pair of shepherd’s pies tonight; one for the stomach and one for the weekend. It’ll probably be Saturday after the football or Sunday evening, when the second one gets eaten.
As an experiment I modified the recipe, by adding a few chilli flakes.
Perhaps, it wasn’t for the purists, but it did impart an interesting flavour.
Bland it wasn’t!
Next time though, and there’ll be a next time, I’ll use a few less.
I found Cafe Breizh last time I was in Paris, by searching for “gluten free creperie”. But I couldn’t find it physically.
So this time, as I crossed Paris to get the Eurostar, I just had to visit.
I was not disappointed after a bowl of cider and two gluten-free buckwheat crepes.
It’s a wonderful excuse to go to Paris for the day.
It froze and cooked well and tasted no different to the first one. It really is a truly lazy fish pie, as Lindsey says.
This is very lazy fish pie. No sauce, just grated Emmental, a fillet of fish per person, spinach, mashed potato and more cheese. The mash is enriched with beaten egg so it holds its shape and crisps as it bakes. For more or less servings adjust the ingredients in proportion.
I shall be cooking this one again. They are probably best cooked in pairs, as fish seem to be packaged that way in supermarkets, so with me, it’s one for now an d one for the freezer. I will probably cook haddock one week and salmon or cod the next.
I can’t cook more than two at a time, as my mixing bowl isn’t big enough to cook more spinach than is needed to two pies.
Yesterday, as I said in this post, I missed my 09:07 train to Exeter, due to problems on the Metropolitan line.
I knew that to get to Exeter, I would have to get another ticket for the next train, which was the 10:07. One of their staff said to go to the ticket office and see what they would do.
I did and went to the First Class window, where after explaining the problem, they checked thoroughly and then endorsed my out of time ticket for travel on the 10:07. I should say, that I expected to have to buy another ticket and was at my politest. As there wasn’t a queue full of angry passengers, just a couple of anxious ones, this might have helped.
But it does go counter to the sort of Jobsworth behaviour reported on programmes such as Watchdog.
Coming back, there was a Travelling Chef on the train. And I ordered this smoked salmon salad.
Note the French dressing in a little bottle, with all the ingredients and allergy information on the outside. That is a good idea, that should be copied more often.
I also had two complimentary glasses of wine.
And how much did the salad cost? – Just nine pounds! As it was served at my seat, I think that was good value.
I asked if you could buy the meals in Standard Class. Apparently, you can and you get it in a plastic box with plastic cutlery.
So it would appear that the discrimination is in the service!
As I said here, my trip to Blackpool, yesterday, started well at Kings Cross.
As I had a few minutes before the Glasgow train to Preston, I had time to visit the Virgin First Class lounge at Euston. I think some companies charge extra for the lounge if you’re on a cheap ticket or close it altogether at weekends, but Virgin don’t seem to penny pinch like that at Euston.
The train was on time to Preston, but it did look very much like rain.
As I had booked to Blackpool North station, which is a walk of three kilometres to the ground, I asked if I could use my ticket to Blackpool South station, which is only about eight hundred metres. I was informed that there would be no problem by someone from Northern Rail! I certainly hadn’t found a Jobsworth.
The guy on the train gave the same story and I arrived at the station to walk to Bloomfield Road.
I made it in plenty of time, walking in the sun, although the weather was threatening.
It really started to rain, just as I got under cover in my seat.
The match was a topsy-turvy affair, with Ipswich winning with the odd goal in five, scored in stoppage time. Ipswich were one-nil down at half-time, so unusually for a manager, Mick McCarthy threw caution to the wind and played with four forwards across the field.
He got the result all the Ipswich fans wanted and you do wonder, if he hasn’t found the best way to use the talent he has available.
I must admit, I did look at the two Blackpool goals last night on the BBC and I can’t help feeling that if Cresswell and Smith had been playing, one or both of these goals might not have been scored.
In the end the Ipswich fans all went about their journeys home happy with the result, so the two Blackpool goals didn’t matter.
As it connects better to the London trains, I decided to do the long walk to Blackpool North station. However, I didn’t have to walk all the way, as I found a 14 bus, that went near the station. There was the usual silly ticketing palaver, you get with a bus pass outside London and I do wonder if bus companies have shares in those that produce ticket paper.
I got a crowded train to Preston fairly easily, but it arrived there, just as a Euston train was departing. A Virgin employee told me, I had an hour to wait, but as I had an Off-Peak ticket I could take any train. I then realised, it would be nice to eat something, so as a Manchester Piccadilly train was alongside, a gluten-free supper in Carluccio’s at Piccadilly station beckoned. I could then take one of the more numerous trains to London. The Virgin also told me, that the Manchester to London trains weren’t busy, as City and United weren’t playing.
Where had all the Jobsworths gone?
I had my supper in Carluccio’s at a fast pace and made the 19:35 train with ease. I had intended to upgrade to First, but as I got four seats and a table to myself in Stearage, I didn’t bother. In fact the fifteen pound upgrade, I didn’t buy, virtually paid for my meal in Carluccio’s.
As I’d arrived in Piccadilly virtually dead on seven, I’d ordered, waited for and eaten my meal in about half-an-hour, whilst checking the news and the football results on the excellent wi-fi. So with luck, I’d be able to go straight home from Euston and catch the start of Match of the Day.
I did! It had been a very good trip.
In a few years time, going from London to Blackpool will be a lot easier, as they are electrifying the line from Preston, as part of the major electrification between Manchester, Liverpool and Preston. It has also been stated that this will mean a tour-hourly service of faster electric trains to and from London. But as I’ll still have the problem of getting a decent gluten-free meal on the way down, but as it will be a greatly improved service from Blackpool to Manchester Piccadilly, I can still go via Manchester and have a decent meal, whilst changing trains.
In fact, if like I did, you have a ticket from Blackpool North to London, you will have several stations, where you can change onto a fast train to London, if you just missed a direct train and didn’t want to wait two hours. You could change at Preston, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool or even Wigan North Western.
I can’t help but feel, that this long-awaited electrification is going to make a lot of difference to the whole of the triangle based on Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool.
It should have been done years ago!
I saw this vending machine at Dalston Junction station today.
How refreshing to see foods I can eat on sale on the platform. Note the EatNakd bars. This was just what I needed at Ulm, when I was kept alive by some awful paprika flavoured crisps.
As I haven’t noticed it before, I must assume it has probably just arrived. I couldn’t find the company on the Internet and I’d be interested to know more or hear of other locations.
This cafe called Vivo at Islington Green looks very nice, but when I asked if they had anything that was gluten-free, the staff hadn’t a clue.
They probably thought I was asking for free food.
Just up the road though there is Carluccio’s and when and if it opens, there will be Romeo’s. But one of the troubles is several Euphorium bakeries, which as far as I know don’t do gluten-free food either. And of course, the company is owned by Tesco, so I would only use it in an emergency.
I generally have a soft brown, Genius loaf in the bread bin and today, I threw the remains of the last one out, as all I had left was the wrapping and two rather battered crusts.
So as I wanted to get a paper, I thought I’d get a new one at the littleWaitrose at Highbury Corner. But they only had the soft white bread, which would not be my first choice.
I know I can usually get the desired bread at Sainsburys at the Angel, but that would have meant coming back from there in the scrum of the rush hour. so I took the Overground to Dalston Junction, to try to buy the bread at the Co-Operative store at the station.
They did have a loaf, but the sell-by date was not very far away and the loaf felt, as though it was not that fresh.
So I took the bus home.
It’ll teach me not to do all my shopping at a bigger Waitrose like Canary Wharf or Bloomsbury. I don’t think I’ll bother with buying food at that Co-operative again.
I used to like my porridge as a child, but I found this gluten-free instant one from Nairn’s in Waitrose.
It wasn’t too bad and certainly it was a lot better than the Ready Brek instant porridge, I sometimes had as a child.
I sweetened it with honey.
Incidentally, although it is made in Edinburgh, it uses oats from Wyoming.