By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 18th March 2020
March is upon us – and it’s a month filled with daffodils, aquamarine, Mother’s Day and the real star of the show - Rhubarb!
The word rhubarb comes from the Latin ‘rhubabarum’ meaning “root of the barbarians” – The Romans even labelled anyone who ate rhubarb a barbarian.
So, are you a rhubarb-arian? If you are, we’ve got some great facts for you!
1. Rhubarb is actually a vegetable! Although deliciously sweet and found in a number of sugary treats, rhubarb is classified as a vegetable (within the buckwheat family). But that didn’t stop the New York court ruling it an official fruit in 1947!
2. Rhubarb is also a perennial – making it only one of two vegetables that continue to grow and spread each year, unlike other vegetables that must continuously be sown. The other is asparagus!
3. Rhubarb is native to central Asia and has been grown in China and traded for medical purposes from as early as the 16th Nowadays, it’s even used to dye eggs, hair and fibres used to knit sweaters.
4. Marco Polo is said to have brought the plant to Europe whilst Benjamin Franklin is credited as being one of the first people to send rhubarb seeds to the American colonies.
5. The colour of the stalk determines the taste. Keep an eye on your rhubarb because the darker the red of the stalk, the sweeter the rhubarb – make sure you pick it when it’s ripe!
6.The leaves attached to a rhubarb stalk are poisonous to humans and animals! The leaves contain a chemical called oxalic acid, which is known to be detrimental to human health so maybe just stick to the stalk!
7. In the 1930s, people in theatre productions would repeat the word rhubarb to simulate background conversation. In the 1940’s, the word ‘rhubarb’ was also used to refer to a loud dispute – commonly used to describe the escapades of fans at baseball games.
8. Wild rhubarb should never be confused with its garden varieties as wild rhubarb is simply ...
By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 07th February 2020
Shrove Tuesday, more commonly known as Pancake Day, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent or Ash Wednesday – and it’s stacked full of one very delicious sweet treat… you guessed it – pancakes!
The name originates from the word ‘Shrove,’ which refers to the Anglo-Saxon Christian practice of being called to confession by a bell (later called the ‘Pancake Bell’). To be ‘shriven’ meant to be absolved of their sins.
Pancakes also have a symbolic meaning, which is down to the ingredients themselves. Eggs symbolise creation and birth and flour, the staff of life; Salt is wholesomeness and milk symbolises purity.
Pancake Day traditions continue to this day. Shrove Tuesday celebrations include pancake racing, which see people, often in fancy dress, grabbing a pan and racing down the streets flipping pancakes!
This was thought to have originated in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445 (where the most famous one still takes place today). The story goes that one woman of Olney heard the shriving bell while she was making pancakes and ran to the church, still wearing an apron and clutching her frying pan for dear life.
Today in Olney, contestants must be housewives dressed in aprons or scarves and toss their pancake three times during the race. The first one over the finish line and to church then serves her pancake to the bell ringer and receives a kiss!
It’s not just the UK that celebrates Pancake Day though.
In France, Pancake Day is known as Mardi Gras which translates to ‘Fat Tuesday’. It’s traditional to touch the handle of the frying pan with a coin in the other hand and make a wish as the pancake is turned.
In Newfoundland, small tokens are often cooked into the pancakes for children to discover and learn something about their future – a bit like fortune pancakes! For example, a child who receives a coin will be rich or one who finds a nail will be or marry a carpenter.
Unfortunately we ...
By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 28th January 2020
Dry January doesn’t mean just sticking to Sauvignon Blanc – it’s a whole month dedicated to removing alcohol from your everyday life - and it’s sweeping across the UK.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Dry January is a new phenomenon, but it has roots far beyond that - in 1942, the Finnish government launched a campaign called ‘Sober January’ (Raitis Tammikuu) to help aid the war effort against the Soviet Union!
However, it wasn’t until 2011 that ‘Dry January’ as we know it in the UK started to sow its seed. It all began with Emily Robinson and a half marathon. Robinson didn’t like running much to begin with, so, to make it easier she decided to give up drink and quickly saw the upside – she lost weight, slept better and had more energy throughout the day!
Pretty much everyone she told was mind-blown, wondering why they’d been trying diet after diet when something so simple existed. Eventually Robinson started working for Alcohol Change UK when the campaign was born (and trademarked).
Dry January officially began in 2013 with 4,000 people taking part, but in 2018 more than 4 million people took part across the UK!
You might be thinking, ‘but is it really all worth it?’- that’s why we’ve got some facts about going alcohol free for January that may help you off the fence:
In 2017, 88% of participants saved money (which is great for the after-Christmas period)
UCL found that after 30 days, participants’ insulin resistance improved by around a staggering 25% - lessening the chance of Type 2 diabetes
Weight, BP and cancer-related growth problems also improved
70% of participants got more sleep and 66% had more energy
54% of participants had clearer skin (no more random spot outbreaks that you thought you’d left behind with puberty)
We think Dry January is a great thing to try here at Morley Hayes – so we’re giving you a helping hand!
For beer drinkers, our Roosters Bar serves Beck...
By Morley Hayes in News at Morley Hayes, Blogging | 23rd January 2020
Venison is the generic term for meat from deer. There are six species of deer in this country, all producing venison with their own distinctive tastes.
Venison season traditionally runs from October to December. The word ‘venison’ is derived from the Latin word ‘venari’ meaning to hunt or pursue. It originally meant the meat of any game animal before it became more widely accepted as the meat of a deer (or an antelope in South Africa!).
But it can be used in reference to any part of the animal – if it can be consumed then it’s venison – and yes, that includes the internal organs!
Venison is an incredibly versatile meat. You can enjoy it as a steak, tenderloin, roast, sausage, jerky and minced meat. Maybe that’s why it’s often mistaken for beef, another adaptable meat.
If you’re trying to compare the two, remember that venison is richer than beef. Cuts of venison also tend to have a finer texture and are normally a lot leaner than the corresponding cuts of beef. The leanness of venison is one of the reasons why it’s widely considered by modern nutritionists to be incredibly healthy.
The health factor also comes from the life of the deer itself since they’re inherently wild animals and sustain themselves on grass and wild plants – so have some venison today and enjoy the health benefits!
Did you know you can enjoy the organ meats from deer? These days we call them ‘offal’, but they were traditionally called umbles (taken from the Middle English ‘noumbles’).
It is this term that supposedly formed the origins of the phrase ‘humble pie,’ meaning a pie made from the organs of the deer.
If venison is tempting you this season, try out a couple of these recipes: Moroccan style Squash and Venison Tagine, Venison, Stilton and Rosemary pasties, Venison and Rhubarb Chutney, Venison Steak with Stroganoff Sauce and Shoestring Fries ...