Getting frustrated

58 minutes to do 6.5 miles in central London…this commute is doing my head in…


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Oli’s Duck Rillettes

I made some Duck rillettes!

Another recipe that is very easy to do but requires a little bit of time.

I am keen on learning recipes of the past, which have now become for most people something that you can only purchase from the supermarket when it is very easy to do at home and is a lot nicer…






  • A duck!
  • some garlic and Ginger and an Orange
  • Salt and Pepper and herbs as you like
  • Some Cognac or a Brandy

How to make:

  • Stuff the duck with  crushed garlic cloves and ginger and a peeled orange
  • Season generously the outside of the duck with salt and pepper
  • Put into an oven dish wrapped in 2 layers of aluminium foil. (To capture all the fat and juices that are going to render)
  • Cook in the oven a 130-140 for 4 to 5 hours. Until the meat is coming off easily from the bones without it being “overcooked”.
  • Capture all the fat and juices into a jar and pass it through a fine sieve or filter to remove the bits.
  • Let the duck cool down before removing all the meat from the bones.
  • Spend time to reserve only the meat parts of the duck. Discard all bones and skin.
  • Put all the meat in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of Cognac or Brandy.
  • Adjust the Salt and Pepper to taste. (this is important). Usually, it requires more salt.
  • The Fat and Juice should have “separated in the jar” as they are cooling down.
  • Mix a little of the fat and a little of the juice into the bowl and start mixing.
  • Keep mixing with a spoon until the meat is moist and the texture is like Rillettes.
  • Put into conserve jars of small size. Put into the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Et voila! Eat on toasted bread with some cornichons or pickled shallots.

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Xerox 6085

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Some old stuff

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Tarte Tatin – Oli simple way

A very simple apple tart which is always a success.

There are a few complicated ways of making a “tarte tatin”.

The following simple method makes a very decent tart…

It is possible to upgrade this one with homemade caramel if you have time to do that.







  • A bag of Apples, something like 800g. That’s probably 6 small apples or 4 large ones.
  • Best Apples : Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Braeburn
  • A lime juice
  • 50g Cassonade  (Beetroot Sugar), but normal sugar will do as well
  • 50g Butter
  • A sheet of ready-made puff pastry, get the nice one with full fat

How to make:

  • Peel the Apples and cut each apple into 6 pieces. (one-half and then in 3)
  • Put the lime juice and cassonade and mix with apples
  • Place in a circle into a tart oven dish (I prefer the glass ones as they are easy to clean)
  • Place the butter on top
  • Cook in the oven at 140 degrees for 20 minutes or until the apples are getting softer and the butter and sugar are turning into caramel.
  • (Note: It is possible to make a separate caramel to pour on the finished product as well, this is reserved for even more special days…)
  • Take the tart out of the oven and place the sheet of puff pastry on top of the apples.
  • Put back into the oven 200 degrees and cook for another 35-45 minutes, or until the colour of the pastry “looks right”
  • Take out of the oven and let the tart cool down for 20 minutes.
  • Put a serving plate on top of the tart dish and turn it over.
  • The pastry will now be at the bottom and the apples on top with the caramel and juices.

I then upgrade the whole lot by Blow torching the top of the tart to get these small burns and a taste of burned caramel.

Then I finally top it all off with a few crushed hazelnuts (praline)

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Mussels – Upgrading the Tesco version

I pan fry with a small amount of butter a few carrots, some garlic, a couple of celery stalks and a bit of pepper. (The fancy ones from the larder, like the Madagascar pepper – VOATSIPERIFERY PEPPER)

Add the mussels and let them steam, then add some cream.

Finally, finish it off with some freshly cut curly parsley.





You can significantly upgrade the Tesco mussels…

2X500g Tesco mussels is ideal for 3 to 4 people. (That’s £5.50 in 2023 money…)

A few French fries cooked in Peanut Oil

And a glass of white wine (obviously).




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Walnut Oil

Decided to make some walnut oil with all the walnuts from my uncle in Belgium.

I toasted them in a pan and then put them in sunflower oil. I will leave it all to infuse for a few weeks.

I made a label to remember what is in the bottle…. haha…




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Sign Glass Pharms

I upgraded the office sign for the office and included some space to put the doorbell…

Using my recently upgraded laser.

New 60w CO2 laser with upgraded software.

Now running Lighburn and capable of reading the Adobe Illustrator files I commonly use for my laser cutting project.





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Wise words from Gad’s mum

It is not because you have much

that you do not deserve to receive


it is not because you do not have much

that you cannot give.

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Chili con carne

I made a large quantity of Chili con carne so that Noe could have some to return to University in Bristol…

It is very easy to make.

Slow cook in the oven to let all the spices and flavours spread through the dish.

Definitely a comfort dish.





Ingredients (this is for a large quantity and can be halved if you do not want to eat some the whole of the following week…):

  • 750g of Minced Beef
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans of red kidney beans
  • 2 onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 or 3 garlic
  • A sachet of ready mix spices (why make it complicated? )

How to make:

  • I use my Le Creuset cast iron casserole for this
  • Brown the meat in batches if necessary
  • Chop carrots, Celeri and onions.
  • Depending on how much fat has been rendered from the meat, discard or keep some for roasting the vegetables.
  • Start with carrots and celery; add the garlic after a few minutes.
  • As the vegetables are cooking, they will lift the “suc” from the bottom of the casserole.
  • Put the meat back into the casserole and add the spice mix.
  • Mix well and add a bit of water to prevent the whole mixture from sticking to the bottom of the casserole.
  • Put the whole casserole in the oven at 120 degrees for 5 hours….or until dinner…

Serve with sour cream and some cheese on top. Chargrill the cheese with a blow torch and add a few jalapenos. Very nice with a fresh beer.


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It sounds like a secret code from a James Bond movie….

A small project to learn how to build a multi-colour capable led light.

I am learning new skills with Bluetooth Low energy

As well as some electronics and 3D modelling…

I am currently trying to place the project’s various components in a box, testing different arrangements of the parts.


I am using fusion360 for the modelling and some parts from Grabcad that match my purchased parts.

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Aviation Subsidiary

We just opened the aviation subsidiary of our business….I am the General of the Airforce of Glass Pharms Ltd.

When you work hard, you must remember to have a little fun occasionally.

The team thought it was appropriate for me to have the right hat and epaulettes for the occasion.



We needed a drone to capture our progress on the greenhouse building; as I have been flying and building drones for years, it seemed obvious that I should be named the head of our aviation branch…

We will initially use the drone for marketing reasons and soon for inspection of the thousands of square meters of glass that provide the energy for our plants to grow.

As well as potentially inspect our plant canopy and apply artificial intelligence algorithms to provide early warnings on the health of our plants.

Obviously, we did things correctly with our drone registration to UK civil aviation and appropriate insurance.



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Sausage roll

I want to make some and want to save the recipe here…










Ingredients :

  • 500g of Mindec Pork
  • 100 g of Pancetta
  • Fresh Sage
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 150g breadcrums
  • One egg
  • 1 egg for sealing the rolls and sesame seeds for decoration

How to make:

  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Make sausage shaped rolls with the mixture
  • Un roll puff pastry and cut into 4 squares
  • Place meat mixture in the middle of the Puff pastry, in the shape of a log
  • Make rolls with puff pastry using a beaten egg as glue
  • Cut to smaller size if that is what you are aiming for
  • brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds
  • Cook in pre-heated oven at 180 celsius for about 20-30 minutes depending colour you want to achieve.
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Blueberry Jelly Jam

Blueberry jam is a lot nicer if you make it yourself at home. I use only 44% sugar and juice of 2 limes to enhance the flavour. I filter the skins to make a jelly-like jam which

I enjoy most with freshly baked bread or American pancakes…



Ingredients :

  • 500g of Blueberries
  • 400g of Jam sugar (but plain sugar works as well)
  • 2 Limes

How to make:

  • Simply heat all the ingredients until they come to a strong boil.
  • Monitor the temperature until it reaches 110 degrees Celsius. (this is the temperature required to get a Jam, do not go too much above this, or you will get candy sauce…)
  • Crush the skins of the blueberries to extract as much of the taste as possible. I use a potato muncher.
  • Filter the jam through a “fine chinois” and then transfer it into Jam jars.
  • Let it cool and put it into the fridge until the next day.
  • It will keep for months if you seal it properly. (sterilise the Jars)
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Duck Confit

Super simple to do and is a perfect winter dish.







Ingredients :

  • 2 Duck Legs
  • Appprox 750ml or up to 1L of Duck Fat. (In the butter aisle in the supermarket)
  • Salt + Pepper

How to Make :

  • Simmer the duck until the meat starts to fall off the bone. This will take about 90 minutes in the duck fat.
  • keep the temperature of the fat below 110 degrees Celsius. you don’t want to deep-fry the duck, but slow cook it and turn it into confit.
  • Season before and after cooking to taste.
  • Serve with new potatoes and salad or some butter beans with Garlic and tomato puree. use some of the fat from the duck cooking to use with the beans or the potatoes.
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Rustic – Pâté de Campagne – Terrine

I am having a go at making some rustic terrine this weekend.







Ingredients :

  • 500g Minced Porc or Shoulder that you mince yourself.
  • 500g Porc liver.
  • 500g Pork Belly.
  • 250g Pancetta or Smoked bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
  • 60g or 2 medium-sized finely chopped Shallots
  • 6g Pepper
  • 20g Salt
  • A little bit of fresh or dried Thyme
  • A double shot of Cognac or Armaniac or Port.

How to Make :

  • Mince all the meat on a coarse setting or cut finely with a knife
  • In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, spices, garlic and shallots
  • Mix eggs and meat until you obtain a homogenous mixture


  • Make sure the conserve jars are sterilised. (I steam mine for 5 to 10 minutes)
  • Put the mixture in conserved jars.
  • Cook in the oven at 130 degrees celsius until the temperature of the middle of the jar meat is 71 degrees Celsius.
  • The small jars will be ready before the large ones so take them out of the oven when they reach 71 degrees celsius.
  • Take them out of the oven and let them cool.
  • Put into the fridge for 24 hours before eating.
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Pickled Beetroots and Shallots

[Update 2023]

This continues to be a favourite recipe. I should do this more often and throughout the year. I bought some Kilner Jars for the new 23′ edition.

I decided to do a few pickled onions for winter. Soon I will make some slow-cooked lard to go with it…As I was at my mum’s during Xmas, she did some pickled beetroots and it was very nice with some salads and cheese. She had done some Red beetroot and some Yellow beetroot. I have not researched the yellow beetroot in the UK so I have no idea if it is actually a beetroot or another vegetable. [update] Here for golden beetroot.

In any case, I decided to do my pickled onions like every year but also try the beetroot. I decided to cook mine a little so that it would be a bit softer than the one that my mum did. (she had them raw in vinegar and it was very crunchy).


  • 2 or 3 Raw beetroot
  • Pickling Spices (see below)
  • Aluminium foil
  • 6 sugar cubes
  • Malt Vinegar (pickling vinegar)

I decided I would cook mine in the oven in some aluminium foil. I simply put the clean but unpeeled beetroot in the oven at 160 degrees for 30 minutes.

As the beetroot is roasting, I prepared the vinegar. I took some pickling spices (Ginger, Coriander Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Crushed Red Chillies, Bay Leaves, Allspice, Black Peppercorn). I first put the spices in a saucepan and let them roast for a minute or so. The smell is intense, then you pour the vinegar on top with the sugar and let it boil for a few minutes. Let it cool down as you wait for the end of the cooking of the beetroot.

Once the beetroots have roasted. I  took them out of their foil and peeled them. Be careful of your clothes as the red of the juice will stain big time!

Cut the beetroot in medium-sized chunks and put into a conserve jar. Remember to sterilise the jars before putting any food into them. Don’t want to be sick! It is easy, simply put a bit of water in them (like a centimetre) and then put into the microwave for a couple of minutes, it will zap anything nasty. Then, pour the vinegar on top and make sure that the vinegar is covering all of the vegetables. Close the jar and wait for a couple of weeks before starting to eat. Put a label on the jar so that you know when you made them. You can keep over winter and use in the summer if you wish.



[2020 Update] I keep making these every year…here is a couple of pictures of the 2020 version.


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Duck Terrine, must do one…

UPDATE : This is similar but different to the other Duck Meat Loaf I do.
This one is more “classic” as it is with porc.
The other one can be found here!

I decided to make a few classics for the weekend as my brother’s family is coming for lunch on Sunday…digging out a few old recipes…

I will make a chicken liver pate, some roasted belly porc, a duck terrine, some bread, pickled shallots and most likely we will try the “Coppa” which has been drying in the garage for almost 2 months now…

As an adjustment to the recipe below, today in 2023, I would use a thermometer to adjust the cooking time to reach a “pink” but cooked colour for the final product.


The below was first published on 15th July 2021.

Oli's Duck Terrine :

2 Duck Magrets
250g of minced pork
125g of pancetta or bacon cubes
1 egg (yellow and white)

parsley bunch
salt (very little if you use more bacon)
mixed black and pink pepper (for the flavour)
nutmeg (grated)
cayenne pepper (for the bite)

Oli's secret incredients (!)
2 "screw tops" of Red Martini (sweet taste)
2 or 3 "TUC" biscuits crushed into powder (salty breadcrumb substitute)

Skin the 2 magrets (pull hard) and keep skins
mince the magrets with "small" setting on kenwood mincer
stir everything including the egg in the kenwood (with the Hook paddle)
you should get a fairly moist loaf.

line a terrine with the magret skins (on the sides only)
fill the meat loaf in the terrine
put a twig of thyme or two on top
tiny bit of salt and pepper on top

bake in oven for 1 hour on 160C. this will sort of slow cook it.
bake further for 20/30 minutes a 200c. this will brown the top.
This second phase of 
baking is where you decide how "pink"/dry the terrine will be at the end.

take out of oven once cooked.
let cool down
put in fridge overnight/until next day.

Serve with toasted bread and pickled shallots/gerkins
Goes nice with Rhone Valley rustic wine...


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2023 – Happy New Year !

100 Frames loop, coded in Processing using a variation of Etienne Jacob’s wiggles. All 100 PNG files were converted into a GIF using an online tool.


I call it: “Mind Fireworks”

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Marrons Glaces – Candied Chestnuts

I am in the process of making some candied chestnuts for Christmas gifts.

Marrons Glaces!

It is super easy once you can source cleaned-up chestnuts. The best I have found are from Costco in bags of 500g from the brand Galil.




How to Make :

  • Put 300g of Sugar in 300g of water in a saucepan and let boil.
  • Put the 500g of Chestnuts into the syrup and let warm up until it boils for a few minutes.
  • Let it rest until the following day in the pan.
  • After 24 hours, re-boil for a few minutes. Let it rest.
  • After another 24 hours, re-boil for a few minutes. Let it rest.
  • Finally, carefully remove all the chestnuts from the syrup and lay them on a silicone sheet.
  • Put into the oven at 70 degrees celsius for an hour or so or until the chestnuts are all “dry”. This is the very tricky part. You do not want the marrons to go to hard. So keep this as short as possible.
  • Put them into conserves and make gifts of them…
  • Optional: Roll them into icing sugar. I use granular sugar, which I blitz with the coffer grinder.




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