Friday, 18 January 2013

Latvian Food

Well, it turns out that it was not necessarily Latvian.  The woman who is in the process of setting up the company and who is carrying out the marketing trials of her product lived in Latvia before coming to the UK with her son but she is actually of Russian and Ukrainian stock.  She was at pains to say that her product was not Latvian at all but had it roots in Russia and a bit from Ukraine.

She was very keen to ask our opinion about the product but even more than that, about how she should market it and pick our brains for apossible name for her brand.  Unfortunately, she was one of those people who has very pronounced views and although she listened, it was clear she wasn't really "listening".  We all thought that she should use the Eastern European heritage of the food as a USP so we asked what the little dumpling are called in Latvia/Ukraine/Russia.  She cam eup with various names and we thought they sounded fine.  But she said that her product is not "authentic" so wanted to give it a generic name like "pockets".  Hmm, I thought pockets makes it sound a bit Findus/Iceland cheap synthetic rather than a healthy, interesting and useful ethnic speciality.

Her product is essentially a cross between dim sum dumplings and ravioli/tortellini.  Thin pasta with fillings but more filling to pasta ratio than in ravioli or tortellini etc or dim sum.  They can be deep fried, boiled, steamed and cooked within various sauces.  She cooked a load up in a cheesy carbonara bake and it was heavenly.  They were extremely healthy in a thin broth too which you could "Chinese" up with spices and soy sauce or add chilli or herbs to your taste.  I thought they would make a very easy and filling bake in a tomato based veggie sauce with a sprinkling of cheese on top.  And they worked well in the buffet finger food zone too.  Extremely versatile.  I especially loved the )sadly deep friend potato pockets in the shape of mini pasties - mmmm - although these are probably the least versatile and least healthy of her entire range.....sigh.

I'm going to go back and buy a pack of the smoked chicken filled  pockets for the freezer as I reckon they would be v handy for those days when you haven't planned a meal or have forgotten to take anything out of the freezer.

So, that was fun and interesting.  I even had a couple of peach filled "pockets" with dulce de leche......mmmm (only a couple before you nag!!).

Right, today?  Not bad.  Despite the snow and icy wind, I managed 2 hilly 20/25 minute walks with the dogs and a decent (sweaty even) home workout.  I started with 18 minutes on the trampette (would have been 20 but Rich got back and I wasn't going to flail around in  front of the telly)!  Followed by my first go at the Sunday Telegraph's Get Fit in 28 Days routine with Sally Gunnell and Mark Foster.  I like having something telling me what to do rather than just making it up so thought I'd give it a go.  Very favourable.

Having completed the multiple choice pop quiz to establish my fitness level I found that I'm apparently in the Elite zone!!  Go me!!  Which meant I had to do the highest  numbers of reps.  I finished the first set of 4 exercises (sqauts, star jumps, knee raises and hip lifts) and thought "is that it?".  Then read it again and realised that I had to do 4 sets of those 4 exercises.  Well, I did it without trouble but I was sweaty and can feel it in my legs.  I certainly know I've had a workout.  I'm looking forward to Sally's exercises tomorrow or Sunday.  I am supposed to have a day's rest between sets so I suppose I'll follow the rules!

We're now hunkered down in front of he fire with a nice bottle of very tasty Spanish red.  It went very well with supper of paprika chicken with tomato, chorizo and butterbeans!  I love snowy days.  Hope you're all warm and safe and can enjoy the snow tomorrow.   

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