"Sharpe" Weekend in Woolwich, at the Firepower museum

Living History Sharpe Weekend
Go back in time at the Living History and Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe Weekend at Firepower this 17 - 18 April. Meet cast and crew of the ITV drama, see re-enactments from the Napoleonic Period, and much of the Museum's world-famous collection is from the Napoleonic period when Sharpe is set so Firepower is the perfect venue for this weekend salute to one of literature’s most famous soldiers.

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Mostly for ladysprite: Bigos

Here's a family economy/bucket cooking version of a Polish hunter's stew, Bigos. My step-grandfather was Polish, so I'm sure there was some influence from that quarter. Serves 2-4.

  • 1 medium cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 4-8 thick sausages (usually pork, but a mixture of different pork, beef and venison would be closer to the original)
    EDIT: Leftover meat can go in too, and is true to the original. OTOH, if you want to go veggie, use something like Cauldron Cumberland Sausages, and half-cook them first, or they will fall apart in the absence of a skin. You may want to add them later too.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large potato, diced into large pieces
  • Large tin chopped or plum/cooked tomatoes (undrained)
  • Tube tomato puree
  • Salt, ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 bayleaf leaves/powdered bayleaf/"Old bay" (OK, there aren't many people in the UK with "Old Bay" Seasoning, but I really like the mixture! Pork seasoning is not dissimilar). Either Old bay or pork seasoning will reduce the amount of salt & pepper needed
  • Dash of oil

  • Take a large pan. Heat the oil, add the onions and garlic and sweat off the onions a little.
    Add the potatoes next, and give them a few minutes.
    Put the sausages into the pan. (Depending on your taste, you may want to brown them quickly in a pad first, but I personally like the extra cooking together from going straight in.
    Put in the seasoning (light on the salt at this stage!) half the cabbage, the tomatoes (with their juice) and tomato puree, then just cover with hot water (dissolving in the puree), and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30-40 minutes with a lid on, stirring occasionally. (The sausages should be cooked by now).

    Check the seasoning, then add the rest of the cabbage, and carry on until it has softened - a total cook time of probably an hour. Serve with baked potatoes or hunks of bread & butter.

    Any left-overs will be even better the next day :-)

    "House" - S6 "Epic Fail"

    The whole episode is built around an immersive video game, which looked great. Some lovely ideas, especially when the patient went nuts and the hospital turned into the game....

    No details, alas. It was obviously a mock-up but so far outside the usual show parameters, the crew had excelled themselves. Alternatively, a game creative team were involved.

    I particularly liked the idea of video capturing the players' (real) movements to move the characters - 13 moving hand-over-hand hanging from the ceiling was really suggestive of future play modes (and then who needs Wii Fit?)


    Paloma Faith - bonkers, great performer, great dress, great tats. (yes, tAts)
    Jummy Ruffin.... the voice has suffered.
    Magazine - OK, but I wasn't a big fan first time round
    Wolfmother - perfectly competent.

    Seasick Steve. How can an old hobo, with a 2x4 plank with a single string and a slide groove so well? Of course, it does help his drummer sounds huge. bluesman, if you haven't come across him, check him out - raw, stripped down blues.

    EDIT: Having watched the full version, I like Magazine's other performances much more, and ditto Devendra Banhart.