Thursday, 1 March 2018

Vegan Sausage Plait

I can't take credit for this recipe; my Mum came up with it after seeing a meaty version on a TV foodie show. I'm posting this for the benefit of a friend. I'm not a professional recipe writer, so attempt it yourself at your own risk.


1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry

(These vary between 320g Jus Rol to 375g Sainsbury's own brand. Either will do as this recipe doesn't require precision. Alternatively, you can make your own pastry using vegan margarine. This recipe is fine with shortcrust pastry or puff pastry.)

2 Vegetarian oxo cubes
1 packet of 6 Linda McCartney's sausages, (or whatever sausages you like).
1 packet sage and onion stuffing (85g)
1 large onion
Vegan margarine - large heaped dessert spoon sized dollop
Oil for cooking onion / greasing baking tray / glazing pastry (mixed with a dash of soya milk)

You will also need a large baking try to assemble the plait on in addition to run-of-the-mill kitchenalia required for preparation. [See, I said I wasn't a professional food writer].


Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F / Google it for gas.

Finely chop the onion and fry it in some oil until it is soft.
While the onion is cooking, prepare the dry stuffing mix as per the instructions on the packet but dissolve the two oxo cubes into the boiled water to add extra flavour. Add the large dollop of margarine and the cooked onion to stuffing and mix thoroughly. I don't add any other seasoning because the sausages are quite salty and the oxo cubes are quite savoury, but you can if you want to.

Next, grease your baking tray with oil and unroll the pastry. Put the pastry on the tray and spread HALF of the stuffing mixture onto the pastry (see my fabulous diagram below - I'd have taken photos of the whole process if I'd realised I was going to do this blog).

Don't use all of the stuffing as you need to keep some to cover the sausages. Next, arrange the sausages on top of the stuffing layer. Use a knife or scissors to score or cut the pastry in readiness for plaiting. If you can't be bothered with plaiting, re-name the dish 'Sausage Wellington' and just roll it up once you've assembled the filling. [Why make life hard if you're not feeling like a crafter?]

Cover the sausages with the remaining stuffing mixture - see diagram below. You can then plait the pastry across the top of the stuffing, or roll it up if you've opted to make the wellington.

Once you've finished this, mix a small amount of sunflower oil with some soya milk to glaze the top of the pastry. This will make it go a nice golden brown, but is not essential.

Cook for between 35 - 45 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180 C
If  you find that the pastry is getting too brown too quickly you can cover it with foil so that it doesn't burn.

Here's my finished version. It goes well with a roast dinner and gravy and is also nice cold with salad or HP sauce, chips and beans. YUM. Post a comment if you have any questions or think I've missed anything.

I made some rose buds using the left over pastry for this one that I served up on Christmas Day. My Mum and Owen,  independently of each other, both said, "Oooo, I like your snails." I don't know why I bother.

Here's another plait recipe that I found that has better pictures than mine. I haven't made this myself though.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Helên Tingle's Halloween Treat 2016.

Nightwalker  - Uncle Ian  DOWNLOAD HERE 

This Corrosion - Sisters of Mercy  BUY HERE

Spellbound - Siouxsie and The Banshees  BUY HERE

Mourir c'est nul - Infecticide  BUY HERE

Neurotic  Zombie - Tart 82  NO BUY LINK AVAILABLE


The Crucifix - John Maus  BUY HERE

Sex Vampire - UN BUY HERE

For Whom The Bell Tolls - Fad Gadget BUY HERE 

Tainted Love - Skinny Puppy      NO BUY LINK AVAILABLE

Deathwish - Christian Death BUY HERE 

Death Disco - Public Image Limited BUY HERE

The Holy Hour - The Cure BUY HERE

Who Killed Mr. Moonlight? - Bauhaus BUY HERE

Zombie Sheep - Pusbunny  NO BUY LINK - LISTEN HERE

Six Eyes From Hell - Monte Cazazza   NO BUY LINK AVAILABLE

Biomutanten - Les Vampyrettes  BUY HERE

Aperitif De La Mort -  Liaisons Dangereuses  BUY HERE

Movement of Fear - Tones On Tail BUY HERE

Holland Tunnel Drive - Implog  BUY HERE

Nothing - IX   BUY HERE 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Polar Fleece

Polar Fleece: "An unknown baby travels in the womb of its mountaineer mother whose i-pod sounds have rendered her oblivious to her avalanche destiny."

Monday, 24 August 2015

Listen EP

4 track EP of dark sounds by me.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Daylight Hedgehogs and Snuffling in the Bushes.

What are the chances - sitting in the garden at 8.30pm last Friday night, with bf, when a hedgehog appears? As luck would have it, bf was trying out a new long lens, photographing garden birds on the bird feeder, using his camera that takes stills and video. Here's the footage.

I posted the footage in the Warrington Hedgehog Forum on facebook . I'm aware that if hedgehogs are out in daylight, it usually means that there is something wrong with them, and they should be taken to a local rescue to be checked out.

This hog looked quite fit, and given that it's mid summer it was difficult to say whether 8.30pm was too early for it to appear. Friday night was quite cold and dark for the time of year, so maybe the hog was just a bit confused and woke too early.

Anyway, my local hedgehog expert suggested keeping an eye out for this one, and if possible catching it and weighing it. So, on Monday night at 8.15pm, I took a seat in the garden, with weighing scales, gardening gloves and hedgehog box at the ready, and waited...

The hog didn't appear until 10.15pm by which time I'd provided an evening meal to a few mosquitoes; spotted a frog behind some flower pots; a mouse in the hedge and some bats overhead. A tranquil balmy evening - better than telly.

I did manage to catch and weigh the hog, which weighed in at 750g which is pretty healthy, so no cause for concern. I also took the advice of local hog expert and put a very small identifying mark on this one, using some apricot white matt emulsion paint dabbed lightly on some prickles, so now I'll recognise it if I see it again. I've decided to call it Apricot.

Update: I saw this hog throughout the summer, after dusk, not during the day. It was a regular visitor to the feeding box. I also spotted it the following year, 2016 - again in mid summer, after dark. The paint mark still visible, but quite faint. So, it would appear that in this instance we did the right thing; the hog appeared to be out a little early, at a time of year when the days are at their shortest.

I've also been out recording the snuffling sounds that hedgehogs sometimes make. 

If you have ever heard this loud snuffling noise out in the garden late at night, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's a big scary creature hiding in the bushes. The sound can be quite loud. I've read that it is usually a female hog responding to the advances of an amorous male hog during the mating season. The males will circle the females at this time, trying to win them over.  I've witnessed hedgehogs checking each other out and making snuffling noises, so I usually just back off and head indoors leaving them to it. There's a picture of two cheeky looking hogs in this slide show, eating a pile of worms. Minutes prior to the picture being taken they were having a bit of a fight behind some flower pots, but with no snuffling noises. Peace broke out once I tipped a load of meal worms onto the path. 

NB. It's not a good idea to feed meal worms to hogs too often. Although the hogs love them and will eat them in preference to almost anything else, the worms are not very nutritious. Too many meal worms in a hog's diet can result in calcium deficiency. Cat biscuits are much better for them. 

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Kanye luvs Rosemary tru luv 4 eva

My mate Rosemary thought that Kanye West had followed her on twitter, so true to form I mercilessly took the piss. But, it turns out I was wrong. Whilst trawling through the internet re. the BBC Glastonbury subtitles debacle, I stumbled across this unseen part of Kanye's Glastonbury set. Who knew?

Monday, 22 June 2015

Don't Mess With The Birds

I've been noodling with sounds again and have accidentally turned into an experimental musician. It's easily done: one minute you're marvelling at the beauty of the birdsong in the garden and before you know it you've recorded and uploaded it into audacity, looped it, snipped it, reversed it and put a load of effects on it until it sounds like a terrible psychotic nightmare sequence from an early 1970s English horror film.

This tune was made using a short recording of some birdsong, featuring a song thrush (I think) and some other random garden noises. The result was this creepy soundscape.

I was quite pleased to learn that the tune was picked up by Markus Koehler who presents a show called 'Difficult Music For Difficult People'  broadcast from Hamburg.

Here's the edition of the show from a couple of weeks ago that opens with my track, followed by a jingle for the show that Owen and me did for Markus.