Gromit Hunting part 2 and roasted Romanesco cauliflower cheese soup

Sunday, 1 September 2013
Wow, we've been busy recently.  There's been Gromit hunting galore, Arboretum visiting, Wild place exploring, and well.. a lot of Gromit hunting.  Oh and we went to London.  More about that at a later date, in a Wahaca review.

So.. Gromit.  We went a few weeks ago to collect a few (38) and I was utterly hooked.  We resolved to return this past weekend and try to collect all of the rest.  All 41 (the final one was caught the day after on that aforementioned London trip).  On occasion, it seemed like that was an impossible task for a six day jaunt with some being as far apart as the Arboretum and Cheddar Gorge and lots and lots of points in between.  We possibly weren't helped by going at it in a haphazard manner the first time around but it did mean we were left with a few central ones allowing for a long walk around Bristol on the Tuesday.  So, here you are, 44 Gromits - I had to go back and take photos of the ones we ticked off but didn't manage last time.

On day one D and I spent a long time in the arboretum and picked up three Gromits to the North.

Day two saw us picking up a lot of the ones around Redland and Cribbs Causeway, travelling as far North as Almondsbury.

This photo of D at the bottom makes me laugh - utterly contrived!  He was sad that he couldn't get in to see the Snowdog but not this sad.  He's a little dramatist.  He generated a lot of amusement in a group of women who were there at the same time.

On day three we went to 'catch' a lot of the southern Gromits.  This was a bit of a pain when the diversion to Bristol airport seemed to go around in circles but otherwise made for a good day.  We have plans to return to Tyntesfield and Windmill Hill City Farm and probably Ashton Court

Day four was a day off - we went to Weston-Super-Mare and had a great time on the beach, including donkey riding for D and a cream tea for all.  We picked up the two Gromits at Bristol's train station but otherwise it was a pretty Gromit light.  

Day five we spent walking around Bristol.  Boy did we walk.  I'm sure that if the scales are favourable when I return after my holiday, it'll be because of the walking.  Probably not because of the range of restaurants I'm now able to review (look out for Stable and Salvatore's Kitchen at a later date).
Anyway, we saw so much of Bristol.  I know that D is looking forward to returning to Brandon Hill park.  

Day six ended up being a tiny bit disappointing.  That big picture is a sign apologising for the lack of Patch.  We couldn't actually see 'her' as D is referring to this Gromit.  We ummed and ahhed about returning at a later date just to see this one but I think we're just going to chalk it up as done - doesn't really fit with my nature but doing a 160 mile round trip just to see one is a bit much.  D started hugging the legs of the Gromits on our last day, which took in the Gromits of Clifton.

The thing that I love about the Gromits is the details.  Here are some of my favourite.  The very bottom ones are a maze on aMazing! at Cheddar Gorge.  If it hadn't been so busy I would have 'done' it with D - he adores mazes and sees them in all kinds of things, like tarmac.  

There are a few missing from the above round-up as I felt they needed to be shared on their own.  The first is of Vincent van Gromit, pictured here with D and his Granny: -

This one is me with Gizmo, the Gromit painted by Quentin Blake - 

Then there is me and D: -

Finally, this is our Gromit 80 - all three of us together at London Paddington.  An amazing feeling of achievement - but also a small sense of loss.  What on earth to do now?!?

On to the soup of this week: -

There is absolutely no reason this couldn't be made with a bog-standard cauli but I'm a sucker for an unusual looking vegetable, so when I visited Reg the Veg in Clifton looking for inspiration, the green Romanesco cauliflower was what jumped out at me.

Stats: - 4 servings, 2 propoints each.

Ingredients: -

One large cauliflower
One tablespoon of olive oil
Three garlic cloves
One tablespoon of mustard powder
900ml hot vegetable stock
40g grated mature cheddar

Set oven to gas mark six.  Separate cauliflower into florets and place on a baking tray with garlic cloves and olive oil, brushing the florets/tossing to coat as far as possible.

Roast for thirty minutes.

In a large pan, add vegetable stock and mustard powder. Add the cauliflower and garlic.

Blitz until smooth.

Sprinkle grated cheese over the top.

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