Personal and undiluted views
Hop-tu-Naa

389 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - It's Halloween and I am in the kitchen

Last year, unable to find a pumpkin to buy at the last minute, we used turnips and celeberated Hop-tu-naa This year I snapped up a pumpkin and watched by Sian the cat hollowed it out.  I am not a great pumpkin carver so by my standards this was an adequate result. Then came the pumpkin soup.

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391 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Time to start looking forward again this Hop-Tu-Naa

I sgtart with a few thoughts on my father’s funeral which is HERE. Then reflect on the news from Boris today on why I am so wary of housing as an aset class and Malcolm’s love of housebuilding shares. Then onto the wider market. 

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754 days ago

Photo Article: Guy Fawkes Night in Wrexham, a nation forgets its history & the Mrs thinks I am becoming Peter Hitchens

It is only a few days ago that I was bemoaning how the true meaning and heritage of All Soul’s Night or Hop-tu-Naa had been lost into another alcohol fuelled consumer-fest that is Halloween. Now the Mrs thinks that I am turning into Peter Hitchens as we approach Guy Fawkes Night, or as it is known these day Bonfire Night. My thoughts turn to my childhood, forty five or more years ago and a different world.

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757 days ago

Photo Article: Hop-tu-naa at the Welsh Hovel

I was going to cave to that ghastly American imported idea and buy a pumpkin and make pumpkin pie. I bought the molasses and cream and was ready, all I then needed was a pumpkin…

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1122 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: happy Hop-tu-naa, my No 1 tip for dealing with Trick or Treaters

Happy Hop-tu-naa to any listeners in the Isle of Man, and happy Halloweebn to the rest of you. I start the podcast with a handy tip on dealing with the Trick or Treat menace. This afternoon I head off with Joshua to deal with the bastards at Barclays (see yesterday's bearcast) and I will report back on that tomorrow. I look at Crawshaw (CRAW), I3 Energy (I3E) doing a Cathy Newman, at Photonstar Led (PSL)) which is toast, Online Blockchain (OBC), at FastJet (FJET), lessons for Neil Woodford from GYG (GYG) and elsewhere and why Thirsty Paul Scott and others should keep December 3 free.

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1122 days ago

FastJet – is that the Fat Lady I see over there? Almost game over..

FastJet (FJET) the airline set up by tobacco smugglers which, having gone legit, has a perennially failing business model and ability to burn vast amounts of cash had said that it needed more cash by the end of October to keep going. Aha, its October 31, I wish all ,my readers on the Isle of Man happy Hop-tu-naa, and so what’s the story back at FastJet? It is not good news I fear…

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1731 days ago

The Field No 8 - Halloween, at last something sweet to eat

Having been deprived of chocolate and sweets for most of the year, late October until November 5th at Butterwell Farm, Byfield provided some greatly appreciated treats. 

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1852 days ago

Photo Article: Not Halloween but Hop-tu-Naa in Bristol

The younger generation suggested half term pumpkin carving. But I could not find a pumpkin in the local stores as all the chavs seemed to have got there ahead of me. But I spotted a turnip and, remembering my time in the Isle of Man, Halloween became Hop-tu-Naa.

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1876 days ago

My weekly Sainsbury shop, I am addicted to this exercise in despairing at modern life

I am the main shopper in this household, spinning down to the local Sainsbury once a week to provide for myself, the Mrs, Joshua and, most importantly of all, my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley. I work with a mental shopping list and wander around in track suit bottoms to blend in with my fellow shoppers. I plod slowly trying to take in the full horror of life in modern Britain. It is addictive but each week I return to then emerge in ever greater despair.

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2584 days ago

Meet Jinnie the Witch all day on Friday 31st at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell

For tomorrow at the Real Man Pizza Company it is not Halloween but Hop-tu-naa, the Celtic New Year which on October 31st is celebrated all over the Isle of Man but also at the Manx restaurant outpost in Clerkenwell, the Real Man Pizza Company.

Back in the Isle of Man the kids will be going round houses asking for sweets but this is not the American import of trick or treat this is a very Manx Tradition. The kids, some of whom might still carry lanterns made of what the Manx call turnips but what you might call a Swede, knock on your door and sing:

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2584 days ago

A slice of dumb cake at Real Man?

It is another Hop-tu-naa tradition. You really do not want to know what is in Dumb cake or Soddag Valloo, to give it its Manx name. Oh, okay then.

Eggs, egg shells, flour, water, soot and salt. Yum Yum. In olden days just before going to bread on Hop-to-naa folks would divide up the cake, eat in silence (hence dumb), and walk backwards to bed. There young women would see in a dream their future husbands who would bring them a glass of water.

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2584 days ago

Tom Winnifrith video on the Westminster Group Ebola appeal from last night

Before last night's four presentations at the ShareProphets Seminar - videos of which will appear later - I made a few comments about the Westminster Group (WSG) ebola appeal. All this week - Hop-tu-naa week - at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell we will be donating 20p per pizza sold to the appeal and I hope that others will chip in. Details of the appeal can be found HERE

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2950 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa at Real Man Pizza – part 6: The Chocolate Hop-tu-Naa Pizza

Just for Hop-tu-Naa we are tweaking our normal Manx chocolate pizza. Instead of milk chocolate we have a darker thicker chocolate with a seasonal fruit topping. Naturally it tastes awesome.

Leno will be serving both today and on Hop-tu-naa itself (Thursday)

It is one of two dessert course on offer ( the other being Reda’s chocolate mousse cake) on our special Hop-tu-naa menu running at Clerkenwell’s No 1 Celtic Italian restaurant all day Wednesday and Thursday.

The full menu can be found here.

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2950 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa at Real Man Pizza – part 5: The Hop-tu-Naa Pizza

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That is win for ace superchef Leno a special pizza for Hop-tu-naa with a real Manx twist. Naturally that means you get a good helping of the national dish Queenies (scallops) plus generous amounts of Manx crab.

The base is fresh spinach and for a surf and turf feel there is a dash of Parma ham. All on a traditional cheese and tomato pizza base.

It is the main course on our special Hop-tu-naa menu running at Clerkenwell’s No 1 Celtic Italian restaurant all day Wednesday and Thursday.

The full menu can be found here

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2950 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa at Real Man Pizza – part 4: The Manx crab & swede soup is perfect!

That is win for Reda and myself. We tweaked a traditional recipe and have deliver a gently curried creamy crab and swede soup.

It looks fabulous and even ace Number One new cook Leno admitted that it was a triumph. If you are the sort of vegetarian who eats fish it should work for you – it tastes fantastic. What more can I say. 

It is the first course on our special Hop-tu-naa menu running at Clerkenwell’s No 1 Celtic Italian restaurant all day Wednesday and Thursday.

 The full Hop-tu-naa menu is almost ready and you can view what is on offer here.

 

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2950 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa at Real Man Pizza – part 3: The flag goes up

Taking a brief break from the kitchen where the Manx crab and turnip creamed soup is taking shape and before Reda and I turn our attention to Soddag Valloo (dumb cake) there are a few minutes to raise the Isle of Man flag inside Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell.

Hop-tu-naa may be the Celtic New Year but it is a uniquely isle of man celebration. And so the flag goes up.

As of tomorrow it will be joined by a few other items. If you are Manx and in London on Wednesday & Thursday and wish to celebrate with us remember that we offer a 20% discount to any customer paying their bill in Manx bank notes.

The full Hop-tu-naa menu is almost ready and you can view what is on offer here.

 

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2950 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa at Real Man Pizza – part 2: The lantern army is born

Jinnie the Witch and her assistants (ace cooks Reda and Leno) have carved the turnips (Swedes in England) and the lantern army starts to take shape. As of tomorrow it will start to take control of Real Man in the build up to Hop-tu-Naa on Thursday.

But our Hop-tu-Naa menu goes live as of Wednesday 30th for just two days as you can see here



Now to the kitchen to make the Manx crab and swede creamed soup with Reda.

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2950 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa at Real man Part 1 – Carving Turnips (Swedes)



Hop-tu-Naa (the Isle of Man alternative to Halloween – it is the Celtic New Year) is on Thursday but we will start celebrating at Real Man Pizza, the quirky Manx Italian outpost in Clerkenwell, tomorrow (Wednesday). And so preparations are underway all of tonight.

First up are the turnips (what we might call Swedes in England) which the staff are now carving. As you can see Jinnie the Witch has turned up to assist Leno and Reda our ace cooks.

And so we now have our lanterns. More importantly we also have pounds of swede which Reda and I will start turning into a creamy Manx crab and swede soup which forms part of our Hop-tu-naa special menu available on both Wednesday and Thursday.


The full Menu can be found here.

More to follow...

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2955 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa At Real Man…Its Underway

In case you had forgotten next week (the 31st) is Hop-tu-Naa. Not Halloween (All souls night) but Hop-tu-naa (the Celtic New Year). We will be celebrating at Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The turnips (what the Manx call a Swede) have been ordered and will be carved out for lanterns. And the Hop-tu-Naa Special Menu has been finalised:

A Manx crab and turnip ( swede) creamed soup

Followed by

Our Hop-tu-Naa pizza – Crab, Queenies and Olives with a strip of parmesan on a fresh spinach  base

Followed by

Either:

A special dark chocolate Hop-tu-Naa pizza (pictured)

or

Reda’s Fames chocolate mousse cake

With all meals a small piece of Soddag Valloo ( you don’t want to know) is on the house & Manx Spirit ( again you do not want to know) is only £2 a shot with your meal.

Two courses - £12, Three courses £15.

I cannot imagine any other restaurant in London will be celebrating Hop-tu-Naa next week so if you wish to make an early reservation please call us on 0207 242 3246

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2960 days ago

It’s Hop-tu-Naa in Clerkenwell but Halloween here in Bristol: the two pumpkin recipe weekend

Up in London I will be celebrating Hop-tu-Naa on October 30th and 31st at Real Man Pizza. I am working on the exact pizza to celebrate the Celtic New Year – that is a job for next week. More details of the menu here

But back in Bristol it is a weekend to brush off my two pumpkin recipes. I cannot remember when this became part of my annual ritual but it now is. All went well. Normally this is a kid’s thing but the Mrs. Has never cooked pumpkin before and so, having done it ever year for longer than I can remember, she got to be the kid this time. Take two medium sized pumpkins…

Take the “hat off” and remove all the pips and the stringy orange stuff and throw it away. This being Bristol I made sure they were thrown away in the correct bin (brown – organic matter) to avoid a Halloween fine from the eco-fascist City Council. Then scrape out as much of the “flesh” as you can with a spoon. Make sure that you do not pierce the outer skin but try to get enough flesh out so that you can see your fingers move through the wall. And you get a pumpkin ready to be a lantern…hey presto.

So we now have two lanterns ready for use next weekend.

You will now have a mound of flesh. Separate into two halves.

Half One – a Creamy pumpkin soup.

Chop two onions finely and stock in a pan with a large knob of butter and cook until soft but not brown (say 5 minutes). Add in the pumpkin flesh

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2970 days ago

Celebrating Hop-tu- Naa at Real Man Pizza 30th and 31st October

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I guess you think that Halloween is what you celebrate on 31st October (All Soul’s Night) but long before this tradition got going the Celtics celebrated their New Year on 31st October and in the Isle of Man they still do: welcome to Hop-tu-Naa.

 We may not be in Ellan Vannin this year but at London's quirkiest Celtic Italian restaurant Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell we will be celebrating anyway. And so the carved swedes (known as turnips on the Island) will go up as lanterns not just on Hop-tu-Naa itself but also the day before. We would encourage you to sing Jinnie the Witch. And we have a special two course menu available for just £10.



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