Friday, December 22, 2006

Adieu 2006!

Well folks, this is the last post of the year - what can I say?

It's been a great 12 months and just clicking through the sidebar of the months it's good to see a lot shenanigans caught on camera - and glad to see some that weren't :)

All I can say is that I'm really looking forward to 2007 and all that it will bring. Many thanks to everyone for visiting and making it worthwhile.

I'll be back on Monday 8 January for a bumper week of catching up and hopefully a lot of photos from Xmas and New Years.

Have a great festive season and a kickin' NYE - hope you all had a super 2006 and see you in 2007 for a bigger and better year.

Best wishes,


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Top 40 Albums of 2006

Well folks, here we are. The top 10. The raison d'être of 2006 albums. La crème de la crème. The pinnacle of - oh let's just see what's #1!

10. Tapes 'n Tapes - The Loon

Indie rock. "A unpretentious approachability and charm...with surprise vibe melodies, incongruously smooth counterpoints...[that] keeps listeners off-balance and wanting more."

Official site

9. El Perro Del Mar - El Perro Del Mar

Blues pop. "A careful singer whose near-tears delivery can imbue downhearted hyperbole with subtle emotional inflections that sound achingly genuine."

Official site

8. Bonnie Prince Billy - The Letting Go

A late autumn stroll through the woods. "Organic and cozy...amazingly consistent. The Letting Go doesn't provoke deep absorption or self-reflection so much as a kind of fond familiarity."

Official site

7. The Knife - Silent Shout

Haunted house electronica. " As menacing as it is hooky, this is some bracing stuff...capable of magic in its natural form."

Official site

6. Cat Power - The Greatest

Harmonies and a bouncy beats. "She's stretched her musical horizons far beyond the close-knit indie rock world-- a world that likely doesn't want her to change."

Official site

5. Annuals - Be He Me

Orchestral pop. "Hyperboloid songs that whorl and dimple, digressively executing competent-to-astonishing arrangements in a...classic-rock sheen [with] earthier lyrical concerns, and worldbeat dalliances."

Official site

4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones

Meltdown-rock. "Show Your Bones contains some genuinely disarming moments that reveal the band's considerable emotional and sonic force."

Official site

3. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit

Indie pop. "Only a few bands have managed to successfully reinvent themselves a half-dozen or so albums into their careers. The Life Pursuit is a baroque pop cathedral, welcoming the faithful and newly converted alike."

Official site

2. Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops

Sonic melodic pop. "The subject matter brings out the best in the musicians, as they orchestrate these mood swings for maximum impact, sounding as big and as serious as ever."

Official site

1. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies

Pop rock. "The album is structurally complex, thematically dense, and labyrinthine in its self-referentiality. Destroyer's Rubies is remarkably sophisticated, cycling through several mini-verses but never congealing into any standard song form. By the time the song reaches its final chorus, it has attained a blissful, sing-songy energy that...greatly enhances their impact."

Official site

There you have it. The 10 albums you should own in 2006. Thanks for stopping by. It's the last day tomorrow before Adevtures takes a winter vacation. See you then for some festive, cheer. Well, both ;)


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top 20 Films of 2006

by L. McGaughey

It's difficult to rate such a wide range of films as each is from a different genre and thus non-comparable to an extent. All the movies that did qualify for 2006 are based on the UK cinema release date. So, without further ado, I present the Top 20 films of 2006:

20. Capote

Capote is based on the true story of Truman Capote who, while working for the New York Times, covered the story of a wealthy family murdered in Holcomb, Kansas interviewing local people affected by the killings and the murderers themselves. However, during these interviews he became emotionally attached to the murderers so he could extract the story from them, mainly about the night of the murders. In doing this, Capote invests too much energy and lifeblood and loses sight of friends and lovers and paid the ultamite price. After 6 years working on the novel, despite releasing In Cold Blood to critical acclaim, Capote never writes again and becomes an alcholic and drug addict which killed him in 1984.
A slow burner, Capote builds characters and and a clear mental picture of the struggle inside his mind and how his endeavour affects those around him.

19. Munich

Munich is about the events of the 1972 Munich Olympics where 11 Israeli athletes kidnapped and murdered and the reprecussion where a group of men were chosen to assassinate the Black September instigators.
Eric Bana is the leader chosen to eliminate the Munich terrorist group leaders of Black September and they soon set about tracking them down and attempting to eliminate them by blowing them up using simple but effective devices besides plain gunning them down. However, it is unlcear from the film just how they manage to go from no leads to finding a source who provides a name and location for exorbant fees for all the required killings. Nevertheless, the scenes themselves are technically and proficiently executed.
At nearly three hours long, some of the scenes and plot points are just too long and detract from the story. Nevertheless, Munich is a story worth telling and because it is based on true events, there's always a questionable interpretation of what happened based on who is telling the story. Whether or not Speilberg was the man to tell this story, one cannot be certain but on its own merits, the film is watchable if at some times long and confusing.

18. Silent Hill

Silent Hill stages uber-nightmarish visuals and no cheap shock-tactic camera tricks. The demons are most certainly real in the town of Silent Hill and creepy as hell to boot.
It all begins when a little girl, Sharon, goes sleep walking in the middle of the night and her parents find her on a precipice near the family house looking into a firey cataclysm. that only she can see. In an effort tyo help Sharon, her mother decides to take her to the deserted town of Silent Hill to find some answers.
Things quickly descend into a living darkness when the car crashes and Sharon is lost. Silent Hill's first half fires along at a great pace, with monsters, demons and fantastic dark visual sequences which are among the best I have seen in any horror film. However, what lets the movie down is when it tries to explain itself and the last half an hour when it implodes on itself with mediocre dialogue and a flimsy plot structure in an attempt to tie up loose ends and explain to the audience just what the hell is going on when I feel viewers should be left in the dark just like the characters were for most of the film.

17. The Prestige

In turn-of-the-century London an intense rivalry erupts between two competing magicians that leads them on a battle for supremacy -- full of obsession, deceit and jealousy with dangerous and deadly consequences. From the time that they first met as young magicians on the rise, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden were competitors. However, their friendly competition evolves into a bitter rivalry making them fierce enemies-for-life and consequently jeopardising the lives of everyone around them.
A surprisingly engaging mystery/thriller featuring a host of stellar performances. It will leave you pondering and no doubt debating the many twists and turns for some time after the curtains rise.

16. Children of Men

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the future of humankind.
A worthy, entertaining and original action thriller that delivers on plot and character but doesn’t quite achieve the emotional depth or political significance it requires to become a modern classic.

15. Hard Candy

A mature 14-year old girl meets a charming 32-year old photographer on the Internet. Suspecting that he is a paedophile, she goes to his home in an attempt to expose him
An effective and provocative psychological thriller that deserves to be checked out by every film fan.

14. A Scanner Darkly

The L.A. of a not-too-distant future suffers a surge of drug abuse involving a new ultra-addictive and eventually brain-damaging substance simply named "D". Bob Arctor is an undercover narc leading a double life, dutifully reporting to his superiors while effectively having abandoned whatever normal existence he had for a "D" user/dealer career. But this schizophrenic situation and the drug-induced memory and concentration lapses put Bob under mounting stress.

13. An Inconvenient Truth

It is called An Inconvenient Truth because those in charge of changing the way industry operates to combat global warming do not want to jeoperdise their careers and vast money making businesses to prevent a global catastrophe which could occur in our lifetime. They have done this through media manipulation whereby newspaper articles spread disinformation and doubt even though 100% of scientific papers allude to global warming.
I found An Inconvenient Truth to be a fascinating documentary presented by Al Gore, almost President of the United States. He is a man dedicated to the subject and I hope that this documentary is seen by as many people as possible but mainly by those who can make a serious change although for reasons stipulated above I very much doubt anything will be done about it and this is a great shame for everyone.

12. The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Set in Ireland in 1919, workers unite to face the brutal British Black and Tan squads shipped in to block the country’s bid for independence. As the Irish guerrilla tactics bring the British to breaking point both sides agree to a treaty to end the bloodshed. But despite the apparent victory, civil war erupts and families who fought side by side now turn on each other in an equally bloody manner.

A true Ken Loach drama. The Wind that Shakes the Barley is a bold attempt to convey a complex situation that captures the anger and tensions of early-20th century Ireland.

11. Tsotsi

Tsotsi begins with a gang walking through a desolate town on the outskirts of Johannesburg. They are only teenagers but it is clear that they mean business. The gang belongs to Tsotsi and the film follows his trials and tribulations over a 6 day period as he makes the most important mistakes and decisions in his life when he steals a car from a rich neighbourhood and after making his getaway, realises he has also kidnapped a baby that was asleep in the back. Despite his misgivings and general apathy towards others lives, he cannot bring himself to give up the child and brings it home.
The film showcases how looking after another life who relies on him for survival changes Tsotsi's viewpoints and turns a mirror on how he has been living his own life. Every decision he makes is on a knife-edge and this feeds the human emotional drama as the viewer is consistently unsure how he will react, heighening the conflict that is raging withing Tsotsi and the impact of how one decision can change your life forever.

10. Transamerica

One week before her sex-change operation, Bree receives a call from a 17-year-old identifying himself as her son from a college liaison. Bree's psychiatrist won't approve the surgery until Bree deals with this relationship, so Bree flies to New York City, bails the youth out of juvenile detention, and offers him a ride back to Los Angeles without disclosing that she is his father. Both her plans and his go awry, and as secrets will out, what might become a friendship (or more) founders. The lad's step-father, a sex-change support group, a peyote eater, a Navajo wrangler, and Bree's family all play their parts in this exploration of family, gender, and expectations.

9. Little Miss Sunshine

The film begins as a young girl, Olive, is reviewing a Miss America pageant and mimicking her winning emotional behaviour. Meanwhile the father, Richard, is presenting his 9-step plan to a group of school children and the mother, Sheryl, is picking her brother Frank up from hospital after a failed suicide attempt. As they congregate at the family house for dinner, we are introduced to Olives older teenage brother Dwayne who is on a self-imposed silence and hates everyone and their grandfather Edwin who is snorting heroin before dinner.
During the less-than-successful family dinner where arguing and bickering ensues, a phone call is made whereby Olive finds out that due to a drop-out she is now in contention for the Little Miss Sunshine title. Leaving no-one behind, the family jump into their VW wagon and set off across the country to the pageant where comedy drama ensues.

8. Borat: The cultural learning’s of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

I haven't been in a cinema that has laughed so much since I saw The Squid & The Whale earlier this year. The genius lies in the visuals whereby something ordinary is followed by something surreal and also in the capturing of pure bewilderment and horror on peoples faces when they are caught up in Borats actions. As there is a loose structure to the film in which a vein attempt is made for Borat to learn culturally from Americans by way of pre-arranged meetings and interviews it allows the excuse for many skits inbetween and their agenda is soon aborted by Borat attempting to get to California to have sex with Pamela Anderson.
It is useless to describe the comedy without ruining the intention or gags themselves but they are as much hilarious as they are cringe-worthy due to openly racist and sexist Americans spewing forth non-sensical xenophobic diatribe without their knowledge of them being the butt of the joke.
If you are easily offended or without a sense of humour this film is not for you and I deride any criticism of the film inciting hatred of Jews or insulting the population of Kazakhstan as it is purely tongue-in-cheek black humour.

7. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

At its peak, the company was the 7th largest company in America with 20,000 employees all with their pensions made up with company shares. However, behind the scenes, CEO Ken Lay and COO Jeffrey Skilling were busy inflating the balance sheet, including mark-to-market profits by which projected earnings are put down as the company's profits which didn't exist. Then there's CFO Andy Fastow. Fastow invented companies and suceeded in pulling the wool over major banks to contribute money to them which went straight to Enron. Meanwhile Enron traders practically took over the company and ran amok which culminated in them making huge profits from the Californian Electric fiasco which they instigated. They told power plants to shut down citing technical problems which meant that the cost of energy increased and they made increasing profits from California residents misery.
It is both entertaining and fascinating that a company could get away with fraud for so long and dupe the entire country into believing they had huge profits when they had nothing but debt.

6. United 93

On September 11th 2001, four planes were highjacked. Three of them reached their target. The fourth one crashed near Shankstown, Pennsylvania. United 93 is a real time drama based on the recorded communications of the passangers on that flight with loved ones and officials on the ground.
United 93 is a gritty, highly disturbing and terrifying account of the tragic crash of the fourth plane on September 11th. Unexpectedly, it is completely devoid of any tv drama pathos and in no way attempts to convey the passangers as heroes. Instead it tells an utterly human story of ordinary people who in a complete manic state of panic, hopelessley try to save their own lives.

5. Snowcake

Snowcake is a beautifully told story about a man, played by Alan Rickman, who befriends the mother of the daughter whom he was involved in a car accident with and becomes emotionally attached to the small neighbourhood where she lives and the lifetstyle it involves.
It becomes more poignant because the mother, played by Sigourney Weaver, is a highly functioning autistic woman who, due to her condition, is seemingly unphased by this turn of events which plays on Rickmans guilty complex because he is unable to resolve his feeling of responsibility through absolution.
The screenplay itself was written with Rickman in mind and after reading it, he sent the script to Sigourney stating that she would be ideal for the role of the autistic mother. Both actors are perfectly suited and turn in fine performances with Rickman possibly giving the best he has ever delivered, drawing the viewer into his world and the surroundings he finds himself in.
Snowcake is a movie-goers gem that takes a simple premise and expands it into a layered and engrossing story. It has fantastic snippets of black comedy which add charm and depth of the characters.

4. The Squid & The Whale

The Squid & The Whale is almost an auto-biographical film for its writer and director Noah Baumbach. It may be worth noting that Baumbach also wrote The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, which also has idiosyncratic and characters and unhinged dialogue although as he is also directing this film it seems to gel a lot better in terms of fluidity and character development. It is also hilariously funny and I can't recall a cinema audience laughing out loud and continually throughout a movie in either so many years I've forgotten or it has actually never happened. The secret that Baumbach has found is not so much in the dialogue but how his characters deliver it and how he captures the momment. There is some excellent use of the handheld camera which adds a realism and also surrealism to certain scence which heightens their impact and draws the audience in.
As the film is based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, this has allowed him to add a secret and meaningful depth to the boys characters and draw from a wealth of childhood memories adding a super-realism into each character whilst portraying the touching story of how these boys deal with their parents divorce. At times very forward and frank and at times intimate but always ludicrously entertaining.

3. Brokeback Mountain

The story begins in 1963 where two saddle riders are looking for work in a dead end town and are put to work guarding sheep on Brokeback Mountain. Over the course of several weeks, they develop a friendship which on a cold and drunken night becomes something more.
The film explores the deep seated bigoted machoism of the American mid-west and the neccessity to hide their love even when they are not around their wives. However, it is more of a film where a secret love must be hidden from everyone even to the point of hiding their true feelings from each other. About how such a love can have disastrous impact on those around them when such a love is revealed and how love survives through even the most difficult times.
If you thought Brokeback Mountain was just a gay cowboy movie then you are in for a revelation. If you thought Brokeback Mountain was just a love story then you're in for a surprise. The film is as groundbreaking as it is a treat to watch. Do yourself a favour and saddle up to an Oscar worthy movie full of twists, turns and outstandinf performances.

2. Everything Is Illuminated

Everything Is Illuminated is Liev Schreibers directorial debut surrounding Jonathan Safran Foer, an abnormal young Jewish American who collects artifacts from his family which leads him to Ukraine in search of the woman who appears in a photograph with his grandfather and helped him escape from the Nazis when they decimated their village.
When Jonathan, played by a freaky looking Elijah Woods, arrives in Ukraine he is met by a quirky family-run tour guide involving Alex and his grandfather Safran who claims he is blind but seems to get around just fine especially with the help of his insane dog Sammy Davis Jr. Alex, who occasionally narrates the plot, has an unhealthy passion for American pop culture and wears off-kilter bling clothing and broken English which often involves hilarious but diplomatic translations between Jonathan and his cranky grandfather.
Everything Is Illuminated is nothing like I expected and there were rich rewards to be found within the facade of a comedy adventure drama. Incidentally Schreibers parents are of German heritage, his mother German-Jewish and himself a practicing Jew was perhaps one of the key factors behind his decision to turn Jonathan Safran Foer's novel into his first movie as a director.

1. Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth takes place in 1944 after Franco's victory and a young girl is travelling with her mother and adoptive father, who is the captain of the guard, to a rural area in northern Spain in order to wipe out the lingering Republican forces.
The young girl is Ofelia and is being brought unwillingly with her pregnant mother by order of her adoptive father, the tyrannical Captain Vidal whom she refuses to recognise as her adoptive guardian. She has brought with her a bundle of books which are all fairy tales and it seems this is a world that she often travels to in order to escape the harsh environment in which she has found herself growing up in.
While Captain Vidal sets about eliminating the bandits that live out in the woodlands surrounding the base, Ofelia is contacted by a fairy who brings her to a nearby labryinth where she is told by a faun named Pan that she is the lost princess who's soul has finally reappeared in Ofelia's body and that she must succeed in 3 tasks to prove her true worth and be reunited with her father, the King, who has been waiting for her return.
The film makes fantastic use of two main plotlines. One of which concerns Ofelia and her three tasks and that of Captain Vidal and the bandits, each of which overlap with other subplots and are beautifully woven together to make a fantastic storyline both contextually and visually. The acting is sound from everyone concerned and the CGI creatures that exist are realistically portrayed and fit in perfectly with the story being told, adding extra depth and edge to the mystical world in which Ofelia finds herself.

If you haven't seen these then go and rent them for pleasurable viewing over the festive holidays.

Come back tomorrow for the top ten albums of 2006!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Top 40 Albums of 2006

Well, we're nearly there. These are the albums you should certainly bend your ear to if you find it nestling in your friends collection. Off we go!

20. Calexico - Garden Ruin

Southwestern indie-rock. "Calexico economically blend jazz, country, American folk, and indie rock into concise, well-oiled pop songs, complete with gorgeous vocal layering."

Official site

19. Sparklehorse - Dreamt For Light Years In the Belly of a Mountain

Gently skewed folk-rock. "A solid, absorbing album with a shifting musical landscape and as many contradictions as any 40-minute passage in anyone's life."

Official site

18. Bat for Lashes - Fur And Gold

Hauntingly frosty music. "Quality is in abundance on this album, a distinctive creative and unique musical vision, Khan has produced an utterly enchanting debut."
[Sound Generator]

Official site

17. I'm Not a Gun - We Think As Intruments

Electronic postrock-instrumentals. "Music which finally arrives at itself, unfolds, blossoms and stretches out its feelers."
[Forced Exposure]

Official site - they're too cool for school. [School being self-promotion]

16. Tortoise and Bonnie Prince Bily - The Brave and the Bold

Math-rock stylings mixed with smooth pedal steel against scrappy acoustics. "Classic songs are rearranged and reconsidered, stripped down and rebuilt."

Official site - Tortoise
Official site - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

15. Cansei De Ser Sexy - Cansei De Ser Sexy

High-strung new wave electro squiggle. "The coolest sound in pop music on the planet right now. Almost maddeningly exuberant without a trace of naiveté, CSS sound like they have more fun using the bathroom than most people do having sex."
[Stylus magazine]

Official site

14. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Hyperliterate folk-rock. "Employs an impressive variety of styles and sounds to tell Meloy's imaginative stories...[which] further magnifies and refines their strengths."

Official site

13. Tv On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain

Sonic indie-rock. "Abstract and electronic textures roll over acoustic sources to reach a perfect consistency, all the way through to the closer."

Official site

12. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country

Intimate chamber pop. "Fabulously schmaltzy...organs that flash all over the record like blindingly white grins...of fancifully brisk pop."

Official site

11. Built To Spill - You In Reverse

Epic, melodic guitar-rock. "Plaintive and layered songwriting, brought to life by a band whose talent and proficiency at times seem boundless."

Official site

Tomorrow we look at the Top 20 films of 2006. See you then!


Monday, December 18, 2006

Winter BBQ

There were two outdoor activities I planned to accomplish this year. One was to have a pig on a roast spit, which is a little difficult when you don't have a pig, a spit or anywhere to have said event unless you want to burn half the grass in the garden to a charred mess. The other was a winter BBQ and this Saturday it was ticked off the list and a was a lot easier to organise than the pig.

I had spent the entire week weather watching. On Monday it looked ominous but then again not even a seasoned pro can predict weather patterns that far in advance. By the close of the week, the outlook had improved and Saturday was a glorious winter day - cold blue sky and a slow December breeze that had little impact on the trees because they bared not a single leaf. Indeed, the few orange leaves that escaped raking remained scattered across the lawn slowly turning brown.

After a difficult attempt at lighting the charcoal, the BBQ soon got underway and all manner of meaty treats were thrown on to heat up those who braved the afternoon chill - although a few hardcore guests chose to wear nothing but t-shirts - brrr!

It being a winter afternoon, it was not long before it was dark outside and our huddled mass surrounded the heat emanating from the hot embers and alcohol was consumed to stave off the cold.

By early evening we had amassed a mountain of food for snacking on later and we retreated into the warmth of a coal-fired living room to exchange secret Santa presents.

The jolly man in red must have been eavesdropping this year because I received a very fine wine rack of which to hold my many bottles of empty rioja!

Presents were passed out and smiles were put upon many faces. Thanks to Jenny for the above photos and you can find more of her pictures here. However, I did take a few myself which you can see below.

The party went on well into the night and into the small hours but it was just a little too much for some ;)

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a great weekend yourself and come by tomorrow for another installment in the Top 40 Albums of 2006 countdown!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Brie Soup, Cheese and Parsnip Roulade with Sage and Onion Stuffing with Stoved Potatoes

Last night Keith made a Brie soup followed by cheese and parsnip roulade with sage and onion stuffing with stoved potatoes. The soup was a since but delicious and very filling so we took a while to kick back and relax until making the main course. We were worried that the roulade woudn't roll but it did and it looked and tasted great although I would make 50% more breadcrumbs and a 1/3 amount less onions next time. They were served beside stoved potatoes which were a cinch to make and I recommend them alongside any dish especially a nice steak or braised lamb or something like that. Here's the knorr-how:

Brie Soup


20g cream cheese with garlic and herbs
200g very ripe vegetarian Brie cheese cut into cubes.
400ml vegetable stock
100mls single cream
2tsp cornflour
2tbs dry white wine
1 tbs chopped parsley


Put all soup ingredients into a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Stoved Potatoes


1½ tbsp light olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
600g miniature new potatoes scrubbed (or any waxy ones cut into approx 3 cm dice)
300ml light vegetable stock
12 small cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
2 tbsp chives, chopped


Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan. Add the paprika and rosemary and then the potatoes. Take to a high heat and stir the potatoes for 2 or 3 minutes to make sure they are coated with the spices.

Add the stock and the whole garlic and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Take off the cover and boil rapidly until the liquid has evaporated, stirring the potatoes occasionally to ensure they don’t stick. Once cooked they will have an almost “roasted” appearance.

Cheese and Parsnip Roulade with Sage and Onion Stuffing

Serves 4


For the roulade

* 110g Cheese, Sage Derby, grated
* 40g butter
* 25g plain flour
* 275ml Milk, cold
* 3 large eggs, seperated
* 40g Hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
* 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano
* 1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the stuffing

* 1 tsp large fresh sage leaves, chopped
* 225g Onions, chopped
* 40g butter
* 1 tbsp Parsley, chopped
* 75g white breadcrumbs
* 1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the filling

* 350g Parsnips
* 25g butter
* 2 tbsp double cream
* 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
* 1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

2. Make up the stuffing by melting the butter in a small heavy-based saucepan, then add the onions and cook them for about 6 minutes or until they are transparent. Next add the herbs, breadcrumbs and seasoning, stirring well to combine everything, then sprinkle the mixture evenly all over the lined tin.

3. Make the roulade by placing the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan and whisk them together over a medium heat until thickened, then season with salt and pepper and leave the sauce to cook over the gentlest possible heat for 3 minutes. After that draw the pan off the heat to cool slightly, then add the egg yolks, whisking them really well in. Next add the grated Sage Derby cheese and taste to check the seasoning.

4. In a large bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold one spoonful of the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture - to loosen it - then spoon this mixture, a little at a time, into the rest of the egg white. Now spread the whole lot evenly into the prepared tin over the stuffing mixture, and bake on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until it feels springy and firm in the centre.

5. Meanwhile cook the parsnips in a steamer for 10-15 minutes until they're soft, then cream them together with the butter, double cream and a seasoning of nutmeg, salt and pepper in a food processor. When they're ready, keep them warm while you lay a sheet of greaseproof paper (slightly longer than the roulade) on a work surface and sprinkle the hazelnuts all over it.

6. When the roulade is cooked, turn it out on to the hazelnuts and carefully peel off the base paper. Spread the creamed parsnip evenly all over the sage and onion stuffing. Then roll up the roulade along the longest side, using the greaseproof paper underneath to help you pull it into a round. Transfer the roulade to a serving plate and sprinkle the surface with a dusting of grated Parmesan.


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