Nail Soup

Nail Soup

Fancy a bowl of nail soup? Well-known Cumbrians Taffy Thomas and celebrity chef John Crouch will be serving up a sizzling feast of entertainment, cooking live on stage as they tell stories from the UK’s Polish, Bangladeshi, Italian and Chinese communities.

Taffy Thomas is one of the UK’s most experienced storytellers, with over three hundred stories and the title of Storytelling Laureate under his belt. John Crouch has been teaching and demonstrating cookery – with a healthy dash of food history – since the 1980s, educating audiences from Cumbria to India (and lots of places in-between)…

The recipes for the dishes that John Crouch is cooking are as follows



2 rashers bacon, diced

½ cup chopped, onion

1 cup thinly sliced halved carrot

1 cup cubed potato

3 cups water

200g (8oz) Polish sausage, halved and thinly sliced

2 cups frozen green beans

1 x 15oz can cannelloni beans

½ cup minced fresh parsley

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram


In a large saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using

a slotted spoon, remove and drain on kitchen paper. Sauté the onion in

the bacon fat until tender. Stir in the carrot and potatoes; cook for 2

minutes. Add the water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and

simmer for 9-12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the sausage, green beans, cannelloni beans, parsley, salt,

pepper and marjoram, heat through. Sprinkle with the reserved bacon.





1 cup semolina

¼ cup ghee

¾ cup sugar

pinch of ground cardamom

1¼ cup water

15 sultanas


In a saucepan fry the semolina in a the ghee until you get a pleasant

smell. Add the sugar, ground cardamom, water and sultanas and keep

stirring till thick. Spread onto a plate and cut into pieces.




200g ((7oz) white flour

60ml (2floz) olive oil

90ml (3floz) white grape juice or very sweet white wine

1 egg white


Combine the flour and olive oil with your fingers so that they form a

crumble-like consistency. Add the grape juice or wine and knead into a

smooth dough. You may need a little more flour, grape juice or wine to

achieve this smoothness. Gather the dough into a ball and place in a

plastic bag to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Oil a baking tray. Roll

the dough out thinly and use a pastry cutter about 1.5cm (1in) in

diameter to form the biscuits. Arrange the biscuits on the oiled baking

tray and brush each of them with beaten egg white to glaze. Bake in the

oven for 25 minutes at 190ºC (380ºF/Gas Mark 5). Cool on a wire rack

and serve.




1 x 410g tin of red kidney beans

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

1 large red pepper

2 tablespoons cornflour

1 tablespoon soy sauce

300ml (½pt) vegetable stock

2 tablespoons tomato purée

1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons vinegar


Core the peppers and cut into strips about 3cm by 0.75cm (1in by ¼in).

Heat the oil on a low heat and cook the onions and garlic until the

onions are soft. Mix in the peppers and carry on cooking until the

onions are golden. Add the drained kidney beans. Put the cornflour into

a bowl and gradually mix in the soy sauce, vegetable stock, tomato

purée, sugar and vinegar. Add the cornflour mixture to the onions and

bring to the boil, simmer everything for two minutes, stirring




Friday, 11 October 2013 - 8:00pm
90 mins
All ages
Wheelchair Access
Audio Loop
Festival 2013


A new commission and world premiere.