“We are eating too much bread” I said, and then contemplated my new regime for January in which few treats would surface…
A lengthy discussion about the rights and wrongs of our current regime ensued. We resolved, to eat less bread – much less bread. When we do have it, it should be ‘good’ bread – by which I mean it should be really tasty and have a good measure of nutritional value.
So it came to pass that yesterday afternoon having been foiled in my attempts to secure rye flour in our wretched local supermarket, that I did find my heart’s desire in a local health food store and was able to get cracking with a rye and walnut loaf by Nigel Slater that I have been keen to try. The great thing is it works with a rye and spelt mix with just a little white flour, meaning a reduced level of gluten. Continue reading Yuk it’s raining – let’s have brunch?
It’s fair to say that November and December 2015 were a bit of a struggle following Rocket’s recent accident in India, but a new year beckons and we are not down hearted, it could have been an awful lot worse and he is at least on the mend now.
The food season has changed, the tide has already turned from richly abundant to the austerity of January but just before that happens…we have been reliving some of the best bits via the medium of left overs. Continue reading For Auld Lang Syne
There aren’t really words to adequately describe the events in Paris this weekend, except to say that those carrying out these attacks are not doing their deeds in the name of any religion I recognise and that in fact they are quite simply insane.
The repercussions of such things reverberate through the lives of people who have been close to such events, making you question your safety and that of loved ones in new and unpleasant ways, it leaves a legacy which is hard to shake and that lasts, as does the grief for those who have been lost. Continue reading We’ll always have Paris
I’m torn between rushing around to straighten up the detritus of my life that has accumulated throughout the house while I’ve been ill, or cuddling up on the sofa in my pyjamas while the wind and rain lash against the window panes. Continue reading Snack and Saturday Story
When I was a child, the Christmas holiday period was the gift that kept on giving. The overwhelming excitement of Christmas eve with it’s rituals such as new pyjamas (or indeed a highly flammable pink nylon nightie) and ham and eggs for tea from the gammon mum would be cooking in readiness for boxing day. Morecambe and Wise would be on the telly and just the distant jangling of sleigh bells in the distance? Continue reading 3rd day stew – family, friends and food
Green Masala Cod
North Atlantic Cod stocks have recently shown recovery and that is great news for those of us who love these meaty white fish. Although I am pleased about the recovery, I did feel concerned about the media hype around the issue, as over the last few years much good work has been done to promote really good alternatives. It seems to me that returning to a position where Cod becomes the first choice again is dangerous. I think of the news that stocks are up and perhaps quotas may go down as good but that the better habits of eating a wider variety of seafood should be maintained. So I shall proceed with caution and continue to enjoy cod on rare occasions, always from sustainable sources – of course. Continue reading North Atlantic Treat
Lying in bed on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago, appreciating the fact that my partner Rocket was home from Scotland after an extended trip away and even more so because he was to return to the beautiful highlands again the following week….I was flicking through the blogs I follow when I very much enjoyed a post by The Londonist, to be found here. In the article they describe where a good Sunday lunch can be found in London – and whilst I have my own views on those I’ve tried so far, Rocket and I are always keen to hear of others. Continue reading The Canton Arms, London SW9
Spiced seafood and lentil salad.
Hanging in our kitchen is a calendar which was a gift from our friend DJ Ozz. It has become something of an annual tradition for The DJ to commit one of our group trips to calendar form for posterity and by way of a Christmas present to each of us.
For the past month, our friend Mata’s beaming face has been looking out over us with the deep blue Marrakech sky behind her. I turned the calendar over to October this morning, a little late I know, to see an image of Mata standing in the Souk and it jolted me straight back to the sounds and smells (also mainly being horribly lost) in the old Medina. Continue reading Indian Summer, Moroccan Autumn
Pan Roast Gnocchi, Cavolo Nero, Chanterelle and Walnut Cream Sauce, with aged Emmental.
(Otherwise known as Italian dumplings,London Cabbage, Scottish Mushrooms, French Walnuts and and Swiss Cheese!)
There are a collection of ingredients that evoke ‘the mountains’ for me. Despite huge cultural and gastronomical differences between the various cuisines of say the Pyrenees and the French Alps, the north of Italy and the majestic peaks of Switzerland, in my mind and experience there are some common themes and these are best characterised by cheese, cream and butter, mushrooms, and some sort of cabbage, at times sausage…but not this time. Continue reading Mountain Food
The thing I like, in particular, about shopping at markets is that you are confronted by seasonality. I don’t mean just British produce, but rather the time of year in the UK when the offer changes and the Mangoes arrive from far away or at Christmas time when it used to be traditional for the citrus fruits and pineapples to be ‘shipped’ in.
In supermarkets, it seems to me, very little respect is paid and the proposition remains more or less the same throughout the year. Continue reading Moody Fruits
I’ve been thinking a lot about Morocco this week, mainly because it’s coming up to a year since we were in Marrakech and when I woke today and peeped out…. There was a beautiful blue sky. It made me happy on a number of levels but in particular it made think of Morocco and those beautiful skies… Continue reading Autumn sunshine in a dish
Kippers are a great tradition in the UK, as far as I am concerned there is no tastier breakfast!
I think that many people are put off by the smell created by cooking or by the fact that being Herrings, there are bones. Continue reading Kippers from the Isle of Man
I realise that my seafood blog has taken a meaty turn of late and I shall return to fishy things soon but for some reason the onset of autumn has brought out our inner carnivore! I think it’s the realisation that we are about to embark on a health regime that will prohibit such things from our diet… Continue reading Grilled lamb chops and a tale of Turin
Chinese Inspired Fragrant Beef Stew.
Lying in bed last Saturday morning, I was contemplating the facts of my day. I had a few chores to do, but today was not meant to be entirely a day of duty. Rocket had gone off to the England v Ireland Rugby at Twickenham with my brother and so dinner duty would fall to me. I had no intention of a day spent entirely in the kitchen but I was thinking curry – and when I think that, I usually do end up in the kitchen for quite a while…. Continue reading Pocket Rockets
Chilli Crab Cakes with Thai style salad.
“Why do you want that one?” a baffled DJ Ozz asks? Mata and I smother our smirks….the detritus of breakfast remains scattered before us and the Gascon sun beats down. Continue reading A Right Pear
It’s been a bit of strange week, returning from an extended trip in France. On our return, my Uncle Little D suffered stroke although thanks to swift action by my aunt, Little P, a miracle stroke drug administered at an early stage and some stonking NHS care he is doing well and is already back home with few ill effects…..amazing.
The working week ended on a high note as Rocket’s boss, had kindly arranged for us to have a meal out in town as his birthday gift for this year so last night was elected as a fine time to dine out at Cafe Murano. http://www.cafemurano.co.uk/ Continue reading Friday date night
Spending the last few weeks down in France gave me time to contemplate….. more than I had imagined because although not a technology freak, I have suffered a few weeks without it (unexpectedly) and realised that I value ‘it’ a little more than I thought. Continue reading A is for Artichoke
I don’t relish the idea of sitting ‘stacked’ on the motorway in Kent this week whilst trying to get across or through the channel to France for our holiday. Images of southern France occupy me now and I will float my way through the next few days dreaming of a warm breeze, the rustle of bamboo grass with the tantalizing tastes of Gascony on my lips. Continue reading Travelling South
There is something about Shakespeare that does it for me…
We had some left over roast chicken and always keep a tub of Thai red curry paste in the fridge for a tasty quick supper, so a week or two ago after long days at work, Rocket popped the paste into the pan and added some coconut milk and the cooked chicken, brought the temperature to just off the boil then simmered for a few minutes and – “taa daa”, the curry was ready. Continue reading Salad days…