My mind is drifting to the pale golden glow of Jaipur and floating through the misty morning is a remembrance of breakfasts past.
Maybe it’s the warmth of the spring weekend, or maybe I was last night dreaming of elephants, tigers and Maharajas, perhaps they whispered in my ear. Who knows, but this day, I crave something to remind me of those delicious Rajasthani repas. Continue reading Breakfast, with added spice
I’m angry about the news. What news? Well all of it really. Many years ago I stopped buying a newspaper because the press were and are so unscrupulous. I find myself more and more fed up with how things are reported in the media, and also by the content – and so I eschewed the news this Saturday in favour of no news at all… Continue reading I read the news today…oh boy
“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?
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
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
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
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…
“Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,”
For me, there is so much enjoyment to be derived from having friends or family around to share a meal. I enjoy the process from inception, the seed of any idea…who might come over? Then what shall we eat and drink, shall it be outdoors or in….which plates or platter shall we use and so on. There are times when you do all this planning to a lesser or greater degree, it’s always lovely to see people and ‘break bread’ but sometimes it is exactly what you hope….and that really is satisfying. Continue reading Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
What a ridicuous few months, my work has been crazy and not in a pleasurable way. It has been gritty and exhausting, life is too short for much more of this. My thoughts turn to my imaginary deli, I resolve to move things forward… Continue reading Girl from the South Country
Wild Sea Bass Baked in a Salt Crust
We had some family over for Easter Sunday lunch and had been pondering on what to make. Karl-Heinz and The Minx don’t eat meat and fish is always nice at Easter so we settled on that.
Going out with a vague idea of a large Turbot, as we would be seven in total, it was only after visiting a few purveyors of fine fish and finding a limited selection did it dawn on us how awful the weather conditions had been this week – with raging winds and storms at sea….so we had a bit of a re-think. Continue reading Sea Bass, Sam Cooke and Sunday…