Grazing on ‘picky’ food is absolutely my favourite way of eating. It’s possible this stems from Sunday tea when I was a child, not being a character that enjoyed the rituals of 1970’s mealtimes or what they had to offer…I did love Sunday tea. This would be a selection of small plates of seafood, some salads, a little bread a little cheese and so on… or on occasion it would be some nice ham, and celery, always celery. Continue reading Meanwhile in London…
Postcards from the Pyrenees, encore.
Driving up the winding lane, alongside the fields that will soon burst with maize and sunflowers, I’m struck by the variety of livestock in our small village. A gathering of 250 inhabitants and a myriad of small farms, in every other home the obligatory well-tended kitchen garden. There are cows, sheep, ducks, pigs, chickens, guinea fowl, geese (of course, we are in Gascony after all) and goats – well they are the ones I have seen anyway, there may well be others! Continue reading Meadows and Pastures
Postcards from the Pyrenees…again
The Mountains form a natural border between France and Spain, but more than that they traverse the historical regions with their distinctive traditions, culinary and otherwise. To the west on both sides of the peaks is the Basque country, wonderful people who are rightly proud of their traditions, food studded with Pimentón, and an incomprehensible language with lots of X’s and J’s. From the beautiful Atlantic towns to the tiny coves that pepper the northern coastline, semi-sparkling crisp white wines like Txacoli (you see, it is unpronounceable but very drinkable!) and dishes that ooze with the warmth of spiced sausage alongside classics such as bacalao (salt cod). Continue reading The borderlands
Roast Harissa Prawns, oranges and lemons, root vegetables
I find the Christmas season exotic, the yuletide of my childhood being rich with citrus, pineapple, Turkish delight, figs, dates and the like. The magic carpet of my mind is transported to the middle east and beyond at this time of year. I can’t decide if this is a fading tradition here in the UK, if the children of today will have any such association, maybe in this world where foods are available year round it simply isn’t a thang anymore? Continue reading The bells of St Clement’s
There are a few places where this dish is found on the menu, around our way, it almost always features with the caveat that you have to order a day ahead. A dal makhani is a perfect example of Indian meat-free food. Continue reading Buttery Lentils
Crab gougères, smoked salmon and scrambled egg gougères.
It’s true to say that food has the power to evoke memories. I was thinking about a lovely canapé to do at this time of year, and I keep coming back to something often served with an aperitif in France, something we had for the first time many years ago in a Chateau in Bourgogne. I won’t name check the Chateau as everything about it was bizarre and not that good with the exception of the delicious glass of local Crémant (sparkling wine) served with Gougère. A delicious light and cheesy choux pastry, served warm and with something chilled they are a simple delight. Continue reading Santé Santa!
Cabbage with potatoes, bread and cheese
Looking out into the misty London morning, makes me think of and long for the Mountains near our home in the Pyrenees. There is something magnetic, I find, about proximity to those majestic peaks, peaceful, ethereal and magnificent…
Some time ago, I was watching Antonio Carluccio cooking up a soup, whilst on a misty mountain, it looked fabulous, in the tradition of the best peasant dishes and on this day, it was the only thing that would would do. Continue reading Before the mayhem, a little goodness