Monday, 29 June 2015

Carrot, cashews and coriander with noddles

Empty cupboards spark kitchen forage - noodles with carrots, pan toasted cashew nuts, ginger, garlic, chilli, celery, onion, lots of parsley, coriander, lemon juice and a little soy sauce. Necessity is the mother of invention. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Tabbouleh salad

"Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fattened ox served with hatred" (Proverbs 15:17)

I've made versions of this salad since first eating it as a student in Jerusalem.  Traditionally it is primarily made of parlsey and bulgar wheat.  I often use watercress (no doubt a western abomination) as this is more readily available in the UK than flat leaf parsley.  This version features parsley, fresh mint and watercress.  I've also added spring onions, lemon juice, olive oil, rock salt, chopped tomato's and some kidney beans. Served with natural yogurt, cucumber and veggie burgers (no falafel this evening).

Red cabbage coleslaw

 This coleslaw is made with red cabbage, grated carrot, apple, natural yogurt and seasoned with lemon juice and pepper.  I sometimes add poppy seeds to this version.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Poached salmon with lemon butter, new season asparagus, avocado, tomato and green salad

"Good seasons start with good beginnings" (Sparky Anderson, Baseball coach).

It's asparagus time :)

Mushroom and celery soup, made with thyme and milk.

I'm slightly obsessed with mushrooms at the moment.  Like celery, they have very distinctive and strong tastes but are often drowned in sauces or side lined.  This soup is really simple as it uses only four base ingredients (as above).  You could of course add a small amount of cream, but I like the simplicity of it made with milk for a weekday lunch.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Chilli con carne with crazy rice, yogurt and corn on the cob

When I make chilli con carne I like to serve it with wild rice (or crazy rice as my kids call it).  They decant it from separate bowls but it looks slightly nicer than just slopped on a plate.  That's sour cream and parsley as a garnish. I realise that food photography is a whole different thing to serving up meals for your family.  The lighting is always poor at evening supper and I snap on my smart phone.  I now understand why the great Elizabeth David insisted on only pencil sketches to illustrate her cookery despatches.  I will no doubt go to hell mentioned the great Ms David in the same breathe as this meal attempt. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Mushroom Stroganoff with minor beef and crazy rice

A stroganoff must contain, to my mind, sour cream.  It is a creamy stew and by this nature quite indulgent.   This version is mainly mushrooms with a small amount of beef (hence minor).  I used to make a mushroom version as a student that seemed a luxury at the time. 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Toasted cheese hath no master

This was my toasted sandwich, made for my lunch.  Husband walks in, just as I was sitting down to enjoy; "Oh, that looks good - is that for me?".  Flattery, it turns out, will get you a toasted sandwich.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Haddock and parsley fish cakes

'Better small fish than an empty dish'.
Fish cakes are easy to do, but it's the time invested isn't it?  If you aren't using leftover potatoes and cooking the fish freshly, it's quite a process that doesn't make for quick family suppers.  If I am boiling or steaming potatoes one evening, I often think if I should cook extra for a pie topping or to make fish cakes the following day.  Traditionally you would use left over potatoes from a previous meal and these sometimes inspire me to knock up some fish cakes using tinned fish.  However, on this occasion I boiled potatoes and baked some haddock from scratch for these.  I also added some chopped parsley, lemon juice and bread crumbs and a raw egg to bind.  The bread crumbs were grated white bread and I added them to the fish cake mixture, but also coated the outside of the cakes in them.  This gave them a nice golden crunch.  I sometimes oven bake fish cakes, but on this occasion, I pan fried in olive oil and added extra lemon juice.  You can make easily with tinned salmon or tuna or use freshly cooked fish.  Taking this photo, I realise how difficult it is to photograph food - it's obviously a whole different genre and food that tastes great doesn't necessarily look/ photograph that well.  I think I should have left the vegetables out of the photo. 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Pears poached in vanilla syrup with Florentines, whipped cream and chocolate.

'Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessities'. John Mötley, US Historian (1814-1829).
Ok - so I went a bit Jackson Pollack with my melted chocolate!  This is adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe.  I found a few problems with it that are easily addressed.  Firstly, you need to simmer peeled and cored pears in a water, sugar, syrup with a vanilla pod and leave them to stand for at least an hour until the pears are "butter soft".  It took ages peeling eight pears and I was up early on a Sunday morning which seemed a bit of a faff.  Frank pointed out that you could probably just about get away with using tinned pears if you soaked a vanilla pod with them overnight. Pears must be served chilled so this needs to be done well in advance of serving.   It's easy enough to whip up the cream, adding vanilla essence and this should be done no longer than half an hour before eating.  The photo doesn't show off that there are crushed Florentine biscuits in the cream.  These were great as it made the cream chewy with a nutty flavour and contrasted with the softness of the pears and cream.  You could also use smashed up brandy snaps.  I drizzled the melted chocolate on just before serving, but the cold pears/ cream set it almost immediately.  The whole dish is very rich and I'd use less cream next time.

Slow roasted lamb with spiced rice, salads, yogurt and aubergine chutney

"The king reigns, but does not govern" Jan Zamoyski, Polish Statesman, 1605)

Frank slow roasted lamb in yogurt and cumin and rice and asked me to prepare salads to accompany.  The rice has dry pan roasted pine nuts, sultanas and fried onions in it and was delicious.  I wanted a simple green salad, but it looked a little dull with just lettuce, cucumber and spring onions, so I added some radish shavings and the grated carrot on the side.  The carrot goes well with the rice too.  The aubergine chutney was from Waitrose and the coolness of the Greek yogurt make it a quite essential part of the dish.The photo shows my plate, but diners served themselves.   The king reigns refers to my husband in this instance, but it was a joint effort.  I like the saying that 'while a man may consider himself the head of the family, the woman is the neck, and the neck can turn the head'.   

Friday, 1 May 2015

Pan fried halibut with creamed peas, spring onion and bacon.

Be bold, be brief, be gone...
I love to eat fish, but it is my nemesis;  I often overcook it.   I like to pan fry, so I can keep an eye on it, cook it quickly, plate and go eat.  This dish is from a recipe in a marvellous book from the restaurant, J Sheekey, called simply, ‘Fish’.
Cook some frozen peas, then put aside.  Then chop and fry in olive oil a shallot.  Add a couple of chopped smoked bacon rashes to the pan and once these have cooked, add the peas and a couple of tablespoons of double cream and about 150mls of vegetable stock.  Give it a stir and then add some chopped scallions (spring onions) and some finely shredded lettuce – (I’ve used iceberg or baby gem lettuce before).  Put the lettuce in the pan last, season and give it all a stir. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Heat some olive oil or butter and pan fry the halibut on both sides for 3-4 minutes. Squeeze on some lemon juice.  Serve the halibut on top of a couple of tablespoons of the creamed peas. 
The smoked bacon give the dish some depth but not too much to detract from the fish.  The crunch of the scallions and lettuce in the peas give texture.  I served this with chipped potato cubes roasted in garlic and rosemary and also roasted some cherry tomatoes on their vine to put on top.  The dish didn’t photography so well, but tasted good. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Lettuce not forget - twenty-one ways to pimp your salad

Dull salads?  Never! ....  here are some ideas to add a little more va va voom to your salad days...

1.    Dollop on some dips, hummus, mayonnaise; guacamole, salsas.


2.    Sprinkle on some seeds or nuts (dry roast nuts in a frying pan first) -walnuts, pinenuts, cashews, sunflower seeds.


3.    Slice in some fruit - oranges, satsuma, melon, grapefruit, grapes, pear, peaches (fresh or tinned).


4.    Add grains - giant cous cous, fusilli pasta, red camargue rice.


5.    Add pulses  -kidney beans, chick peas, cannellini, black eyed beans, lentils.


6.    Fry up some croutons - slice up squares of bread and fry in olive oil until crispy as a topping.


7.    Always olives any other marinated delights – artichoke, gherkins. 


8.    Just tomato?  Plate alone, ideally at room temperature, with some balsamic, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (nobody loves a cold tomato!).


9.    Alchemy up some dressing –olive oil with added herbs, lemon juice, mustards, vinegars, garlic, salt, pepper – have a play around, bung ingredients in an empty jam jar and give it a shake.


10.  Sneak in some finely sliced cabbage (savoy is my favourite) or scallions (spring onions) for added crunch.


11.  Include some fresh herbs -parsley, coriander, dill, chives, basil, mint.


12.  Use leftover cold potato as a base for a salad Nicoise (avoid adding boiled egg to salad, unless it is a Nicoise). 


13.  Splash some colour with raw spinach or beetroot – slice, grate or oven roast.


14.  Introduce cheese -cubed feta, grated Leicester, slithers of parmesan, grilled halloumi, crumbled stilton, slices of mozzarella.


15.  Don’t be afraid of vegetables – peas, sweetcorn, chopped green beans.


16.  Marinate raw broccoli in olive oil and lemon juice and eat with chopped cherry tomato and some tuna fish.


17.  Make a coleslaw with sliced carrots and cabbages (red and white) add raisins, mayo and lemon juice.


18.  Crack open a tin of fish - tuna, sardines, mackerel, salmon, anchovies.


19.  Mix in some dried fruit such as chopped apricots, dried prunes, figs, raisins.


20.  Add some cold meats and go all mezze.

21. Bash up some breadsticks or crackers in a plastic sandwich bag with a rolling pin and sprinkle over your salad for some crunch.




Pork escalope with peanut sauce, sticky rice and green beans

"Come; give us a taste of your quality” Hamlet (to a Player).
This one is from memory, very simple and it’s quite nice as it doesn’t use coconut milk.  Finely chop an onion and sweat in oil or butter in a frying pan that has a lid.  Once the onion is slightly cooked, add the pork and seal/ brown the meat for a couple of minutes each side.  In a separate bowl dissolve three table spoons of peanut butter in approx 300ml of chicken stock.    It does actually dissolve and goes a lovely thick consistency.  Then add to the pork, cover the pan and simmer for approx 20 minutes.  I made the sticky rice in the Aga and served the pork and sauce on top in a large dish.  I dislike serving portions to people, particularly adults, preferring to let them help themselves – we’re eating at home here and not in a restaurant.  I sprinkled some chopped coriander on the top and served it with steamed green beans and sweetcorn. The pork and peanut sauce is also good served with noodles.  You could garnish with whole or bashed peanuts.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Fish finger butty with watercress and home-made tartar sauce

As Beatle fans will know; if a Liverpudlian asks you ‘four a fish n’ finger pie’; they may not be referring to lemon sole goujons.

Back to basics this evening; an embellished version of a classic comfort dish.  The secret of a fish finger butty (sandwich) is the bread must be white, soft and spread with real butter.  The fish fingers should be chunky as possible and straight from the oven so they melt the butter and contrast with the bread.  A handful of something green adds some posh and it all starts to get a bit gastro-pub.  I used watercress which was ideal for adding a peppery crunch.  
A homemade tartar sauce lifts the whole thing up a notch and is just a simple variation on mayonnaise.  Add finely chopped shallot or onion, chopped gherkins, capers, fresh parsley and lots of lemon juice and seasoning.  As on this occasion, it can often be pulled together from store cupboard ingredients.  I rarely make my own mayonnaise, and I don’t think that would work for this use either – too buttery.  I only added shallot, lemon juice and chopped watercress to tartar this evening and it was a last minute addition.  Keeping it simple worked just fine.  Serve tartar straight from the fridge as it needs to be cold to contrast with the warm fish.  Kids and husband loved it.  Also served a bowl of peas and chopped watercress mixed in, which everyone ate.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Cob loaf with 20% wholemeal flour

I need more bread proving baskets as all my loaves are starting to look the same.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Baked Polenta with Crimini Mushrooms and Fresh Sage

‘Do not do unto others as they would do to you; their tastes may not be the same’, George Bernard Shaw.  (Painting - Polenta Makers - by Pietro Longhi (1751).

I’ve always been on friendly terms with polenta, but my enthusiasm for bringing it to the supper table as dinner guest hasn’t always been so warmly greeted by my nearest and dearest.  Polenta is a way of life in northern Italian, and has been for generations (see painting of polenta makers from 1751), so surely we can find room in our hearts for a little?
Uncooked, polenta is a grainy, bright yellow maize.  I think it’s beautiful’; it actually sparkles and glitters.  I usually make up the stuff in a sauce pan from the grain, stirred and then bake it and cut it up into shapes to embellish.  The advantage of this is that you can add stock or herbs to the base.  However, it does then become a three part process – make it up on a stove, bake it and then re-bake or fry it for your dish; for something so, well, utility, it can seem a little over laboured.  I bake mine in parchment lined roasting trays.  I’ve never tried to spread it on a cheese cloth like in Pietro Longhi’s painting, but this does look fun.  Once cooled, I’m sure you could build gingerbread style polenta houses with it, as it becomes quite architectural.    Unfortunately, on this occasion, I could only buy pre-cooked slabs of it in the supermarket, which was disappointing, but in hindsight, as I was feeding twelve, a few shortcuts was actually helpful.  It sliced easily into neat rectangles and I placed them on buttered parchment on a baking tray. 

Meanwhile, I fried some mushrooms in butter. We are rather sold short on mushrooms in the UK as there are hundreds of different types of edible types of mushrooms, but only around ten types are grown commercially and therefore make it to our tables.  They are good high source of vitamin B & D and treated gently, have unique, delicate flavours that are lost when they are so often drowned in unimaginative (usually cream) sauce.s  I used firm Crimini mushrooms (they look like button mushrooms, but with a pale brown skin) that retain their shape after frying.  I drained some of the liquid off as I didn’t want them soggy.  I also added some fresh sage to the frying pan.  I then drizzled olive oil over the polenta and put spoonfuls of mushrooms and fresh sage onto the polenta rectangles.  I baked the trays in the oven until the polenta started to brown and sizzle.  It all went and the kids ate it.  I did tell them it was a kind of pizza (true).  Husband was sceptical, but the taste won him over.  I served the polenta with a warm beetroot, orange, feta, cucumber and lettue salad.  What’s the point of having family and friends over for supper if you can’t inflict your taste on them?  My adventures will polenta will continue and I pledge to go mushroom foraging with an expert at some point.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Cover of Elizabeth David's Classic cookery book; Italian Food

Genovese Beef Stew (Stufato di manzo all Genovese)

“April is the cruellest month”, TS Eliot’s The Wasteland, 1922.
There is almost nothing in the fridge and I cannot face going to the shops on a sunny day during the school holidays.  I’d pulled some casserole beef from the freezer last night and after a little flicking through some cookery books, decided to make this simple Genoese stew from Elizabeth David’s Italian Cookery:  Slice up onions and sweat in melted butter in a large casserole dish for about five minutes ( I used four medium sized onions).  While the onions are cooking; prepare garlic, a thinly sliced carrot (sliced, not diced), celery and a couple of skinned tomatoes.  The easiest way to skin a tomato is to score it with a knife, put it in a mug and then cover it with boiling water straight from the kettle for a few minutes.  It might seem a slight faff, but it makes a subtle difference to the texture of the dish and barely takes a couple of minutes.  You’ll then be able to peal the skin off the tomato easily. 
When the onions are translucent, add the beef to brown for a few minutes until the meat is sealed and the garlic.  Elizabeth David says to put the beef in as whole steaks, but I preferred to slice ours.  Then add the carrots, celery, tomatoes and some basil (dry, or fresh chopped) and stir for a few minutes. Ideally you’ll have some fairly inexpensive dry wine for cooking, rather than raiding the wine store and using a rather fine Pinot Grigio, as I did.  Add one large glass, just enough to just cover the ingredients.  Once it is all simmering, slam on the casserole dish and bung in the oven for 2-3 hours.  I actually left mine to slow cook in our Aga for about 6 hours.

Once cooked, the smell of onions and wine is divine.  I also like the subtle use of tomato in this stew.  The secret of this dish is not to use more wine than is necessary so it becomes a dense stock rather than the other ingredients swimming in the wine.  I sprinkled some chopped fresh basil over the top before taking to the table.

I was going to serve it with a sweet potato gratin but to be honest, the sweet potatoes were looking slightly after their ‘best before’ and I was done with chopping.  Instead, I kept it simple; I cooked up some fusilli pasta with olive oil and a bowl of peas with a knob of butter.  Husband was happy with an opened bottle of Pinot Grigio and enjoyed the stew.  He was less impressed with pasta and peas which he felt let the stew down.   I was tempted to invoke the words of John Lennon “give peas a chance” but he had a point.  However, I felt the fusilli was in the Italian spirit and would please the kids who enjoyed trying to say ‘Stufato di manzo’.

Eliot’s ambiguous opening line; “April is the cruellest month” probably meant that April is an in between time, a pause, as the seasons change.  There is the promise of Spring without it’s treasures being in full bloom. I have been reading the Wasteland backwards the last few days, to see if makes any more sense.  It is still beyond me. 



My dolls house kitchen with real egg.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Banana Oat Bars

'The end justifies the means' (17thC Proverb).

This idea was given to me by Juliet, while we were stretching at the gym.  I tried it today and it produced a soft, sweet, spongy cake/ flapjack bar that is great snack or breakfast bar.

The quantities are approximate - I love this kind of 'guesstimate', you are trying to achieve a gooey consistency to bake.

Take two servings of oats (I used a tea mug), double it up with store cupboard bits such as linseed, bashed up  nuts, seeds, chopped dried fruit.  Mash up three bananas and combine the whole lot in a large mixing bowl.  I worked mine through with a fork to blend in the banana.  Juliet said to add some coconut milk, but I put a couple of tablespoons of natural yogurt into the mix.  You are aiming for a blended, thick, sticky mass.  Pour it into a greaseproof paper lined baking tray.  Bake in the oven until firm and slightly browned.  Chop into slices and leave to cool on a wire baking tray. The mixture puffs out and becomes spongy in texture and not at all like hard flapjack can be.  The bananas provide the sweetness and moisture and it smells divine coming out the oven. Totally works for a sweet but indulgent treat and energy boost bar, just go easy on the linseed! Thanks Juliet! x

Banana Oat bars

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Baked omelette with feta, spring onions and cherry tomatos

Baked Omelette with feta cheese, cherry tomatos and spring onions

“An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow”. Benjamin Franklin

There are two kinds of omelettes; the pan fried, slightly runny, half moon, individual kind and the oven baked, communal type.  Both should be enjoyed with a green salad and a glass of wine. 

My omelette career started as a teenager in the kitchen of a rural Dorset English pub (the Horns Inn, Furzehill).  One of my tasks was cooking up individual pan fried omelettes to order, usually four on the go at once. 

These days, however, I tend to oven bake, communal, frittata style omelettes.   If you’re feeding a lot of people or want something substantial you can add sliced cooked potato (Spanish style).  Just lightly fry/ heat through the cooked potatoes before adding the eggs (a great use for left over potato).  I have also added cooked chick peas to omelettes before and they give a slight nutty taste and work well with red pepper.

For oven baked omelettes, I use roughly use two eggs per person and then add one or two extra for luck depending on numbers.   Add to the eggs, a dash of milk and a pinch of sea salt and whisk it up.  Some cooks think you should not use any milk in omelettes, but I think a little is fine, although too much milk would be a poor omelette.  Try to use butter as your oil, in the frying, as it adds to the taste, particularly if you are using onions, mushrooms or such like.   

Some of my favourite baked omelettes fillings are;

-       Feta cheese (cubed), chopped spring onions and sliced cherry tomatoes (salty cheese and crunch of the spring onions is a lovely combination).

-       Courgette, onion and fresh mint leaf (fantastic flavours).

-       Cheddar cheese and onion (Mr K’s favourite).

-       'Garden' omelette (vintage Horns Inn favourite - onion, cheese and chuck in some frozen peas).

-       Chick pea, red pepper and mushroom (watch the mushrooms don’t turn it grey and soggy – drain if necessary and don’t use much butter).

-       Sliced potato, chopped green beans and parmesan cheese.

The fillings are important for oven baked omelettes and you can go overboard and be thrifty adding left overs for a family supper or be creative with fresh herbs.  The pan-fried variety is a more purist version with complete focus on the egg.  I’ll write about runny pan-fried omelettes separately as they are all about technique and simplicity.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Pear Tart Tatin from memory

“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it”, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Mother’s day dessert last Sunday was a dish I’ve been foolish in not baking for about eight years.  I learnt this in Islington from a lovely French chap called Pierre who collected Polaroid photos of his visitor’s shoes and decorated his dining room wall with them.  I offer the recipe from memory.

Firstly, make up a very rough pastry of butter (4oz), plain flour (6oz) and ground rice (2oz).  Work the butter and flour with your fingertips so that it becomes crumb like and then stir in the ground rice and some sugar (about 2oz) and a beaten egg, the latter for binding.  Press the pastry into a ball and place it in the fridge while you prepare the topping. 

Then peel and thickly slice about 3lbs of pears (or apples) and lay them in a large frying pan.  The frying pan must be able to go in the oven (i.e have a metal handle).  If you don’t have one of these frying pans, you can transfer the fruit, once cooked, to a pastry dish.  Place the fruit on top of some melting butter and caster sugar (about 4oz of each).   After about 25 minutes on a moderate heat, the pears will start to caramelise.  Wait until the sugar/ butter thickens and the pear starts to turn brown.  You can get away with using fairly unripe fruit for this recipe.  If you wish, sprinkle on some cinnamon or grated lemon zest.

Remove the fruit from the heat and the pastry from the fridge and roll out the pastry roughly to fit over the frying pan.  The pastry might collapse or crumble, but it doesn’t matter.  Patch it together and press it down gently over the fruit, taking care not to burn your hands on the caramelised fruit.  Then put the frying pan in a moderate heated oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry is bubbly and slightly brown.  Remove from the oven and let it stand for about 10 mins.  Tip the tart out of the frying plan onto a serving plate.  It should smell divine.  I drizzled the top with melted chocolate, but this didn’t particularly add anything other than get the kids excited.  Serve warm with cream – sour cream works as it offsets the sweetness of the tart. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

When is your pie not your pie?

Call for help from a friend asking me to come by and help her bake a beef and mushroom pie.  I’m passing shops on way so ask if she needs anything – “some beef?”   Hmmm.  

I’m in my work suit and this is a long detour but also an excuse for a natter on the way to an afternoon meeting.  I love cooking with friends so can’t resist.  When I arrive, we start to make a beef casserole sauce from scratch;  sweat some onions, brown the beef, add some flour and cook for one minute, stir in some red wine, balsamic vinegar and beef stock. Bung in some mushrooms at some point and la-di-da, we have a sauce on the go. 

Curious thing is during all this, I’m instructed not to touch anything, which is weird as we usually cook together and I’d thought this was a joint venture. She gives some excuse about my work suit smelling of onions, but I’m not convinced.    So, I’m dictating, with my hands behind my back, not allowed to touch and making a bit of a joke about it.  Friend keeps drifting off to text while I hop around the frying pan calling, “quick, it needs stirring, it needs stirring!”. 

It turns out the pie will not be eaten for hours and over two supper sittings; the first for her kids and the second sitting for her new gentleman friend.  He is coming over for supper for the first time (and confirming his appearance by text).  We split the pie filling into two dishes and discuss vegetables and chips or no chips (no to chips – carb overload!).   I advise serving the pie to gentleman in its dish on a wooden chopping board with a side dish of vegetables.  “Imagine you are in a gastro pub” I suggest, (like that would be a good thing) “– that’s how they’d do it and he can serve himself, otherwise you are dictating his portions and I just hate that for adults”   

We also discuss pastry and decide that just a puff pastry topping the pies will work. She’s only used short crust before and we agree that it can be topped now, but not cooked until just before ready to eat.  Job done, I head off to my meeting smelling of onions.  Hours later I receive panic phone call – the pastry has shrunk!  After some probing, it turns out she rolled out the puff pastry quite thinly (as we’d done previously with short crust).  Thankfully she had some more and is able to redo it and bung it back in the oven.  (Pies are quite forgiving).  She is fretting a lot over this pie and I realise now, why I was not allowed to touch; it’s so she can tell gentleman friend that it was all her work.  It dawns on me that this is how celebrity ghost writers must feel at publication time.   I asked what she would do if it turned out a disaster and she replied “oh, I’d just tell him that you’d come round and made it”.   

Twenty-one Times is back!

ok, after a break of a couple of years, my food-crash-literary blog is back. I'm going to work on some pictures, tweets and shorter ancedots. Heck - we all eat, we all need some Latin proverbs and twentieth century poetry in our lives. God bless ya all xx