12 January, 2010

I’m watching a US foody prog called Top Chef: Masters (it’s on the Food Channel), and one of the judges is an American food critic called James Oseland.

He has a most peculiar way of speaking. What’s weirder, though, is that he looks a lot like food critic Lloyd Grossman, who also has a most peculiar way of speaking…

Is it something about people who look like this, d’you think? That odd way of torturing their voooWells?? Something to do with the shape of their mouths, perhaps? Possibly they’ve eaten too many scrummy meals. Maybe I’d better watch oooot!

Uh-oh… I think it’s starting…

James Oseland

Lloyd Grossman

Yummy Thai salad (sort of)

11 January, 2010

Catching up with the Cookery Channel yesterday evening I spotted Peter Gordon of the Sugar Club restaurant describing this ultra-yummy recipe on a Rick Stein programme. Everything Peter Gordon does on television looks wonderful to me *drool*

He made it with kangaroo (um…), but he said lots of other things would work well: chicken, lamb etc etc


1. Take about a tablespoon of white rice (e.g. sushi rice, basmati), pop it in a bowl and toast it in the oven (180) for about 10 minutes. Let it cool and then grind it up quite finely (but not to dust–leave a bit of texture) in a little grinder of some sort.

2. Toast a couple of good handfuls of unsalted peanuts as above, and when they’re cool bash them around a bit in a mortar with a pestle until they’re crumbled.

3. Finely grate the zest of 3 limes into a bowl.

4. Squeeze the juice of all 6 limes into the same bowl.

5. Grate in about 80g of palm sugar.

6. Add 1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce

7. Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce

8. Thinly slice a couple of shallots and add them to the mix.

9. Thinly slice your freshly-cooked and still warm meat/fish/whatever and add it to the bowl.

10. Take some fresh coriander and mint leaves and sprinkle them in.

Toss it all around and enjoy!

Hmmm… a handful of rice noodles would be a good addition, I reckon.

Edited: Oops! I left out the shallots…

Ingleton — dinner!

7 January, 2010

Peeling chestnuts — a cunning trick

27 December, 2009

Anyone who’s tried peeling these blasted things has probably had the miserable and frustrating burned fingers/bits of chestnuts stuck behind nails experience.

I came across a cunning ploy via the internet yesterday, though, which is worth passing on. Shove the little buggers into the microwave for a couple of minutes, after scoring a cross in the round side, and it’s then possible to slip them out of their cases very easily indeed. The skin stuff comes off easily too. Yum!

30 minutes to Christmas dinner…

26 December, 2009

Yes, we’re having it on Boxing Day, as we went to see Daddy y/day and weren’t sure what time we’d be home.

Didn’t get the sausages/bacon things done, and only remembered the roast parsnips at the last moment. One of the 3 of us is a total veggie and has to have roast potatoes in groundnut oil, rather than goose fat, and one of the others had a heart thing years ago and objects to even the merest smear of butter. FFS… but I shall soon be piggling out in a buttery, turkeyish feast 🙂

Here’s Sting doing Gabriel’s Message (his version of The Angel Gabriel, my favourite carol), which was on the same album as the Alison Moyet thing I linked to y/day. I love this!

Chicken Out — Some 2009 Successes

24 December, 2009

Some good news, here, for those of us concerned about the conditions in which farmed chickens live and die.

Crubeens crossed for more progress in 2010.

Compassion in World Farming are also very grateful, on behalf of the animals for which they campaign, for any financial help people can give them. Just in case anybody would like to take a scan, there’s a secure donation page here.


20 December, 2009

Eyebrow threading

Feeling almost terminally scruffy, I had my hair cut a couple of days ago (about two months overdue–very short again now) and thought I’d try out some eyebrow threading.

Incidentally, did you know what the function of eyebrows is? I didn’t, until I looked for a ‘threading’ link. Apparently they exist to prevent sweat from running into our eyes. Hmmm… clearly they weren’t invented in the North of England, then. To prevent hailstones from slipping down into our eyes? Maybe.

Anyway, I looked all smart and shiny again and so took Piglet for a celebratory walk. On our arrival back at home, though, she was so excited that she leapt up and scraped great tramlines down my chin with her claws! (She swears it was an accident, but the cat says she isn’t sure.) Anyway, I now look a bit like a skinhead who’s been in a fight. Not a good look for work, really, particularly since I couldn’t find any concealer.

Piggly and I are now off to Waitrose to buy yummy dinner supplies. I don’t like to leave her in the car, but she says she’d rather that than have to stay at home. I’m wearing my Cioch trousers (extremely muddy) so I hope they’ll let me in. The plan is to stop for a walk in the woods on the way back if it isn’t too disgusting outside. Right now I hear gale-force winds and sleet slopping up against the windows, so we may just give the walk a miss.

I’d like to get out, though: I like to be wrapped up warmly against foul weather with my little MP3 player and the sight of little Piglet skipping ahead of me through the sandhills.