Landmark Coffee Shop & Pancake House

We’re in New York City for New Year’s Eve, and were smart enough to get a hotel room around the corner from this place, in Soho. The Landmark does really cheap, tasty breakfasts; this spread cost just $25 including tip (the service was good). French toast – which my half-French fiancé tells me is known […]

Beefburger in a peppercorn sauce

In the mood for a burger, but not from a fast-food outlet, I decided to make one myself. I was surprised how simple it was, and how tasty the result. I bought 200g of minced beef, and mixed it in a bowl with half an egg and a finely chopped half red onion. I then […]

Pheasant in a red wine sauce

As a welcome alternative to another turkey dinner, I tried pheasant cooked in a red wine sauce. It’s not something I had cooked before, but I had some basic instructions so thought I would give it a go. I bought a pheasant from the local supermarket (in a pack rather than from the meat counter). […]

An Italian friend

I hardly ever drink Italian wine, and I know little about it. There are a lot of grape varieties which I hardly ever drink and a lot which I drink often, which doesn’t lead to a great education. This one was one I drink often, because I always find it at pizza places at the […]

In the mood for the game

If you want to lift your spirits you should eat partridge or pheasant, says a new study. These two game birds contain high levels of selenium, which is said to induce good moods and combat depression. The survey was commissioned by the Countryside Alliance, which obviously favours hunting, shooting and fishing, but that doesn’t mean […]

A warming treat

Seeing as it’s the season, I treated myself to some expensive wine, sourced at D Byrne’s in Clitheroe (sorry, they have no website). It was a Bourgogne from 2005 called Les Sétilles and is made by Olivier Leflaive (and he’s a very well-respected highly versatile wine maker). The master craftsmen behind this wine are also […]

My goose is cooked

Goose is a fairly easy bird to cook. When cleaning it out, I pull away lumps of fat by hand, heating them in a pan to make another jar of goose-fat. The bird itself does not need to be stuffed, though it can be. Basically the goose goes on a wire rack atop a deep […]

Roast chestnuts

The song tells of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” and that’s the way we used to do it as children. We’d cut a notch in the top and sit them on the bricks at the side of the fire, and then wait impatiently. Almost invariably we burned fingers, and sometimes mouths. Fireplaces are not […]

A shopping break

The day before Christmas Eve, in Blackburn, Lancashire, north-west England, between bouts of Christmas shopping, I enjoyed a super-chilled German beer called Kaltenberg. The bar was called ‘Toffs’ and, as you will understand if you’ve ever been to Blackburn, it was quiet. Part way through the Rich-tea-biscuits-flavoured beer, it is announced on the radio that […]

Chicken going cheep

It was really nice, but didn’t cost much. I used 2 small chicken breast pieces (£1.50), chopped them into roughly one-inch pieces and lightly seared them on the stove top. I used about a quarter of the purple onion which cost 21p. In went half the mixed peppers (red, yellow, green, which cost £1.29). Then […]

Light beer for light refreshment

Once I had traipsed across town the other night to buy myself a train ticket for my Christmas family-visiting travels, I decided I deserved a break and a beer. It was, after all about minus three degrees centigrade. I chose the bar Sauce because it was close to the station and I ordered a Hoegaarden. […]