I found myself making bread again, so this time I thought I’d add pine nuts. I did so in the latter stages of the kneading and thought it might have been better earlier, to make the nuts stick more to the dough. They rather easily fell out when it was finished. It didn’t prevent the […]

Madison’s Gelato

Jim’s going away party Originally uploaded by dynamist. I spent Sunday afternoon in the woods in Kentucky, at a going-away party for a friend who is moving to Washington, D.C. Along with those cupcakes, someone also brought three flavours of gelato: apricot, berry, and coconut chocolate chip. Of course I had to sample a spoonful […]

Chinese buffet feast

My Chinese Buffet meal in Westminster’s Strutton Ground began with a rather nice clear chicken soup with vegetables. It wasn’t too salty, and since I helped myself, I was able to pick the right balance of liquid to vegetables and chicken pieces. I next made myself a crispy duck pancake with the usual plum sauce […]

Nannini coffee

Ace chef Michael McGuinness was kind enough to give me a packet of Nannini coffee. From Alessandro Nannini, whose coffee shops in Italy are famous for their pastries as well as for their coffee, it is now sold internationally, and has a high reputation as a top quality brand. Wow! It’s rather gorgeous stuff – […]

It’s that time of day

I was relieved to read on Wikipedia that the notion you should not have a drink until the sun has gone over the yard arm is very easily variably interpreted. A group of friends in their twilight years count this as 6pm, but in the article, I’m (seemingly logically) told that it could be 11am. […]


Cupcakes! Originally uploaded by dynamist. These were mini-cupcakes, actually, and they were excellent. I was “good” and only allowed myself one…so that I’d have room for a two-bite brownie, two cookies, and the delicious dried cherry and chocolate bars that my friend Mary made. The occasion was a going away party for our friend Jim, […]

Canapes in the “Eiffel Dome”.

The hotel Hermitage in Monte-carlo is a wonderful building. This particular Domed part of it was made by the same chappie that built the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is of the same bare steel construction. I enjoyed Champagne and canapes, mainly local delicacies, as I viewed some expensive jewellery and chatted to the people I usually […]

Sausage and mash

It was, of course, sausage and mash with variations. I didn’t feel like wetting perfectly good mashed potatoes in great puddles of gravy. I started with Sainsbury’s pork and caramelized red onion sausages in the pan. I made mashed potatoes separately, then formed them into two rissoles (big croquettes, if you like). I added nothing […]

Eat prawns and duck

Not together though! I started with a small plate of large king prawns which were on offer in my local supermarket. As an alternative to Thousand Island dressing I drizzled them with lemon juice just prior to serving, and was impressed by the result. Not only was the flavour good, it was less rich and filling. As a main […]

Now there’s progress

It was the same wine: Australian Shiraz rosé from Sainsbury’s. It came in, confusingly, at half a percentage point less strong, at 12.5%. This, however, paled into insignificance once you picked up the bottle. It was remarkably light – much lighter than the others – and slightly smaller. But the volume was marked as identical. […]

Soup and ale at the Sanctuary

I went for lunch to the Sanctuary for the first time since a gas explosion around the corner blew out the top floor and roof of the offices there. The streets were closed off, and although a banner proclaimed “Open as usual,” the only access was from the East, along a narrow pathway between metal […]

Scientific Salad

I decided that the weather called for a fruit salad, so I made one with three satsumas, two apples, two bananas, a kiwi fruit and the juice of half a lime. The lime juice was primarily to preserve the fruit (beyond keeping it in the fridge), but I was uncomfortable that there wasn’t enough of […]