Montana Lindauer

This New Zealand sparkler has a wonderful lightness to it. The bubbles are fine and very lengthy and the wine is intensely pink, adding to any lively celebration. It was £8.49 at Sainsbury’s and although this is a little more than at Tesco (see the above link), it’s still a good price. In fact, I […]

A dud recipe for strawberry jam

It looked wrong and it was, and I only made it work by changing it. It was a recipe from the Independent newspaper for strawberry jam. Against my better judgement I tried it. 1kg/2lb strawberries, hulled 1kg caster sugar The zest and juice of 1 lemon I used lime instead of lemon, but otherwise followed […]

Cob and cheese

Two types of cob in fact: a beautiful granary cob of bread and corn on the cob, one of my favourite dishes. I really enjoy cooking the latter, first in the pan in boiling water for 20 minutes and then coating slightly in butter and grilling briefly until slightly browned on each side. This enhances […]

Over-crisping the roast potatoes

Roast potatoes are easy. You peel and parboil the potatoes – I do it for 8 minutes. Then you roughen their surfaces, and put them on a tray of hot fat, basting them before putting it in the oven for about an hour. I use goose fat for a really good taste. I thought I’d […]

Waiter, there’s a cherry in my beer…

I’ve never tried cherry beer before, so this proved to be quite fascinating. It’s made by Liefmans and is a sturdy 6% and comes in its own little champagne-style bottle with a cork and a wire cage. It was astonishingly fizzy and poured from the bottle a very intensely dark colour, like that of de-oxygenated […]

Mystery cheese

It was on the deli cheese counter at the big Sainsbury’s near Victoria. It was in a pile of assorted off-cuts which had been cling-wrapped. It said “Sheeps milk T/WENS.” Thinking it read “Tiwens,” I looked it up, unsuccessfully. I then looked more carefully and tried T/WENS and made no more progress. It had a […]

Aspall’s Cyder

This is a 5.5% Suffolk cider, found now on tap in various pubs (at least here in East Anglia) with a very light flavour. It’s very clear and less sweet than brands like Strongbow; it’s kind of sherberty. It comes from the company with all kinds of quality apple products, including juice and vinegars. Jackie […]

Bombay cocktails

They’re not from Bombay, but from Bombay gin, the subject of a special promotion by Balls Brothers wine bar. Some of them look to be worth trying. 1. Garden Martini: gin and elderflower, shaken with rosemary over ice and fine-strained. 2. Queen Mum of Cosmo (now there’s a splendid name!): gin, cointreau, cranberry juice, fresh […]

Strange switch

I was baffled yesterday in Sainsbury’s, because the wine I’ve often been buying this summer, the Shiraz rosé which normally comes in a squeezy plastic bottle, has now reverted back to glass. This in itself isn’t so weird, but the strength increased by half a percentage point, to 13%. It tastes almost identical and the […]

No right turn

I have just relocated to Frankfurt with work for a while. It’s a nice change of scene, and provides an excellent opportunity to sample the food and drink Germany has to offer. Of course I’ll write about it. My company paid for the BA flight from Heathrow, so I was able to use the business […]

A chutney problem solved

I wrote about that very large jar of chutney which was way too sweet for my tastes. I thought maybe tamarind might have improved it. The solution was simpler, though. I tested a couple of tablespoons of it in a small jar, rather than risk the whole batch. I added dark soy sauce, about 10 […]