Just pumpkin soup

Need more be said? Well, maybe this. I used ‘freeze-cooked’ pumpkin which has been softened by the freezing process instead of by baking or boiling. I discovered a few years back that if you take out the centre bits and the seeds, and peel pumpkin slices, they freeze nicely and come out soft, and ready […]

Eggs and bacon

When I feel like a treat, I make myself eggs and bacon. I usually have it on top of thin slices of a decent granary loaf, lightly buttered, the bacon on this first, then eggs on top. I usually fry the bacon, because it’s easier to clean up after than grilling it, but I often […]

Port, cheese, politics

Whilst Madsen may soon be hosting a port party – for a guest-list of one – Cambridge University’s Conservative Association is legendary for it’s bi-termly Port and Cheese parties. The port is sourced from Cambridge Wine Merchants, and is sweet – without being sickeningly so – and a beautiful deep red. The cheese is straight […]

Red hot chili peppers

No, I’m not talking about the US alternative rock band founded 24 years ago and enjoying a revival. I’m talking about Bhut Jolokia, a variety of chili pepper originating in Assam, India. It has just blasted its way into the Guiness Book of World Records as the world’s hottest pepper. In tests of Scoville heat […]

First pumpkin pie of the season

Pumpkins are everywhere, and I made my first pumpkin pie of the year. I used about a third of a small pumpkin, and carefully froze the rest, having discovered that they thaw out already soft and ready to use. I used my usual recipe, as I did last year. I think I marginally overcooked this […]

Four decades of port

After I made that speech at Jesus College, I was given a very handsome gift. It was a wooden box containing four half bottles of port. They were all Taylor’s tawny which had been aged in wood, the first bottle for 10 years, the others for 20, 30 and 40 years. I suppose the thing […]

Trinity triumphant

After last week’s disaster, I was somewhat nervous about taking guests to Trinity’s weekly graduate dinner. Fortunately, my fears were broadly misplaced, and a good evening was had by all. Importantly the wine didn’t run out: Fortant’s 2003 Grenache and 2006 Sauvignon Blanc were good and balanced well the meal. The Grenache, by consensus, was […]

Chicken and mango with a herb nut crust

It was the college dinner I had that set me thinking. Apple and pumpkin in a cream sauce under a herb nut crust. I wondered what chicken and mango bake might be like, if done in a cream sauce and under a similar crust. One way to find out. The chicken pieces I sealed in […]

Meaty stew, then crumble

I put in lots of meat. It came already cut into chunks with very little fat on them, but I went through and removed even that. It went into a pan lined with hot oil, and turned so that it browned on all sides. Then I added half a pint of lamb stock. To the […]

Leftovers and beyond

Leftover veg from pervious cooking adventures were crying out to be used in a quick supper last week. I diced up potato and boiled for 20 minutes till soft. I prepared my faux-marinaded tomatoes, and fried up mushrooms and spring onions till soft and brown. Under the grill I popped pork loin chops and the […]

Old Town Diner

Old Town Diner, Laurelville Originally uploaded by dynamist. Last weekend when visiting my parents, they took me to their favourite local greasy spoon. Old Town Diner, in the village of Laurelville, is the sort of place where you’ll always spot grey-haired grandmothers breakfasting together and clusters of local farmers and hunters eating at the counter. […]

Düsseldorf’s Japanese quarter

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t have known about it either had the hotel not suggested it as a place for dinner. It’s based around the Hotel Nikko and Mitsukoshi department store on the Immermannstraße. Unfortunately my trip coincided with one of Germany’s largest trade fairs, so the Japanese restaurants I found were all rather full. Somewhat disappointed I settled for the […]