Disappointing sardines

I saw sardines at the Tesco fish counter. I’ve never bought sardines before in England and they seemed remarkably cheap. I bought 6-8 medium sized sardines for about 68p. I took them home and cursed myself for not having asked the fishmonger to cut and scale the fish. Having gutted and scaled the fish I […]

Coffee and cookie

I had to snatch a quick second breakfast at the airport.  It was too early for wine, so I bought a Starbuck’s Americano, something I do maybe once a year.  The only thing with it that looked remotely appetizing was the cookie with fruit and oats.  It was the oats that did it.  Yes, it […]

Vinocentric weekend

LaRioja Alta, Gran Reserva 904, 1997. Gifted this delicious bottle we based our weekend around it. Having debated between lamb and duck for a day or two we settled on roast lamb in the supermarket when we weighed up what they had on offer. A small roasting joint rubbed and stuffed with garlic, rosemary and […]

Kiwi compote

No, it wasn’t from New Zealand, and had no kiwis in it either. But it did have kiwi fruit.  I had some cherries and blueberries that would have gone past their best if I’d left them. So I bought two basic apples from Sainsbury’s and a punnet of 5 kiwi fruits at £1, of which […]

Dairy-free desert!

Sticky Toffee pudding. The actual sponge cake here is ‘naturally’ dairy-free… well, once you swap the butter for dairy-free spread. The toffee sauce normally involves double cream, we used oat cream, which I haven’t found as a double cream, but only as a single cream. We used it and thickened the sauce with some flour […]

Hot prawns with vegetables

I wondered how to rustle up a quick dinner and decided to use prawns.  First I chopped a red and a green pepper, and put them in a pan with butter and olive oil.  Then I added chopped purple onion and crushed garlic.  Then came mushrooms, and finally large prawns.  I added sweet and sour […]


Orujo is a Spanish version of Grappa. Grappa is made from the leftover grape matter from the wine making process and this one was made with the waste from Albariño. It was a gift given to my mother, who described it as demanding and not moreish. It was a very complex drink, and tasted great. […]

A cheese rotor

I was having dinner at a friend’s house when the cheese rotor was produced at the end of the meal.  I’d never seen nor heard of such a thing.  It sits atop a relatively hard cheese, and as you rotate it, it pares off a thin scraping of cheese at every turn.  The result is […]

Duck in a bowl

Duck in a bowl is an Anthony Worrall Thompson recipe available in his book ‘Anthony Makes It Easy’. Very simply, Score the skin and rub the duck in 5 spice,  fry it breast skin down for 10 minutes and then on the other side for 3. Done. Slice it and put it on top of […]

My own haggis

Although haggis usually comes from sheep, the one I bought at M&S had a picture of a pig on its label.  They were selling at 2 for £3, and the size of it can be judged by the fact that its label was about the size of a small beer-mat.  It was, I guess, about […]

A Burns Supper

We began with Scottish smoked salmon, though it was served in an untraditional way with prawns and truffle oil.  It was such a large plateful that for me it would have been a meal buy itself, but there was more to come. There was, of course, haggis.  There were three vegetarian specimens (shown), and a […]