Fichi ricoperti

Ooh, I was just given a box of fichi ricoperti from Carluccio’s.  They are sourced from the hilltop town of Aiello, and are chocolate coated figs stuffed with walnuts and orange peel. “Inside the bijou factory adjoining Aloisio’s parents’ home, the sugary scent in the air of toasting figs mixed with melting chocolate is intoxicating. […]

Sort of chicken soup

Lots went into it.  I dipped a couple of cherry tomatoes in boiling water so I could remove the skins. I chopped spring onions, mushrooms and a red pepper.  I used chicken stock, and cooked the pepper first for a few minutes, before simmering with the other ingredients.  Then I added the chopped chicken, already […]

This wine has my name on it

I prefer a light red wine with goose.  Not a strong, fruity shiraz, but maybe something milder and European.  One of my publishers solved the problem in style.  They sent me a Christmas bottle of Vin de Pays du Vaulcuse, with a seasonal sprig of holly on the label.  The publisher is Harriman House, who […]

No Christmas pudding

Actually, I did have Christmas puddings, two of them.  One is a M&S ‘enriched’ one, and one is a Fortnum & Mason ‘luxury’ one, and I’m longing to try them out.  The problem was that after that goose Christmas dinner I was too full to attempt either of them!  Fortunately two friends who know my […]

Sauce for the goose

That was the main difference to the Christmas meal I cooked.  It was goose, as usual.  I noted that recommended cooking times have increased, and I suspect the hand of health and safety officers not wanting us to eat undercooked bird.  The sauce was, as I said, different.  In place of the Bramley apple sauce […]

Engaging drinks

We’d travelled to Cambridge for drinks with friends to celebrate our engagement; the venue was the Allhusen Room at my old College – Trinity. We served wine and cake; the cakes were lovingly made for the occassion (cakes by Mr Marks, icing by Mr Spencer…), and the wines were from the College cellars. That’s slightly […]

A really nice chicken pie

There was still some of that chicken left, so I made a pie with it.  The pastry was shortcrust, with 6 oz of flour with two spoons of oat bran, and about 3 oz of goose-fat and sunflower spread, mixed with a fork until crumbly, then with just enough water to make a dough.  I […]

Chicken leftover in pita bread

Part of the remaining chicken made up a couple of good sandwiches for lunch. I used Sainsbury’s ‘Basics’ pita bread at 18p for 6 pieces.  Toasted, split open, top half inside with mayonnaise, bottom with cranberry sauce, and in went lettuce, tomatoes, and some of the (now-salted) scraps of leftover chicken.  I ate two of […]

Pre-Christmas bird

There was a time when chicken was regarded as a delicacy, and it was a real treat for working class families to enjoy at Christmas.  Then came Sir Antony Fisher, a decorated World War II fighter pilot, who founded Buxted chickens and put chicken dinners within reach of ordinary families.  Then came American influence and […]

Special occassion wines

I’d been saving these for a special occassion: Penfolds Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling 72, and Heidsieck Monopole Gold Top Vintage 2002. The riesling I’d purchased when I was in Adelaide in 2008. I ducked out of an afternoon conference session and took the bus to Penfolds’ Magill Estate cellar door. The Magill Estate is the […]