As predicted, the weather here has become remarkably warm and jolly unseasonable. One would, at this time of the year, expect one’s breath to be made visible by a late-spring chill. However, as this paragraph begins to takes shape, my eyes find themselves met with a sky of unbridled blue. We appear to have skipped spring entirely and charged head-first into summer – perhaps June will become the new winter. We shall yet join the Australians in having my namesake, jolly ol’ St. Nick, presented with a surf board and speedos, rather than coat and gloves.

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Rösti has become a rather difficult thing to find in the restaurants and cafes of Britain. One could argue that the hash brown is a fairly common solution to this problem. However, there is something about the hash brown that screams ‘English fry-up’- it has not the class of the rather more delicate Swiss Rösti. I can almost smell the sense of disbelief in the fact that you have just witnessed me, a relatively staunch British traditionalist, at least when it comes to food, bash one of our own. However, what you must realise is that most traditional British food is part of a truly great culinary tradition and that I’m more than happy to bash what I perceive to be inferior. Perhaps I shall have to attempt to reinvent the hash brown – now there’s an idea.

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If executed with a reasonable amount of precision and expertise, attributes which often elude me, cheesecake is, perhaps, the best type of dessert. In all honesty, can anyone think of an attribute sought after in a dessert that goes wanting in a cheesecake? In general, they are smooth, simple, tasty, decadent, and as Greg Wallace, best known for his Master Chef induced dessert fetish, will tell you; they do have the highly sought after ‘buttery biscuit base’. As you may have noticed I appear to have developed something of a cheesecake fetish myself and ought really to stop prefixing every cheesecake recipe with fragranced drivel regarding their excellence. Please, I invite you all to violently rebuke me if this trend continues.

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Last Sunday my mum turned 50. Wait, is divulging such a statistic bad etiquette? I never know with these things, but I digress. Since she knows I’m attempting to save every penny possible, she asked me to bake her and her friends a delicious cake in lieu of a gift. Apparently it went down rather well; the slice I had certainly did. This is hardly surprising, since the label “gluten-free” suits chocolate so well. Indeed, I first discovered this after making my most recent batch of brownies. This must be because the lack of flour goes some way towards preserving one of the fundamental qualities of chocolate – its smoothness. As we all know, taste isn’t the only important consideration when buying chocolate; it should also be smooth and seductive to the tongue.

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In my last post I mentioned a desire to overcome my Christmas “hangover”. One method by which this might be accomplished has already been mentioned – the hair of the dog. However, it appears that a more effective method may be required. This is where my new, roughly vegetarian, diet comes in. By ‘roughly vegetarian’ I mean that I shan’t sniff at a soupçon of a fairly healthy, meat-filled dish, but my main diet shall consist of vegetables and fruit. Surely, this must be as close to a cure for a food-hangover as it is possible to get?

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