Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2009

Pea and Ham Soup Noodles (Recipe)

Sometimes I'm a genius. At least that's what I tell myself when I make up a recipe. I still had the pea shoots that I'd blagged from Waitrose at Taste of London 2009 , and I lay on the floor for a bit thinking what I could do with them. For the uninitiated, pea shoots (aka pea tops or pea sprouts) are the heart-shaped, tendrilly leaves of the garden pea plant. Long beloved in Chinese cookery where they are known as dòu miáo , they have only just made an appearance on our shores. The little leaves taste just like the sweetest, freshest peas and are best eaten raw or lightly cooked, in salads and stir-fries . However, it occurred to me that since peas and ham go so well together in Pea and Ham Soup , I could attempt to create a summery riff on the same. I adore my noodle soups and decided that this would be my gameplan, so I fried some ham, boiled some udon, made some broth, and bunged the pea shoots on top. Then I scoffed the lot. As suspected, the pea shoots and the ham c

Spam, Beautiful Spam

No, not SPAM , but spam . You see, the amount of email spam I get these days has suddenly shot up for some reason. My work filter manages to quarantine the majority, but sends me a clickable report of all the email subject lines. Most of them are in wonderfully mangled English, riddled with clichés. Some fine examples I've recently received include: "Forget about not been abling to please your partner!" "Even super agents use these wonderful pils to pleasure" "Every next act will be better that previous!" and my favourite "Prepare to get huge instrument" All sic (and some might say sick). However, the other day I received one which was surprisingly poetic and somewhat melancholy: "Night fails make man irresolute and pitiful" Not quite a haiku , its beauty made me pause for thought. Still didn't click on it though. What, you think I'm stupid or something?

Rant: The Supersizers Eat Medieval (TV Review)

Raid the dressing-up box, guys and gals, for this week the Supersizers turn Medieval ! Despite massive deja vu after Heston's Medieval Feast , the Middle Ages has always provided good tv fodder, and Giles and Sue throw themselves into the task with gay abandon. William the Conqueror had just dis-eyeballed Harold and England became overrun with Normans from France. So Giles is playing Norman Baron, and Sue is the Anglo-Saxon maiden who he's just conquered. They're living in Penshurst Place (I've been there!), the biggest Medieval manor in England. Martin Blunos is their chef for the week, and though he looks more Viking than Medieval, he also looks more fun than Marcus Wareing so I'm happy. Anyway, it seems Medieval folk had some funny ideas about food and health. Firstly, they believed that you were ruled by four humours : yellow bile (vomit), black pile (poo), blood and phlegm, and that each of these had a specific character trait. Too much yellow bile made yo

Quick Scallop Linguine (Recipe)

Despite stuffing myself at Taste of London , by the time I got home I was famished again. Luckily, I'd returned with the fixings for an awesome supper. With the King Scallops bought off Taste Waitrose and the parsley pilfered from the French Flair Theatre , I was dying to make some seafood linguine. Sadly, said scallops had already made their presence known by deciding to leak into my rucksack, but hubby got rid of the stench by lobbing the rucksack into the garden, a quick if short-term solution. However, thankfully the scallops themselves were fat, juicy and fresh, with glossy orange corals intact. Gordon Ramsay suggests removing the corals (the scallop roe) and baking them on a low heat to then crumble over dishes as a savoury topping. This is a nice idea if you're stupid enough to remove the corals in the first place. Personally I think to do so is sacrilege because (a) they're beautiful and (b) they're delicious - creamy and intense, a little like ankimo (monkfi

Taste of London 2009 - A Worker's Tale

Tristan Welch of Launceston Place Sunday was quite literally a brighter day for Taste of London 2009 . In return for Thursday's complimentary tickets , I'd foolishly offered to help my cousin Lily run the Yum Yum Tree Fudge stand . I went in the Chester Road Trade Entrance and got totally lost, but thankfully she spotted me wandering aimlessly about. Yum Yum Tree was tucked away in the Producers' Section. Using my excellent Blue Peter skills, I co-opted next door's table to make a few multi-coloured posters eg "Perfect for Father's Day (Today!)", whilst Lily and another cousin laid out the fudge. It was weird but beautiful to see the park devoid of visitors and to see people scurryng around setting up stalls or just chilling before the masses descended. Our neighbour was Max - a lovely guy promoting Sweet Freedom , a sugar substitute. We also rubbed shoulders with David's Chilli Oil , Mangajo Juices , and Tracklements . At 12 o'clock, the PA announ