Sunday 30 December 2012

The Dish of Dreams

A few days before Christmas, I was happily in the kitchen in my flat (washing up, I think) when a tousled husband emerged from the bedroom, demanding to know whether I had been "frying" (his word, not mine) eggs in coca cola...

Obviously, I looked at him open mouthed, with barely disguised horror etc...

It turned out that he'd been dreaming about it that morning, vividly enough that he really had no idea whether it had actually happened or not.

He remained weirdly obsessed (particularly weirdly, given that he usually refuses eggs in most of their forms) with it all day, despite my yucky-noises.

Kavey pointed us towards Oeufs en Meurette - eggs poached in red wine, which, I have to confess, also look rather revolting to me (and I say that as one who really really loves eggs), which made me think that maybe it wasn't quite so bonkers after all, so last night, we gave it a go...

On my way home from work on Friday, I bought these.

I boiled up a pan of the brown stuff.

I cracked one of my eggs into a thingummy - I'm not a great poacher at the best of times and supermarket eggs of unknown freshness aren't the best for poaching, and this is definitely more likely to result in success than cracking directly into the pan...

I chucked it in (making a whirlpool first, obviously) and waited for a few minutes.
And, hey presto, coke-poached egg.
I made husband eat it, obviously.
He did, and *said* that it was nice.

A bit sweet for my taste, but nowhere near as inedible as one might expect. Maybe I should work on some kind of sugary coke based reduction/sauce and serve it with ice cream for pudding :)

So there we go - the Dish of Dreams - never let it be said that we're not prepared to try anything once. And that includes the Oeufs en Meurette, which I shall definitely (*) make soon.

*Probably (**)

** Possibly

Saturday 29 December 2012

The Weapons of Marriage

I met my husband while we were both at university, many moons ago...
Obviously he wasn't my husband then.
In fact, while we were there, we didn't know each other that well at all.
We were on the same course, but we didn't talk much there as all the lectures were in the mornings and he doesn't really know how to make words before noon (I didn't know that then - I assumed he just didn't want to associate with me in front of Other People) and we had some mutual friends and acquaintances, so used to see each other at parties and the like from time to time.

When we finally moved on to Real Life (or, in his case, more university), we kept in touch in a vagueish kind of way, exchanging odd emails and things. I'm not really sure why, to be honest - obviously just one of Those Things.

Anyway, about half way through his PhD, husband-but-not-husband-then went to Japan for a PhD related whatnot, during a period when we were enjoying much entertaining email contact.
He asked me whether I wanted anything brought back and I (obviously) said "yes, a sword"...

Being the sensible young man he was, he did not, in fact, fulfil this request, but did bring this super sharp knife, which he (I think) posted to me when he got back, with the warning that both he and his flatmate had managed to cut themselves on his matching knife with in about 30 seconds of getting it home...

Nice, eh?
I didn't cut myself, but I did (and do) love the knife in spite of this (though it was, indeed, very sharp) and used it lots.

Anyway, one thing led to another, the rest is history and various other such cliches and we ended up, a few years later, married and living together in the sunny East of London.

For our first wedding anniversary, he gave me this.

It's from the nice people at Kin Knives and was the actual best thing I had ever owned (he's pretty good with presents).

It is super sharp and incredibly beautiful as well as being functional and has truly taught me the value of fingernails.
I use it every day and was utterly bereft in the summer when I sent it away for a few days to be sharpened.

Fast forwarding to December this year saw another (Jennie-free) trip to Japan and this amazing Christmas present.

Once again, super super sharp, and possibly the best one yet.
AND it has my NAME on it. In Japanese, obviously.

It's from Aritsugu in Kyoto, who are an awesome and very old (18th generation now) knife maker from Kyoto and, needless to say, I love it a lot and have been frantically chopping, dicing and slicing things since Christmas.

I'm not sure whether this story has a moral.
Maybe it's that knives are cool, maybe it's that I'm easily bought with sharp, shiny things or maybe it's simply that I have an awesome husband* - who knows...?

In any case, thank you for admiring my blades so nicely and with such appropriate ooohs and aaahs etc - as always, it has been delightful sharing with you.

*all of the above are, in fact, true...

Thursday 27 December 2012

After Christmas

You wouldn't know it from the (very very small) number of people on the trains this morning, but today is the first working day after Christmas.

As of last night, exacerbated by all the happy still-on-holiday people who don't even know what day it is, I was properly dreading it.

However, as is often the way with such things, the reality is really not too bad...

Along with the lovely empty trains and nice quiet office, I have been much cheered by the inaugural use of one of my lovely new Christmas stocking bento boxes...

Here it is - stylish, no?

And here's my lunch - leftunder (I made it last night, but it's *really* mostly for tea later today) ratatouille-style vegetables and some extra festive Stilton.

I have also painted my nails in the style of a packet of skittles for extra cheer-upping effect...

Hope everyone has had a nice Christmas!

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Thursday 29 November 2012

Lazy Lunch

I was far too lazy to make a proper lunch last night so today I ate leftover cauliflower and more cured salmon (we're almost at the end of the salmon now - it's been good).

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Wednesday 28 November 2012

The Cheesecake of Wanton Excess and Other Stories

I was bribed/cajoled into making this monstrosity for my workmates in exchange for some handy work-type things...

Here it is...

And here's the inside (messy - I only had a very tiny knife)

And the slice.

Ridiculous, no?

I now have a fridge full of leftover Italian meringue - maybe tunnocks type teacakes again? Or something else - ideas welcomed warmly :)

On a slightly less fatty/sugary/bonkers note, here's what I had for tea last night - fried mushrooms and garlic with eggs and a teeny bit of Stilton...

Here's what I ate at the rather splendid Ciao Bella on Sunday evening...

And here is a selection of crazy cheeseness from ForzaWinter on Saturday evening (v fun - you must all go while you still can).

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Friday 23 November 2012

The Cure

Yesterday, as promised, I unwrapped and surveyed the salmon sides that have been curing in my fridge for the past few days.

I am pleased to report that they are awesome.
I washed off the salty cure and was left with lovely firm bits of tasty salmon.

I had some for my lunch with carrot strips - possibly a bit over-orange, but otherwise a really good lunch.

There's obviously a LOT of the salmon, so ideas for what to do with it, other than just idly stuffing it into my mouth (a lot has gone this way already) would be most welcome...

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Thursday 22 November 2012

Salmon. Lots of Salmon...

Last night, I ate salmon with cabbage. It was delicious.

Today I ate much the same again for lunch. Also good. Sometimes I forget how much I like salmon.

I also have a couple of big slabs curing in the fridge. Effbeeee inspired me.
I'm going to investigate them tomorrow - will report back.

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Thursday 15 November 2012

Few Days of Food

Last week, I met up with the marvellous MiMi, who donated me some of her equally marvellous kimchee.
I packed it up a few days later and ate it for lunch with some eggs.
It smelled amazing and tasted just as good.

For my tea that day, I ate some (slightly past it, but still tasty) roasted sweetcorns and the kidneys from a lamb that we butchered last week in a rather awesome evening spent with the nice people at Meat N16 (probably more on that later), which I fried up with onion garlic and some cherry tomatoes which were lurking in the bottom of the salad drawer.

I've also recently had a lunch of slightly pickled purple carrots and turnip with noodles and tuna.

A slightly weird mix of roasted squash and smoked mackerel.

And some lamb 'bolognese' (made from all the leftovery bits of the same lamb - mostly intended for shepherds' pie - this was the excess) with lovely steamed brassicas.

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Monday 12 November 2012

Late Home

Late home this evening post rehearsal and quite close to expiring with hunger/tiredness, so needed something super quick and easy...

Super Quick Easy Tea Recipe

- Fry chorizo bits, sliced onion and lots of garlic over a low heat, while you have a (disappointingly non-hot) shower.
- Towel dry hair, whilst chopping half a Chinese leaf cabbage.
- Add the cabbage to the pan and turn the heat up.
- Top with a delicious fried egg and eat while watching King of the Hill.

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The Magic of Leftovers

I've discovered over the course of my working life (I was going to say 'recently', but it's not really true - I've known it in the deep recesses of my heart for a Long Time) that packed lunches are a Good Thing.

They are tastier, probably 'healthier' (I hate that word) and generally more satisfying than the things that one ends up running out and buying in the available seven and a half minutes between meetings and glumphing down at the desk whilst frantically trying to simultaneously email X about Y and fend off questions on some kind of dull conference call, which are often a little disappointing.
(There are exceptions, of course, and the lure of the Scotch Egg Katsu Curry is occasionally overwhelming).

The king of the packed lunch world is obviously the Leftover. What could be better than recycling yesterday's tea?
There is Nothing.
Nothing, I tell you.

By way of an illustrative example, last night I ate chicken livers and stirfried veggies. I like the way the drizzled sriracha makes it look kind of dirty - like something from a kebab shop...
Husband complimented me on my awesome julienning skillz. I'm not sure Masterchef would agree - they weren't very uniform ;-)

Today, no livers left, but leftover vegetables with hard(ish) boiled eggs and some walnuts (for the scrunch factor).

My workmates with their inadequate sandwiches and whatnot were totally jealous*.


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Wednesday 7 November 2012

It's Been Ages

Since I properly shared my lunch with you...

So here it is - leftover venison 'bolognese' with crispy kale and tomato...

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Sunday 28 October 2012

Totoro Flavoured Ice Cream

Some exciting things have happened recently, the most relevant one being the arrival of my lovely new computer...
This should enable far easier blogment than the previous one (which mainly didn't work), though probably won't magically conjure up fascinating things to write about or even time to write them in.
Though you never know, of course.

Anyway, this also allows me to show you what I've been making for this month's BSFIC event over on KaveyEats.

The theme this month was Japan (in celebration of Kavey's amazing holiday - welcome home!), which obviously brought one thing to mind immediately...

I had recently made a delicious Totoro cake, but I wasn't certain he would translate that well to ice cream and it seemed a bit cruel to mash up a load of Totoros just to make sorbet, so I tried to think of other tasty Japanese flavours.

I found a black sesame ice cream recipe here, which I made with a few mini adaptations to suit the things that were in my cupboard.

But it was a bit dull (though tasty).
So I did this.

Better ears next time :-)

Wednesday 10 October 2012


Just me this evening and the fridge was looking a little sparse, other than a couple of aubergines and some slightly manky looking heads of sweetcorn.

I sliced up my aubergines and spread them out with an onion.

And a garlic clove or twenty, which you'll just have to take my word for.

I stuck them in the oven for half an hour or so along with my corns, which turned out to only to be manky on the very outside, and crossed my fingers.

They came out like this - I thoroughly recommend the approach...

I ate them all up. Yums.

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Mini Fish

Lunch today of sprats, cucumber olives and noodles.
And various animal shaped sauces :)

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Tuesday 9 October 2012

A Few More Things

Last week, I roasted some sweetcorns and ate with duck eggs and some black beaned shiitake mushrooms.
I always forget how much I love corn on the cob - it's just delicious. And several million light years away from the vile stuff in tins.

We also ate duck livers and crispy kale (I like kale a lot anyway, but have recently discovered that you can roast it really quickly in the oven and it comes out like frispy crispy Chinese restaurant seaweed - genius).
Husband had rice with his and we drank champagne.

And venison stew (yum) with more kale.

Followed by a lunch of leftover crispies, gherkins and feta.
And sweet chilli sauce in a panda.

Grilled sprats and veggies.

And, this evening, a husband-cooked dinner of roasted duck legs and stirfried vegetables that was actually waiting for me when I got home. Best husband ever!

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Friday 5 October 2012

Recent Things

Recently, I have eaten this katsu sando from Lovely Tsuru...

A super quick dinner of eggs, purple carrots and miscellaneous vegetables;

Another egg/carrot based meal - this time lunch;

Some squash and chicken, lovingly roasted for me by my awesome husband;

A large volume of hotdogs and chippy variations at Bubbledogs;

And today's lunch - of, weirdly, noodles, aubergine and feta...

I've also been buying naughty treats from the Sous Chef website again :)

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