Thursday, 25 November 2010

The fountain of falafel

After a day of wailing and failing at work I really needed a good soak.
Decided to take bath time to the next level by visiting the thermal spa with Jen.

We shimmied in bedecked in towelling robes and gasped in wonder at the rows of relaxation to be discovered. One room contained vessels of cucumber water and lemon water, free apples, herbal tea, and sun loungers. Another passage revealed a feast of wet heat with a eucalyptus, and a lemon infused steam. Dizzied from that we plunged into the ice pool and I nearly cried because I couldn't clamber out. Jen had to wrench me out before I got too Captain Oates.

Ready for a hot pot we discovered a wooden sauna, and if that wasn't enough a chain of hot stone rooms (Tepidarium Warm room - Caldarium Hot room - Laconium Hottest room,
for those Turks in the know).

When I was ready for some different weather I tried the Monsoon Showers. These wreaked on me the full year of seasons, from warm tropical downpour, to cool water, to fine Scotch mist. Then we scooped up ice flakes from the ice fountain and lay on the Hammam, rubbing the ice into our skin to tingle on. OOOhh. Best bath time ever.

Positively glowing we swept home via some falafel.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Run salmon run

Wanted to recreate Cranston tonight so I scattered some silverfish in the toilet, a mouse by my bed, shut myself in my room gently weeping whilst the tv blared football in the lounge, and most importantly invited Sashy, and the boys round. Apart from Dashy who was probably at a gig.

Symbolically this felt like the salmon racing back home to the right part of the river (but to eat not spawn) so it was only right that I make smoked salmon spaghetti.

Alex was home too so it was as if it was 2008 and he was staying at mine whilst attending a conference in London . Apart from a my house in which he owns most of the furniture..

Very unlike me I was a terrible host and nearly missed my own dinner party as I was off flurrying about upstream.
Breathless and dirty I just managed to scoop together some dinner with not too much spaghetti overboard, and even created a little something something for Roast.
Jim posted Roast's dinner (baked beans on spaghetti) on facebook and got a barrage of derision but I think if you'd tasted it yourself you'd agree with Alessandra Smith.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

When you belieber in me

When I stumbled into my bedroom post sleep in the other day I almost melted into a puddle on the floor at the heartwarming sight of a cake bag. From none other than Justin Bieber. I think he wanted to cheer me up after I had to work the whole weekend. But at least I only have seven people screaming at me in my line of work, he has millions of fans to look after. I really should have flown it straight back to him.

I'm glad I live with Alex and his celeb acquaintances. When I lived with Dashy he was forever taunting me that he'd met RPatz and that RPatz said he thought my vegelez lasagne was disgusting.

Selfish as I am, I ate the whole thing myself. It was like a pillow of soft apple and feathery crumble. And now my actual pillow is made of apple smears and crumbs.

Sausage and the city

Alex and I were on the bus home on Thursday evening and he turned to me and exclaimed, 'We should have sausage and mash with four sausages each!' Oh yes please. I needed some spongy food to catch the drips coming from my rain soaked body. We went home and I said I'd go upstairs to change, something which conveniently took up all of the prep time.
By the time I was clean (do you know where I work?) and dry, a steaming plate of 4 sausages, mash, and onion and mustard gravy was presented infront of me.

Then we went upstairs to our nightly ritual. Four episodes of SATC. Jess came home and noticed we were sitting in exactly the same sofa postion, watching exactly the same thing, and even wearing the same clothes as the previous nights. When you like wearing a red and white striped sweater with red tartan trousers it's quite obvious.

We also had some week old lemon tart. The pastry tasted of fridge so I just copied Samantha and licked it out.

Sunday, 14 November 2010


My sister and her boyfriend tried to make a chocolate cake for my Granny at the weekend. They mixed in the unsalted butter, dark chocolate, egg yolks, icing sugar and whisked peaks of egg to make a silky batter. So I heard. They then poured it into a greased tin (well two actually- one for Granny and a mini one for them to eat whilst they watched tv), put it into the oven for thirty minutes and waited until it was cooked. It's done when it's slightly cracked on the top and if you slide a knife in you can see it's a bit gooey in the middle.

Leaving Granny's to cool (on a rack? I doubt they have one), they scooped up the mini pud and two spoons to go and nestle down with their new favourite programme 'Misfits'. Ro recommends it to me as the best thing she's ever seen, but since she last said that about 'Kung Fu Panda' I'm not sure I trust her taste.*

Imagine their poor little screwed up faces of disgust when their beautiful chocolate cake tasted of FISH! They claim that the batter tasted a dream pre oven so they couldn't think what had gone wrong.

Only later did Bainsey recall that they had last used that particular cake tin for cooking fish and probably (definitely) hadn't washed it out.
Don't spend too much time reading that last sentence. It won't make sense to most cooks.

Seeing as I enjoyed that story so much Ro fed me another.. A few weekends previous they'd made apple pie together. And do you know, it tasted of cheese when there wasn't any cheese in the pastry. They couldn't figure that culinary mystery out but I think what had happened was that they'd killed all their tastebuds with bacardi breezers the night before.

* Actually I would like to see Misfits but I'm afraid my life is just too full of Six Feet Under right now to slide into something new.

Friday, 12 November 2010

A SMASHing meal

I'm going to give you a little history lesson today.
Once upon a time... the vegelez options were notoriously poor. On one such occasion Dani Bristol went to Canada (I think) where the assembled company were served sausage and smash for dinner. She of course couldn't let that sausage pass her pure organic lips so had to suffer through the vegetarian option of just smash!

Thankfully times have changed and not only do we get real potato mash these days but
there are some very nice vegelez alternatives.

I went round the other day and was treated to a steaming bowl of fake
sausages (very nice), mash potato and thick onion gravy. Just what my shivering body craved.

For pudding we got another winter warmer of crumble with hot custard. Then Dani and
I kicked Sparkles out the room and snuggled up in bed to knit tea cosies and watch Despies. That sort of night should be
prescribed instead of winter fuel allowance!

What a banger of a night!

Really double dipped bonfire night with another sparkler at Dave's last Friday. Although it was more of a tease as we were too slow and were greeted at the entrance to the park by hoards of people leaving. To set our spirits back alight we decided to take our thermos' of mulled wine and wait for Dashy to arrive whilst sitting on a dumpster in a nearby underground car park. I desperately hoped that one of the Mum's and Dad's would pick me up and take me home but they left us too it.

Once Dashy had collected us we toddled back to Dave's for vegetable soup and a sausage reception. Ever so nice. Inspired by Dave I made myself potato soup today. Get my potato fix quicker in liquid form. Like injecting heroin, for carbs.

After the soup we gobbled up hot dogs with ketchup and mustard. Although I don't have the latter as it makes me cough.


Dave and I were somehow tempted into visiting Bob on bonfire weekend to see just how Croyden does it! They don't do transport that's for sure. One bike accident, several bruises, a missed train connection, a half an hour wait, and a tram track later we flung ourself over the doormat.

The hungry travellers gratefully received a feast of butternut squash, chickpea, and mash potato bake. She'd also added chorizo just for fun. Which it was. David Haddrell and I
had a bit of a fight over who got the left over mash potato but I won as I swiped it when he wasn't looking. Maybe all that sitting on trains has dulled his reactions. I'm used to fighting over food with obese psychotics so I'm quite sparky these days.

Pudding was homemade chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream. We were ever so treated. Thanks Boob.

Then we went out to play with sparklers in the garden. Dave threw his and I merrily followed suit until I realised I'd thrown one of mine into a bush. Croyden is such a bad influence!

I spy pie season

I'm so hungover I can barely type but I have to water my blog drought so here are some pictures of pies.
The first is a chicken pie from when I wined and dined Bobbeh. I used leftover chicken from a roast. I softened up a bed of leeks and mushrooms in butter and tucked them into the pastry dish, laid the chicken on, poured in a thick creamy white sauce and buttoned down the hatches with the pastry lid. It was ever so dreamy. Seeped everywhere. I like that effect. The other day I made my first poached egg. It was so perfect that when I bit into the english muffin the egg inside dripped all down my hand.

The second Alex made for Chaz for her October birthday. We like labelling our pies with the
recipient's name. He used butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, condensed milk and some other stuff.