When I was little, I loved the nights when my mom would go out and my sister and I would be allowed our choice of a frozen TV dinner. Sometimes we would even be allowed to eat it in front of the TV, but mostly we had to sit at the kitchen table, napkins in our laps, milk at the top edge of the placemat, and eat it as we would a homemade meal. (In other words, even though the dessert was included in the foil tray, we had to save that for last.) Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, the sun woke me up bright and early, and as it bathed the treetops in a golden glow, I breathed deeply and stretched my arms and announced to The Author (still half asleep), “I think the weather has turned now! No more hard frosts till the autumn!” And in his kind way, he said, “Hmmm.”
“I really think this is the turning point!” And I hopped out of bed, looked out the window and gazed upon . . . white. One of the hardest frosts of the year.
But, that was then and this is now, and Friday saw a triumvirate of auspicious events here in Devon: a solar eclipse, the vernal equinox, and the first day of spring.
Luckily for us, The Author’s parents had a stash of Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses from 1999, when the last total eclipse happened in England.
To be honest, for most of the eclipse we didn’t need the glasses – the sky was too overcast. But when the clouds occasionally parted, the sun was hot and very very bright. I expected much more dimness, but a surprisingly small sliver is enough to keep daylight going. So the glasses really came in handy, and we were able to look directly at the sun, a beautiful and eerie solar crescent.
The day of the eclipse also saw Continue reading
Every now and then I succumb and make the family what I think of as “kid-friendly” food, by which I mean things like nachos, individual pizzas, and chicken wings. Bizarrely, now that I think of it, these foods are often thought of as “bar food”. What this says about bar food, or about me, or about what I think of kids’ food, or about anything, I have no idea. We may not want to delve into that right now…
One thing I do know is that small versions of things are charming for us adults, and children absolutely love scaled-down renditions of things from real life. Chicken wings are a perfect example. They are darling miniatures, cute and tidy versions of chicken legs. But as far as I’m concerned, there is one key difference: the small size means that proportionally, there’s more surface area than interior, which means that there’s more sauce per bite. And that translates to a big hit of flavour. Who wouldn’t like that? Continue reading
At the risk of sounding my age, when you’ve been around long enough, you begin to see certain patterns emerge in politics, fashion, and food. Everything old is new again, and right now, that means that meat is back on the literal and proverbial table.
One article (of the many I have been avidly reading) states: “[Meat] from free-range, grass-fed animals is a top source of conjugated linoleic acid, the micronutrient that reduces our risk of cancer, obesity and diabetes.” Continue reading
We’ve been on a bit of a Sichuan kick here in our little home. The Author, in his incessant quest for information of all kinds, stumbled upon Fuchsia Dunlop and her amazing recipes from the Sichuan region of south-west China. He has since purchased two of her books, and both of us have been steadily cooking from them to much acclaim from ourselves, but more importantly, from our three critics.
One of the things I love best about where we live is the abundance of great local food, and nothing is more local than moorland bacon from our neighbour Sean and organic free-range eggs from our friends 1/4 mile down the lane.
But my kids are weird about eggs. They’ll eat them in omelettes, but hate them in quiche. They’ll eat them in Salade Niçoise, but detest them in egg salad. Poached eggs are deemed “disgusting”, but I suppose it goes without saying that the kids don’t mind eggs in custard, or in cakes and in cookies. Continue reading