Tales of Blood Sausage, Civil War, and Refugees – a Spanish winter stew

The village of Gualchos, Andalucia in Spain
The village of Gualchos, Andalucia in Spain

Thirty-three years ago this month I had clocked up five years working for the BBC on a ‘rolling’ annual contract as a researcher and director when my boss decided he would offer me a permanent contract. My reaction surprised us both – I promptly handed in my resignation! The very thought of a ‘job for life’ made me feel panicked and claustrophobic. I needed ‘time out’. Having saved some money, I headed south to Andalucía in Spain, with enough funds to survive for three months and the vague idea of writing a novel. Continue reading “Tales of Blood Sausage, Civil War, and Refugees – a Spanish winter stew”

The Business of Awful Offal

Where to start? Where to buy? Unless you are a habitué of restaurants trying to climb the ladder of Michelin stardom, you are unlikely to find offal served up in many parts of the UK. My local supermarket is nearly void of any offal, or ‘organ meat’ as my transatlantic friends refer to it. They are not keen on it either, but then I would find the word ‘organ’ more difficult to digest. What happened? Continue reading “The Business of Awful Offal”

Comfort Food – turning to one’s roots

 

Back to Your Roots
Back to Your Roots

What a week! Politically I mean. Are you as exhausted by politics as I am? Theresa May calls a snap General Election in the UK, leaving many people not knowing who they will vote for. And by the time this post is published, the French will be going to the polls to vote for their next President. There doesn’t seem to be a clear winner from any of their parties, so the French are in for a cliff hanger until May 7th. Anyway, with this political and meteorological chill in the air on both sides of the Channel, my thoughts turn to comfort food and going back to my roots. Continue reading “Comfort Food – turning to one’s roots”

In A Cold Snap Take To Ginger – drinks to warm the inner being

Fresh Lemon & Ginger tea
Fresh Lemon & Ginger tea

Chinese herbalists and Ayurvedic practitioners have for centuries been prescribing ginger as a cure-it-all and digestive aid for a variety of illnesses – nausea, motion sickness, and even coughs and colds. Continue reading “In A Cold Snap Take To Ginger – drinks to warm the inner being”

The Best of British: Fashion and Apples – a pudding to satisfy cravings

Bramleys to the Ready
Bramleys to the Ready

It’s London Fashion week and venues across the city are thronged by pale, waif-like figures swinging glossy carrier bags, faces shrouded behind dark glasses. This bi-annual event has this year coincided with the first signs of spring. After weeks of single figure temperatures and frosty mornings, a high of 11C seems almost balmy. Padded coats, swathes of scarves and knitted hats are being discarded, and many of us standard-sized human beings are becoming aware of  the tightness of our jeans and the realisation that summer fashions are just around the corner. So what, you may ask has this got to do with baked apples? Continue reading “The Best of British: Fashion and Apples – a pudding to satisfy cravings”

A Soup for All Colds – a spicy pea souper to clear the sinuses

spicy-pea-souperIt’s officially autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! And the season for flu, well, Man colds. I know I’m supposed to have a large pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove for such occasions, but frankly who has the time? Continue reading “A Soup for All Colds – a spicy pea souper to clear the sinuses”