Monday, June 13, 2011


Love Poem to Garlic
by Mong-Lan

stinking rose
the heady scent of you
tangy spicy
most underrated
year-round orb
bulbous root incandescent moon
invoked as deities by the Egyptians garlic
each day with you is another day tripled
stripped of your delicate covers your
fire-spitting fresh
i love you unadulterated
a shiver once i bite you
medicinally you are a miracle
fighting colds blood thinner
anti-bacterial extraordinaire
how to eat you raw & love it:
peel the placenta-like cover
into fish sauce with red chili peppers lemon
your bold paleness exposed
i imagine you
at every moment of every day

Mong-Lan is a Vietnamese poet and artist and her ode to garlic reflects my own passion for this simple yet incredibly delicious food.

Alas, I've given it up. It's been three weeks now. It's all part of my plan to finally find out what's been causing my agonizing stomach aches these past few years.

Three weeks and still pain free.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Final Score: England 9, United States 2

Buy to take to the US:
Kendel mint cake
Grasmere gingerbread
lemon curd
Cadbury Magical Elves
Cadbury's instant hot chocolate
goose fat
Splenda artifical sweetener
Kinder eggs

Buy to take back to the UK:
Dentyne Cinnamon gum
Marshmallow Fluff

Update July 13:
I'm not the only one with a hankering for marshmallow fluff. My most recent return trip from the states included a stopover in Amsterdam. All passengers had to have their bags checked at the gate. The young gal in front of me was distressed to see officials pull her HUGE plastic container of fluff, open it, frown, and tell her that she would not be able to take it ("whatever it is") on the flight. I have no idea how she got through U.S. baggage check with it! We both cringed when they threw it into the garbage bin.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Baking Parchment

This is, more or less, a note to myself.

What in God's name is this stuff?

I bought a roll of baking parchment at Morrisons. Just curious about it, really. I used it to line a cake pan for baking brownies and it worked really well - no dough sticking to the pan as expected.

What I didn't expect is that there was no "paper" left. When I washed the pan there was just a bit of greasy feeling. Evidently the parchment just melts down.

So that leaves me to wondering what exactly *is* it? [The Morrisons box doesn't say.]

And why would I continue to pay for this if greasing and flouring a cake tin isn't just as effective at a fraction of the cost?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Queen of Puddings

I'm in the middle of another murder mystery (P.D. James, The Private Patient). I love mysteries anyway but find myself gravitating to the British ones (Reginald Hill, Ruth Rendell, Dick Francis) - and P.D. James fits right in.

In my reading, I found this exchange:
They settled themselves round the table. Looking at Kate, Dalgliesh asked, 'Are you comfortable at the B & B? You've had a meal?

'Very comfortable, thank you, sir. Mrs. Shepherd did us well. Home-made soup, fish pie and - what was that sweet, Sergeant? You know about food.'

'Queen of puddings, ma'am.'

Queen of puddings?

Searching yielded a tempting recipe from a site called Traditional British Puddings. It sounds like you'd first make a custard using milk, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, caster sugar, and eggs. Top that with melted raspberry jam. And finally top that with a meringue.

Doesn't that sound delicious? I think I might even have all those ingredients! It's our wedding anniversary today - perhaps I'll make this for a treat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cilantro equals Coriander

Coriander is Cilatro

Coriander aka Cilantro

Ok. Mystery solved.

I've been unable to find fresh cilantro (an essential ingredient of salsa) and have been pouting about that all year. Now I see, to my surprise, coriander (which *is* sold in the fresh herbs section of Booths). Must be the same thing. Yeah!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Blackberries are in season!

Whenever I go out for a walk now I honestly try not to pick any but they're just too good to pass up. We've been sprinkling them with a bit of sugar, let them sit for awhile, and then eat them in a big bowl for dessert. Simply excellent.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Update: Morrisons Best Scones

Still no scones. These pre-packaged delicious squares of baked yumminess are still nowhere to be found on my Morrisons shelves.

I've sent an email (via the Morrisons website) ...
I shop at Morrison in Barrow-in-Furness because I love "Morrisons Best Scones" (in the green packaging). I haven't seen it on the shelves for weeks now. Does Morrisons still make them? They were square in shape, with raisins, and a bit of sugar on top. It's really the only reason for me to drive to Barrow. Please tell me that these scones are still available! Perhaps sold out at the times I went shopping? Thank you!

... and received an "Enquiry reference number" in return. I hope to hear good news. SOON.

We have consulted the Buyer with responsibility for this product who informs us that the scones are still available but are now packed in a brown box and renamed Bakers best Scones.