Monday, 29 November 2010

A soothing and sensual lunch

Sadly I've got no work this week and but I've decided to maintain my morale by cooking (and indeed eating) some aspirational chow instead of eating bowls of mushroom flavour noodles naked on my own, in front of a laptop I'm going to whip up some fresh seasonal treats that should hopefully please both the mouth and the pocket.

I picked up a big ole celeriac (a variety of celery grown for it's fleshy, swollen base cf. Larousse Gastronomique) for 23p from the undignified scrum that is the discount aisle in Big Tescos.

I've banged the whole fleshy, swollen base through the coarse grater on my Magimix food processor, and stirred in some mayonaisse, mustard, lemon juice, capers and chopped gherkins to make a celeriac remoulade.

Nigel Slater likes to serve his with a some "paper thin slices of bayonne ham" for a "soothing, sensual lunch". Sadly I couldn't find any bayonne ham I substituted for a popular pork, liver and turkey sausage which came ready sliced, saving both time and money.

I would highly recommend "playing tattoos" with the sausage before serving. This helps bring the meat up to room temperature releasing more flavour whilst providing your skin with a little extra moisturisation and a pleasant aroma of industrial meat fat.

I think I like this one best. "Sailor style", I call it.

So that's what I had for lunch.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010




It's good to be back.

Thanks to Tessa for the joke.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Yo yo yo!

Our new chutney: live and uncut. Jars unbreakable, shatterproof (for safety).

Mad props to Delia Smith for the recipe! Big chutney love.

Hopefully if I write Ol Dirty Bastard down here this page will be the top google result for "Ol Dirty Bastard Delia Smith". I'm back!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Rhubarb Wine

Right. I don't want to shock anyone here but I'm going to come clean: I've not been updating this here weblog quite as often as I should have. I'm going to do something about this, I promise. In the meantime, here's a recipe for rhubarb wine.

Take 1 (one) truck full of rhubarb:

Decant into four wheelbarrows:


Place chopped rhubarb in a suitable container: we used a spare water butt. If you don't have a spare water butt lying around why not pop round to your neighbours' property while he is away on holiday and see if he does? Scrub any algae from the inside with bleach but be sure to rinse carefully unless you want your rhubarb wine to taste like swimming pool.

Mash the 'barb with a half gallon sugar: we used brown sugar and hit it rhythmically with a forestry tool designed to remove bark from felled logs: I'm sure white sugar would be acceptable if you don't have brown.

Add a handfull of baker's yeast and cover with a mesh to keep the mosquitos out and a heavy log to keep anything else out. Leave until 1st September before decanting into jerry cans to store until next year.

And the taste? Well my notes from the vertical tasting reveal the following:

2008 vintage: strong rhubarb nose, sharp fruit notes, bone dry finish. Excellent afternoon refresher.
2009 vintage: tastes and smells like Danish Blue. Cloudy with a dense "island" of grey mold. Two may be related.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Hey ho!

Hey ho! Just thought I'd dash you a quick missive about what's going on. I'm here: on an island in rural Canada living on a commune.

There may be a slight change in content and delivery as a result: principally because the nearest electricity is far away from the van in the woods where I sleep and partly because I'll be cooking and eating fresh, seasonal locally sourced organic food instead of offal, undercooked street food and spontaneously fermented corn/cactus beverages.

But we can still be friends! It will be fun: I'll finish telling you about all the weird things I ate on my holiday and then I'll start telling you all about the weird food I'm making other people eat. Won't that be fun? Won't it?

OK! The library opens again on Tuesday so I'll let you know what's what then.


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Chicha time.

Chicha is a spontaneously fermeneted alcoholic beverage made from corn! Wikipedia tells me that sometimes the corn is chewed prior to fermentation as the enzymes in salaiva speed up the process. I didn't tell Kate that as we sat down to a foaming gourd a deux in a metal bar in Bogota's bustling student district.

Chicha has a strong, deeply unpleasant odour (dirty dishes/silage) so I was delighted with its relatively restrained flavour profile: the abundant "funk" and fizz of orange juice left unrefridgerated for an extended period tempered with a fruity mellowness reminiscent of peach stones. Unfortunatley it produced burps which smelt like Metallica B-sides mixed with hot seaweed so we just had the one.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Friday, 28 May 2010

Happy Birthday

29 today! As I like to say "age ain't nothin' but a number": a number that determines when you die and whether you are judged a success by society.

I recieved this charming pair of street theatre pants from my wife: look at all those colours! Look closer!

I also treated myself to some raw prawns from a shack down on the waterfront that, whilst very tasty, sadly went through me like an express train.

Due to the Colombian presidential elections all alcohol sales were prohibited for the duration of the weekend so we celebrated in style with a bottle of warm lemon fanta and some pounding psychedelic trance in an Israeli compound on the outskirts of town. Just like last year! Shalom!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

El pibe

Carlos Valderrama's cousin tried to sell me a fishing trip today. I declined but he still showed me a photo of "el pibe" wearing an unimaginably tiny pair of denim shorts. Apparantly he is stingy; I do hate that in a cousin.

This statue is 22 feet tall:

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Apparantly sweetened wasps aren't considered a delicacy in Colombia: they just really like jam. I wish someone had told me that earlier and saved us the emergency air lift out of the national park.

Tayrona national park, viewed from the air.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hooters, Medellin

"Nobody goes to Hooters for the wings!" and I can see why: they are short on meat, dry, overly crunchy and coated in a thin vinegary sauce.

You also have to pay extra for celery and ranch dressing.

One of the people in this photo may have had breast augmentation surgery.

Medellin is the plastic surgery capital of Colombia.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

The gloves are ... on!

This Cartagena bar is popular with prostitutes, con men of every stripe and people who like to eat rotisserrie chicken while wearing diesel-pumpin' gloves.

The chicken was delicously moist and extremely flavourful and as a digestif a kindly old gentlemen offered to lightly electrocute me for 5,000 pesos using a wind up transistor attached to two metal handles. I lasted for 22 revolutions before the cramps in my forearms became too painful and I gave up. Kate lasted for 20, which is "pretty good for a girl". The spicy habanero sauce was very good too and you got 3 small baked potatos.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Ride the pony

Pony Malta is a deliciously sweet, semi-sparkling malt drink. It's super-refreshing and full of energy so it's perfect whether you are just waiting for a pig to eat an apple:

Watching the sex-frogs:

Or simply blacking up with a sex partner.

So Malty! So delicious! Pony!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Cola and indeed pola

Do you enjoy a refreshing glass of the popular drink lager and coke on a hot day? Do you ever try to replicate this in, say, a shopping precinct by trying to pour non-brand cola into a can of lager and back again like a demented alchemist until your wet legs and reedy high pitched cackling once again attract the attention of "security"? Fu¢k security! Buy Cola and pola, the first 2% lager/cola drink in a can.

It tastes like Danone Activia prune fruit layer bio yoghurt.

Friday, 14 May 2010






Thursday, 13 May 2010


Sorry about the lack of posts of late: I'll try and make it up to you by drinking some flavoured egg drinks and cartons of cherry dessert wine.

Again, apologies.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Perfect for the lunchbox

Whilst I may not be able to see the point of a fun size can of lager

I can definately see the worth in a juice box that holds ten shots of rum.

No straw though. Bad one.


Wimpy, Calle 7, Bogota.

Sadly I did not see their bender in a bun.

The last refuge of a scoundrel

Is there anything more predictable than making fun of the product names in a Chinese supermarket?

In an attempt to assuage my guilt I'm going to post a picture of this rockin' little dude.