It's Friday. That means fish for tea! Check out the Fish on Friday poem....


It's off to the wonderful world of Tesco tonight, to get some more food - you know when you get to the point when there's nothing but a half-eaten carrot and some mouldy mayonnaise in the fridge? Well, we're nearly there.

I guess I should be a lot more environmentally friendly about buying my groceries, and go to the local markets, and my little grocer's shop round the corner. But I hardly ever do (although I do try and make it to the farmer's market at Tynemouth station once a month). It's just so much easier to do all your shopping in one fell swoop. And they take switch (does anyone ever carry cash nowadays?).


Paul reckoned this morning that supermarket own brand 'yeast extract' was better than Marmite, as it wasn't quite so salty. I don't think you can beat the real thing - although it's true that you either love it or hate it... There's some wierd and wonderful combinations around of what people have it with on toast - I've heard of marmite and peanut butter, marmite and cream cheese, marmite and marmalade (now that's just plain strange!).


Now I know I rant on about the pleasures of growing your own food, but this weekend was a case in point. My parents have raspberry canes in their garden, and we had raspberries for lunch on Sunday with a french lemon tart. Those raspberries tasted so much better than the ones you buy at extortionate cost in the supermarkets encased in little plastic trays....if you have the space, get out and grow some!

While I'm on the subject, check out the National Summer Fruit website (the collective voice of the British soft and stone fruit industry...)


OK, so Tuesday was Spice a la Carte, Wednesday was Hanahana (it's been a gourmet week). Hanahana is a Japanese restaurant at the end of Stowell Street in Newcastle (only fitting for the World Cup really, that we went to a Japanese place). The food was great - it's cooked in front of you on huge metal slabs, so you get the whole spectacle of cleavers being thrown around, eggs being tossed into chef's hats, flying salt and pepper grinders, and alcohol being flamed everywhere. The chefs might get fed up with doing all the showmanship stuff, but to us it was fun. And the food isn't bad too - whatever seasoning it was that they used on the prawns and salmon, it was fabulous (even though I did smell of garlic for about two days afterwards). Definitely recommended.


Spice a la Carte has new chef (and possibly new ownership) since the last time we went. Food was ok...but not as amazing as it used to be. Curries weren't quite hot enough (in terms of spice and warmth). Cool lamps in the lobby though.

Scarily, Delia has her own website, complete with diary. Find out what she gets up to in between patronising the punters....


It's Tuesday, so it must be curry day (after a week of overdosing on chilli it was inevitable!). We're off to Spice a la Carte tonight...


The pub quiz last night was so dire that conversation turned to the delights of pickled eggs (which of course Rob, Kerrie and Adrian had to try - I ducked out). Here's how the North Carolina Egg Association goes about pickling. Apparently the pub ones weren't up to much - perhaps I should have a go?


Now I know this sounds really sad, but I had a jar of Heinz Salad Cream left over from our 50s Jubilee Eurovision party. So I opened it - and found I'd forgotten how nice it tastes! It's especially good in sandwiches (it gives it a real kick) as I found out yesterday - lettuce, cheddar cheese and salad cream. Perhaps there's more of my 1970s childhood in me than I thought after all...


Simple things are always the best (that was a catchphrase from somewhere or a line from a book, wasn't it?). I was reminded of this yesterday - I cooked a Lebanese-ish meal with salad, hummous, pitta bread and marinaded grilled lamb. It was the marinade that did it - just four ingredients (lemon juice, crushed garlic, olive oil, ground toasted cumin seeds) but what a difference!

5 weeks to Paris and counting. Searching for somewhere to have a romantic champagne breakfast - any thoughts?


Now would you ever think of serving Shreddies as a party snack? You can with Chex cereals... Check out the Chex Party Mix!


I seem to have had visits from lots of people searching for information about Coronation Chicken over the Jubilee weekend. Must have been a popular choice for a buffet!

Had a BBQ on Monday night as part of my hen night (bachelorette party, I think if you're reading from the other side of the pond!). To go with all the sausages, I went to Safeway to get some ketchup and mustard - to find that they had French's mustard! It's the classic yellow one in the gorgeous dumpy bottle that I get excited about - the gloopy mustard goes really well with ketchup and sausages, and I just love the design. I hadn't realised that French's version was so old - I'd kind of thought it was 1950s but was really surprised to find out it was launched in 1904!