El viva Espana

We're off to Tenerife for a week of sunshine, and hopefully some decent wine and tapas. Apparently, local specialities include gofio, papas arrugadas, potaje de berros and bienmesabe. Can't wait to try them out...



It was pie day yesterday, and an historic one at that. We managed to recreate the Colling family traditional 'Leaf pie' (no, not full of spinach, but one with leaves carved from pastry on the top!). Rob created the stew mix for the filling on Saturday - after three hours of slow simmering on the hob top, the braising steak, carrots, onions, potato, mushrooms, wine, stock, worcester sauce, soy sauce and seasonings had been transformed into a beautiful stodge (trust me, it tasted far far better than it looked). I then created the shortcrust pastry on Sunday morning, to a Bradley recipe, lined a pie dish, chucked the filling in, topped with a pastry lid, carved out the leaves, and stuck in the oven for about 45 minutes. It was amazing - rich, sticky and meaty, with a crusty pastry top. Magic. If only we had the time to make this more often....


It's Friday!

Hurrah! After a week of getting up at 5am, it's a joyous lie-in of...oooh, at least three hours tomorrow. Followed by a proper Saturday breakfast of a boiled egg and marmite soldiers (yes, I know, I seem to be returning to my childhood roots a lot of late!). Maybe it's the prospect of hitting 30 next week, but I've gone back to some very 1970s food...avocados, iced gems...it's only a matter of time before the craving for cheese and pineapple on sticks hits.


Bow wow chow

Did you know you can buy cookbooks for dogs? Apparently this is written by "Cooper Gillespie, an extremely intelligent and handsome Welsh springer spaniel...a dog of discriminating taste and strong opinions". Presumably the owners of the hounds are supposed to be the ones cooking things up, though I rather like the idea of dogs across America dressed in aprons checking kitchen timers...

I've become obsessed with yoghurt and muesli...it's all I seem to eat at my desk. Obviously not yoghurt poured all over the muesli, as that would be messy, but sprinkles of muesli dipped into the yoghurt pot. Things are getting rather sad once you start laying down guidelines for how you eat your yoghurt breakfast...


Gunpowder, treason and plot

Bonfire Night looms, and the thoughts turn to roast chestnuts, tomato soup (traditional at village bonfires in Leverington) and jacket potatoes cruelly turned to charcoal in the embers of the bonfire. Oh, and parkin. Must have parkin on Bonfire Night.

So, of course, I'm going out to a fireworks display tonight, and not bothering with any of the above. It's called not enough time to do anything...