It's baking trays at dawn in the pork pie world...

There's a pie fight of epic proportions on the go at the moment. In the pastry corner, the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, which wants to get Melton Mowbray pork pies included on the EU's list of products with 'protected geographic indication status'. Rather like the French Appellation Controllee, it would mean that manufacturers of the said pies would have to be based in Melton Mowbray. In the pork corner, Northern Foods, which makes the pies in Shropshire and Wiltshire...


The wonders of modern army food

If you've ever wondered how high-tech food can get, then take a look at the US army's Combat Feeding Directorate. Not content with producing three-year-old "pouch bread" or "shelf stable pocket sandwiches", it's now produced dried food that can be rehydrated using dirty water or urine.


Weddings = fab food

Having spent all of Saturday drinking champagne at my brother's wedding, I can truthfully say that wedding food is fantastic. And it wasn't the booze talking, honest. I just love the whole caboodle - canapes, buffets, puddings, dinky mints with your coffee, and then to top it all off you've got the wedding cake (the icing's the best bit of course). Possibly the most delicious thing of the day was the Fenland strawberries with cream, but the chicken with honey, apricot and almonds ran it a close second, as did the late evening snack of cheese, biscuits and fruit.

Coming back down to earth, while trawling round Asda for a sarnie at lunchtime, I came across a Taste of the North East counter. It was piled high with Northumberland cheese, Fentimans ginger beer, and local pies. It may be small in sales terms, and it's probably been to the Asda central distribution centre and back, but at least it's a start for buying local stuff.


The end of the world...

If you want to stock up on food (just in case there's a terror attack), the UK government has released its recommendations. Apparently for a family of four per week, you'd need amongst other things six cans of creamed rice or tapioca, six tins of canned baked beans and sausages, 12 cans of potatoes and 12 cans of corned beef. Not really what you'd look forward to is it?


Still no sunshine...

Still no chillies either...

Ever wanted to run an ice cream kiosk? Now you can, for the bargain price of £95,000. If the current owners are making an annual turnover of £39,000, that's an awful lot of cornettos that somebody's buying. But apparently they sometimes catch a glimpse of sunshine in Cornwall - that might do the trick.


Waiting for...

chillies! We've ordered a whole batch from The Spice of Life in Aberdeen - some chipotles (smoked), some piquins, some de Arbols and some mulatos. And I also bought some sumac for all the Middle Eastern recipes we fancy trying. The rest is mostly for a crazy five chilli recipe that Rob wants to attempt...


Lemon chicken

Take one free-range chicken. Tuck a couple of cloves of (unpeeled but squished) cloves of garlic inside. Bung in a roasting dish. Halve a lemon, and squeeze the juice and the innards over the chicken. Tuck a couple of quarters of lemon rind in the gap between the chicken's legs and body. Chuck the other pieces of lemon rind in with the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil, and throw a bit of salt and black pepper over it. Roast in a hot oven for about an hour...and then serve with couscous (flavoured with ras-al-hanout) and some roasted peppers, courgettes, onions and tomatoes.

Guess what we had for tea yesterday?


Watch out!

There's mouldy pies about! I love it - "While eating the mouldy pies is unlikely to be a signficiant health risk, it could be unpleasant." No kidding....


Wine goes futuristic

So you're a winemaker in California, and you want to make sure that your grapes are healthy, tasty and well on their way to making that perfect wine. What do you do? Install a wi-fi sensor net to gather data from sensors in your fields of course, so that you can monitor temperature, humidity and soil moisture. The only slight problem seems to be rodents chewing through the data sensors...


pie-man t-shirts now available!

After a year of hard work, the moment has finally arrived. pie-man.com is proud to present its new pie-related t-shirts to the world. Love pie? Want to show your devotion to all things pastry? Then check out our cheese and onion, steak and kidney, and chicken and mushroom masterpieces.

Burgers galore

I've just finished reading one of the funniest books I've read in a long time, about one man's struggle to open an American diner in Uckfield (no, I had no idea where it was either). If you're ever thinking about opening any form of cafe, bistro or even a burger van, Maximum Diner should be essential reading!