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Showing posts from April, 2014

Lunch with JMW Turner. I paid.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside. And while England's south east coastline isn't exactly the Cote d'Azur the glass of chilled rose I had at the cafe in the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate still transported me right back to my four years of living in Antibes. The late April sun-brimming blue sky helped too. 
I was less transported by the exhibition that juxtaposes Helen Frankenthaler's abstract expressionist canvases painted between the 1950s and the 1990s with Turner's paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The critical acclaim for the exhibition appears, at least as evidenced by the quotes on the website, to have been unanimously positive so maybe I'm in the minority. Or is it a case of art critics attempting to persuade a viewing public that this pairing does work? 
If you live close enough you have until 11th May to go and decide for yourself. But whichever side the art appreciation coin falls you won't be disappointed with the cafe where s…

No-man's land

No-woman's land either. In fact, no-person's land. I'm talking about the territory, physical and temporal, between me and what I'm about to eat. In the case of last night it was a small platter of M&S's breaded and filo-wrapped king prawns with a sweet chilli dip and the last glass in a bottle of newly discovered 9.5% Pinot Grigio, the perfect accompaniment for any post-menopausal system that feels squiffy from the same quantity of alcohol that was once only the warm up to an evening on the juice. 
I'd had a day of astonishingly varied activities that included clattering around with a stilson grip inside a black, plastic 4,000 litre water tank trying to help Tony fix a leak in a gate valve. An empty tank, of course. Well almost, and it's sod's law that says you will drop your gloves in the puddle that remains at the bottom. 
So appropriately showered and slippered, damp-haired and full of warm expectation for food and another round of TV's Masterc…

Daring to know my Manchego with Immanuel Kant

One of the things I learned (re-learned... and again) while writing Real Port Talbot was: Beware of what you think you know. Several times I was aware of my preconceptions of a place contradicting what I was newly discovering; several times I had to remind myself to approach a place like a curious stranger not a familiar (and judgemental) local. There's no surprise for a mind that's already mapped and staked the ground.
I've just read this:
Daring to know requires daring to admit what we don't. It also means daring to accept that some of what we have most firmly believed to be true may not be so after all.
It's from Julian Baggini's book, The Virtues of the Table, How to Eat and Think where philosophy meets the pleasure of eating and 'the riddles and dilemmas and contradictions surrounding the food on our plates'. 
It's not just a thinking feast (or a thinking nightmare if the idea of applying philosophy to the day to day experiences of food fills you w…

The deliciousness of the vanishing onions

You'd only have to see them to be convinced. If you'd tasted them you'd be in raptures. How many times have I meant to take a photo and only remembered after the dish has been demolished? But better demolished than untouched, or just fiddled with. So here's one I didn't make earlier, courtesy of the BBC.
Nigella is the woman to thank or to blame. Her roasted red onions with fennel, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil are one of the most satisfyingly surprising successes in my culinary adventures.
Hungry writing prompt Write about going on an adventure
I served them with a beef casserole, sweet and white potato mash and green beans tossed in olive oil and softened chopped garlic. I think they'd go well with any main course meat. And fabulously with anything barbecued. 
Beware believing every Google link for this recipe: there's one that involves gallons of vinegar, treacle and oil (well, 200ml, 125ml and 50ml respectively). This is what you do need:
From Nigellissima