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Oh, and I can’t get this, either…

Pimento cheese. Fortunately, this one is super easy to fake.

When I first made this, I went out and bought a jar of pimientos. This was super expensive and, as it turned out, completely unnecessary. That’s right: the least important ingredient in pimento cheese is pimientos.

I get the same color (and flavor) from a big ol’ squeeze of Sriracha.

So it’s just cream cheese, mayo, shredded cheddar and Sriracha. And whatever else you want to fancy it up. Black pepper. Green olives. You shoulda seen Uncle B’s face when he walked in on me smashing this all up in a bowl today.

Oh, and another culinary note: if you order a chicken salad sandwich, you will get a chicken sandwich with a salad on it. Chunks of chicken with cucumbers and tomatoes. On buttered bread, as are all sandwiches. I have had to up my sandwich game to manage my homesickness.

Yeesh, food looks awful in black and white.

November 13, 2019 — 8:15 pm
Comments: 14

You don’t know what you’ve got…

…until you try to buy some and find you can’t.

I can’t get any kind of cinnamon candy here. Not redhots, not cinnamon hearts. None of that.

I mean, I can. You can get anything if you’re willing to pay international shipping. But there is no domestic version of hot cinnamon candy. We have not one but two candy stores in the town where I work, so I know whereof.

There are some candies that have cinnamon as part of the flavoring, but they’re like sweet, gentle ‘Christmas mince pie’ sorts of things. Not the vile and painful cinnamon treats of my youth.

Hard to believe after ten plus years I’m still finding things missing.

p.s. I just noticed the “artificial flavor” on the box. Geez, you guys — is real cinnamon not cheap enough for you?

November 12, 2019 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 15

Cobnuts!

Perhaps better known to you as hazelnuts or filberts. Kent cobnuts are a particular cultivar, and are often picked and sold (and eaten!) with their green husks still on. They taste totally different green and they’re awfully good for you.

We have two cobnut trees (you need two, for the tree sex). Every year, they produce a crop and then, before we harvest, every damn nut vanishes.

We got a fine crop this year, though. And I think I’ve worked it out – we were waiting too long. The green nuts ripen, fall off, and beasties eat them off the ground.

I love cobnuts. How the hell are we going to eat so many cobnuts?

September 25, 2019 — 8:17 pm
Comments: 9

Spotted in the wild…

What’s an agricultural show without a spotted dick stand? I ask you?

I don’t think people were eating them on the spot. I mean, that would be weird.

September 3, 2019 — 7:20 pm
Comments: 12

Here we go!

The Summer fete/flower festival/country fair season is upon us and this is a homity pie.

Never had it before. In fact, I haven’t had it now. I’m savin’ it for lunch.

It’s a pastry crust filled with potatoes and an onion and leek mixture. Then it’s covered in cheese and baked. This particular variable has mustard seeds in it, which I haven’t seen in any of the recipes. A nice old lady sold it to us at a country fair.

It looks like the cross between a quiche and a ‘za.

I’ve never heard anyone in the wild say ‘za, by the way. It’s a word I picked up playing an online variation of Scrabble. Very handy for dumping unwanted Zs.

And with that, the festival season begins!

May 27, 2019 — 8:56 pm
Comments: 12

If I eat these, will I die?

An amazing whole bed of these ‘shrooms sprung up over the weekend in one of the flower beds. They were lovely and fluffy and white at first and I’m pretty sure they’re some flavor of champignons.

They’re looking a little tired and not so appetizing now, but I’m still tempted. Color photos wouldn’t help; they’re just kind of grayish.

I have a book on identifying local fungi around here somewhere, but I’m not sure where and I’m lazy. Pls help, internet.

The British have a lovely saying that’s not nearly as rude as it sounds: “suck it and see.”


Deborah HH has won the deadpool with Richard Cole, last of the Doolittle Raiders. You know what that means:

HERE. TOMORROW. SIX SHARP WBT. DEAD POOL ROUND 120.

April 10, 2019 — 8:34 pm
Comments: 10

My kitchen garbage smells like cinnamon

My tea came today! That’s a big ol’ bag of chai, innit?

I generally prefer to make it up myself from spices, but this is a very nice commercial blend. If you’re in the UK, I recommend these people (strangely, they have many more varieties of tea in their Ebay shop than their online store). I can’t guarantee they make it up on the day they ship it, as they claim, but we’ve now ordered quite a bit of tea from them and it’s all been excellent.

Not cheap. Not as expensive as some, but not cheap. Fancy tea is dear, even in the land of fanatic tea drinkers.

Good weekend, all!

April 5, 2019 — 8:13 pm
Comments: 8

Battle royal

I have a little stash of American junk food I order online, because I’m pretty sure if my body is ever completely clear of preservatives, they’ll take away my passport.

So this afternoon, I’m like “hey, B — want a plain M&M?”

And he’s like, “what even is one of those?” (He didn’t say it like that. He talks real stupid like “oh, I say, Weasel, whatever might those be at home?” I do my best to translate).

You could’ve knocked me over with a pixie stick. Imagine! So I give him a little pile of M&Ms and he’s like, “oh! Smarties!”

I’ll spare you the argument we had on account of I suck at writing dialogue, but it came down to me yelling “It’s M&M’s because they were first!”

You guessed, didn’t you? They weren’t. Smarties were introduced in 1937 and M&M’s in 1941. We laughed and laughed and then we ate the whole bag because we are pigs.

If you hanker to learn how much of a piece of shit Forrest Mars was, here you go.

March 25, 2019 — 10:08 pm
Comments: 10

Liquorice, yay or nay?

My current chai recipe calls for star anise, which I’ve slavishly added because I’m an idiot obviously. I hate this shit. It gives me the willies.

Anise, star anise (totally different plants, I did not realize), fennel and liquorice all derive their flavor largely (I have learned through a cursory trawl through Google and now I r expert) from a compound called anethole.

But they each have lots of other stuff going on. Like, “90% of the world’s star anise crop is used for extraction of shikimic acid, a chemical intermediate used in the synthesis of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)” Wikipedia tells me.

And once most liquorice was used in cigarette manufacture, giving American cigs a distinctive flavor, until the FDA banned it in 2009 for some reason. Which means the cigarettes I knew and loved no longer even exist.

My mother in law loves the stuff. My mother did, too. We could always con her into taking the black jelly beans.

Black candy. Surely, Mother, they are trying to tell you something.

Can you bear this stuff, or is it just me?

March 18, 2019 — 9:29 pm
Comments: 15

From the moist bowels of FaceBook

I got spotted dick. Because of course I did.

Liner notes: a crumpet is an english muffin. I’ve heard of Americans making potato chip sandwiches, but not Brits — my guess is that should be a chip butty. Also, it’s only a shepherd’s pie when it’s made with lamb; most people make it with hamburger, which is a cottage pie.

Confession: I like mushy peas.

The images was credited to Getty Images/Buzzfeed, which doesn’t seem likely.

March 13, 2019 — 10:04 pm
Comments: 16