web analytics

Hit me with your recipes

I bought Uncle B an air fryer for his b’day. This one, in fact.

I’ve been skeptical of these. Somehow, the combination of the words “air” and “fry” made me think it was a nefarious conspiracy to make me eat less bacon grease. Then I saw a chef on Twitter praising them for making re-heated fries crispy and thought…that’s for me!

Um, Uncle B. That’s for Uncle B.

Anyway, we’re getting along pretty well with it. We’ve made all sorts of combinations of fries. We’re trying chicken breasts tonight.

Anyone have one of these? What’s good?

October 5, 2021 — 6:51 pm
Comments: 19

Just terrible

You may recall that I have access to a neglected orchard (I tried to buy it, but oh well). I’ve just been apple picking and that is easily the worst harvest I’ve ever seen. Most of the apple trees had NO fruit on them at all.

It’s possible someone nipped in ahead of me and picked them clean, but I don’t think so. There wasn’t any fruit on the ground.

The plum trees had a little fruit. Not much. The quince trees were barren. Same for the cobnut. The only thing thriving are the blackberries.

I’ve heard the commercial harvest was similarly shit this year. The cherries earlier this Summer were scarce and sour (not enough sunshine).

I got these two buckets of sour green cooking apples.

So, any simple apple ideas? I tried an internet recipe: core it but leave the bottom in. Fill the hole with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter. Microwave three minutes.

It dissolved into a giant puddle of mush, but I have to admit – it was a tasty giant puddle of mush. Next time, I’ll a little less time, a little less butter and a little more brown sugar. And nuke it in a bowl.

Oooo…I bet that would be nice mixed with oatmeal.

September 15, 2021 — 6:10 pm
Comments: 15

I had to ask.

Spotted at the fish market. I had to ask.

The girl said, “the fridge is for winkles. They’re kept very cold before they’re sent off to Korea.” I think she said winkles; it might have been whelks. I spent a moment thinking what a silly name that was and wondering why they were all going to Korea.

So the lobsters don’t like the cold? “Oh, no” she said. “The lobsters like the cold just fine. But they all come crawling out and we lose all the cold trying to get them back in again.”

Hm. Here’s a 2019 article about whelks from Wales going to South Korea. The fisherman is quoted thusly: “Goodness knows why they like them – they taste like nan’s toenails – but it’s given me a living for the last two decades,” he said.

But it looks like the Koreans also have multiple words for winkles, see here for a handy pronunciation guide. 흔들 리다 also apparently means, wave, oscillate, whiffle, shimmer, waggle, wag, quake, quiver, waver, swing, rock, sway, shake and tittup. Yes, it’s a word. Despite the fact winkles don’t seem to do any of those things.

Seafood is confusing.

September 13, 2021 — 7:02 pm
Comments: 12

Ear worm

I’m having sausage and biscuits tonight. Well, a facsimile thereof. Actually, it’s scones and sausage, and to make it taste like country sausage I have to add half a pound of cracked black pepper.

For those unfamiliar, the pepper in country sausage will make the sweat bead across your hairline.

Sausage always makes the Tennessee Pride jingle go through my head. (On an endless loop. Until I want to crush my skull in a machine press like that scene in The Fly. The original movie, I mean).

When I were a lass, they mostly shortened it to the couplet: “For real country sausage, the best you ever tried/Look for me on the label of Tennessee Pride.” But the version at the link is longer and includes the words:

It’s Real Country Sausage, yessiree,
The secret of the goodness is the recipe.
Well we start with fresh meat it’s really grand,
Pure whole hog pork, the best in the land.
We add a pinch of X and a dash of Z,
For flavor and taste we add Y9D.
A touch of Odom’s magic blends all three,
That the secret of the secret recipe.

Man, innocent times, when manufacturers bragged how they put delicious mystery chemicals in your food.

Searching for the song, I made the sad discovery that they’re about to close the Tennessee Pride factory in Dickson. I mean, they’re moving it to Jackson, but sad for those Dickson people.

August 17, 2021 — 7:46 pm
Comments: 6

Ah, fish and chips

The perfect end to a busy week. A busy week, can you imagine? I’d gotten used to bone idleness. This is better, I suppose – at least in an “eat your broccoli” kind of way.

Traditional chip shops are on the decline, partly because young people don’t eat a lot of fish. Most places selling it are run by foreigners. Chinese restaurants are big on fish and chips, for some reason.

We’re at the seaside, so we’re lucky to have several in the area. Our favorite is really very good. Food looks awful in black and white, so you’ll have to trust me it was a lovely drop of fish.

They were open for takeout right throughout the lockdown. We tried to go once a week, to keep him afloat and to break up the dull monotony of those weary months. Yes, he’s a foreigner. But then, so am I!

Good weekend, everyone.

August 6, 2021 — 7:25 pm
Comments: 13

Top gadget

Ladies and gentlemen, my strawberry corer. Oh, you might laugh (well, one of my friends laughed, anyway), but it really is quite handy. I wish I had one back in the days when we’d buy a crate of strawbs for jam. You know, before we figured out we don’t eat that much jam.

We got carried away being country folk.

I mentioned the corer way back when I bought the spiralizer. Update: I still use the spiralizer, but I have yet to perfect the spicy curly fry. In fact, I’ve more or less given up.

I’m –

I don’t know how to put this.

Just blurt it out, I guess.

I’m putting spiralized apple in my cole slaw. I didn’t invent it, mind. A recipe for celeriac coleslaw called for a granny smith apple. I didn’t have a granny smith, but I had a pink lady. Apple, red cabbage and carrot. It’s nice!

Come on – it’s not as crazy as those people who put walnuts in their slaw.

July 27, 2021 — 8:04 pm
Comments: 7

Jam night

Sadly, that doesn’t mean rock’n’roll, it means it’s time to make summer fruit jam. Our first year, we went nuts making jam. After a few months, we realized…we really don’t eat all that much jam.

Still, all them red currants have to go somewhere! Good weekend, all.

July 23, 2021 — 7:17 pm
Comments: 19

A departure from his usual work

Do we have these in the States? Their website says they sell over there, but I don’t remember ever seeing them. They’re basically Tootsie Pops without the Tootsie. I am fond of them.

They’re Spanish. Chupa means “to suck” (like chupacabra, that old goatsucker). Chups doesn’t mean anything, but I like to translate it in my head as “Sucky Sucks”.

They were invented by a man named Enric Bernat in the Fifties. The Wikipedia article makes it sound like he invented the spherical candy on a stick, but Tootsies go back to 1931 and Dum Dums to 1924.

Indisputable, though, is that the logo at right was designed by Salvador Dali, who was, improbably, a friend of Bernat’s. He whipped it together in an hour after a chat with Bernat over coffee. It has been called one of the most durable logos in brand history, having undergone one small change in all these years. It’s intended be seen on the top of the pop, not the side, and the things are usually sold stuck into a stand.

I once alarmed a cashier at the grocery story by asking if it’s pronounced choopa choops or chuppah chupps. I don’t know why she found the question disturbing, perhaps because she couldn’t answer.

Turns out, you can go to YouTube and type in “pronounce Chupa Chups” and get a whole page of videos. What a time to be alive. I recommend this one. Such a soothing voice. I’d like him to read me a bedtime story.

So the Spanish speaker says Choopa Choops. But this American-sounding chap seems to be saying Choopa Chupps. He also claims Telly Savalas ate one per episode of Kojak, but I’d be astonished if those weren’t Tootsie Pops.

Their slogan was “Es redondo y dura mucho, Chupa Chups” which translates to “It’s round and long-lasting, Sucky Sucks.” Their Wikipedia page lists other unintentionally amusing slogans centered around the word “suck”.

I have no idea why I’m bringing this up.

May 25, 2021 — 7:13 pm
Comments: 9

Why is everything so complicated?


Well, Ebay let me down on the whole egg coddler thing. It seems 99% of the ones listed are Royal Worcester collectibles for stupid money that don’t look all that practical for actually coddling eggs.

Which is weird, because people are definitely still making practical dishwasher-safe ones. I found one I liked from a cookware shop. (The knobbly one, not the ones with the chickens. I like the knobbly one somehow).

If you can find it online, you can usually find it on Ebay.

In the same kitchen shop, I found this thing. It’s an egg clacker. They come in a variety of styles under several names. I know this because somehow in a surreal alternate universe I found myself watching YouTubes of people clacking eggs.

You put the thing over your soft-boiled egg and pull up on the knob, which is spring-loaded. When you release it, something goes clack and neatly decapitates your egg. Must be made in China.

I mean, there’s still egg in the top bit (soft-boiled eggs are weird to me), but at least you don’t have to tap all around it with your spoon. I guess. I would have thought that was the fun part.




May 20, 2021 — 5:30 pm
Comments: 13


I didn’t have an idea for a post tonight, so I decided to take a bath. Now I’m clean and I don’t have an idea for a post tonight.

So here’s a picture of my lunch. I had a lively discussion about egg coddlers with some of my old lady friends the other day and I’ve been craving coddled eggs ever since.

I don’t have an egg coddler, but I have some little ramekins. I thought if I put them in a saucepan with a lid, I could get a similar effect. I love poached eggs but I’m really terrible at cooking them (yes, I’ve tried all the little devices. The one that works best is evil to clean).

They were nice. The egg stuck to the bottom a bit, so I should have added more butter (my solution to most of life’s problems is ‘add more butter’). But it is an experiment I shall repeat. Maybe even buy myself a proper coddler.

When you keep chickens, you learn to improvise.

May 19, 2021 — 8:50 pm
Comments: 9