Let’s celebrate the humble potato with a thick and creamy potato soup

You know that person who goes through life forever narrowly missing out on the prize? The one who, always beaten by some less deserving individual, only ever makes it to second place? Perhaps you are that person. In which case you might like to know that there is someone who has, like you, suffered the same trials and hardships. Someone who has been perpetually taunted by the Gods and subjected to their whims. You probably already know who I’m alluding to. But then again, with your luck, you may not. That someone is: The Potato.  Continue…

3 leftover turkey sandwiches to make for a delicious post-Christmas picnic.

It’s that time of year again. When Christmas is over, and one by one each branch of the family braves the boxing day traffic and heads back to their own homes and lives. You go back inside after waving off the final few family members, sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, and breathe out a long, weary sigh. You’re a little sad that Christmas is over, but also, it has to be said, a little relieved, too. You take a sip of that tea and start to feel a warming relaxation come over you. And then you see it.  Continue…

A perfect mulled wine for your thermos

I long for that time of year again where I can breathe in the delicate aromas of mulled wine wafting through the house. But don’t be fooled: it’s not just an indoors drink, and there is something so utterly luxurious about warming your hands around a glass of mulled wine, wrapping yourself up in a blanket, and sitting in a beautiful scenic spot of the countryside.  Continue…

Winter picnic: roasted pumpkin soup.

Initially revered for its impressive colour, size, and roundness by its misshapen brother and sister Squashes, the fate of the Pumpkin is a tragic one. Its “big moment” consists of being disembowelled, barbarically disfigured by parents lacking artistic skill, paraded to insensitive children from the end of the drive, and chucked away or forgotten about from the 1st November onward.  Continue…

How to make a traditional cucumber sandwich

Cucumber sandwiches. The mascots to any cricket match, the emblem of Victorian and Edwardian aristocracy, and, naturally, the stubborn patriarch of today’s afternoon tea. Like the greedy inheritor of a great fortune, the cucumber sandwich sits on its three-tiered throne and stubbornly refuses to give way to other, more modern, culinary delights. It outlives the comings and goings of the ham, smoked salmon, and egg mayo sandwiches: but has the cucumber sandwich compromised itself in order to keep the throne?  Continue…

Spice up your picnic with a spiced mango chutney

“And my chutneys and kasaundies are, after all, connected to my nocturnal scribblings — by day amongst the pickle-vats, by night within these sheets, I spend my time at the great work of preserving. Memory, as well as fruit, is being saved from the corruption of the clocks.” — Saleem Sinai in Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

Writing the past and pickling fruits may well be acts of preservation, but once the finished product makes its appearance on a piece of paper or in a Kilner jar, it can be all too easily misplaced, lost, or forgotten.

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