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alex james

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  1. Methinks that fine of a bottle of Chablis needs to be payable somewhere. Me please. Just to get back to the topic, this home cook drinks the last of the beer I was drinking when fixing dinner (can't cook without inputting beer.) Otherwise wine but not too often.
  2. It is surely the availability of home refrigeration plus the existence of semi-edible pre-cooked "food" in the supermarkets. Thus those (married or thereabouts) ladies who thought that they had to cook (because of maternal/cultural influences) but were no use at it could revert to "convenience" foods. A century ago,that was impossible. So now cooking is for the hobbyist - me for example. And there continues to be the problem (in the UK at least which is where I am posting from) that the vast majority of the population have no, or limited perception, of decent food. Such people eat garbage from
  3. OP needs to be aware that there is a tube strike on 26 December. Some sort of service might be run but the usual cheap route to Heathrow via the Piccadilly line is going to be difficult or non-existent. Heathrow Express off Paddington is a more expensive alternative. A cab would be ruinous.
  4. alex james

    Stock bomb

    I've had the same problem with chicken stock. Not to the extent of it ending up all over the shop but violent bubbling which is mildly annoying. It only seems to occur with me when reducing filtered, defatted and otherwise finished stock. What I do not understand is why I've never had the same problem with beef stock. Might it be a difference in particle size?
  5. Just a word of warning about the SVS - it makes a right mess if the thermostat fails as mine did a few months ago. Customer service thereafter was very poor. The facts (we are dealing with a machine that had been used a dozen or so times before - not a brand new piece of kit)..... The payload was chuck steak, home made beef stock and similar confit onion. About 2lb in total. It had been set up on a Saturday at about 50C. All was well when I left the house on Sunday morning and similarly when my wife left at about 7.50pm. When we returned at 9.30pm the thermostat had failed and the temperature
  6. Lambs brains. The shape and particularly the texture. Ugh. I'm still traumatised and it was nearly 30 years ago.
  7. I love breakfast. My problem is the calories consumed as has been mentioned above. I now feed my cravings at weekends only. Weekday intake is a traditional English breakfast ie a mug of tea, a read of the paper and a smoke. Not to be confused with a full English breakfast which is of course bacon, eggs etc. The peculiar thing about it is that I seem to have trained my metabolism into being aware of what day of the week it is. I rarely wake up hungry on weekdays; I quite often wake up hungry at weekends.
  8. alex james

    The Egg Sandwich

    Brown sauce in a UK context is a bottled sweetish, vinegary condiment. The best known brand is HP but there are many others. Filthy stuff in my opinion. But its popular. Greasy spoon cafes will have it on the table. Better quality places will not.
  9. The extractor fan above my gas range scores highly on any skankiness index. Airborne grease gets sucked in whilst cooking and congeals within. Next time a gas burner is lit, it uncongeals and drips out around the edge of a light fitting. Big brown blobs of gooey horror. I think I intercept most of them but I'm sure that some will drop into the food cooking below. Cleaning the contraption has no effect. The stuff is probably not dangerous in any way but aesthetically....
  10. Main reason why you might wish to reward staff directly via cash rather than undirectly via a credit card is the proportion of the credit card payment that disappears as tax etc before it can reach those that are to be rewarded. The numbers for £10 of tip with the maximum possible going through the payroll run like this. £1.49 VAT £0.20 Credit card commission (might well be higher) £1.06 Employer National Insurance (based on £8.31 left after the deductions above) £0.91 Employee NI £1.66 Income tax at 20% ----- £4.68 Net to employee ===== I think I know which way I'd prefer it to be
  11. AoE is by far the best food magazine that I have ever read. And the most expensive - bad enough for you Americans but a lot worse for us overseas subscribers. I read just about every word although I sometimes flag when the subject matter delves into the utterly obscure. Congratulations to EB on keeping it going without having to resort to taking adverts.
  12. My dislike of Leeds is both long standing and deeply held. It started with a foul by Jack Charlton on the Arsenal goalkeeper during the 1970 League Cup Final. Events since that date have largely exacerbated matters. Thus I was delighted when Peter Ridsdale and others ruined the football club and it was twice relegated . No more tedious treks to Elland Road for me - hooray. But circumstances change and I find myself spending regular weekends in Leeds. Having read glowing reviews of Anthonys here and elsewhere, and curious as to why Michelin consistently fail to award a *, I take myself there t
  13. Recent report as requested upthread. I'm not even sure that its within the normal meaning of restaurant. As most other reviewers point out, its eating in somebody's house. Quite hard to spot as well - a small sign over the door of a detached "country Georgian" house in a nondescript suburb of Grantham, a town of limited charms. Its best described as opposite the Recruiting Sergeant - the one and only pub in Great Gonerby. Great place. But probably best suited to folk who hate large and noisy places. Harry's is the antithesis of that. Just tables for six and four last Saturday evening. There is
  14. It seems to me that rather a lot of spin is being put on this tale of his financial woes. Some of the problem results from an ill timed expansion of his top end restaurant empire. But an awful lot of it appears to result from him having been turned over by the taxman. The media reports that the company has a large debt to the taxman and that GR is simultaneously guaranteeing company debt whilst personally owing money to the company. This is a situation that will almost never occur in a properly run concern. But it is commonplace in a company where the taxman has demonstrated that company incom
  15. Thanks chaps. Would like to try Sat Bains' place but whilst its easily driveable, there is too much potential for me to disagree with the constabulary on appropriate blood/alcohol ratios. Last train from Nottingham is far too early. Other suggestions seem to be outside my idea of reasonable cab range. Bapi - I'm merely a contributor to that ordinary bassist's wealth from buying a few records when his band were good. My nom de bandwidth is in homage to a brilliant footballer of yesteryear. Probably the best inside left ever - the bassist would have to improve to reach the cube root of his epon
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