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Miss J

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  1. I just use egg, ice water, and rice flour in my tempura batter. And when I make dipping sauce, I often go more Chinese than Japanese by using black vinegar as well as light soy sauce and sesame oil.

    I seem to end up with quite a thin batter coating on my tempura, in spite of my (unorthodox?) use of egg. Which may well be because I'm just not as good at coaxing volume out of eggs as Jin and Simon are. (Sigh)

    I wish I'd paid more attention to what my hostmother did when I was in Yokohama in my youth. She turned out incredible light, crispy, greaseless tempura from a kitchen that couldn't have given her more than 3 feet of workspace.

  2. Jin, what was the main appeal of using the red Hawaiian salt over other types? Was it the colour, texture or flavour? (Or all three?)

    I have never heard of red Hawaiian salt, and as a girl with five different types of salt in her cupboard this disturbs me greatly. Something must be done. :wink:

    Edit: oh yeah, last night's dinner...vodka. You heard. :unsure:

  3. Something about these fruit did not take well to being baked. It was like being attacked by some kind of angry furry thing.

    Wow. Scratch that kaki fruit treatment off the roster, then. :blink:

  4. Are you looking for something simple or showstopper? I can offer a simple idea, but I'm sure Jin will reliably supply the showstopper ones. :laugh:

    How about sliced, sauteed and served with a salt & pepper dip?

    Or maybe tempura with a light soy & sesame dip?

    As for the foot, I think it's probably best used to frighten those of a delicate nature. :unsure:

  5. The weather was grim yesterday, so to cheer myself up I made:

    pork vindaloo

    plain steamed basmati rice

    sag aloo

    a relish of tomatoes, fresh coriander and red onion


  6. Pumpkin soup. Of course.

    Bolstered with a little roasted garlic and chicken stock, and spiced with coriander, cumin, black pepper, fennel, ginger, cinnamon and a wee bit of tumeric. Swirled with a little creme fraiche and topped with a handful of chopped coriander.

    No trick-or-treaters. English kids just don't get it. :sad:

    Oh well, at least the League of Gentlemen was scary...

  7. This is true - I remember when I first noticed the "best before" date on a bottle of fino, and was struck by the sheer amount I was going to have to drink in order to get the best of the bottle. :biggrin:

  8. Habitually served warm out of a 'cut-glass decanter'

    Oh God, of course -- a couple of weeks ago, I had to stop a hotel bartender from pouring room temperature Tio Pepe into a sherry glass.

    I thought it was just him, though - you're telling me this is NORMAL? :shock:

  9. I love chilled fino. But from what I understand, it's highly unfashionable in the UK - I've read more than a few references to it being the preserve of the staid & elderly. Which I find strange, as I would have thought that sweet sherry was much more "old-fashioned."

    What gives with the low status of dry sherry in the UK?

  10. Slow-roasted wild Atlantic salmon fillets with gros sel marin and a drizzle of chive oil, steamed jasmine rice and roasted fennel.

    Prunes coated in dark chocolate.

  11. Kikujiro, I absolutely agree that the Guardian/Observer has one of the best newspaper websites in the world. However, I also think that the archive search is pretty cruddy (to use Jay's description). It seems to be a step or so above a simple keyword search, which really isn't sophisticated enough for a) the target user group and b) the variety of information being searched.

    I could get into a long blatering post about the benefits of combining Boolean rule base variations and Baysian statistics for automatic classification, but that would make everyone fall asleep, my brain implode, and Gavin wonder why I was talking about things he left behind a few decades ago. :wacko:

  12. This whole topic brings back a lot of memories for me. When I was but a wee kiddie, my mum was the most anti-nitrate person on the planet. So in addition to keeping white bread, sugary cereals and salty snacks well away form me, she also refused to give me anything kept artificially pink by nitrates. By time I was five, I could spout "I can't eat that hot dog, it's full of nitrates" with absolute authority.

    There was a guy on Vancouver Island who made his own nitrate-free bacon and hams, and my parents used to make special trips out to see him. I'm trying to remember his name...Hertel? It was something starting with an "H."

    Nitrate-free is delicious. And not neon-pink.

  13. The last time I was in there there was a couple at the next table.  At the end of the meal the restaurant brought them a champagne cocktail with an ice cube in it.  In the woman's ice cube when she finsihed a drink was the engagement ring that the chap had brought in before hand ans asked them to present at an appropriate time for him to make his proposal.

    While I am not alone in thinking that marriage is a profoundly stupid thing.  I did think this was quite sweet


    come on Simon, that is unbelievably tacky! I expected more of you (you see, one month of marriage and I am already a cynical old witch :raz: )

    No kidding - how could anyone marry a guy who thought it a good idea to dilute a perfectly good champagne cocktail? :blink:

  14. Found some sweet little Scottish mussels last night in Waitrose. So I took them home, bathed them gently in a combination of sake, chilies, spring onions and crushed lemongrass, and ate them over rice noodles.

  15. An old standby:

    Roasted a head of garlic with OO

    Gently cooked some frozen petit pois in light chicken stock

    Squeezed garlic into pop

    Added a lots of freshly grated parmesan and a couple of basil leaves

    Blitzed in blender

    Ladled into bowls and topped with parmesan croutons cut from an on-its-last-legs-loaf

    Comforting. And GREEN.

  16. Dinner for one:

    A teeny partridge roasted with a slice of pancetta over the breast and a few sprigs of thyme in the cavity

    Steamed spinach with butter and nutmeg

    Cauliflower roasted in OO with fleur de sel and cracked black pepper

    Two squares of that insanely good Chocolate Society organic dark chocolate bar. Mmmmmmmmm.

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