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Miss J

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Everything posted by Miss J

  1. I think you've hit the nail on the head, Simon. I'm not a particularly complicated cook, but I AM verbose.
  2. Simple preparations? Depends on what your definition of simple is, I guess. When I first read Simon's post, I thought he was putting a spin on the "good ingredients, cooked well" thing, but after reading the follow-up I'm not so sure. My first reaction was to say that I don't think that appreciating quality ingredients/simple cooking is "an age thing." I certainly enjoyed the Sutton Arms meal, which was a good example of that ethos. At home, when I have time I like to try new things. On week nights I stick to simple because I'm hungry and I'd like to eat something SOON. And since I'm usually trying to work out what to do with the half-dead leek, tablespoon of rendered duck fat and three cold roasted jerusalem artichokes I've found at the bottom of the fridge, even my "simple" cooking is driven more by necessity than artistry. On the weekend I experiment. I like spices, chillies, sauces and playing with techniques. I like Thai, Chinese and Indian food, which (for someone whose ethnic identity is pretty Anglo-Celtic) is inherently "complex" in comparison, both in flavour and preparation. I am still learning the basics of classic French cookery. I like to make pasta by hand (and hang it on the clothes rack to dry, which drives my boyfriend nuts). I want new ingredients I haven't worked with before. It's a big culinary world out there, and I know only a tiny bit about it. Is this because I'm "young,"* or because I'm still learning what I like? Personally I'd be inclined to say it's the latter. Aside 1: One thing that confuses me: Maggie love, what's complex about bok choy? It's just a green leafy thing. Aside 2: *Of course, since I'm 29 Simon would say that I'm not young at all. At least, not compared to his last date.
  3. Miss J

    Reputation Makers

    For some reason, any sort of cake or tart knocks most of my friends right out. This past summer I made a Raspberry Tart and overbrowned the crust (which I posted about on the Cooking Board). I was disappointed with the tart's appearence, although the flavour was perfectly acceptable. My guests seemed unperturbed by the over-browned crust - not that I said anything about it! What I didn't expect was to receive Christmas cards raving about it four months later.
  4. Hhmmph. I will be attending in honour of Andy's birthday. Of course, of course. Edit: is there room for non-members? Mr J might like to come along, too.
  5. Wow. Thanks, BLH. I have to say that I love NY. But really, how can it beat sects of mad Greek monks?
  6. Miss J

    Salt (merged topics)

    I have fleur de sel, coarse sea salt, sel de gris and Malden (which is my everyday salt). I feel inadequate. I want pink salt. And like Kiku, I want to know if kosher salt is anything like Malden. I remember that Akiko went on a HUGE search for it in London, but I can't remember what the outcome was.
  7. I'm assuming that those of us who can't get Yukon Gold potatoes can substitute any other type of potato. Yes?
  8. Miss J

    Dinner! 2003

    Finally cooked again last night, for the first time in what feels like AGES. I sliced potatoes very finely (with a knife - I still don't have a mandoline), and cooked them for a couple of minutes in chicken stock and white wine with a bit of garlic, bay leaves and some blade mace. Added salt & pepper. Popped the whole thing into a gratin dish and baked, then topped with gruyere and baked again. Served with a salad of soft greens dressed with a very zippy kumquat vinagrette made with black rice vinegar. Throughout the long baking time, I consulted with my boyfriend as to whether or not the plaster he was mixing up had "the consistancy of double cream" or not. I mention this not only because it's vaguely food-related, but also because for some reason it seemed to take up most of the evening.
  9. Ah, so that's your evil plan, is it? More NY for you, then...
  10. Wilfrid - as one of London's many young(ish) and pushed-to-the-edges-of-the-city professionals, I can assure you that places such as Stratford, Eastham, Southall, Harlesden, Camberwell, Peckham, Deptford, Norbury, Leyton (etc etc etc) are all getting pretty ethnically mixed thanks to our ever-rising house prices. One of my fondest memories of NY is walking down 125th Street with Mr J - the only two ghostly white faces to be seen for miles - and being greeted at almost every step by shouts of, "Hey, how ya doin? Where you guys from?" Spot the tourists.
  11. Just for reference, there's also an interesting little Polish bar tucked away in that area: Na Zdrowie Not that I'm recommending it for business lunches. But it's one of the only places I've eaten pierogis in London, so I'm glad it's there.
  12. Bread pudding. Or crumble. Or maybe a steamed sticky toffee pudding. Something stodgy to bolster you against the damp.
  13. ...and my pet peeve is listening to righteous little Englanders bang on about how the Labour government is "destroying England's farming heritage" (though foot & mouth, petrol taxes, etc) then watching them haul an M&S ready meal out of the fridge for dinner. There does seem to be a strange tendancy towards party-politics that touch on animal welfare or food production without actually looking very hard at any of the issues involved in either.
  14. When I was a child, I loved cherries best. I could scoff them at an alarming rate, scattering pits in the process Lately, I've found myself longing for raspberries like I used to eat in my granddad's garden: enormous, juicily fragile, and warmed by the sun In Cambodia, I fell in love with the much-maligned rambutan. We bought a whole bunch in the market in Kampot to take up to Bokor, and ate them sitting on the edge of a fast-running river with our feet plunged into the water. Spiky, sour and sweet.
  15. Is an interest in food in the UK, "elitist"? Not inherently. But's certainly viewed as eccentric.
  16. Dinner with Stellabella. Lucky New York board. Could someone elaborate a bit on the savoury custard, oyster and edamame thing? Those three elements are among my favourite foods on earth. I'm not sure I can imagine them all together without a little more info, though.
  17. A Chinese-Canadian friend in Toronto emailed me this last night: "Decorations for any chinese new year, the colours are rich with red and gold. Any golden colour fruit, such as tangerines, kumquats, and red apples are good. For chinese tradition, there is always a very red and fancy candy box with a lid (usually round with partitions inside). Inside would contain candied lotus nuts, candied coconut, candied ginger, red and black melon seeds, etc. All of these candied items can be found in chinatown as new year approaches. Also inside would be two red money envelopes contain a little money (5 quid in each for example) for good luck (not to give away but just part of the candy box) It symbolises that with the candy you are offering your guests, you are spreading good luck and good fortune, wishing them a new year that is sweet, happy & prosperous."
  18. Miss J

    Dinner! 2003

    A half-arsed version of Chiang Mai curried noodles, containing both the wrong type of meat (tiger prawns instead of pork or beef) and the wrong type of noodle (big, flat rice noodles instead of thin wheat and egg noodles). And I was using up a tub of red curry paste, so I didn't make my own. In spite of all these barriers to perfection, the finished product was quite edible. I wouldn't serve it to guests, though.
  19. There's usually something going on. The London Chinatown website is here. There isn't anything about this year's festivities yet, but they usually start listing events around a week before everything kicks off.
  20. Coooooool. I think I remember eating these in a hotpot in Japan years ago. Yum.
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