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Miss J

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Posts posted by Miss J

  1. That is not a criticism and re-reading them it may be that you use a lot of descriptives for the ingredients so it sounds like it is more complicated than it actually is.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head, Simon. I'm not a particularly complicated cook, but I AM verbose. :biggrin:

  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. :unsure:

    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. :wink:

  3. 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. :wacko:

  4. 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.

  5. 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. :blink:

  6. Correct.  And GJ needs to look outside central London at places like Stratford and Eastham if he wants to know where the ethnic "enclaves" have gone.

    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. :wink:

    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. :laugh:

  7. I am very tired of having to listen to some twits banging on about the 'cruel and disgusting fox hunting' while stuffing down a shitty pre-packaged, micro-waveable, un-inspired "Indian" chicken curry, made out of chickens raised for six weeks in hellish conditions and fed on Christ knows what - without any though at all about what they are doing.

    ...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.

  8. 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.

  9. Dinner with Stellabella. :wub:

    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.

  10. 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."

  11. 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. :hmmm:

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