Oct 03

A kindred spirit to a lot of people who read this

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 995 views

A kindred spirit to a lot of people who read this apart from maybe the Blur album

Oct 03

All this talk of chanting

TMFDPost a comment • 343 views

All this talk of chanting has made me think of the best songs I’ve heard on the terraces and what makes a good terrace song. My particular favourite is that sung by Sheffield United to the tune of Annie’s Song by John Denver:

You fill up my senses
like a gallon of Magnet
like a packet of woodbine
like a good pinch of snuff
like a night out in Sheffield
like a greasy chip butty
Oh Sheffield United
come thrill me again
nah nah nah nah nah nah oooh
nah nah nah nah nah nah oooh oooh

I like it not only because it fits so well, but also because it goes past the single line chant into the full song territory and thus should be applauded. There are others too, which should be recorded here over time.

Another addition to the discussion of Manyoo fans singing “are you England in disguise?” It’s not so long ago that they were chanting “argentina” all over the place in the style oif the Scots vs England, I never quite figured that one out at all.

Oct 03

one exception to MarkS’ rule

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 1,204 views

one exception to MarkS’ ruleis the ready salted crips, liberally sprinkled with malt vinegar. My Mum showed me this little trick when I was a kid and it’s fantastic, the crisps go ever so slightly soggy, and best of all, there’s a little puddle of salty vinegar in the bottom of the packet with lovely little bits of crisp floating in it. In fact I heard the other day that this practice was what spurred the crisp manufacturers to make salt ‘n’ vinegar packets

Sep 03

The Football League catch up

TMFDPost a comment • 1,030 views

The Football League catch up with the Conference but is it too little too late, it’s hardly going to help the teams that were stiffed as Leicester went into administration last year and still kept their team together to bounce back up into the premiership.

Sep 03

I rarely eat supermarket sandwiches

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 1,057 views

I rarely eat supermarket sandwiches, Uxbridge has a couple of very good sandwich shops in Scoffs and Pumpernickels who will custom build you the sandwich of your choice. However today I went into Marks’ in search of a change and found there smoked mackerel bloomer sandwich with crispy lettuce and a horseradish dressing. It’s perhaps the best sandwich I’ve ever bought. Lovely, soft, poppy-seed bread. A dressing with both horseradish *and* mustard, but neither are overpowering. And then the big fat flakes of smoked mackerel. Blooming marvellous.

Sep 03

Apparently Frank Bruno is in a confused state…

TMFDPost a comment • 536 views

Apparently Frank Bruno is in a confused state, slightly hysterical and generally quite mad. So why did it take them twenty sodding years of the clown to lock him away?

I like my boxers mean, not comedical.

Rockist? me?

Sep 03

We’ve all gone to the dogs

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 342 views

We’ve all gone to the dogs I’m not entirley sure this should be up here, but there’s something incredibly conducive about drinking at a dog track (in my case Walthamstow dogs). There’s the gambling (not entireley clever when drinking but at our stakes, none too bad). There’s the cheering, drinking is a fantastic aid here, we got progressively more voluble as the night went on, as did all the other punters. And there’s the fact that, it’s one of the few sporting occasions in England where you can still drink and watch the event, this is to be applauded, especially as the atmosphere is great. As for the booze, well, it’s bog standard fare, John Smiths smooth is the only bitter but it isn’t bad, the kronnenbourg is cold and tasy, what more do you want? A small white wine for the lady? yup, no problem, hell they’ll even serve you a half and black (if you’re mad enough to want one like my sister did)

They do scampi and chips too, and it smells fantastic.

Aug 03

More things I’ve cooked

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 432 views

More things I’ve cooked

a simple one this one, to accompany my char-grilled lamb chops and boiled new potatoes last night I fried up some cubes of pancetta til they were nice and crispy. To the pan I then added a finely diced shallot and some slices of the new mono-bulb garlic from Sainsburys (it’s good, not too strong, but just strong enough for something like this) When they were softened a handful of frozen peas were added to the pan and left to soften, just before they were ready, I put a knob of butter and a dash of water in (wine would have been good but I didn’t have any open as I was making it up as I went along) and a generous clump of spinach. Lid on and two minutes later a green, garlicky, smoked bacony pile of loveliness.

Aug 03

What was and what might have been

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 230 views

What was and what might have been

so, MissVicky had a birthday and obviously it was a perfect occasion to go to a restaurant we had both been lusting after for quite some time. Moro is a mediterranean restaurant with a big reputation, the reviews for it are excellent and the people I’ve spoken to who’ve eaten there raved about it, so we went with a sense of real anticipation…..

It was a very very hot evening, but the fans were in full effect and we took our table, one immediate impression we got was that the insides were far less imposing than they seemed from outside, which is kind of odd, probably to do with smoked glass and a smart entrance but hey, the place was filling up and the food smelled great. For starters we ordered a tortilla of salt cod and potato (well duh) for V and the unusual-sounding wild chanterelle and prawn bruschetta for me, along with a bottle of Galician wine. A wait ensued and our starters arrived……. but no wine, we had to look pleadingly around until the waitress came over, getting half way before she realised she’d forgotten the wine, ah well we though, a minor cock-up and no harm done.

The dishes were fantastic, especially the tortilla, which looked rather daunting for a starter but was in fact deliciously light with a taste reminiscent of childhood food which we couldn’t quite place. The prawns and chanterelles worked really well together, the earthy mushrooms contrasting against the sweet prawns and the delicately garlicky juices soaking into the bread.

So far so good, in fact no more surprises/annoyances for a while.

Mains arrived and looked very impressive, for myself there were two huge slices of belly pork. These were so tasty, with really crispy skin and meltingly soft flesh, neatly accompanied by a cold potato salad. V’s main also looked impressive, a good few slices of rare lamb, cooked to perfection, with chunks of aubergine on the side that had been deep-fried in gram flour batter. These were possibly the star of the whole meal, crispy on the outside and so meltingly soft on the inside and the tastiest aubergine I’ve ever tasted. Things started to go a bit awry. It was getting progressively hotter in the restaurant and so was the wine. We noticed that everyone else had wine coolers but we didn’t so we asked for one, it arrived……unchilled, thereby insulating the slightly heated wine nicely.

After that the next thing was the second that our last forkfulls of main course entered our mouths, then a waiter came along and whisked away our plates, now I can understand that restaurants sometimes need to get people out for the next sitting, but after this we waited 10 minutes for the dessert menu and a further 25 minutes after ordering them before they arrived. “I hadn’t forgotten about you” said our waitress “things are taking a while”. I could understand this for elaborate puddings, but for some figs with honey and greek yoghurt and two scoops of malaga raisin ice cream with sweet wine poured over?(which incidentally was gorgeous) I doubt it.

I may be making it sound as if the meal was an unmitigated disaster and to be fair to the restaurant it wasn’t, it’s just that when you spend a decent amount of money in a restaurant with a sparkling reputation then you expect to get something a bit special. The question is though, would I go again? And I think the answer is yes, the food really was good enough to give them a second chance.

Aug 03

Things I’ve cooked (part 1 of many)

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 318 views

Things I’ve cooked (part 1 of many)

So, last night it was hot, the sort of weather where cooking becomes a chore even for those of us who love it. But for some reason I still wanted to, so made for the quick and easy Squid Salad!

Get some squid tubes, clean dry them. Then, slice the tubes into rings, and their accompanying tentacles in half (making sure you get rid of the inedible beak). Dip these pieces into a mixture of flour, lots of salt, lots of pepper, pimenton and sesame seeds and then fry in a fingers depth of hot oil. This will take about 3 minutes (if not less).

Serve these with some salad leaves that have been tossed with some cold rice noodles and a dressing made from fish sauce, sugar, salt, vinegar (I used cider as it was all I could find), a chopped chilli, garlic and thai basil.

Your kitchen will smell fantastic and your stomach may well thankyou, mine did.