Posts from 5th January 2006

Jan 06

Doing Something Well: Roast Chicken

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 453 views

It’s an unexpected and wonderful pleasure when you get to eat a familiar food cooked much better than you’ve ever had it. All my life I’ve been eating roast chicken, and for a few years I’ve been roasting roast chicken, and it’s been nice, a favourite food, a delicious smell. I’ve always done it very very basically, like my mother did: stick the chicken in the oven, baste, roast some potatoes, add trimmings, eat. I didn’t really give much thought to fancier ways of doing it: it was lovely anyway.

At Christmas my aunt bought me a book from, called Roast Chicken and other Stories, by Simon Hopkinson. His way of cooking chicken was only a tad more complicated than my mother’s, so I thought I’d give it a go – it involved buttering the chicken before roasting, adding lemon and herbs, and roasting in three stages. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly from the book – different herbs, and he involves cooking wine somewhere which I was out of.

Within about three bites my wife was saying “This is the best roast chicken I’ve ever had”. Within about two I was agreeing. The recipe added so little to my usual way of doing things and the difference – in the gravy especially – was amazing: so tender, so meaty, so much flavour. (Oddly enough it didn’t really smell of much, which made me a bit nervous getting it out the oven.) I had no idea chicken could taste so fantastic, I had no idea I could cook it so well. Not that it’s enhanced my sense of myself as a cook – quite the opposite, it’s made me much more aware of the huge effects minor recipe tweaks can have. But blimey it was satisfying.

URGENT RHOME KORREKTION b4 i depart for the fapp

Do You SeePost a comment • 244 views

it seems cleo = queen of sedge and BEE (not sedge and bean)

cis picked this up

How to get rid of a lot of Dover Sole

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 272 views

a) Have a Chef’s Special deal on your menu which offers a starter, main course, dessert and coffee for £15.95.

b) Price the Dover Sole at £15.95.


It was fucking tasty too. As was the antipasto, the tiramisu and the coffee. Hooray for random Italian’s in Battersea (Positano at 555 Battersea Park Road for future reference).

U Film Winkle/Nipple Crisis

Do You SeePost a comment • 357 views

Kirikou and the Sorceress was a pretty fun French/African animated film from five years ago which deserved a much wider release. It did great box office on the continent but no distributor picked it up in the UK, leaving it to the BFI to flop it around. So why has this sweet kids film been left out in the cold in the UK and US?


Kirikou (a smart baby) walks around stark naked. All the female members of his tribe (which is pretty much most of the characters) wander around without tops on. Stylised though they are, there is much mammary action. Clearly not in a sexual way, this is a film about a baby after all. So you can barely see it in the English speaking world (though you can get it on DVD).

Now there is a second problem. The hit film has spawned a sequel. Distributors cannot ignore the worldwide success of the film. What’s a little bit of animated nudity against big bucks that could be garnered by Kirikou and the Savage Beasts?

Live And Become And Then Fall Asleep

Do You SeePost a comment • 200 views

Not really the films fault. For some reason I believed that the Israeli/Ethiopian/France/Falashan movie Live And Become was only ninety minutes long. Which means at nineties minutes, when the film leaps from the eight year old actor playing the lead to the thirteen year old, I believed this was just a nice little coda to a thought provoking piece of history I knew nothing about. And then he gets himself a girlfriend and it does not feel like it is going to end. And then an eighteen year old version of the character rocks up, and I am looking at my watch with despair.

Luckily the plot points in the last half hour (Schlomo goes to France, becomes a doctor, joins the Israeli army, gets married, has a baby finds his mother) is rattled through at a breathless pace otherwise I could still be there now. And what I said above still applies, it is a good exploration of racism in Israel, and a thorough overview of Operation Moses. It is also however saddled with characters who are far too saintly in the central role. In the middle section this is realised and so the film makes certain roles act wildly out of character, and back again for no good reason. And it is clearly leading from its French perspective (a film which bounces between French, Amharic and Hebrew for its languages often does not translate half the languages). Good, but remember, it is two and a half hours long.