Posts from 13th August 2006

Aug 06

Low-rent Keith Flett

TMFD2 comments • 1,580 views

I’ve always been a bit of a letter writer and have had periods of being a bit of a radio phone-in caller (=when I wasn’t getting any attention from girls at school), so I’m rather pleased to have had a letter published in the London Review of Books, even if they did chop in half.

I re-read some of my first letters from my schooldays, and they’re scarily intense. I remind myself far too much of Adrian Mole. I don’t consider myself, Mole-like, to be an intellectual by dint of sharing the same letters page as Slavoj Zizek and Alex Callinicos, but I am a bit chuffed by it all the same.

I’ve now had letters published in The Grauniad, the New Statesman, Tribune, and completing the set, The Sun.

I sent a letter to the Observer regarding a piece Claire Rayner wrote, but they didn’t publish it. But Claire did take the trouble to write back to me, which was nice.

Chelsea Buns!

FT + Pumpkin Publog8 comments • 3,193 views

I dunwanna go to ChelseaThe thing about baking your own bread is that you end up with lots of packets of yeast. So you make more bread, and then some more bread, and then you think, what ELSE can I make? And I found CHELSEA BUNS! Chelsea buns are fab, they are all buttery and sugary and spicy in the old-fashioned mulled-esque way and very satisfying to make and now my flat smells absolutely FAB!!

 You start off by using yr awesome kneading skills that you’ve learnt from your bread experiences so that your slightly soggy floury lump is mixed with a big wodge of softened butter. It’s disgustingly slimy and first but after a few minutes of kneading on your floured surfaces it loses the stickiness and becomes amiably malleable in your hands. And then it’s time to ROLL and you feel like a real PRO!

You roll out your dough into a long rectangle, twice as long as it is wide (I chose to use the tape measure usually reserved for my knitting projects which means that from now on all my knitting projects will get an extra addition of flour and sugar) and then melt a a big splodge of butter in a saucepan. Brush the melted butter all over your rectangle of dough, and then sprinkle a load of sultanas, sugar and allspice over the top.

 And NOW you get to be FULL ON MRS BEETON! Flour your hands and then ROLL UP your rectangle widthways and seal the ends firmly. Rolling up! That’s the sort of thing you see on Saturday Kitchen or whatever they call it these days! What next! I’ll be sealing stuff with STRING and poaching things in muslin! No need for string though, roll up, seal, and then CHOP your big long sossidge of dough into bits about 3cm long. And THEN, whack them on a buttered baking tray and PROVE! for 40 mins. Put them face down on the tray and go off and watch BRITAIN’S TOP DOG for a bit. Come back and WHEE! They done gone all big! BAKE for 20 mins and don’t bother that the ones on the top shelf have burnt a bit, they’re still yummy. Dissolve some sugar in water and brush it over the top of the buns, and then sprinkle them with a little bit more caster sugar. Your flatmate will return home and inform you she doesn’t like sultanas, so you have to eat THEM ALL. I love it when a plan comes togevva! Any FreakyTrigger contributors or readers who are likely to see me in the next week and who would like buns, you’re more than welcome to have some. YUM!

Lime for the Lady!

FT + Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 887 views

I prefer a gimlet, but then I luvs the GIN!My first sight of the long necked bottle blazing the legend “Fosters Twist” was a horrified yet gleefull anticipation that some brewing bigwig had finally decided to produce and market the legendary ruin known to some as the Power Shandy. I mean, Fosters in a bottle that looks like Smirnoff Ice?! It can only be – half lager, half sugary alcopop, right?? Sadly, no – and Fosters Twist is the much more boringly prosaic attempt to catch the GURLIES into drinking premium lager – prebottled, with a twist of LIME! Alan Partridge should you live for these times. I suppose it’s all Saxondale now. I have a horrible feeling this might work – cola has ensured our familiarity with the “twist” concept and the lager-with-lime is already resident within it’s target audiences brain, but will years of terrible Fosters FHM orientated advertising counter any claim to a potential female audience? Oh, but it’s not casual sexism for the HELL of it, it’s because that’s how all easy going Australians are, rightyo!

Anyway, none of us decided to try it. Finding myself in an environment with NO BITTER, I turned to Guinness – and you know what? It’s VERY tasty. Now if only they’d sell it in a bottle with a twist of oysters.

really easy fish soup

FT + Pumpkin Publog10 comments • 16,288 views

rascasseThis is a super-simple non-authentic take on BOUILLABAISSE = Provençal fish stew. For the PROPER THING, you need MANY FISH TYPES inc.RASCASSE (left), plus monkfish, red gurnard, John Dory, prawns, eels ect ect. However unless you live in THE CAMARGUE this will be v.pricey INDEED — plus fiddly to prepare. So I went for M&S SALMON FILLETS. A bit trepidatiously, as this is basically cheap farmed salmon, fake in colour, bland and wan in texture and taste. BUT IT WORKED. Experiment other fish as yr imagination and pocket allow!!