Pumpkin Publog

Sep 03

haha check out the

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haha check out the NORDIC!!

See this was this fellow from rural [insert nation here], who fell in love and married. He adored his wife and everything went fine, except the way she cooked [insert regional dish here], which simply did not meet his approval: “It’s horrible,” he would shout, “it’s not like mama used to make!” She tried every variation she could think of: same result, he hated it. His mother was long passed on, so she asked her elderly relatives and made fact-finding pilgrimages to nearby villages. No joy. She made one last great effort, but the slog and the misery got the better of her: she fell asleep and the dish overcooked and burned, and an evil-smelling, disgusting mess faced her when she awoke. Exhausted, angry, at the end of her tether, she banged the plate down in front of him the moment he arrived home. He took one fork-full: “At last!! Now THAT’S like mama used to make!!”

CRISP PACKET COPY 1: Pickled Onion Space Raiders

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CRISP PACKET COPY 1: Pickled Onion Space Raiders

They came…. From the darkest depths of the uncharted cosmos….
The Space Raiders.
Brightly coloured, bug-eyed, bad guys with really big brains and easily enough alien technology to take over our planet. The only thing that can stop the Space Raiders imminent invasion of earth is the sound of munchin’ crunchin’ snacks!
So finish off this pack and go get another …before it’s too late!!

(Just an aside, imagine if you will the ignomity of being beaten merely because you cannot stand the sound of people eating crisps. And then think that the crisp used against you most is a cheap, 10p corn snack deliberately made in your image to taunt you. If I were an alien it would drive me nuts.)

Alien fun facts:- Alien Abductions
Many people claim to have been abducted by aliens. This is a myth – space Raiders only abduct cats. They make them really fluffy, put little aliens inside their heads and then send them back to earth to spy on us…we call them Persian cats. You’ll never see a fluffy Persian cat eating Space Raider snacks.

The art of the afternoon lock-in

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I wasn’t really old enough to enjoy the illicit thrill of the afternoon lock-in, but I think myself and Mr Hopkins may have discovered the closest remaining version over the weekend.

Trying to be good boys and do something constructive with our Saturday afternoon we had visited a couple of galleries in h*xton and then headed out towards The Chisenhale. However, having waited some time for the bus, by the time we got there I was dying for a pee, so a swift half was called for.

We ducked into the first boozer we came across, The Young Prince, a slightly forbidding looking shop-front type place, a long narrow pub, with no windows except those at the front and not much in the way of ambient lighting. Having relieved myself we sat down to find that the pub was showing the Leicester v Man U match on hooky Spanish satellite telly (for those of you not from the UK, pretty much the only time it is impossible to watch football here is between 3 and 5 on a Saturday afternoon as the authorities fear that if it is shown then (the traditional kick-off time) no one will go to real live matches), and the combination of this dark, unknown (although by no means unfriendly) and fairly empty boozer in a different part of town and the Spanish commentary on the football did give a certain frisson to the afternoon, and, somewhat inevitably, we didn’t get to any more art.

Sep 03

Anyone For Coffee?

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Anyone For Coffee? Restaurant punters behaving badly is a subject it is difficult to deal with for the Publog with any real moral high ground. We all behave badly every now and then, hopefully to one another, rather than the waiting staff. After a particularly georgeous meal at Lalibella, North london’s premier Ethiopian restaurant, we were feel rather full and pleased with ourselves. Alcohol was contributing to this. So the waiting staff left us alone to our witty and erudite conversation until one decided to ask us the dreaded question.

“Anyone For Coffee”.

This was instantly translated to us of a tipsy mindset feeling we had overstayed our welcome as :”Anyone Fuck Off (Eee)”. Much linguistic merriment was then defined in using this phrase over and over and as such I would like to apologise to the bemused staff. I would especially like to apologise iof they weren’t bemused. This ‘joke’ was not disimilar to the practice of putting two fingers up in a head supporting manner after all.

Heads up for the Ethipian mash by the way. Super carboload tastic (mash with Derek Tibbs and loads of Injera, hmmm hmmm.)

Sep 03

Write it down! If (y)our stomach NEEDS FOOD NOW, then the next recipe…

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Write it down! If (y)our stomach NEEDS FOOD NOW, then the next recipe delivers that in about 15 minutes.

Cook 2 chicken fil(l)ets in ten minutes.
Heat can of creamy mushroom soup.
Add one (two, three,…) spoon of curry powder.
Cut up chicken in bite-size pieces.
Add cooked chicken to the mushroom soup.
Just before serving add about 200 ml of cream.
Pour over steamed rice.


Oatmeal porridge made with milk

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Oatmeal porridge made with milk is already deadly rich and creamy, but it seems to invite you to put MORE cream on it (and probably butter and creamcheese and chickenfat and…): oatmeal porridge made with water has a glassier texture and taste, which I always forget that I prefer. I like it with salt not sugar or jam, because that’s how I was brought up: there’s a kind of comforting presbyterian austerity to it which says WINTER IS HERE YOUNG MAN! As I’m not really that young a man and my central heating boiler needs fixing, I actually already knew this.

Sep 03

More news on the Bailey’s Glide.

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More news on the Bailey’s Glide. It is foul. Sold as a longer, smoother version of the Bailey’s experience it is just watered down Bailey’s in a litle bottle. Sold in a 200ml bottle, and packing a not very whopping 4% punch it takes about as long as a double Bailey’s and ice to drink and is considerably weeker. The rich taste seems at odds with its rather thin consistancy, it maybe a matter of a learnt response but it really doesn’t seem to work.

As foul as it is, the drink become considerably more foul if one of your party decides to add vinegar to it. Kate!

Sep 03

Sorbet! It’s like ice cream that hasn’t happened.

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Sorbet! It’s like ice cream that hasn’t happened.

But it did. It happened so much, capping off a superb if classic meal at The Atrium in Edinburgh ‘ a far better restaurant than many of its London equivalents. And it led me to think of this strange British relationship with ice cream, which was culturally stalled for an age, and then burgeoned for a few shining years with a nine near the end, and then seemed to hit a glacier again.

You could say that Walls kept tastes frozen in the post-war years. Some time after rationing eased, they decided that Joe Public would prefer a variety of flavours and amusing shapes rather than real cream or other traditional ingredients for quality. And they were right, assuming that Joe was a cheeky lad looking forward to his teenage years. For thirty years they enforced their hegemony in the newsagent ‘ Joe’s boudoir of choice ‘ with adverts in comics for Funny Feet, and, famously, free freezers for the owners.

Which worked a treat for the company, but didn’t offer the same to Joe’s parents. Mr and Mrs Public were presumed to eat blocks of choc-ice, and later Vienettas, or with a grin dip their spoon into the viscous goo of a Two-ball Screwball on a family outing. What’s more, they knew they were missing out ‘ when tourism and an obscenely strong pound sent families abroad for the first time, they discovered that over there ice cream tasted different. Generous helpings of whatever made it taste nice were taken for granted in the States; the Italians just did it better.

It’s an indication of how much British ice cream had congealed that when the imports finally did burst in, it was through the challenging new marketing channels of television advertising and supermarket sales. The naughty new and hippy hip brands didn’t seem to want the customer base sewn up by Walls ‘ they created a new one, and suddenly ice cream was cool again.

But that thrilling ascent was only catching up with the neighbours. Ice cream’s bold new direction, I propose following the inspiration mentioned mere paragraphs ago, is to stop being ice cream, and start being sorbet. It’s a fragile, delicate taste that is so utterly incompatible with the British disease of accepting culinary mediocrity that another rush of elevation is assured. As a cleanser of the palette, sorbet is the perfect vehicle for the flavours of desert ‘ rich, easily sensual and undeniably pure. Adopt sorbet, I urge you, and it will be like ice cream hasn’t happened ‘ we shall know the pleasures of sweet things without the juvenilia of dairy, and our offspring shall grow to be young sophisticates, connoisseurs of that subtle fructose in ice.

Sep 03

Cool Britannia’s star has fallen,

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Cool Britannia’s star has fallen, The Pharmacy had to go.

It always seemed out of its element ‘ it would have been much more comfortable in Dean Street. The only time I ate there it was full of mismatched couples and media types not touching their food ‘ at our table were the only people I could see who were there for conventional reasons, or what whould have been conventional reasons in any other restaurant.

That its select custom dried up is no surprise. What that location can really support is repeat and casual business; after all, it is ‘ was ‘ across the road from Ask Pizza and Caf’ Uno. There’s room for an enduring and interesting restaurant there, but the Pharmacy was an art installation, and an easily swallowed one at that ‘ at its most basic, it was pop, with all the swiftly dating transience that implies. Cool Britannia was a trick with inevitable, if not actually planned, obsolescence, and it took the Pharmacy with it.

I quite liked the food, though.

Depressing food moments #heaven_knows

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Depressing food moments #heaven_knows:

Contents of Sarah’s cupboards.
Coriander (ground and seeds)
Fenugreek (ground and seeds)
Cardamom pods (green)
Nutmeg pods (brown)
Cayenne Pepper
Hot chilli powder
Garam Masala
Mustard seeds

And some “southern fried chicken flavour” Super Noodles. And these surely weren’t meant to be eaten.

I do hope, dear readers… that you are not witnessing the first starvation of a noble publog contributor (har har fat [literally] chance as anyone who knows my voluptuous figger cd tell).