Food

Cadbury’s Novelty Cookbook

I got this late 70s/early 80s book from a charity shop a while ago. A lot of families in the UK had it when I was a kid I think. I got it out because I promised to make my friend a really ludicrous birthday cake from inside. The recipes are fine, various flavoured sponge cakes with buttercream icing (albeit with gratuitous Cadbury's product placement in every recipe). It's the choice of cake themes in the book that's a bit odd ...... Read More...

Vegan Nanaimo Bars

I was watching a BBC series recently about the history of the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest, and it gave me a hankering for Nanaimo bars. I used to have a co-worker from Manitoba, who would make this typical Canadian treat from time to time, and bring it in. Those were good work days. It's something in between a millionaire's shortbread and a cheesecake, requires no baking, and is totally delicious. As well as the standard vanilla filling, mint or coffee variations are also common.... Read More...

Low stress travel on the cheap

I love to travel, but I don't have much money. Although long-haul flights and luxury holidays are out of my reach at the moment I've managed to see a fair bit of the world for not very much, and perhaps my budget limitations have meant that I've seen some interesting places I might have otherwise missed out on. I find online budget travel tips not that great though. They seem to swing from "save money by only eating ityereal bars and sleeping on trains on your trip" to "cram in thirty museums in one day with this special ticket" to "get this special Air Miles credit card only available in Florida, and book your flights at 3am on Thursdays Alaska time". I want to eat nice food from the cuisine of the country in question; sleep in a clean, safe and comfortable hotel room in a convenient location; and get a chance to explore and see things properly, not treating sights like a tick list to complete as quickly as possible. I don't want to be cold, hungry, exhausted, or put myself in danger; this is supposed to be fun. I just don't have a lot of money to spend.... Read More...

Picking Blackberries

A little while ago I went to visit my pál Erika (sorry, can't resist the terrible pun) in Surrey for blackberry picking. Her friends Stephanie and Katja came down too, and we went out on a sunny day into the woods and picked some berries and had a picnic and drinks (for N. American readers, British woods aren't very wild). Blackberries grow everywhere here at the end of August and most of September. They don't belong to anyone, and it's safe and legal to pick and eat them. I used to pick huge amounts of them when I was growing up. They're also good for jam, pies, crumbles, coulis and wine-making. We made jam this time. Foxes also like them as much as humans.... Read More...

Lucky dip

On Wednesday we had a bakesale fundraiser for our graduating exhibition. For some reason university regulations only allowed us to sell home-made food in the foyer if it was packaged up, so we made goodie bags and boxes. Some of the focus in these photos is a little odd, because my lens got jammed onto f.17 without me realising until later that afternoon (the aperture clutch thing is a little unreliable). That's also why there aren't any people in the pictures, because everyone ended up with things like an out of focus nose.... Read More...

Cake mistakes

These are a couple of photos from the end of a roll that I forgot to scan. Me & Marcos went down to Brighton for the day in March, and it rained torrentially, so we basically went from cafe to pub to restaurant. We went to meet up with my friend Vicky first at the Mock Turtle, a tea room down by the seafront that looks like a grandmother's dining room. I've been there lots of times, and their food and drink is nice and reasonably priced. Vicky was running late, so I decided to get a cake for her as a surprise. I saw they had added a rainbow cake to the menu, and she loves that kind of thing, and I was curious about what it looked like.... Read More...

Muy delicioso

Marcos' parents sent us a parcel of Spanish goodies. Mallorcan honey, cheese and hazlenuts. Ferrero Rocher, savoury crackers and chocolate covered almonds (although you can get Ferrero Rocher here too) and Llum de Sal with assorted flavourings, which is Mallorcan fleur de sel. They also sent Marcos some vacuum-packed ham, which has been named the space ham.... Read More...

Even if I set out to make a film about a fillet of sole, it would be about me.

We went for a drink at this place. At 11.30 on Fridays they shower you with rose petals from a balcony. The whole place is decorated like some kind of baroque stage set from a Fellini film. In fact the whole place is like a Fellini film. They don't allow cameras inside, but I took some photos on Marcos' phone. Instagram photos look amazing on the screen of the iphone 3, but they don't always look so wonderful on the computer.... Read More...

Anniversaire de Victoire

On Saturday I went to Brighton for Vicky's birthday. When I arrived at her flat, she had a full birthday tea laid out with all kinds of treats and drinks, and a red velvet cake that looked like a giant cupcake. Everyone should do that for their birthday, it was so much fun... Read More...

Super Dickmanns

I saw these in the supermarket in Vienna and burst out laughing because I am essentially 12. I wanted to bring some back as a joke present, but the boxes are big, and it'd be pretty difficult to bring a box back unsquashed. (It's like giant tall tunnocks teacakes). The sticker on the bottom right says "plump and chocolatey!"... Read More...