Nom Nom Nom


Ah,  I love it when the garden begins producing. We enjoy regular and generous harvests of Swiss Chard already. The Mange-tout peas will be ready  in two weeks,  radishes in a few days, and herbs are available in abundance.

All just 3 steps out of my garden door,  how cool is that?

Yesterday’s supper is today’s lunch: fresh garden vegetables soup with slow cooked crisp pork belly and spicy chorizo.
Love it.

Next Level Gardening

20150510164023We advanced to second gardening level this Sunday, with salad leaves in one half, radish in the third quarter and space for basil in the fourth.

1.20 m above ground, 3 m long, and practically the size of one small bed in the best sun-kissed corner of the garden, not taking any of our limited space away. Container gardening with a twist.

This should be perfect for herbs and some salads, and hopefully be a little less slug- and snail-ridden than ground-level beds.


Friday Night is Bretzel Night

DSC_0071Friday night is Bretzel night, and I already look forward to tonight’s meal of freshly made Steak Tartare (beef Tartare), fresh hot Bretzels and a crisp cucumber salad.

Followed by Crème Brulee and a glass of Bubbly.

This, my friends, is happiness.

OK, we do not have Bretzels and Tartare every Friday, but tonight, we do. Is it time yet?

I’m talking about real German Bretzeln, soft and savoury and fresh from the oven. Very moorish. Click here for the Bretzel recipe.

The perfect accomplishment to Steak Tartare, or to cheese, or just a knob of butter, or simply nothing.

Convalescence’s Menu

DSC_0010A brief interlude from my report under the covers at Charing Cross Hospital to report on this convalescence’s recovery menu in recovery from illness as well as recovery from the NHS’ uninspiring menu. All home-made and garden-fresh where possible.

Poultry Salad from chicken, chicory salad, apples and oranges.

Pizza (served lukewarm for medial reasons), Pudim Flan.

Fresh real sourdough bread,
Hay-smoked Sirloin Steak with lemon thyme leaf potatoes, Swiss chard, Italian kale and caramelised onions (shown in picture).

Almond macarons,
Lightly hay-smoked fillet of Salmon with fresh pickles from courgettes and radish, piccalilli and a celeriac purée,
Orange chocolate ice cream.

That’s more like it!

Diet: Standard (Bulk)


While I hold residence here at Charing Cross hospitals, I am officially on Diet: Standard (Bulk).

That’s what the printout states, and I think it is a fair description of what is being offered and served.

What goes as salad consist of a small handful of shredded Iceberg lettuce, half a industrial tomato (red but hard and flavourless), a spoon full of the main ingredient (caned tuna, shredded chicken, etc) and two packs of salad cream. I spotted a sweet corn on one occasion, but maybe that was a case of cross-contamination from a different dish. A ploughman’s salad didn’t come with bread, but a side order of a mayonnaise-rich potato salad was available. The omelette, documented in the printout on the left, didn’t come with most of the requested side orders. The omelette itself was dreadful, dry and cooked to death. You would think they’d make an omelette fluffy and nice by stretching the egg with milk, but no.

At the time of this writing I am on nil by mouth. Not the worst thing to happen, I think.

Scrumptious Goats’ Cheese Tarte

DSC_1002-pNew recipe invented, cooked, sampled and found delicious: a scrumptious goats’ cheese tarte with gremolata, beetroot and caramelized onions.

It’s even vegetarian!

Check it out!


Tarte Flambé

Tarte FlambeeAt long last, the Tarte Flambé recipe is written up and posted on

All along with the not-so serious Tarte Flambé for Dummies booklet which I made some while ago for a friend.


  • None. Zemanta draws a blank on this one :-)

Roasted Pork Belly And … Whatever

201503251953591Last night’s supper, today’s lunch, and one of my current favourites.

I suppose this dish should be called Seasonal Vegetable Soup with Roasted Belly of Pork, but the pork belly is the star of the show no matter how delicious the soup is. So it’s really all about the roasted pork belly with crispy crackling skin and … whatever soup you find to go with it.

I added the pork belly recipe to our recipe collection, it’s right here:


DSC_0936Yesterday’s supper is today’s lunch: a home-made Reuben’s sandwich, complete with home-made salt beef, Gruyère cheese, mustard, sauerkraut and toasted rye bread. D.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

We didn’t take photos this time, but this won’t be the last time I make salt beef.

I highly recommend Diana Henry’s Salt Sugar Smoke, which is both beautifully presented and offers very useful recipes – salt beef is one of them.

I always have my eyes peeled for a nice piece of brisket.

Bye Bye Annabell

DSC_0021Annabell, the beautifully waxy and ultimately flavoursome potatoes which be brought back from Neustadt in September are now officially gone. I just steamed the remainder for one last dish of Bratkartoffeln tonight, then it’ll be back to Elfe or Charlotte varieties. These aren’t bad, but they aren’t good either. They have the right consistency, but are lacking in the deep yellow colour, and in the rich flavour.

Hard times ahead.

(Picture shows Riesling grapes (I think). I didn’t have a nice picture of Annabell or a potato field, but at least the photos is taken in the right area.)

A Rosy View

dsc_0217Here’s a nice view on our second 2014 batch of rosehip jam, made from 2.7 kg or rosehip marc, made from 4.5 kg of rose hips. We foraged for the rose hips in and around the local Bunny Park and connected meadows around the Grand Union canal and the river Brent, paying the ultimate sacrifice in blood and loss of skin.

There’s a blood price to pay collecting them, and there’s another price to pay in preparing the jam, as the process isn’t exactly straight-forward. Rewarding though; we love the fruity silky jam on bread or toast, as a vanilla ice-cream mix-in, or as freshly churned rose hip ice cream.

Click here for the recipe:


A Productive Year

20140905173906The garden has been very productive this year. We have many, many more raspberries, tomatoes, peas and beans than every before, plus all the herbs, several batches of leaf lettuce three mini-pomegranates and five olives. Only the courgettes were better in previous years.

We enjoyed some of the runner beans when they were green, young and tender. A good amount of those is still in the freezer. I harvested approximately 1/4 of the remaining beans today, after deciding to let them grow into real beans. The girlish colour-scheme aside they look marvellous, don’t they?

We also made Blackberry jam, Mango jam (with late Indian mangoes) and two batches of yummy Tomato Jam.

Not bad for a tiny suburban garden, methinks.