'I'd been stuffing my face with jacket potatoes'
We took a pilgrimage to the road where Brian Harvey of East 17 ran himself over, apparently after pigging out on tuna jacket potatoes. We somberly laid a small potato in the quiet street. To expand the tribute we reconstructed Brian Harvey’s tuna jacket potatoes to the recipe he provided:
"I was starving so I baked three jacket potatoes and stuffed them down. They were big. I put cheese on, then tuna mayonnaise and I ate the lot"
Like Harvey we baked 3 jacket potatoes, but on a much smaller scale, Brian’s accident acts as a cautionary tale. In our case we made 3 small tuna-jacket starters. Jo took over the kitchen alchemy and prepared a simple mix of tuna and mayonnaise, with a little kick of chili, just for laughs. Cheese was duly grated on first and the jackets loaded up with tuna second. The tuna was speckled with red paprika, perhaps as a reminder of the blood shed that night. They were actually really nice, we scoffed the lot and thankfully didn’t go out for an ill fated drive later. Sadly for Brian:
"I haven’t had a jacket potato since. I could never eat them again."
A Special Lady With Some Special Bacon
We had the pleasure of hosting my sister for her last week in the UK before jetting off home to New Zealand. To thank us, for our competent but sometime ramshackle hospitality, she cooked us breakfast!
She got us posh finely sliced bacon, which she grilled to the perfect crispness. She did tell me what it was but I wasn’t really listening. She roasted vein tomatoes and gave them little basil leaf hats. She made perfectly cooked scrambled eggs and popped them on some grilled platzel. Some were oniony, some were not!
We necked strong tea and ate Jo’s perfectly formed feast, a perfect start to mark the end of Jo’s welcomed stay!
Pretty sure I’ve used that title before, but it’s Monday morning and I can just about live with that. And yes, here’s some whole food freaking fun.
Step right up Stuffed Squash & Spinach! I used quinoa to bump up the protein and I made no mistake there. Roasted squash is great at the best of times, when it’s laden with meat & grains and sets sail for your mouth…well you’re in for a treat. I paired it with a simple vinaigrette dressed mound of spinach.
Say hello to Southwestern Salad with Buckwheat & Spinach (coz we’re mad about the stuff). I changed this up a bit by omitted the corn because it can fuck off. The recipe serves one so I quadrupled it all to fit in with our lifestyle. I may have put in a bit too much raw garlic, but I may have not - I still can’t decide. I used glorious spinach instead of mixed salad greats and that brown pile of rubble is toasted buckwheat. The resultant dish looked ridiculous and was hard to eat as beans, buckwheat and tomatoes flew everywhere when aiming for the mouth, but we could deal with it coz it tasted so damn good!
For Your Health!
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TROUT SAY BURR! (And a Bonus Egg)
Girl U KNOW we love fish on Fridays. And this past Friday was no exception. We went Hol-Horse with fish tacos. I couldn’t get red snapper, but I could get a lot of rainbow trout! So that’s what I did.
I didn’t bother to put the fish under the grill; the fillets were rather small and I was concerned about burning them. But we didn’t eat it raw, no sir! We PAN-SEARED each fillet for 2 minutes on each side.
I was a bit concerned about the heavy amount of sour cream used in the guacamole, but once you mash it up enough it all turns out rosy! We also added spinach leaves to our tacos. Essentially they turned out to be burritos, but hey, who’s gonna know, the taco police?
Pair this meal with a fine white wine, perhaps a cab sav or a peanut nore, and you’ll be ready to face the weekend.
The next morning, we used our leftover ingredients to make breakfast burritos: PRETTY MUCH JUST DO WHAT YOU DID FOR THE FISH TACOS, but make a lightly-fried two-egg omelette and put that in your tortilla and smoke it. One bite of that was like being back in Kansas, if the breakfast burritos in Kansas weren’t processed shit.
JAB’S NOTE: YOU’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE. These were great btw
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Refined & Wild
Oh my word, Jo took me to a posh wine place for a sublime glass of wine. The place in question was Sager + Wilde. The venue is unpretentious and relaxed considering the quality of the booze. I like the fact we were provided with spring water at no extra cost, the toilets were swish too.
I can’t remember the exact wines we had but we had a glass each of something different that we would switch around. I think I had a white rioja which was woody and mushroomy – savoury if you will…perfect for the likes of me. Jo had a precious white vintage that was sweet and peachy. I liked both in equal amounts so I was happy that we were sharing.
Post Hen Recovery Brunch
Good moooorning! I woke up with a stinking brain! Alicja was fresh faced due to being a teetotaling preggo and Jo was hungover but had been sensible…so not the scramble head that I was this morning.
Initially pulling together breakfast was very taxing for me, and I’m still not sure how it happened. I’d helped myself out by making a gingerbread loaf based on this recipe the night before. That went down a treat, my addition was to add some ground almonds and add eggs and not do the vegan thing with flax…for the sake of ease and not actually being a vegan. I’ve cunningly made it into a loaf due to not having the correct tray.
This was accompanied with fresh raspberries and blueberries as the sweet treat. For savoury I whipped up a load of scrambled eggs, popped up just enough toast and served with olives and chopped tomatoes.
Considering I could barely string a thought together, I was pretty pleased at how this turned out!
Getting Bunted With the Girls
As established, a hen do was afoot. Jo had no idea what was going on until she got to In With the Old…it was bunting making and a tea party! How classy, how quaint! Time to break out the dick straws and Prosecco! Our hosts were wonderful, teaching us how to make bunting and subtly tidying up after us as we got tipsy and fooled around with glue guns and irons. There were no accidents and we amassed a gigantic amount of bunting for Jo’s wedding. It was raucous, productive and lewd – just how I like it!
The majority of guests were vegetarian or vegan and our lovely spread reflected that. Sadly I only got a photo of the table after we’d swarmed in and grabbed these crustless delights. Sandwiches were cheese and cucumber, egg and cress, hummus and roast vegetables. I mainly went for the hummus stuff, and loved the lack of crusts – fuck ‘em I say! There were big hunky scones and creamy cakes for vegans and veggies alike. There was bottomless tea and of course my favourite – free flowing Prosecco courtesy of my sister Alicja. Special shout out to Bob that help carry all the plonk to the venue with my heavily pregnant sister on crutches.
The brilliantness carried on as we decamped to the Easton for booze and bar snacks. We drank champagne thanks to my generous brother’s credit card, thank you Dan! Never had Moet until that night – I’d knocked back a few Proseccos, so I don’t really have any advanced tasting notes other than it went down easy! We dined on various nibbles such as hot peppers, pistachios, nachos, chips, fish croquettes and olives. I’d omitted to tell the bar staff that it was a hen do when I was booking, lest they decline a gaggle of screeching broads playing penis related drinking games. The dick straws were still in attendance, and we did get livelier but maintained a high level of convivial decorum.
Wonderful women, competent crafting and coarse chatter – a success!
A Little Drop of Pre-Hen
My sister Jo is getting married next year, me and my other sister Alicja were bestowed with the duty to arrange a hen do - something neither of us have done and I was a bit anxious about as the day came around. We made ourselves look stunning and then settle down for a cup of tea, a tunnock’s tea cake and rosewater iced digestives I’d made whilst I was half cut the previous night.
Stay tuned for the mayhem that followed…
In an unlikely turn of events I actually ended up having a lot of fun at a work conference and drinking free booze with my colleagues afterward - this is unheard of for me - especially the fraternizing at the end! What this means is I was late and a tiny bit drunk to meet my sister in Hoxton for dinner and sounds. Jo was a stonker and didn’t make a big deal about it and I wasn’t slurring my words which was a plus. We were heading down to Apiary Studios to catch CoH & Frank, but we needed sustenance first.
There are a cavalcade of Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road, so we thought we’d take our pick of the most inviting and economic. I hate to be a total dick, but I didn’t take not of it’s name. We made a good choice though, look at the glass tables with a little 3D scene underneath…and that complimentary orange! WOW!
Jo had been feeling exhausted and pukey so went for a soothing broth with noodles and prawns. I was tipsy and needed some stodge to soak up the free wine, so I went for lemongrass GOAT. Completely new experience for me. I’d say it tastes a bit lamby and on the whole I’m fairly ambivalent toward it, the stir fry sauce was sensational and I felt a lot less deranged after dinner.
Later that night a cat bit me, we drank a beer and I hat go before the main act because it was late and I had to give a library tour in the morning. Comically everyone had been having rather a lot of the fun at the work drinks reception so we were all hungover as hell and trying to keep it together in the office the next day.
New Jack Swing
My wonderful friend Hannah is over from Australia - I had her over for one night of sheer bliss, I cooked her dinner and everything. I made luvverly Jack Monroe’s Pork & Black Bean Feijoada. To be fair this was a whole week ago now so the details are a little hazy, we drank sweet berry wine together you see. But I omitted the bacon to save money. I did the thing where you unsheathe the ssausages and mash up the meat - to release more flavour and make em go further and I most certainly didn’t use offal, because that’s awful!
After I’d put the orange in and let it cook for a bit I was worried that it was going to be a bit shit, as it smelled odd and didn’t really taste very interesting…but half and hour and with some seasoning later…it was a porky pleasure. I accompanied this with barley and a simple spinach salad. Hannah and I got moderately rollicked and talked about all kinds of stuff until 1AM!
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