This is part one in a two-part series that I have decided to run. Those of you of a more mature vintage will remember David Carradine in the 1970s TV series Kung Fu. You will remember the slow pace of things and the blind master imparting pearls of wisdom to his understudy Carradine. The younger amongst you will now be thinking about Kung Fu Panda and feeling warm and excited about the cuddly characters. I find that very sad. If you fall into the ‘more recent vintage category you need to play this to gain true enlightenment for reading this post. Continue reading
No, I did not steal the fish. Though, the fish was a bit of a steal. John Dory fillets can be horrendously expensive. When one sees JD on restaurant menus it tends to be priced up there with the lobster and truffles. In my own experience, it tends also to be overcooked and pretty awful.
On my Saturday shopping trip, I saw that they were on special and I bought the John Dory thinking “These will be nice.” Continue reading
I’ll admit it. There is a dumb-assed competitive streak in me that most men will, and no women can, understand. I leave my eldest daughter out of this as she is the only female I know who has a peppering of this lunacy. When she’s with me, every flight of stairs is an opportunity for a race, every doorway a chance to get through first and even getting groceries in the supermarket is a test of speed and endurance as tins of beans and fresh vegetables are thrown into the trolley as she runs by to finish her list before I do mine.
Seven years ago, I made a wrong decision. I set my relationship with the Wife back. So often, one does these things and the marriage never recovers. I take responsibility for my actions back then. I feel it’s time to make it up now. She deserves having things put right. My children deserve my putting the record straight. I deserve a future with a clearer conscience.
I have a conundrum. My problem is literary rather than culinary. I caused today’s difficulty when I wrote about The Man Who Wasn’t There. It was pretty straightforward writing about something that didn’t happen and somebody who wasn’t there to see it not occur. All that was easy enough. My issues started when I was handed this note by my friend who may, or may not, have made his second trip home from Australia since Christmas. Continue reading
I had laid my hands on a nice piece of smoked salmon. That is, I had fallen victim of subtle retailing tactics. I am a sucker when it comes to buying good food. “Something around one and a half kilos?” Lisa, she of George’s Fish Shop, had suggested to me. Not wanting to look mean or less than masculine, I of course, accented. Continue reading
So went the cry from youngest daughter as I carved the cod’s roe. Opinions are divided. Lisa in George’s Fish Shop had encouraged me to buy and try. The gentleman beside me suggested (in a deep Dublin accent) “Boil it with a splash of vinegar. Have it with a mug of tea. Gorgeous.” Graham, Lisa’s brother and a more refined individual suggested “Boil it with lemon juice.” Both daughters were with me and refused to allow me buy the cod’s roe. Continue reading
I am a big fan of the Coen Brothers. To my mind, they have never (hardly ever) made a poor movie. One of my absolute favourites is The Man Who Wasn’t There. Billy Bob Thornton plays a barber who manages to be ‘not there’ in most of the events in the lives surrounding him. It is a wonderful production, beautifully constructed. I tell you this to set up a very strange happening (or non happening depending on how you look at it.) that took place, or didn’t take place, recently.
As is our habit, we had a family dinner here a couple of Sunday’s ago. A good friend from Australia did not arrive. He did not bring a freezer bag full of smuggled exotic fruit and vegetables with a prized pair of kangaroo fillets secreted in the bottom. That would have been something I would frown upon. He did not use his experience as a chef and all round creative genius to construct a delicious tasting starter for the assemblage. They are not used to that sort of thing and would have been spoiled by it, if it had happened. Continue reading
It seems like every day somebody asks me “How do you make prawn stock, Conor?” or “I was thinking of making some prawn stock, how would you do it?” Given that I am a pretty average type of guy, I know that you too must be harassed on a regular basis with prawn stock conundrums. So I am going to tell you how to do it.
Youngest daughter recently returned from a semester in St. John’s University in Newfoundland. On returning to our island shore, she brought with her some education, a broadened mind, lots of St John’s branded clothes, some St. John’s Ice Caps promo material (Go Caps!) and a couple of tasty treats from that great continent. So in honour of both her return from Canada and in honor of the entire North American continent, I am preparing two kinds of Fluffy American Pancakes. Continue reading