Nicky bought a bag of quinces at a cake sale in College Road today..

Here she is thumbing through recipe books excitedly looking for things to cook with quinces!


We all really like home-made pizza. I made the dough today with 1/4 spelt flour and 3/4 very strong white flour. It would have been perfect but it turned out the spelt went off in August and the yeast I used was a little dead. Still made delicious pizzas with salami, ham, olives, fennel and rocket – not all on the same one..

Since it was Saturday we had glasses of Coke all round as well. Nicky made a leafy salad, which was enjoyed by everyone except the boys..

Dippy egg

Rufus likes dippy egg. Normally when I make it I stack up the soldiers however they fall when I slice them. Today I managed the sort of even sunburst shape that dippy egg deserves..

Steak and tabouleh

I know you’re supposed to cook steak on a flaming hot grill for as little time as possible, until it’s hot but pink inside and  charred and and tasty on the outside. There’s a thing you can do comparing softness of the flesh on the upturned palm in your hand to the softness of your steak to see how cooked it is. We have a griddle pan. But trying to do it properly always results in a very very smoky kitchen (despite jet-engine-powerful extractor) and I haven’t developed the feel for how long to cook it for to get the steak just right inside.

So.. tonight we experimented with slow cooking the steak before frying it off in a pan. My thinking was that cooking the steak in the oven at 140degC would be similar to cooking sous-vide – not really the same at all but the idea was to have a piece of meat that was hot through but not really cooked, which I could then sling into a hot frying pan to char the outsides and create flavour.

It sort of worked. The texture of the meat was not as good as just grilling, and I didn’t do enough charring on the outside, but the whole procedure was 20 mins in the oven followed by about 5 relatively smoke-free minutes in the frying pan, much easier than the smoky violent griddle method..

We had tabouleh made with quinoa, following a recipe from a Leon cook book. Very nice.

Overall, a great dinner.

Oh yes, we had half a choc ice with some dark chocolate and some salted caramel sauce (bought in SuperU in the Vendee) for pudding. Not fine, but delicious 🙂

Chicken noodle miso broth

A sliced leek, matchsticks of fresh ginger, big dollop of miso paste, a stock cube, a litre of water, couple of nests of noodles, ripped up leftover roast chicken, some curly kale.. Tasty.

Pret’s new porridge

This is a challenging gluten and dairy free product. Just arrived at Sheldon Square. I predict it will be phased out quite quickly. It looks like a pimped version of Chinese congee, and contains: quinoa, amaranth, flax seeds, chia, whole oats and organic coconut water. I found it hard to eat, extremely worthy and not very tasty. Here’s a picture: