Thursday, 29 December 2016

Grandma Beryl's Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup


In so many ways, Grandma Beryl was the matriarch of our family and a wise dignified figurehead. She was almost always immaculately turned out, her hair a halo of wispy-white cotton-candy with not a strand out of place. Her elocution was invariably poised and precise, graced with a slight Mancunian lilt, and as mellifluous as any a Radio 4 presenter.

Through the best part of ninety years, us children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would congregate at Grandma’s each week, her home bursting alive with the sighs and squeals of newborn babies, the pitter-patter of toddler feet, children trampolining on the sofa, kids taking penalty kicks in the lounge, and grown-ups sporadically crying out “Mind the ornaments!, all accompanied by the constant clang and clatter of cutlery and plates as they materialised on and off the dining-room table.
SHARE:

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Winter has come; Where there's light there's HOPPERS


Hoppers

“The White Witch? Who is she?”
“Why.. it's she that makes it always winter. Always winter, and never Christmas..”

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis, 1950.

"At this moment you should be with us,
Feeling like we do.. like you love to
But never will again.
I miss you my dear, Xiola.
I prepared the room tonight with christmas lights,
A city of candles…" 
Three Days, Jane’s Addiction, 1990

My childhood winters were cold Northern affairs. Stretching across the horizon, the distant Pennines lay dark and brooding, looming over Bury like a dormant dragon, its arched back frosted with fairy-dust snow. There, we'd take our sledges and run them down those Lancashire slopes, fast and true: the icy air stinging our watery eyes, the sledge barely skimming the snowy ground below. We were Peter Pan, we were Tinkerbell.
SHARE:

Thursday, 24 November 2016

DIP & FLIP, Donald Trump, and what's left of the American Dream?

Dip and Flip Donald Trump
As American as apple pie. So the saying goes. But really what's more American than the hamburger?

In that meat patty lie redolent images of cattle herded over epic Mid-Western landscapes by sun-scarred cowboys. The cheese as flat and enduring as the emerald Wisconsin pastures it was milked from. And if you put the bun right up close, well you can almost hear the murmuring of wheat swaying in the Wyoming wind. In fact, why not just unscrew a Coke right now, put on some Springsteen, and let's hit Route 66 in an ol’ open-top Chevy, for this post is pure 100% Americana.
SHARE:

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Confessions of a [Rookie] Food-Blogger


Okay, so ‘confessions’ might be a tad misleading. There aren't any sordid stories of wild food-related debauchery; no tantalising tales of matcha-foam parties; and no erotic fantasies involving salacious scoops of Gelupo’s sorbet, a smothering of butterscotch sauce and a coconut-encrusted sugar cone. This article is nowhere near that pulse-racing.

If nothing else, I usually write my blog at 7 o’clock on a weekend morning, and there's nothing less sexy than this hour [..wait a sec while I just dislodge a Cheerio from my 6 year old’s nose, as he and his big brother ecstatically engage themselves in a world-record fart-off.]

Instead, this is an honest reflection on how I got into food-blogging and my early impressions of this strange new world. I'm just a rookie really, still close to those early heady days of excitement, anticipation and confusion. Even now, my heart pounds every time I post; my senses startle whenever the phone buzzes; and I still beat myself each time I've messed up. Yep, starting a blog is a bit like falling in love.
SHARE:

Monday, 10 October 2016

No Dish For The Road

Well today's dish for the road is.. nothing. Nowt. Nicht. Nada. The big zero. An empty vacuum. An event horizon. Infinity minus itself. There's no cronut, hopper, or shakshuka to review. No flavour, aroma, or presentation to report. The ‘score out-of-10’ is not even nought: there is no score out-of-10.

For on Wednesday is Yom Kippur, a Jewish fast day, when one reflects on the past year and atones for all the bad stuff. At this sacred time, devout Jews spend all day in synagogue, earnestly engaging in dutiful prayer, deeply immersed in the solemnity of the occasion. For now is when heaven’s gates momentarily slide open, the theological stars align, and one’s soul is cleansed anew.

SHARE:

Saturday, 1 October 2016

It's Not Just KRICKET, It's Thoran Around India

Kricket
Religion. Do I go there? What is to gain? What could I lose? And yet here I am. And here beside me is the territory of ritual, history and God. And here's me stepping into it..

I think most of us have our stories of religion. Whether we grew up with it or not. Whether it was found or it was lost. Mine begins in a Jewish family, quite Orthodox in fact, until I discovered I was possibly atheist, but let's call it agnostic, but always felt connected to Jewish culture if not belief, now living in and raising a mixed-faith family, rewarded by the richness and challenges that brings, living in a city that's probably the most diverse on earth. I love that my neighbours are also mixed-faith; in fact between our two houses there are four religions, a fifth if you include our other neighbours. In our local neighborhood, there’s a friendly Sikh gurdwara, a serene Buddhist temple, a vibrant synagogue, the oldest mosque in London, churches from myriad denominations, and probably lots more besides.
SHARE:

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Lambchops at GUNPOWDER, A Dangerous Encounter in India

Gunpowder
Many things are said about what it’s like landing in India for the first time. People say it’s an assault on the senses. People warn you about the heart-breaking poverty. And of course there’s the sweltering heat.

Stepping out of Delhi airport as a young backpacker in the 90’s, it was of course all of these things. But first things first: I had to deal with a more unnerving, if revealing, introduction to this incredible, if often unfathomable, country. Collapsing onto the hot sticky seats of the airport bus, an array of alarming signs accosted my tired jet-lagged eyes:
SHARE:

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Cinnamon Buns & Childhood memories, SOLLY'S BAGELRY (Vancouver)

"In the mind’s eye, a fractal is a way of seeing infinity.”

James Gleick, from Chaos, 1987

We saw shadows of the morning light
the shadows of the evening sun
till the shadows and the light were one.”

Jane's Addiction, from Three Days, Ritual de lo Habitual, 1990.


By opening time at 7am, the smells of warm dough and coffee are already swirling around Solly's bakery and the place is a buzz with bagel worshippers, bleary-eyed commuters, and caffeine-fixers. The counters burgeon with bagels high-stacked in assorted pyramids: poppy-seed, sesame-seed, onion, cinnamon and plain. But my senses are invariably drawn to the inviting tray of cinnamon buns and chocolate babkas; cuboid confectionery etched with characteristic spirals; an array which bedazzles the eyes with an optic illusion of rotating bakery. They are alive. They are calling me.
SHARE:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Tacos at SANTO REMEDIO, Travels Down Ol' Mexico Way

Santo Remedio
It was the summer of ‘95 and I was a 20 year-old medical student wannabe-beat-traveller journeying down Mexico way searching for soul, spirit, tequila, tortilla, dust, desert, nature, adventure, and the wild ol’ mariachi songs of love, tears, hope and death. But not a full-stop. Jack Kerouac didn’t do full-stops and, at that time of my life, the work of this 50’s Mexico-junkie beat-poet was my numero-uno travelling companion. On The Road and Lonesome Traveller: such stories fizzed with words that flowed off the pages like a roaring torrent of energy and life and the beat-spirit pummelled into my brain with force and power and off I went.
SHARE:

Saturday, 4 June 2016

On The Road with the ROVING CAFE & the Nomadic Community Gardens


Roving Cafe Spitalfields
Nomads. We are all nomads at heart. The first humans were hunter-gatherers, and that primal seed still lies somewhere deep inside us.

My own inner nomad started on a trip to Alaska, half a lifetime ago. From Vancouver, three nights atop an open ferry deck, stars above and whales in front (...magical, but bloody freezing…), took me to the old frontier towns of Alaska’s Pacific pan-handle. There, hitching the open road, the jaw-dropping wilderness, the quirky characters, and the exhilarating freedom opened up a can of Kerouac and a crate of Grateful Dead and I was never the same again.
SHARE:

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Mash at PITT CUE, London's Evolving


Pitt Cue
Evolution. Some say the zenith of human intellectual thought and scientific method. The proposition that life evolved through natural selection of the fittest genes, that humans arose over millennia and not created from dust, has forever changed our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. Whereas the Big Bang theory ripped up Genesis chapter one, Evolution did it for chapter two, putting it squarely in confrontation with religious Creationists ever since. And here we stand today, in a world deluged in violent conflagration between the forces of progressive rational scientific enlightenment and those of a fanatical mediaeval barbarism.

Anyway, on perhaps a lesser scale, there's also a spot of evolution going on in London's food scene.
SHARE:

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Ode to Charoseth

Charoset
Jewish cuisine. To some, an oxymoron. To others, the warmest cosiest hug your stomach could ever have.

Either way, laden with heavy carbs and cloying fat, regular consumption guarantees a lifetime of Gaviscon dependency, with the very real possibility of major cardiovascular surgery by the time you're 60. Or even 50.

But not all Jewish cuisine is the same, there being a rough division between Ashkenazi (communities originating from Eastern Europe) and Sephardi influences (from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East).

My family’s origins are Ashkenazi, coming from Latvia and Belarus, amongst others. I do wonder what led my ancestors - back in the day - to settle in these bleaker lands in lieu of warmer, gentler Southern climes...
SHARE:

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Mutton at APOLLO BANANA LEAF, Scores On The Doors WTF?



Some restaurants aspire to three-Michelin stars. Others set their sights on glowing press reviews, perhaps a Fay, Jay, Grace or Giles. A TripAdvisor Certificate or perhaps a Time Out award.

However, in the bustling saturated world of restaurant evaluation – what with all those annoyingly excitable bloggers armed with camera phones [eh humm cough]– there is still one code of merit which rises above them all. What is this cherished accolade, you may wonder, that make countless eateries across the land festoon their frontages with its myriad shiny green labels.

Scores on the F**king Doors. What is that about?
SHARE:
© 1-dish-4-the-road. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig