Category Archives: food glorious food

Geometry and jam pans.

When is a lemon not a lemon? Well, when it’s a pineapple.  Of course!  Just look at that sumptuously rich, lemony colour.  It is making my mouth water just looking at it.

This particular pineapple didn’t hang around long as I had big Christmassy plans for it.  Specifically, this incredible pineapple chutney from BBC Good Food.  It was so easy to make and so moreish to eat, that this is the second batch I’ve made now in the space of weeks, having never made chutney before.

006a_851 copy

I am part of a monthly Supper Club night with a bunch of girlfriends.  It is always a fun evening.  We are a group of seriously frustrated foodies in Brunei, so we make a lot from scratch, in an effort to bridge the gap!  Homemade bread, pasta and gnocchi, ice cream, dips, pesto and hummus, cakes, pastries and confectionery, pate, fruit curds and cordials to name just a few of our collective endeavours.  And now chutney.  We don’t always get it right, but part of the fun is learning from our mistakes.  And there is always so much delicious food at the table that the occasional fail is easily overlooked.

We all agreed at our Supper Club night a couple of months ago that we’d have a little Christmas gathering.  Lots of great food, the company of good friends, and a little Christmas spirit.  One of the bring along items was jars of chutney, either to give as gifts or add to the cheese board accompaniments on the night.

As I said, this is the second batch I’ve made, as the first batch was so tasty I’ve not got enough jars left now to give as gifts!  I know pineapple isn’t a conventional Christmas flavour, but the chutney is sublime, and really easy if you fancy giving chutney making a go.  Plus, out here exotic fruit chutney like pineapple or mango feels altogether more in keeping with the location and climate!  And if you live somewhere you can buy them, it would go amazingly well with English regional crumbly sharp cheeses like Wensleydale, Lancashire and Cheshire.  We’re not so blessed here, but it is still very good even with a pretty average imported cheddar!

006a_849 copy

Is your tummy rumbling yet?  Mine is!  But really, I had to go with food for Jennifer’s ‘lemon‘ one word photo challenge didn’t I?  Isn’t the skin just amazing too, when you really look at it?  Wonderful colours, and nature in all it’s geometric, hexagonal glory.  Which made this post seem an obvious entry for this week’s ‘angular‘ photo challenge from WordPress as well.

Autumn bounty meets pumpkin patch party time!

Three weeks today my little girl will be getting her first taste of Halloween at a children’s Halloween party organised by a friend.  It is impossible to make a toddler look scary, so I am going for adorable instead, and I have started making a little tutu and pumpkin appliquéd outfit for her. I am no master crafter, so I’m hoping that the inevitable imperfections in the final product will be overlooked whilst people coo at the general cuteness.  That’s the plan! Fingers crossed!

Halloween isn’t something I ever marked before I came out here.  I know it is a big thing in America, but it isn’t a particularly British celebration.  Although it’s popularity is growing as it becomes ever more commercialised.  All that aside, the party will be an interesting experience for the children, and they get the chance to dress up and play together, whilst the parents socialise after a long week.  I’m happy with that, just as long as I don’t have to go down the fancy dress route as well!

For Ailsa’s ‘bountiful‘ travel theme this week, pumpkins were obviously already on my mind given that I’m currently up to my eyes in green and orange tulle netting and felt!  So here is a little English pumpkin bounty, fresh from the Warwickshire fields and on sale at a farm shop last autumn. Don’t they look amazing?  I’m always stunned by the variety.  I had to stop myself from buying one in every shape and colour so that I could taste test them all!  Such beautiful bounty.

010

 

 

Mustard macros: spot on!

When you are looking for a little bit of nourishing comfort food, nothing is finer with vegetarian sausages, buttery mash, some steamed green vegetables and really thick gravy, than a dollop of English mustard on the side.  Even living in tropical Brunei, it is a little home-cooked taste of England that we still treat ourselves with every few weeks.  If we draw the curtains, put all the side lights on to create a soft glow, and crank up the air conditioning, we could almost pretend it is a chilly autumnal evening! Almost. Well, close enough.

Closer than the days when we are invited to the Officers’ Mess for a Sunday roast. Thirty or forty adults and children, all dressed up and sat out on the shaded veranda in the midday heat, sweating profusely but grimly determined to enjoy their roast beef, yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings (English mustard included, of course!).  And if they are not feeling uncomfortably weighed down and warm by then, there is always a hearty apple crumble and custard to follow.  Truly, ‘mad dogs and English men’ doesn’t even begin to cover it!

 

So that was the first thought that ran through my head when I saw that this week’s one word colour from Jennifer Nichole Wells was mustard.  Sauce jars aren’t in my usual photographic subject area though!  Still, I knew pretty much immediately which photos would fit the bill, and they seemed to have to go as a pair, mottled as they both were.  I think these two mustard macros knock the spots off Colman’s! Yeah, okay lame word play, but I just had to do it…forgive me?!

 

Of course you just can’t think of the colour without thinking off the condiment!  So a little dab of mustard on the side of the plate, courtesy of Nigel Slater:

“Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.”

(Nigel Slater,  The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater).

Nigel Slater is an English food writer – ‘a cook who writes’ as he humbly calls himself.  He is an all-time food hero of mine  because of his approach to seasonality, honesty of flavours and simplicity in his cooking style. Not to mention that everything he makes always looks delicious and beautifully presented, even when it is just a simple supper.  My food photography skills are dreadful, so looking at his photographs is a genuine inspiration.  And if it means I have to go make (and eat!) something in order to practice my photography skills, well I guess that is just the price I have to pay!