Salad

sweet-and-sour-cucumber-6-of-7

House prices are doing it. The political system is having a run at it. Crime is always at it. Inflation hasn’t had a go for a while. Anybody over the age of 40 will remember when it too was “spiralling out of control”. But, it’s not something I’m going to allow to happen to me. When I spiral, I’m totally in control. But, there’s no headline in that. Imagine “HOUSE PRICES SPIRAL IN CONTROL” or “CRIME SPIRAL IN CONTROL”. The poor tabloids wouldn’t sell a paper. Thankfully, I’m not touting newsprint. I’m in control because those very nice people at Morphy Richards gave me a Spiralizer to try out. They gave me a nice set of recipes too. But, where’s the fun in copying a recipe when you can prepare Sweet and Sour Cucumber Spirals – An original recipe and very definitely spiralling ‘in control’.

MayonnaiseNo, it’s not a new, fancy style of dressing for your summer salads. It’s not a gourmet delight and it’s not a high point in my culinary development. It breaks all the rules of physics in that there is three times more ingredients go into the dish than there are in the end result. Yes, it’s my Thrice Beaten Mayonnaise

Part of the haul that he did not bring.

Part of the haul that he did not bring.

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. 

The Wicklow Hunter has nearly forgiven me for my previous transgressions. You remember, the Don Draper conundrum. The only thing is, since my faux pas, he refuses to come into the office and insists on leaving free range egg gifts behind my car in our underground car park. This was different. The Hunter rang me and suggested a clandestine meeting beside the car.Free range eggs and salad

The Irish Food Bloggers Association asked for recipes to appear in their ‘Something for the weekend’ series. I did a short version of this post for the purpose. Here’s the full story. 

The Wicklow Hunter is a passionate man. This year, he has taken to growing vegetables and herbs in his expansive spread in the Garden of Ireland. He does not do things by half. So his first crop of vegetables has started to come into season over the past few weeks. Like so many enthusiasts before him, he is discovering that growing the vegetables can be easier than giving them away. In truth, so many urbanites prefer their salad to come in a bag and their vegetables to come out of the freezer. Research confirms that is what we prefer.

For centuries now Fortnum & Mason have made and sold some of the most delicious foods available on these islands. They even pioneered some populist fare. A number of decades ago, that bastion of fine British food was the first retailer to stock and sell Mr Heinz’s now ubiquitous baked beans.

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