Category Archives: Food

Haha, yes indeed, the biscuit mountain that I’ve been posting photos of recently, it was great, and then I felt that maybe it deserves an explanation. I was reorganising my kitchen and then I discovered that…

A poorly-judged investment in Biscuit Futures I strongly suspect that ‘futures’ is a word only really understood in North America. And Canadia.

I discovered that I have acquired in my kitchen a very large amount of almost non-perishable foods in the form of biscuits, crackers and snacks, things that I like but don’t really eat a lot of, especially now that during most of the week I don’t eat after 3 in the afternoon (I’ll get back to this another time). And this is the sort of thing that creeps up on you; you buy some here, get another of those there, are you running out of this, and so on, until after three and a half years, I have… an awful lot of biscuits and crackers.

I had set out to rearrange where everything is in the kitchen, because stuff (such as flour, which you’ll recall featured heavily in the posts on baking recently) was starting to spread out, to get put into various places. Things were illogically placed. There were boxes of things that I started thinking about, haven’t they been there for a while? A very long while? Aren’t there a lot of these things here? Isn’t that cupboard very full? Is it possible that for a single, middle-aged man, regularly feeding a child, occasionally baking, not eating a huge amount (although probably still slightly too much, but he’s working on it), that this kitchen is stocked for a family of 6 ravenous Baboons?

Kevin, when the snacks fell.
That’s a solid Star Trek: The Next Generation reference, and I’m not sure too many people got it, which is a shame.

So that’s when I got into it, digging everything out and sorting through it. I actually planned to do this earlier in the year when I started baking and realised that the kitchen is a bit full for a one-man operation, and not very tidy. If you’re going to have people over in the middle of a Europe-wide pandemic lockdown, you’d want your kitchen to be tidy.

Look, there’s a silver lining here, which is that while it’s clearly and painfully wasteful that I’ve somehow managed to store two crates of biscuits and crackers and whatnot for no good reason, and I can’t just give people half a pack of two year-old biscuits as an act of bone-headed charity, I also… didn’t eat them. That’s right, I am sort of a hero, because I didn’t eat two crates of biscuits, which is amazing. I had that power and used it for good, I didn’t eat them. I just left them to accumulate around my kitchen until now.

And now I have to eat them.

Shortbread is the purity of cake; just flour, butter, sugar, heat and long-term cardiovascular trouble requiring medication and surgical intervention.

I set myself an admittedly silly challenge yesterday as a response to an enormously stressful Tuesday, by applying the sane type of approach that gave the world USA President Donald J. Trump and outsourcing my challenge to Twitter. Anyway, the upshot was to get the divorce process moving and bake a cake of some sort, and somewhat surprisingly keeping my job.

It’s a Jaime Oliver recipe, from his Big Book, so I have no link. He probably has it on his website, or a variation of it. It’s lovely, but heavier than depleted Uranium. A small piece of this could sustain an adult for weeks (and that’s what it was originally supposed to do).

In conclusion, by way of outrageous statement, I’m pretty much an incredible guy. If you met me you would be all “wow, this is pretty much an incredible guy” and I would say ”Well, hey” because I already knew it but enjoyed your realisation of it.

I know, another crumble! Easy to make, and tasty! I improvised a little, a jazz crumble if you will (that works on several levels for an apple crumble by the way, so it’s even more clever than you realise) by adding a thin shortbread base and some frozen junk from the bottom of the freezer (that’s better than it sounds), if a little dry for crumble. The problem that I have is this; I like cake, and now I’ve discovered that I can quickly and easily make a lot of cake that I like, myself. All the time. If I wanted to, I could just eat cake, becomes a metaphor for the decadence of middle-class privilege.

Anyway, it wasn’t too bad.

Do you remember when I used to just shitpost here? I would ramble on for a dew paragraphs and then you would wonder what I was at, but I’d get to turn a few breathless phrases here and there. Those were the days. Now, it’s a dumping ground for story videos (where I sort of subvert the medium a bit, but use the WhatsApp/Instagram/Facebook Story feature as my stage, where almost no-one appreciates what I do with it) and bad food blogging (where I make simple food using foolproof recipes and occasionally still manage to create terrible meals). Such is life. I’ll come back to both of these soon and actually write something about it, about why I do it.

So, chicken and mushroom pie, with shortbread pastry. Loosely based on this and this. It was a little dry, but very tasty.

I went there, and I brought it. Behold!

I just love the textures. It’s like the surface of the moon or something.

It tastes magical, and I’m a harsh critic of my own efforts. I don’t know if I’ll do it again soon though, this is pure badness. Here’s the recipe I worked from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/ultimate-lemon-meringue-pie – it didn’t go so well last week and I was dubious, but this week I bought a hand mixer and better sugar, and it all went lot better.

Yeah, no, I didn’t eat all that myself, we both had some, and then I sent off a big slice with Smalls so she could get some dessert out of it. I still have some! Sadly, the number of you that are ever going to get to taste this stuff is vanishingly small, and you already know who you are…

By the way, this is all somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It did go well, and it does taste great, but I’m no match for even the most modestly skilled baker. I’m learning and following instructions meant for idiots. I’m just pleased that I didn’t kill anyone.

It doesn’t look like much, but this is my first attempt at BBC’s Lemon Meringue Pie, which I wanted to take a crack at to impress my daughter. I’m starting to think that the BBC recipe site isn’t all that; the stuff is ok, but it seems to not quite work out and involves incredible amounts of butter and sugar, and frequently too much of one thing or another. Maybe that site is a sort of Wikipedia for recipes, with the veneer of respectability afforded by the BBC logo at the top, but without the quality control and self-defeating right-wing agenda of the rest of the organisation.

Obviously, I’m a master baker so I can criticise ignorantly all the things. But this is, so far, what baking looks like to me. Different ratios of butter and sugar, occasionally some eggs and/or flour, and twenty minutes in the oven. This doesn’t end well from a health perspective. I will bake, I will eat, there will be a visit to a GP, and there will be stern advice and a prescription for Statins.

In all fairness to me, it does look good out of the tin. A few months ago, I’d have been somewhat forlornly adding ‘Does anyone want some?’, but not any more. Go, and bake your own one. Let me know how it goes for you.

This was a last-minute thing yesterday while the pizza was baking, it didn’t go quite as intended, but it got a solid thumbs-up (in spite of the bizarre ‘moon-rock’ crumble). A small Apple Crumble, from a BBC recipe which I had misgivings about as I was making it (mostly made of crumble, which is itself mostly made of butter? Seriously?). Also, I did not have Cinnamon. It’s one of those things that you take for granted until… you need it.

I did it. I went there. I simultaneously made a pizza and a Banoffi pie. They were both good. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking with the Banoffi because there’s no way that I’ll be able to finish it. Also, because of my 16/8 eating regime, I can eat less and less before I’m stuffed. Two and half small slices of pizza and a bit of Banoffi and I’m done. Still, we enjoyed what we had.

I got upgrades, by the way. Fluted loose-base pie tin, research on how to make the caramel correctly, I went all in.