Dauphinoise Potatoes

Every now and then you see a fellow blogger’s creation that takes your fancy. Rather than leave a comment ‘I want to make that’ and then immediately forget about it, you just go ahead and make it. Now such a thing happened when I found this recipe for Dauphinoise potatoes by the Greedy Frog. I found it via another blog but I can’t remember which one, yes I can it’s at 5 Kinds of Rice

Anyway the key thing with the recipe is that, contrary to popular belief, there is no room for cheese. Unfortunately I couldn’t deal with that revelation so I shoved a load of cheese in mine.

Continue reading

Dieting with Fillet Steak

Yes that’s right you can. Well actually I’ve no idea if you can – but i thought what the hell I’m sick of eating chicken and pearl barley casserole in my quest to lose some ‘excess’. So I had this:

Continue reading

The Continuing Adventures of the Great British Bake Off – Sachertorte, sort of…

The problem with baking is it’s hit and miss. Some things go right and some things go very wrong. The main points though are a) never give up and b) post the results no matter what, good or bad.

So in a delirium of confidence bought on by my ability to smear melted chocolate around the insides of a mould I decided to try another Mary Berry creation from BBC’s ‘Great British Bake Off’. Sachertorte is a rich chocolatey cake that was apparently invented by some bloke called Sacher or something.

It’s main distinction is a smooth satin chocolate covering. The original has a chocolate medallion on top but most people write ‘Sacher’ on the top in chocolate. Easy right? Well it’s always easy on the TV.

A bewildering array of ingredients – and an empty bottle of wine. That doesn’t bode well…

Continue reading

Death of a Department Store

Before there was Selfridges, Sears, JCPenney, John Lewis or Nordstrom there was Allders. Allders was a department store in my part of the world that stood the test of time, right up until this Autumn.

As a child I rode my bike into town with friends and hung around the shopping precinct which Allders fronted and got in trouble with the security men for riding up to the plate glass windows and doing skids, bouncing off the glass. It wasn’t us though, it was some other kids, honest.

Anyway, Allders, which had been around since 1862, had been in trouble for years. It was old school – marbled floors, wooden display cabinets and rickety old escalators. And it was filled with stuff that you could get on the internet. It had no chance.

We took a last tour of the old lady:

Continue reading

The Great Storm of 1987

Tonight marks the 25th anniversary of the ‘Great Storm of 1987′. That night 25 years ago southern England was hit by winds as strong as a hurricane – reaching 120 mph. We hadn’t experienced anything like it since 1703 – and it’s unlikely any of us alive today will experience anything like it again.

The British take pride in their weather. Our forecasters are a national institution – we watch them every evening. But that night in 1987 one of our best – Michael Fish – told us that a weather feature forming off the Bay of Biscay west of France was nothing to worry about; how wrong he was.

Lucky this wasn’t the States – he’d have been a goner if it had been left-hand drive

Continue reading