Friday, 22 April 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Dr Who

Mini chocolate Dalek cakes

Radioactive spuds with cool avocado cream

Sonic screwdrivers

Food styling: Sarah Cook

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Hot damn! The UK asparagus season officially starts this Saturday (23rd April). Here is some for you to look at with your eyes.

See here for more information on British asparagus:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Raspberry and orange tiramisu

Shot for BBC Good Food Magazine, May 2011 issue
Recipe: Aldo Zilli
Prop styling: Jo Harris
Food styling: Kate Calder

Monday, 4 April 2011

Pine needle vinegar

The problem lies with its ubiquity within the household cleaning/room fragrance market. One brings a fair amount of nasal baggage to the Pine table (not literally - ours is Beech); it's hard to shake off when you start to cook with it. I made a bottle of Pine needle syrup a couple of months ago - to be honest, it was like sucking on a Glade Plug In.

Pine needle vinegar is quite a different story. Subtract sweetness for acidity; the Pine notes are still there, but the results are far more interesting. It's pretty simple to make too.

Scots Pine needle vinegar
Cider or white wine vinegar
A bag of Scots Pine boughs

Remove the pine needles from the boughs and wash. Bring the vinegar to the boil, then allow to cool for a short while. While it's cooling, fill a sterilized bottle with Scots pine needles, then pour in the warm vinegar. Leave in a dark spot for about two months before using.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Summer, 1997

It was probably around midnight when the taxi dropped me back at the village. As the car sped off, a beam of headlamp briefly sketched out the silhouette of a large object, slumped across the other side of the road. I swayed over to the shape - it was a dead badger.

It may seem stupid in retrospect, but such was my state - one of inebriation, that I immediately became consumed with grief. What a sorry waste! There he was, homeward bound to see Mrs Badger and the kids, and some bastard hit him! My duty soon became apparent. How could I let it suffer the cruel indignity of being slowly squashed into the tarmac by the morning traffic? I quickly resolved to fetch a shovel, scoop it up, and lay it to rest in the hedge. It was the right thing to do. As if being dispatched to The Great Set in the Sky by a Fiat Uno (possibly) wasn't enough!

Still seething at "Man's selfish disregard for the natural world with his roads", I plotted a wobbly course through the back garden and grappled around in the darkness for the shed. Ten minutes later, my fingers found the handle of a spade resting among a pile of bamboo canes. Stumbling back outside into the still night, I was ready. Tooled Up, as it were.

It was a big old beast, but I managed to slide the spade underneath it. A fish slice would not have sufficed. I barely noticed a pair of headlights appearing in the distance - too important was the task in hand. The low rumble of an engine got louder and louder; I figured it would pass me by. Probably just a grumbling father, dragged out of bed to pick up his daughter, keen to get back home. To my horror, at the point at which I lifted the badger up to waist height on the spade, the car pulled up next to me and a window wound down. John Turner, who I knew from school, peered out cautiously through the open window.

We chatted briefly, exchanging light-hearted pleasantries about our respective evenings. I may well have quipped that I was, "well pissed". Yet for some reason neither of us mentioned the fact that I was elevating a dead badger, three feet from the ground, with a rusty piece of gardening equipment. Perhaps it was an unspoken mark of respect between us, a tribute to innocent life lost? It's more likely he thought I'd beaten the poor creature to death with a shovel. Even after all these years, if we bump into each other in the street, the subject's off-limits. As the car pulled away, I slipped Old Brock carefully into the verge and hot-tailed it to bed. My work here was done.