Apparently Monday was Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, when the weather is lousy, the days are still too short and we are all despairing over having failed to keep our New Year resolutions.

I don’t make resolutions – which is probably the best way not to break them – but I do recognise that for me this last week has little to do with healthy eating, exercise, diets or other good habits that people tend to adopt at this time of year.
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Summer open-air festival It’s that time of year: we’ve had the solstice and we’ve had Midsummer; at Glastonbury the festival continues until Sunday; there are concerts of music and “performance” in the nearby city and, in the town, four generations of women have silk flowers threaded through their hair…
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The days after Christmas are always a good time for clearing up and throwing things out, ready to welcome the New Year into a clean and tidy house. In a fit of such domestic enthusiasm last week, I was checking sell-by dates and clearing out dangerous and suspect items from the kitchen when I came across this:

chili pepper package
The chillies were clearly past their best, but as I went to toss them aside, I noticed the date: September 9th – with no year specified.
Continue reading “discoveries”

pigging out

el museo del jamón

large pig figurine on bar terrace table

The Ham Museum is a shrine
to swine: crimson haunches hang
in the swelter of strip lights; fat leaks
dripping into plastic cones while
an unobtrusive bustle of barstaff
serve the gathered worshippers.
With ritual gesturing, slim-bladed
knives skim iridescent curves.
Glasses are raised in veneration
of marbled flesh, and wafers
of translucent succulence dissolve
as devotees discuss the mysteries
of the world.

The (draft) poem is loosely based on a chain of bars in Spain, while the pig in the picture was photographed some time last year sitting on a table outside an English restaurant/wine bar/pub… Actually, I’m not sure what the Almanack should be classed as, but it’s worth a visit if you are in the area. It caters for a rather wider range of tastes than does the Museo del Jamón.

vegetarian options

Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are long gone, Remembrance Day is here, and all the supermarket and lifestyle magazines are already looking ahead to Christmas. I am less than interested in the recipes for fish, flesh and fowl, so am glad to see that the latest Waitrose weekly is catering for the vegetarians among us:

 Four beers for Christmas lunch

“Four beers for Christmas lunch”? I can think of worse options.
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(cat) food for thought

Cat food bag - Brekkies
Cats have been an integral part of my life for the last 20 years. The ones around now are quite fussy about the tinned food they’ll eat, but less so about the kibble, so I don’t tend to pay a lot of attention to which brand I buy.

This morning, though, I paused to wonder: if cats are happiest when they can snack on and off all day, why am I feeding them something called “Brekkies”? Why isn’t it brunchies, din-dins or snaxes?

Looking closer at the Spanish label, I find that the little yellow flash boasts +sabor / +sapore which sounds worryingly as if it has “more taste : more toads”.

As for this post title, since the Spanish for kibble is pienso, maybe I should have called it “thought for food”.

cheese dreams

Insomnia found me browsing the web when the headline Cheese fire causes traffic meltdown in Norway tunnel caught my eye.

As a cheese lover, how could I not be interested in a story that starts:

Some 27 metric tons of flaming brown cheese (brunost), a Norwegian delicacy, blocked off a three-km (1.9 mile) tunnel near the northern coastal town of Narvik when it caught fire last Thursday. The fire was finally put out on Monday.

mountain goat

Twenty-seven metric tons of toasted goat’s cheese: a turophile’s delight!

(I gather brunost is made either from goat’s milk or a mixture of goat’s and cow’s milk, though perhaps not from the breed of mountain goat whose rather hazy photo I snapped in the Sierra de Francia, Spain.)
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