The Curious Cook

Witty and wise- celebrating Two Fat Ladies

article-2585830-00000EB900000258-157_634x444.jpg
Photo: dailymail.co.uk

It was a bucolic time when The Two Fat Ladies burst onto our screens in a puff of cartoon smoke and bravado. And burst they certainly did, with Jennifer Paterson driving pell-mell through the British countryside in a glorious Triumph Thunderbird while Clarissa Dickson-Wright grinned benignly at us from the sidecar. In one fell swoop, they made the world realise that English food may have the reputation for being boring but it sure as hell doesn’t have to be. Echoing the devil-may-care eccentricity of Julia Child and the generous verbosity of Keith Floyed, these two friends made British TV cooks famous, paving the way for Jamie and Nigella to follow in their wake.

Continue reading “Witty and wise- celebrating Two Fat Ladies”

The Curious Cook

Lucky dip

20180719_104903
Elgin free range chicken meatballs with roasted butternut, baby beetroot and mangetout. Green goddess dressing is the star of the show. Photo: Justus Wagener

As much I love a good salad, in winter it becomes a chore to eat. The quality of fresh ingredients declines, tomatoes don’t ripen and it feels like your hands may develop frostbite while you rinse lettuce in that icy water. I find I am inclined to turn my greens into a luscious dip which I slather over roasted vegetables hot out the oven.

Continue reading “Lucky dip”

The Curious Cook

Succulent snoek – the king of fishes

Braaied-Snoek-social

As acerbic journalist Lin Sampson once wrote, snoek is the most underrated fish in South Africa. And it certainly is the king of fishes, if you take a little trouble to track it down. A long, thin species of snake mackerel, snoek can be purchased fresh from the docks along all along the coast of the Western Cape of South Africa, as coloured people have been fishing and eating snoek for generations.

Continue reading “Succulent snoek – the king of fishes”

The Curious Cook

Don’t be shellfish, this soup is for sharing

soup
Photo: Justus Wagener

It has been raining solidly for  days and after a difficult year of water restrictions here in the Western Cape of South Africa, we are reveling in an abundance of water.

The almost four year-long drought hasn’t broken yet, but as I write this our dams are just a hair’s breadth away from being filled to 50% capacity so we are whooping with joy and relief. This means that because we managed to adequately save water, and must keep doing so, the pall of Day Zero is no longer an impending reality.

Continue reading “Don’t be shellfish, this soup is for sharing”

The Curious Cook

Every romance has a humble beginning

“I have made friends who begin with pasta, and friends who begin with rice, but whenever I fall in love, I begin with potatoes…” writes Nora Ephron in her wonderful early novel Heartburn. “Sometimes meat and potatoes and sometimes fish and potatoes, but always potatoes. I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.”

Continue reading “Every romance has a humble beginning”