1. MacSween's makes an unquestionably superior haggis to Halls
    1. Good haggis requires no condiments.
  2. If your haggis commits seppuku, you can dispense with the whole Address to a Haggis nonsense
    1. In fact, it turns out nobody really cares if you don't recite any Burns at your Burns Supper.
      1. Although certain people will threaten to recite McGonagall instead.
    2. Or, in fact, that your Burns Supper doesn't actually fall on Burns Night.
    3. However, kilts are apparently mandatory.
  3. Haggis, neeps and tatties is really easy to make for large amounts of people.
    1. Especially if served buffet-style.
    2. Nutmeg goes well in tatties.
    3. Ginger goes well in neeps.
  4. All malt whisky is good whisky.
    1. Except if it has lemonade in it.
      1. I am married to a philistine.
  5. The tactic of inviting people round to decrease your whisky collection fails if you go out beforehand and purchase another two bottles of whisky.
    1. However, it does allow for repeated whisky tastings in future.
Just saw the "longer, uncut" version. Jeeeeeesus. "Uncle Ben's — if you thought our logo was racist, you ain't seen nothing yet".

Luckily, it's by far the worst-tasting of the supermarket brands, too. Far too sweet. Go with Blue Dragon, which has more of a kick to it. Sharwoods is okay, too.
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After an episode of Jimmy's Food Factory:

[personal profile] spudtaterI live in fear of him joining up with Heston Blumenthal.
[personal profile] galaxy_girl...and making babies?
[personal profile] spudtaterI'm not sure they could do that...
[personal profile] galaxy_girlHeston can do anything.
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spudtater: (Default)
( Apr. 24th, 2010 10:14 pm)
Gorgie Farm had too many pigs (of tasty rare(r) breed variety). After comparatively long life, spare pigs were converted to spare pork. Pork was bought in large quantities by self. There is currently one fifth of a pig sitting in our freezer. Minus two chops, which were today's absolutely fantastic dinner. Tender, full-flavoured, amazing pork.

Well reared, well butchered meat tastes so much better than supermarket stuff it's just not funny.

Must adjust purchasing habits accordingly.

(However, kidney was not so good. Fried it as a treat for kitteh, leaving the kitchen smelling of wee — after which kitteh turned her nose up at it anyway. Cats aint stupid.)

Edit: Gloucester Old Spot, IIRC
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I just crushed my co-worker's preconceptions by informing him that no, "not from concentrate" orange juice is not in effect any different to a juice which is from concentrate.

When water is added back to the concentrate, the product is labeled "reconstituted" or "made from concentrate" and has the same nutrition profile as the original juice.
— "Juice up your diet", 11 Jun 2008, Peggy J. Noonan, CNN health

"It's a misconception that it's freshly squeezed from the groves of Florida," she said. Rather, it's often a heavily processed product. In the pasteurization process, it's heated, stripped of oxygen and flavor chemicals, then put in huge storage vats for up to a year. When it's ready for packaging, flavor derived from orange essence and oils is added to make it taste fresh. Each company has its own special flavor pack, but to call it natural at this point is a real stretch.
— "That not-from-concentrate orange juice? It's not so good for your budget", Jul 2009, John Ewoldt, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Fresh orange juice, on the other hand, is a totally different thing, and is both nutritionally better for you [Noonan 2008] and tastier [Ewoldt 2009] than either reconstituted or not-from-concentrate juices.
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Eyebrows are overrated anyway.

(Next time, less brandy).
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spudtater: (Default)
( Dec. 5th, 2009 05:01 pm)
For some reason, this year I'm really intrigued by the idea of an actual meat mince pie. I've found a mincemeat recipe which I'd like to try out, but unfortunately it calls for three weeks of preparation time. Which would make it just a little bit late for Christmas.   8^(

Maybe I can make them in time for New Year's.

Any other ideas for interesting Christmas goodies?
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spudtater: (Default)
( Nov. 26th, 2009 12:59 pm)
BBC Breakfast was amusing today. They had as a guest Michel Odent, who believes that husbands should be banned from delivery rooms, citing what he calls the "masculinisation of the birth environment".

I am more than a little sceptical. The reasoning seems to be that the increase in Caesareans over the last half-century or so coincides with the increase in numbers of births attended by husbands. Maybe so, but it also coincides with an enormous range of other factors too, both medical and cultural.

Also in today's news was the 200th anniversary of the opening of the first curry restaurant in the UK, which makes quite an interesting read.
spudtater: (Default)
( Feb. 15th, 2009 11:42 am)

The Scottish Diet is an ingenious nutritional system invented by the Scots to keep their pension funds in balance by reducing the number of people who make it beyond the age of 60. like many of the world's smartest inventions (most of them invented by the Scots), it is devilishly simple. It increases the premature death rate through a well-balanced diet:

The Scottish Diet
«Any and all thing you can eat
But this proportion always heed:
    A third from fat
    A third from sugar
    A third from alcohol
From time to time, you can eat a small amount of fruits, in the form of jams or preserves, or even better, distilled.»

FXCuisine.com, "Deep-Fried Cheeseburger"

Browse through the other articles, as well — it's a pretty fun site.

Edit: it amuses me that the random advertising on the site quite frequently selects a British Heart Foundation advert for this page.

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spudtater: (Default)
( Jan. 23rd, 2009 07:51 pm)
You have discovered a Secret Ingredient!

The secret ingredient is for sweet & sour battered pork.

The secret ingredient is nutmeg!
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spudtater: (Default)
( Dec. 26th, 2008 12:29 am)
I feel I have passed some sort of culinary rite of passage. Today [livejournal.com profile] galaxy_girl00 and I cooked an entire turkey dinner for seven people (which would have actually served more like a dozen — there were lots of leftovers).

Two turkey crowns, gammon, pigs in blankets, stuffing balls, roast tatties, potato croquettes, honey-cinnamon parsnips, carrots, bacon-and-chestnut-fried sprouts, and bread sauce. All finished roughly on time and ending up edible — no help from Nigella there. (Honestly, avoid that woman's books. Jam-packed with what are either typos or really bad advice). Quality ranged from the just-about-rescued-from-inedibility (roast mush tatties) to the really quite fantastic (turkey nestled amongst chunks of gammon).

More than a little stressful at the time, but so satisfying. I've never cooked anywhere near that amount of food before, and am proud of myself and [livejournal.com profile] galaxy_girl00 for pulling it off.

(Didn't do the starter or desserts ourselves, but that I'm happy to leave for another year.)

After cooking it all, proceeded to absolutely stuff myself, and become unable to move for a good hour and a half.

Now we are home and Cassie is being unbearably adorable at us.

Merry Christmas Boxing Day, everybody!
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When the [livejournal.com profile] galaxy_girl00 is away, the [livejournal.com profile] spudtater will... make silly foods.

1 mug chocolate milk
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder

Mix all together, heat in microwave, top with squirty cream. Omnomnom!



Also have made sauce from scratch both yesterday and today. Not my strong point, but something I really want to improve on. Yesterday's wasn't great — I always forget that sauces need at least a bit (usually a lot) of sugar in them to bring out the flavour. Today's was a huge improvement.

recipe, for those interested )

One thing I could use is a method of thickening sauces that doesn't involve flour, which can make things too stodgy and powdery. Am I missing anything obvious? Or am I going to have to be more adventurous with my ingredients?

Edit: have purchased ground arrowroot. Shall try it some time in the future.
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spudtater: (Default)
( Nov. 17th, 2008 08:44 pm)
...I just noticed that Bisto is vegetarian.
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spudtater: (Default)
( Aug. 19th, 2008 07:07 pm)

The Omnivore's Hundred, from the Very Good Taste blog

long meme is looooooong )

I make that exactly half. Must try harder.

I do worry that I sound like a bit of a ponce from the above list. Caviar, oysters, kobe beef! Bloody hell. I guess this is something I can thank my father for — he was always keen to get us to try interesting (and sometimes expensive) stuff, even if just the once.

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...looking at a can of baked beans that I was about to heat up and eat, and thinking "I wish I had some of those Mean Beanz things".

Then I realised. I have a spice rack.

And thus, curry beans were made. And they were far better than the Heinz's version. Nom nom nom.
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There is a film crew in my kitchen.

It's Three Guys Argue A Lot About Cookery (title subject to change). Actually, I think they're officially known as Kamikaze Cookery now. In any case, they consist of [livejournal.com profile] cairmen, [livejournal.com profile] gominokouhai and [livejournal.com profile] xenophanean. Err, and Stuart the cameraman.

I've been hearing them proudly declaring, in multiple takes, that they are using the Power of Science to Bring Cooking Into the 21st Century.

Right now, they are attempting to vacuum pack a steak. With a hoover. Like you do. It doesn't sound like they are having much success. I'm sure they'll get there eventually.

Resultant video to appear YouTube at some time. Should be entertaining.   8^)
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Went to the fairly trendy A Room in Leith restaurant last night. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the food was overpriced, small in quantity, and of poor quality. Bland, overcooked and generally uninpressive.

One to avoid.

Also wasn't greatly impressed with Loch Fyne restaurant last time I went. Edinburgh seafood in general, in fact. Positive recommendations in this area welcomed. (Went to Fisher's bar a while back, which was better, but expensive. Anything cheaper would be good.)

Porto & Fi, in Newhaven, is very nice, though, for lunch.
spudtater: (Default)
( Dec. 16th, 2007 04:42 pm)
Dear Santa meme )

Now I am off to make onion bhajis. Num num.

Edit: Onion bhaji! Is good. Note to self: next time, use slightly more chili powder (or even better, chopped fresh green chili).

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