January 25th is Burns Night

Balmoral chicken – chicken stuffed with haggis
(Today’s recipe: Balmoral Chicken)

I've heard my Scottish friends talk of Burns Night, but I never actually knew what it was and did not want to show my complete stupidity by saying, “what dat den?” So when Sam invited us for a Burns Night Supper, I had to be brave and say, “what dat den?” She very kindly explained that it had nothing to do with Guy Fawkes (come on, burn, fireworks, how could I know), but with Scotland's most famous poet. (And in my defense I even know one of his 559 poems, so there.)

Ackee and Salt fish (Jamaican)

A forkful of Ackee and Salt fish
Ackee and Salt fish [Jamaican]

Sophie's choice - Potato mince (ground beef) casserole

Potato mince dish
This is going to become one of my firm favorites as I love potatoes and minced / ground meat. Oma Sophie is the creator of this dish and is not only a fantastic cook but also a fantastic human being. Her 3 year old grandson was listening as his mother explained to his older sister exactly what grandparents are. He then piped up and said: “When I grow up I want to be Oma Sophie.” What a compliment and a well-deserved one too.

The Wedding Menu

Some of the starters
The wedding menu needs no further comment. This first photo is just a small part of the wonderful array of food, so eat your hearts out!

Family and other wild animals

Today’s recipe: Elephant stew
A photo of sea and rocks in Port Elizabeth.
In light of all the miserable weather in the northern hemisphere, I am almost ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the summer sunshine in the southern hemisphere. If it makes you feel any better, I have had a spot of bother with sunburn, food poisoning and hate mail from freezing Europeans

Confit of Duck (Confit de canard) and Foie Gras (Fat liver)

A photo of duck carcasses on the barbecue.
Just before leaving France, we partook in the age old French tradition of bottling confit of duck and foie gras / fat liver. Foie gras is a much discussed product and I am not going to make a judgment about if one should eat it or not – I’ll let everyone decide for themselves. We enjoyed joining our French (and Scottish) neighbors / friends in preparing this traditional French delicacy so I thought I’d tell you about our fun evening and give you the recipes.

Hasselback Potatoes and August Fun

A photo of Kathleen holding her plate.

Although I have been promising to catch up from January 2nd, I just have to tell you about the Hasselback potatoes I had in the month of August first. August is party month. August is the busiest month of the year after July which was actually also very busy… But anyway, stop interrupting yourself woman, and tell your stories!!

Fish Chowder made the Narragansett way

Photo of Fish Chowder.

As I mentioned in my last post, we had my in-laws to stay for a few weeks and were able to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 42nd birthday with friends, 16 of us to be precise. For this special event, I made a Narragansett Fish Chowder for starters, stuffed smoked salmon parcels for an in-between course, and then smoked chicken and salads for the main course. I had Sally and Em bring the desserts – very clever on my part as they were both delicious. All recipes will follow in due course!

Ducklings are born to us

duck Rosie on pond

It’s been a hectic week on the duckling front this week although the problems actually started three months ago when Rexie hurt his leg and couldn’t do his manly duties with the Rosie’s. Let me explain. We have 6 Indian Runner ducks comprising of one male, Rexie, and five females, all conveniently called Rosie. Now the girls started laying eggs in the early spring and I was soon getting desperate for egg recipes.

Corned beef is your national dish, damnit!!

Today's recipes are: Corned Beef 101; and American Corned Beef Dinner
A photo of a green beer.

We generally spend St. Patrick’s Day (the 17th of March) in the USA. For those of you who have had the (mis)fortune of receiving group mails from me over the years, you would know this. But I am relying on the fact that most of my friends won’t remember this (alcohol, age……and no, I haven’t quite finished reading “How to make friends and influence people”). We were in the mid-west for the celebrations two years ago and our barman wore a green wig, our waitress had drunk far too much of the green beer (yes, all beer is green on this particular day) and brought us warm beer, cold corned beef & cabbage, and the Irish soup (should have been stew) after the pudding….. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.