Popadom your diary

Catherine’s Summer Curry Fest
Last year we were invited to Catherine's Curry Night of Note. It was also the only occasion in probably the last 20 years that I forgot my camera at home so this spectacular event went undocumented. So? I hear you mumble belligerently (thank goodness for spell check on that one). YOU didn’t see the magnificent spread of food at this mega-dinner. However, the camera-forgetting-trick did work well, as they were forced to invite me back this year to take photos. The worrying thing is, am I now going to be invited back next year??

Pork Colombo

Pork Colombo
We had this super meal with the wonderful Jo and Michel - I doubt they used their computer to defrost the meat (see http://www.acookonthefunnyside.com/content/computers-defrosters-and-pork... ), but it was fantastic anyway. The starter was a modern fantastic version of a Prawn Cocktail that blows the 70's version out of the water and will definitely be posted later, so stay loyal folks. Well done and thank you both for the great company and a wondefrul meal!

Cottage Pie with Haggis

My Cottage Pie
aka Carol's concoction
“You're never too old to learn” and today I learned that Cottage Pie and Shepherds Pie are actually not exactly the same thing. It may be a case of splitting hairs here, but a Cottage Pie is a Shepherds Pie made with beef or pork and a Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb. Voila. You live and learn. I know, your life will never be the same again. (UPDATE: Please read the comments for the real difference between the two - thank you Frances!)

Lamb Shank Redemption

Today's recipe: Lamb shanks with olives & preserved lemon
The lamb shanks after the meal
Sigh, it ain't easy being me. Just this week I had to (1) get help opening the boot/trunk of my rental car – would you have known to press the VW logo at the top down to get the bottom up? And (2) did you know that you have to press the central lock button to get the petrol/gas tank to open? And (3) did you know that if your ticket says South Terminal, your flight probably isn't leaving from North Terminal? Groan.

Vegetable Lasagne

Vegetable Lasagne
I haven't posted a recipe, or um, anything really for a while, so I have finally kicked myself into action and written down this super Vegetarian Recipe. We had the lovely Heloise staying with us for a week (a French student who is learning English) and she is mostly vegetarian, so I came up with this deelicious lasagne. Now don't you go turning up your nose, this is REALLY good. Even people who wouldn't normally eat this type of thing thought it was great so pull yourself together!

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.)

Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Blood Sausage / Black Pudding / Blutwurst

Warm red cabbage with apples and no blood sausage
I clearly remember the first time my Granny said she was having black pudding for supper. I asked her what it was and she said it was made from blood. Well, I just about threw up and seriously questioned her mental health for a long time. What does pudding have to do with blood, I still ask, but even Wikipedia didn't go into the origin of the name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_pudding . Do you perhaps know why it's called a pudding?

Pork chops baked with chutney

The pork baked to perfection
My mate Jane has asked for recipes using chutney as she keeps getting bottles of the stuff as gifts (sorry about that!) and doesn’t know what to do with it. I’ve come up with loads of recipes as I make soooooo much chutney and (short of giving it to Jane) I had to come up with uses for it. Should you be doing nothing this festive season, you will find me at various Christmas markets around the Gers with piles of Barbie dolls clothes (don’t ask) and yes, you guessed, chutney…

Ackee and Salt fish (Jamaican)

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

Szegediner Gulasch (Pork sauerkraut goulasch)

Szegediner Gulasch (Pork sauerkraut goulasch)
This is generally a recipe that we eat in the winter time, but the weather has been so awful and so unusually cold that we have (thankfully) been forced to enjoy this in the summertime. I am less strict about summer and winter food than my hubby and am quite capable of eating a vindaloo curry at the absolute height of summer (that we would be so lucky). We do try to eat seasonal fruit and veg, but sauerkraut in a tin doesn’t seem to follow any season…