Chickeninnabasket à la Hana



Looks fancy-schmancy, is actually ridiculously easy to make. Want a dish to impress dinner guests (or one special person)? Do you want to spoil yourself with a delicious blend of textures, flavours and aroma? Try this ..

Tart in Ymbre Day (Cheese and Onion Tart)

Take and perboile oynouns & erbis & presse out (th)e water & hewe hem smale. Take grene chese & bray it in a morter, and temper it up with ayren. Do (th)erto butter, safroun & salt, & raisouns corauns, & a litel sugur with powdour douce, & bake it in a trap, & serve it forth.

~ Forme of Cury circa 1390

Tart in Ymbre Day

Tart in Ymbre Day

Prior to the 1530’s, England was staunchly Roman Catholic, with all the trappings and rituals of that faith. Even after Henry VIII took control of his own marital affairs (and became a whole lot richer) by appointing himself the Head of the Church of England, Saints’ Festivals, Feasts and Fasts were observed.”Ember Days” were days in the liturgical calendar when the eating of meat was forbidden, but eggs and cheese were acceptable. As a result there are dozens (if not hundreds) of regional variations on this simple tart, the earliest recorded examples dating to the mid 15th century. I have taken two of these medieval recipes¹, sort of mashed them together, added my own twist and produced .. this.

Super Cheaty Apple Berry Flan


Apple Berry Flan

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The onset of the Silly Season brings all sorts of pressures, not the least of which revolve around food. What to buy, what to serve, what to take to the many functions that cluster around the end of the year. Don’t kid yourself, “bring a plate” has become a full contact sport, with no quarter given. Celebrity chefs and gourmet outlets spruke all sorts of exotic delicacies to help you “win” .. at a price. Sod that. This dessert manages to look stunning and taste delicious while being super cheaty to make. Fast, fool proof and won’t bankrupt you .. the only real difficulty is get it there without eating it on the way 🙂

Green Eggs and Ham

Deluxe Green Eggs and Ham

Deluxe Green Eggs and Ham

In my line of work I meet people who face daily challenges that would leave many of us gibbering in a corner. “Good” days are good, but a “bad” day is a dark and terrible place. The bravest thing I have seen anyone do was claw their way out of that pit, in the face of unspeakable pain .. so that they could get out of bed and take a shower. Ever felt totally helpless? Watch someone do something like that knowing that you can get them out of bed, but they have to get out of the dark place by themselves and the best you can hope for is that a smile might show them the direction to climb.

The lady in the wheelchair was having a “bad” day and my own throbbing headache was making it hard for me to engage in our usual banter. Indeed I was finding it hard to concentrate at all, so I accidentally added way more basil cashew pesto than I had intended to the cobbled-together omelette I made her for breakfast. She looked quizzically at the plate as I put it down. “It’s green” she said. “Should it be this green?”