Luminous but not clear…

The late sum­mer heat in Vir­gin­ia is densely, oppress­ively humid. I wore the weath­er like a set of heavy, unfa­mil­i­ar clothes and, unused to such bru­tal tem­per­at­ures, rose at dawn in search of a calm­ing, sooth­ing breeze. Walk­ing along the river bank before the sun appeared, Nor­man Maclean’s beau­ti­fully evoc­at­ive words in A River Runs Through It floated into my mind: ‘At sun­rise everything is lumin­ous but not clear.’

The con­stant, cool­ing pres­ence of the river in Vir­gin­ia tem­pers even the most bru­tal of days, and the heat of the sun is mod­i­fied by the warmth of the wel­come. Home-made dough­nuts, pan­cakes, iced tea, corn hush pup­pies, pulled pork bar­be­cue — I was over­whelmed by gen­er­os­ity.

Like som­brer­os, castanets and spor­rans, South­ern pulled pork isn’t as con­vin­cing in an Oxford­shire garden as it was at the end of a dock on a Vir­gini­an river. So I’ve devised my Oxford ver­sion in trib­ute to the people I met and the food that I ate with my feet trail­ing in the river and the sun beat­ing down on my head.

OXFORD PULLED PORK WITH CARAMELISED ONIONS

This is a two-part recipe. Eat it first as roast pork with crispy roast pota­toes and then eat what’s left as a pulled pork sand­wich with car­a­mel­ised onions. This is not the kind of pork that you slice effi­ciently into neat pieces. Shoulder of pork, cooked slowly, will col­lapse into deli­cious, but sham­bol­ic shreds and shards.

Serves 4

  • 2kg pork shoulder, bone still in (I’ve tried it without the bone and it’s nowhere near so good)
  • 2 tea­spoons fen­nel seed
  • 2 medi­um car­rots
  • 2 sticks cel­ery
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 onions
  • Large hand­ful of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head gar­lic
  • season­ing
  • Half bottle white wine
  • Red­cur­rant jelly
  • Bal­sam­ic vin­eg­ar
  • Half litre veget­able stock

Pre­heat the oven to 220 degrees C. Rub the skin of the pork shoulder with salt and place it in a met­al bak­ing tray that’s only just a little lar­ger than  the meat. If you use a tin that’s too large, the veget­ables you place in it later will burn.

Cook for 30 minutes, to allow the skin to start crisp­ing up. Remove from the oven, turn­ing the heat down to 150 degrees C at the same time. Allow the meat to cool for a couple of minutes and then remove tem­por­ar­ily from the tin. Build up a mat­tress of car­rots, cel­ery, leeks, fen­nel seeds, bay leaves, onions and gar­lic in the same tin, top­ping the pile with the fresh thyme. Place the meat on top of the mat­tress. Pour in the white wine and put the tin back in the cool­er oven. Cook gently for around four hours, top­ping up the liquid with water, if the tin starts to dry out and the veget­ables to burn. You may need to cov­er it with tin foil dur­ing cook­ing, if there’s a risk of burn­ing.

Remove the pork and make a jus with the juices in the pan. Care­fully spoon off any fat, but keep the veget­ables in the tin. With the tin on the hob, stir in a little more white wine to deglaze it. Add the veget­able stock, red­cur­rant jelly and bal­sam­ic vin­eg­ar and bubble up. Check the season­ing and strain the jus into a jug.

Serve with roast pota­toes, the crack­ling, spin­ach and steamed cour­gettes. Try to make sure you save enough pork for the fol­low­ing day.

NEXT-DAY PULLED PORK SANDWICH WITH CARAMELISED ONIONS.

Car­a­mel­ised Onions — makes 2 to 3 servings

  • 2 white onions
  • 1 tea­spoon fen­nel seeds
  • Half tea­spoon crushed cori­ander seeds
  • Half tea­spoon sug­ar
  • Olive oil
  • Season­ing
  • Black­berry vin­eg­ar

Finely slice the onions. Place in a small pan the olive oil, fen­nel seeds,  crushed cori­ander seeds, sug­ar, salt and black pep­per. Cook as gently as you can man­age for around an hour. If the onions start to catch, add a little water. When the onions have col­lapsed and melted, remove from the heat and add two tea­spoons of black­berry vin­eg­ar. The vin­eg­ar, which adds a fruity sharp­ness, is also a ges­ture to South­ern pulled pork, which has vin­eg­ar stirred into it.

Warm through some rus­tic rolls, pile in a heap of peashoots and salad leaves dressed with lem­on vinai­grette, fol­lowed by a mound of warmed pulled pork and a spoon­ful of car­a­mel­ised onions.

Nor­man Maclean, whose writ­ing has a beau­ti­ful bal­ance and heft to it, had a mar­vel­lous sense of the moment. He under­stood that some frag­ment­ary shreds of time have more lumin­os­ity to them than oth­ers. Eat­ing pulled pork as the river trailed past me was one of those moments when ‘life… becomes literature—not for long, of course, but long enough to be what we best remem­ber, and often enough so that what we even­tu­ally come to mean by life are those moments when life, instead of going side­ways, back­wards, for­ward, or nowhere at all, lines out straight, tense and inev­it­able.’

That day, life did indeed become lit­er­at­ure. But the sun rises too soon by the river bank in Vir­gin­ia. The lilac light eases into pink and a blue her­on rises into the sky. It’s time to renew the war of attri­tion with the sun once again.

If You are engaged in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the time to do so. So the next mat­ter is where can you find data that is reli­able. You can get such info fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop­u­lar medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly every adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men include lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good hearti­ness, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor forth­with for a com­plete med­ic­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

Review: The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert

Eggs On The Roof Reviews

 

The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert

Pub­lished by Blooms­bury

Septem­ber 2012 — Price £35.00

When Paula Wolfert states unashamedly that her book is full of ‘pre­vi­ously uncol­lec­ted’ recipes rather than brand new ones, you know you’re in the hands of an expert. The Food of Morocco is the res­ult of Paula’s fifty years of research and, rather than fea­tur­ing showy twists and fancy trills on his­tor­ic recipes or start­ling com­bin­a­tions of tra­di­tion­al ingredi­ents, it’s a glor­i­ous and exhaust­ive com­pen­di­um of cen­tur­ies-old Moroc­can cook­ing. To give you an idea of its heft, it was delivered to me, not in a pad­ded envel­ope, but in a large card­board box.

I doubt I’ll ever get through all her recipes — in fact, I fully intend to avoid some of them. Spiced Brain Salad with Pre­served Lem­ons or Liv­er and Olive Salad, sound ter­ri­fy­ing. I will how­ever, be try­ing the ingeni­ous recipe for  war­qa pastry, which comes with pen and ink draw­ings to explain the meth­od.

As a long-time fan of the writ­ing of Paul Bowles, I can’t wait to make the recipe for Chick­en Tagine with Prunes and Almonds in the Style of the Rif Moun­tains. Wolfert heard about the dish from mem­bers of the ‘Tangi­er lit­er­ary set’. The Moroc­can writer Mohammed Mra­bet had cooked it for them, but des­pite all their attempts to describe it to her, Wolfert couldn’t get the recipe right. ‘Finally Paul Bowles, who had dis­covered and trans­lated Mra­bet, recalled the meas­ure­ments for me from memory’. A recipe whose labyrinth­ine path took it from Tangi­er, via Mra­bet, trans­lated by the great Paul Bowles, is as appeal­ing to me as any­thing I’ve ever cooked in my life.

As the own­er of three slightly unpre­dict­able quince trees, I’m delighted to find a book with so many quince recipes. Chick­en with Car­a­mel­ised Quinces and Toasted Wal­nuts sounds and looks exquis­ite, as does Lamb Tagine with Quinces from Mar­rakech. Wolfert’s stun­ning col­lec­tion also includes an Avo­cado and Date Milk Shake, which is worth try­ing for its oddity alone. I intend to cook from this book for years.

The Food of Morocco radi­ates integ­rity, schol­ar­ship and expert­ise. It shim­mers with Wolfert’s pas­sion for her sub­ject. It’s so detailed that it should really be turned into a PhD thes­is, but it also has a huge sense of romance and fun. When read­ing a book for the first time, I always look at the acknow­ledge­ments page. Authors often reveal their true char­ac­ters when they thank — or don’t thank — those that have helped them. Any writer who pays a spe­cial trib­ute to ‘the snail wran­glers of Sonoma and Napa’ — a group of Wolfert’s friends who attemp­ted to col­lect enough snails for her to make Mar­rakech Snail Soup — is ok by me. The soup may have been dis­astrous, but the exper­i­ence was a tri­umph — in oth­er words, it demon­strates the per­fect atti­tude to life. Just because some­thing doesn’t work, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worth doing.

If You are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the time to do so. So the next mat­ter is where can you find info that is reli­able. You can get such info fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop phys­ic is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly every adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men turn on lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good sound­ness, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied phys­i­cian forth­with for a com­plete medi­cin­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

Aggregating Marginal Gains

I’ve just got back from a fas­cin­at­ing trip to Scot­land. Amongst oth­er things, it involved stum­bling around in a forest in the rain with a woolly scarf tied round my eyes so  that I could learn how to describe the tex­ture and scent of sod­den trees without turn­ing to tired old visu­al meta­phors. I was also able to start using  my new favour­ite phrase.

Aggreg­ate the mar­gin­al gains’ is the phrase coined by Brit­ish Cycling’s Per­form­ance Dir­ect­or Dave Brails­ford to define why Brad­ley Wig­gins and his fel­low GB cyc­lists put in such aston­ish­ing per­form­ances at Le Tour de France and in the Olympic Velo­drome. In oth­er words, take a pinch of enhanced hel­met tech­no­logy, a dash of improved diet, a scat­ter­ing of bet­ter bike frames and a twist of new sports psy­cho­logy; add them all up and in com­bin­a­tion those minus­cule improve­ments, those ‘mar­gin­al gains’ will add up to more than the sum of their parts. it’s per­fect for any­one oth­er than the Usain Bolts of this world, for whom tiny improve­ments in per­form­ance are utterly point­less.

In that damp Scot­tish forest, wear­ing a blind­fold and trip­ping over my boot laces, my mar­gin­al gains were as fol­lows: I didn’t break my leg, I learned that Scot­tish midges are fero­cious and I dis­covered pre­vi­ously unthought of vocab­u­lary for describ­ing knobbly tree bark.

Now that I’ve star­ted liv­ing by MGM — the mar­gin­al gains man­tra — I’ve star­ted apply­ing it to everything. Includ­ing din­ner. Take, for example, my pre­vi­ous post about beet­root-cured gravad­lax. Deli­cious though it is, a full 700g of bright red fish turned out to be more than I really wanted to eat. So, aggreg­at­ing my mar­gin­al gains, I turned my left-over Scot­tish sal­mon into some­thing alto­geth­er new. It became din­ner for six people at a cost of about £1 per head. If I keep on aggreg­at­ing my mar­gin­al gains like this, who knows what could hap­pen?

BEETROOT-CURED GRAVADLAX BAKED WITH SPINACH, CHEDDAR AND CREAMY CHEESE SAUCE

Cooked gravad­lax may sound per­verse, but trust me, it’s fant­ast­ic. It’s hard to be pre­cise about quant­it­ies, because it depends on how much gravad­lax you have left over. This, how­ever, is the meth­od and you can simply vary the quant­it­ies accord­ing to how many are com­ing for din­ner.

Boil some peeled, floury pota­toes, such as Mar­is Piper. When just about done, but not over­cooked, cut them into thick­ish slices. Lay­er the pota­toes in an oven-proof dish, fol­lowed by a lay­er of very finely sliced raw onions. If you don’t slice them very finely, they won’t have time to cook prop­erly. Next, add a scat­ter­ing of sliced gravad­lax and then a lay­er of wil­ted and well drained spin­ach. Repeat the potato, onion and gravad­lax com­bin­a­tion and end with a final lay­er of pota­toes. Make a roux with but­ter and flour and then whisk in enough hot milk to make a smooth, silky sauce. Add a little grated cheese, sea­son with salt and pep­per and add a bay leaf. Pour the sauce over the lay­ers so that it seeps down to the bot­tom of dish and just coats the top lay­er of potato. Sprinkle a good hand­ful of grated ched­dar cheese on top and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for 25 minutes. Serve with a green salad — onto which you have, or have not, scattered some edible flowers.

You may well find that one of the mar­gin­al gains is that your guests like it so much that they ask for seconds, fol­lowed by thirds. My daugh­ter did. In fact, she would have had fourths,  but there was none left.

If You are con­cerned in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the date to do so. So the next mat­ter is where can you find info that is reli­able. You can get such inform­a­tion fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly every adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men include lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good sound­ness, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor forth­with for a com­plete med­ic test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

Just How Pink Can You Get?

It’s easi­er to see how bril­liant Charles Dick­ens is by read­ing a less­er rival. Just as it’s sim­pler to appre­ci­ate home by going away, silence by listen­ing to Sir Paul McCart­ney and freshly caught fish by eat­ing tinned tuna. For that reas­on here are some pink/crimson/red things eaten and enjoyed in my house in the past couple of days. All of them were delight­ful, but none comes close in start­ling pink­ness to what I have in store for you in a moment.

Maybe the beet­root gave the game away. I’ve just made sear­ingly pink beet­root-cured gravad­lax which takes the pinko­met­er into new zones on the dial. As the May­or of Lon­don Bor­is John­son might have said, ‘pink-omania is about to go zoink.’

BEETROOT CURED GRAVADLAX

There are vari­ous com­bin­a­tions of ingredi­ents that work well, but this is how I like it best:

  • 600 — 700g sal­mon fil­let
  • 300g raw beet­root, peeled and roughly grated
  • 100g sea salt flakes
  • 90g sug­ar
  • A few turns of freshly ground black pep­per
  • Freshly grated horseradish — about 40g
  • 1 bunch of dill, chopped
  • Zest of one lem­on
  • 50ml gin

You can leave the skin on, or remove it. It’s really up to you. Com­bine all the ingredi­ents in a bowl and mix well. Tip half the beet­root mix­ture onto an oval plate just a little bit big­ger than the fish and then place the sal­mon on top, mak­ing sure the under­side is com­pletely covered. A plastic con­tain­er would also work, although you may find it dif­fi­cult to remove the pink stains later! Use the remain­ing beet­root mix­ture to cov­er the top of the fish. Cov­er the whole lot with a double lay­er of cling film and place weights on the top — I use anoth­er plate with a few tins stacked on it. Put the fish in the fridge and after 24 hours it will be ready. Wash off all the cur­ing ingredi­ents, pat the fish dry and then slice and eat. I like to serve it with a little thick nat­ur­al yoghurt into which I’ve grated some more fresh horseradish, along with some salt and pep­per.

It will keep in the fridge, covered, for around a week.

 

If You are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the day to do so. So the next prob­lem is where can you find inform­a­tion that is reli­able. You can get such info fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop­u­lar medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly every adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men turn on lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good health, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc imme­di­ately for a com­plete med­ic test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

The Art of Fugue Soup

If osso bucco is a com­plex sym­phony, baked alaska is a frivol­ous oper­etta and a jam dough­nut is a song by Cliff Richard, then a bowl of fine soup is a fugue. The best soup unites ingredi­ents that act beau­ti­fully togeth­er; sep­ar­ate but always enhan­cing and echo­ing each oth­er, just like a fugue.

As I write this, I’m listen­ing to Bach’s The Art of Fugue. It’s a piece of music I can listen to end­lessly and often do. My fugue soup is the per­fect accom­pani­ment — and very sat­is­fy­ingly it’s not just fugal but frugal.

The only essen­tial thing about this soup is that it should be cooked so lightly as to keep its bright green hue — khaki veget­able soup is more requiem than fugue. But you can vary the ingredi­ents depend­ing on the sea­son. That way your soup will be both dif­fer­ent and the same, as is a fugue.

 FUGUE SOUP

Serves 4

  • 2 litres veget­able stock
  • 200g pod­ded or frozen petit pois
  • 200g broad beans
  • 2 medi­um cour­gettes, cut into small dice
  • 200g fine asparagus
  • 1 clove gar­lic, finely sliced
  •  4 spring onions or scal­lions, chopped finely
  • Hand­ful herb flowers such as thyme or chive
  • Hand­ful chopped chives
  • Hand­ful torn basil
  • 2 table­spoons olive oil
  • Season­ing

Bring the stock to a sim­mer. Add the broad beans and blanch for 4 minutes. Remove with a slot­ted spoon and put aside in a bowl. When cool, peel off the leath­ery skins and dis­card. With the stock still at a sim­mer, add the asparagus and one of the diced cour­gettes to the liquid and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove these veget­ables too and put aside. Add the peas. Blanch for no more than 1 minute if they’re frozen and 3 minutes if they’re fresh, before remov­ing and once again put­ting to one side. Reserve the stock.

In a small fry­ing pan, gently heat the chopped spring onions and gar­lic in the olive oil. Allow to soften but not to brown. Add the second diced cour­gette to the fry­ing pan and allow it to soften too. Tip the onions, gar­lic and cour­gette mix­ture into the stock and cook gently for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add half the blanched peas and heat for a fur­ther minute. The cour­gettes and peas should still be bright green — it’s cru­cial not to over­cook the soup and thereby allow shades of com­bat trousers to enter the spec­trum. Pro­cess with a stick blender in the pan until smooth. Just before serving, tip in all the remain­ing blanched veget­ables that you put to one side at the start. Sea­son to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls in which you have placed some shred­ded fresh basil leaves. Top with a hand­ful of chopped chives and some herb flowers.

Eat while listen­ing to my favour­ite per­form­ance of The Art of Fugue, by the Rus­si­an pian­ist Rustem Hayroud­inoff. It’s the ver­sion chosen by nov­el­ist Vikram Seth for the CD that he com­piled to accom­pany his exquis­ite music­al nov­el An Equal Music. So in true fugal coun­ter­point, you can eat fugue soup, while listen­ing to the The Art of Fugue and read­ing about The Art of Fugue at the same time. What could pos­sibly be more fugal?

If You are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the date to do so. So the next mat­ter is where can you find inform­a­tion that is reli­able. You can get such info fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop­u­lar medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly either adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men include lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good health, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor instantly for a com­plete medi­cin­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

Review: Polpo by Russell Norman

Eggs On The Roof Reviews

Polpo by Rus­sell Nor­man

Pho­to­graphed by Jenny Zar­ins

Pub­lished by Blooms­bury, July 2012

Price £25.00

Polpo’s food, in its res­taur­ants and in this book, is so stripped back as to be almost inde­cent. Eat at Polpo and you will be served Vene­tian-style cichèti, or small snacks and plates of food, with simple china, no lin­en and very little cut­lery. Even the lux­ury that Lon­don­ers have come to expect of being able to book a table, has been sliced away in Rus­sell Norman’s mania for sim­pli­city. Polpo’s first cook­ery book includes all the clas­sic recipes that smit­ten cus­tom­ers love and expect: Anchovy & Chick­pea Crostini; Fritto Misto; Pan­zan­ella.

Pan­zan­ella pho­to­graphed by Jenny Zar­ins

Amongst the hun­dreds of cook­ery books in my col­lec­tion, just about every style, cat­egory, meth­od and region of food is covered. Or that’s what I thought. But with the arrival of Polpo, I real­ised that I’d been lack­ing some­thing… a post­mod­ern cook­ery book.

If you’ve been read­ing Eggs On The Roof for a while, you’ll know I have a weak­ness for the post­mod­ern. Post­mod­ern­ism plus food would, you’d think, be an abso­lute win­ner as far as I’m con­cerned. And you’d be right. But how does Polpo show off its post­mod­ern status? The answer is, on its spine. Rus­sell Nor­man has taken his pas­sion for reduc­tion to new post­mod­ern heights and stripped away the book’s out­er spine too, to reveal its decon­struc­ted, stitched and glued interi­or.

Show-off post­mod­ern­ism for its own sake is tedi­ous. It wrecks its ori­gin­al inten­tions and becomes merely tedi­ous pos­tur­ing. But this is where Nor­man and his pub­lish­ers have been so clev­er. The sub­vers­ive act of strip­ping away the book’s spine makes this the very first cook­ery book I’ve ever owned that sits entirely flat on the table when it’s opened. And that makes it a joy to use.

Pho­to­graph­er: Jenny Zar­ins

The recipes are as spare and simple as the ideo­logy behind them. Typ­ic­ally, as a former Eng­lish teach­er, Rus­sell Nor­man turns to lit­er­at­ure to encap­su­late that eth­os. “We have a rule that a dish is ready to be put on the menu only when we have taken out as many ingredi­ents as pos­sible. As Ant­oine de Saint-Exupéry said: ‘Per­fec­tion is achieved not when there is noth­ing to add, but when there is noth­ing left to take away.’”

I rev­elled in recipes with only three or four ingredi­ents, in com­bin­a­tions that require no cook­ing, in fresh ingredi­ents that seem to have gone on a blind date, intro­duced them­selves to each oth­er on the plate and found per­fect har­mony. This is simple cook­ing at its best: Grissini, Pickled Radic­chio & Salami; Rock­et & Wal­nut Pesto Crostini; Pizz­etta Bianca; Pros­ciutto & But­ter­nut Squash With Ricotta Sal­ata.

Broad Bean, Mint & Ricotta Bruschette pho­to­graphed by Jenny Zar­ins

Warm Octopus Salad pho­to­graphed by Jenny Zar­ins

So is this book, are these recipes, too simple to mer­it all the fuss? Abso­lutely not. To bor­row anoth­er phrase from Ant­oine de Saint-Exupéry, as the fox tells Le Petit Prince, ‘It is the time you have devoted to your rose that makes your rose so import­ant.’ It’s the time that Rus­sell Nor­man and head chef Tom Oldroyd have devoted to their pas­sion for remov­ing things that makes the remov­ing of those things so import­ant.

If You are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the when to do so. So the next mat­ter is where can you find info that is reli­able. You can get such info fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop­u­lar medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly each adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men include lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good sound­ness, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor imme­di­ately for a com­plete med­ic­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

If Only Hemingway Had Drunk Sherry

At this time of year cock­tails in the garden have a glam­or­ous appeal, even if they neces­sit­ate coats, boots and gloves. My new favour­ite ingredi­ent for a cock­tail is sherry, for far too long a com­edy drink. Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe and Benito Pérez Galdós all wrote about sherry; the Poet Laur­eate gets paid in the stuff. But des­pite all their best efforts, sherry has remained fatally tied to the likes of the repressed and punc­tili­ous Mr Banks from Mary Pop­pins who drank a glass of sherry each night at 6.02pm pre­cisely.

Sherry’s struggle to be cool has been dam­aged too by the abom­in­able schoon­er glass. Shaped like a dis­mal 1970s bell­bot­tom trouser leg and with a stumpy little stem, it’s as far from cool as left is from right. I should say, though, that even the dread­ful schoon­er is prefer­able to the glass I was once served sherry in. The cir­cu­lar base of the ugly, mis­ted glass had snapped off, leav­ing only a spike at the bot­tom. ‘There’s a pot-plant on the win­dow-sill’, the parsi­mo­ni­ous host­ess said. ‘If you want to put the glass down, just stick it in the bou­gain­villea.’

If only someone dan­ger­ously trans­gress­ive like Ern­est Hem­ing­way had drunk sherry. If he’d been known to growl ‘Bring me a sherry on the rocks, and make it snappy’, things could have been so dif­fer­ent over the long, lean years of sherry’s 20th Cen­tury. But all that is start­ing to change. Vodka is on the wane and sherry is sud­denly the Fiat 500 of the drinks world. Less alco­hol­ic, more retro and infin­itely more desir­able.

I’ve just been sent a bottle of Har­veys Bris­tol Cream, now pack­aged in a dis­tinct­ive blue glass bottle. Its rich, round, sweet taste is per­fect for a sum­mer cock­tail, even if the prom­ise such a drink holds of long, lan­guor­ous sun-lit even­ings is end­lessly snatched from us by gran­ite-grey skies. I love the the­at­ric­al­ity of cock­tails; the mix­ing, the shak­ing, the twizz­ling and the whole fan­dango. My cre­ation is called Hemingway’s Neo­lo­gism because it’s a drink he nev­er encountered and would most likely have turned his nose up at. But my bet is that he would have loved it, if the rum and whisky hadn’t fin­ished him off first. And if he’d stuck to the low-alco­hol count of Hemingway’s Neo­lo­gism he would nev­er have needed to say ‘Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.’

The trick with cock­tails is to make the ice-cubes out of a com­pon­ent of the cock­tail itself. As the cubes melt you simply get more fla­vour, rather than a watered down ver­sion of what you star­ted with. In this case, I made chubby ice-rolos out of pomegranate juice.

HEMINGWAY’S NEOLOGISM

  • I part chilled Har­veys Bris­tol Cream
  • 2 parts pomegranate juice
  • 3 parts chilled ginger ale
  • Hand­ful of pomegranate ice cubes
  • Sprig of mint

Com­bine all the ingredi­ents and pour into long glasses.

I wish I could pour you a glass of Hemingway’s Neo­lo­gism per­son­ally. But since I can’t, I’m serving you a syn­aes­thet­ic vir­tu­al drink instead. Stare at this alli­um for a count of five and it will startle your senses in the same way that the actu­al drink would. Sherry’s new role as a drink so sharp you could slice a loaf with it, suits it so much bet­ter than a schoon­er ever did. Like Willy Wonka’s square sweets that looked round, sherry is now a cold drink that’s sud­denly hot. Mr Banks would hate it.

If You are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the peri­od to do so. So the next ques­tion is where can you find data that is reli­able. You can get such inform­a­tion fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop medi­cine is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly every adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men include lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good health, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied phys­i­cian imme­di­ately for a com­plete medi­cin­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.