Saturday, 25 October 2014

October 2014 Favourites List

What happened to Summer! Almost as soon as the September calendar page came off to reveal October, the season changed here in the UK! The temperature has dropped... and so has the rain!

Time for me to dig out the socks, boots and scarves, that's for sure!

Last October's Favourites List included some spooky bakes and cakes from Konditor & Cook and the fun I had going to see one of my favourite musicians, Johnny Marr. It therefore seems fitting that this month I have been fortunate enough to see the man play live twice; at Maida Vale and at Southend Cliffs Pavilion. Johnny has been touring his new second solo album Playland this month around the UK with European dates, a US tour and an Australian tour to follow.

I have written previously here about how Jimi Hendrix is still my all time ultimate guitarist. But he is no longer with us, and people need living heroes. 

Johnny Marr is a tremendous guitar hero of mine. His style is utterly unique, melding techniques, chords and sounds from funk, folk, and rock. He invented the sound of indie guitar music back in the 1980s by refusing to use distortion, solos, blues scales or blues chord progressions. His "clean" guitar sound, mixed with arpeggio melody picking and intricate sparkling riffs became the sound so many bands and guitar players have sought to emulate. His guitar parts sound simple, but are deceptively complex, often with strong melodic elements creating a song within a song. 

They say "never meet your heroes". I couldn't disgree more. But then, when your hero is a consummate musician, down to earth living legend and all round gentleman, I guess disappointment was highly unlikely. I can honestly say that meeting Johnny was one of the most memorable and exciting experiences of my life. Thank you very much, Mr Marr!

I hope you enjoy this selection of things which have kept me occupied during the month of October. 



Mmmmmm.... Moussaka! Skillet moussaka by Simon Majumdar:

A thick and rustic vegetarian soup with a little dash of luxury; mushroom barley soup with truffle oil:

Jo Romero's speedy weekday pasta supper, can be gluten free or regular pasta:
Johnny rocking out at Southend Cliffs Pavilion

For the beginning of the new academic year - budget conscious student recipes for low carb meals:

Uzbek Plov is a dish that apparently Nixon would not leave Uzbekistan without the recipe for... curious? Here it is:

The last of the sweetcorn is still available! Grilled sweetcorn with a twist, by Nigel Slater:
A bibimbap and bulgogi to use up your leftover veg:

A Cuban classic minced beef stew, Picadilo, with chopped tomatoes and chorizo:
Johnny Marr at Southend Cliffs Pavilion

Articles/Know How:

Interesting thoughts on how to cook more creatively and become less dependent on recipes:

Want to know where Indian foodies go to get their spice fix? Read this (by the brilliant Zoe, AKA The Spice Scribe):

Guide to UK seasonal ingredients:

As the first term continues, here are some ideas for packed lunches which are an alternative to boring, soggy sandwiches:


The Social Network


Later With Jools Holland

BBC Radio 6 Music Live From Maida Vale (sessions from Johnny Marr, James, La Roux, First Aid Kit and Underworld)

Johnny and the band at Maida Vale

Johnny Marr - Playland (of course!)

Jon Hopkins - Immunity

The Rumour Said Fire - Dead Ends

Childhood - Lacuna

Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.

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