It’s March and my students are in the middle of their study leave. Earlier this week they took an important exam in ethics. Study leave means no classes, but it doesn’t mean I’ve been idle. Assessment season is upon us, and it is time to get the red pen out and knuckle down to some serious marking.
Assessments and exams are such a cause of stress, it makes me feel for my students. It’s a time of tribulation and tension. Sometimes the will to go on, the motivation to keep studying and striving can escape you.
But Spring is doing its best to make its presence known, in amongst the cold, chilly days. Flowers are blooming and the days are perceptibly longer… It is easier to be hopeful. The green shoots, the yellow daffodils, the young vibrant new life bring a feeling of freshness. Nature’s renewal, will, I hope, give my students some cheer and some inspiration.
This month’s pictures are some of the beautiful Summer flowers of South Africa; agapanthus, proteas, among others. I always find that the colours and textures of flowers are a mood booster. Their endless variety are remarkable and wonderful. Whatever it is that lifts your spirit when times are tough; find it, and give yourself that little boost. Small things can make a big difference; your favourite food, your favourite song, a quick chat with a loved one. Keeping going is what you need to do. Help yourself to achieve it.
Inspired by the flavours and ingredients of the Far East, a speedy Sea bass and herby noodle salad. http://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/sea-bass-with-noodle-salad/14411.html
The EDL fell for a spoof story of a bakery supposedly not putting an X on Hot Cross Buns to avoid offending other cultures. Can a story about ignorant bigots inspire some fabulous baking? Baking which celebrates our brilliant diversity? For Kavey, such things come naturally! A super blog post I had to share! http://www.kaveyeats.com/2016/03/kaveys-hot-multicultural-buns.html
The classic take away dish made at home. Pad Thai. (You can substitute prawns or tofu, too!) http://littlespicejar.com/easy-chicken-pad-thai/
A cool old school steak pie recipe I found, although I'm highly likely to cheat and use shop-bought pastry. (Don't judge me!) http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3148692/dads-beef-mushroom-and-mustard-pies
An unusual tray-bake supper dish of chicken and rhubarb to bring in Spring: http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recipes/chicken-with-baked-rhubarb
Observer Food Monthly has collected together 20 best pasta recipes. This first part includes Angela Hartnett's pasta dough, and a Sicilian pasta dish from Giorgio Locatelli: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/29/20-best-pasta-recipes-part-1-ofm-angela-hartnett-giorgio-locatelli
The second instalment of Observer Food Monthly's top 20 pasta recipes, Elizabeth David's hare ragu, a pasta salad, Angela Hartnett's fennel rigatoni. Varied and diverse use of wonderful pasta! http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/01/20-best-pasta-recipes-part-2-ofm-elizabeth-david-tagliatelle-lasagne
Seafood linguine, bucatini carbonara, clam linguine, oxtail peirogi and a pasta puttanesca. Part 3 of the Observer Food Monthly collection of 20 best pasta recipes. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/02/20-best-pasta-recipes-part-3-spaghetti-linguine-sam-harris-anna-del-conte
Don't fear Ladies' Fingers (Okra), I know they are a bit slimy when you cut them, but they're delicious! http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/bhinda-fries-crispy-okra-chips/
Double baking joy from Cookwitch Lisa - a blood orange, almond and pistachio cake PLUS Ras Al Hanout cakes: http://www.cookwitch.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/blood-orange-almond-and-pistachio-cake.html
Diana Henry's recipe for Vietnamese style pork meatball banh mi: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/recipes/pork-meatball-bahn-mi/
Another Diana Henry meatball recipe, this time inspired by Turkish and Persian food. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/recipes/yogurt-soup-with-spiced-lamb-meatballs/
The third and final Diana Henry meatball recipe; a Mexican beef meatball dish you can tweak by adding beans to. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/recipes/mexican-meatballs-with-chipotle-tomato-sauce/
Where to get great Indian street food in London: http://thefoodiediaries.co/2015/07/01/indian-street-food-in-ldn/
Around the world in 40 dumplings... how many of these have you tried? (Shamelessly stolen from Mimi of Meemalee's Kitchen) http://www.saveur.com/around-the-world-in-dumplings
What gets your goat about recipes and cook books? Lots of things which ring true here. But for me, the number one unforgivable sin is not telling us clearly at the top of a recipe a stage such as soaking or marinading which is required either overnight or for more than an hour. AAARRRGGGHHH!! http://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/20-things-we-hate-seeing-in-recipes-article
Lisa Cookwitch has reviewed last week's amazing visit to Asma Khan's Darjeeling Express pop up at The Sun And 13 Cantons in London's Soho. http://cookwitch.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/taking-darjeeling-express.html
What you might have missed at Snig's Kitchen:
Seafood curry laksa, a Peranakan classic recipe from Ekachai: http://snigskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/seafood-curry-laksa-by-ekachai.html
Luiz Hara, AKA The London Foodie has put together a beautiful, innovative cookbook of his native Nikkei cuisine. It is a rare cookbook of quality, accuracy and helpfulness. Read my full review at Snig's Kitchen: http://snigskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/nikkei-by-luiz-hara-cookbook-review.html
Live review - Bill Ryder-Jones at London's Scala. http://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/140690593939/bill-ryder-jones-london-scala-3rd-march-2016
Live review and pictures of Beach Baby's show at London's Scala in support of Bill Ryder-Jones. http://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/140686064404/beach-baby-supporting-bill-ryder-jones-scala
Forget Me Not
The Sound Of Song
The Beatles – Revolver
Bill Ryder-Jones – West Kirby County Primary
Kurt Vile - B'lieve I'm Goin’ (Deep) Down... (Special Edition of B'lieve I'm Goin Down…)
Black Uhuru - Red
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.