Thursday, 26 May 2016

May 2016 Favourites List

May in Britain is a wonderful month! Trees spring into blossom, green leaves make their presence known. Spring flowers give us a hint of the colour and vibrancy to come in Summer. Even on slightly chilly days I am reminded by the colours of the blooms, by the longer daylight hours and the sense of joy which Spring brings to be content; even in the event of needing a scarf to warm me. After all, it wasn’t long ago, I was basically walking around in a full duvet!

I hope you are feeling the benefit of no longer requiring gloves, hats, mittens and double layers of socks. I am certainly relishing retiring my boots to next Autumn. My lawn is growing faster than I can keep up which delights me in a peculiar way. I feel an amazing joie de vivre brought on by the season and weather. Getting on top of the rapid growth of everything green in my garden will take a little getting used to, but the fact everything is full of life is joyous.

This month’s pictures are of llamas, vicunas and alpacas from my trip to Peru. They are impossibly soft and fluffy creatures with generally good tempers. They produce great quality wool which is used widely in Peru for many types of clothing and bedding. They are pettable, accommodating animals which let me coo and stroke them to the point where their patience became saint like. 

If only I could have brought one home…  I’d have a fluffy pet, devoted friend and perfectly trim lawn in one fell swoop! UK quarantine rules are such an annoyance, or  I would have had my way!

Anyway – enough frivolous ramblings! Onto the main attraction – my month’s worth of handpicked, gorgeous stuff!


Diana Henry with another winner of a recipe; chicken thighs in soy, honey and lime. I love her practical, simple, hugely tasty recipes.
Red peppers (the pointy kind) stuffed with luscious lamb. New recipe post from Cookwitch Lisa:

These are all light, cream-free soups, so I don't see any reason why they can't be enjoyed after Winter!

Pimms with a twist - sweet, beautiful pomegranate!

Super useful - 10 steak sauces you can make quickly and easily.

Just like Indian street vendors serve up, this is how to make chick pea chaat - you can find chaat masala, tamarind chutney and coriander chutney in Indian grocers. Vegetarian, low fat and packed with fibre.

I love coconut rice with Thai food. Here's how to make it at home:

Articles/Know How:

The current fashionable pretence about "good sugar", "bad sugar" is unscientific scaremongering which detracts from what we've known for years; a little of what you fancy does you good and a balanced diet is the key to good health. Angry, passionate, sweary, brilliant reading:
11,000 recipes are hosted on the BBC website. Many of us learned how to cook from them. Many of us added to our repertoire with them. Many of us just love drooling over them. With libraries closing, with no cooking being taught in school, surely a national resource like this should be saved? Please sign. Please share!

What's the fuss about ‪#‎BBCrecipes? The removal of the BBC Food service. Recipes will be moved to BBC Good Food. Is that a problem? Well yes… 'The recipes are being “archived or mothballed”, a source said, and will “fall off the face of the internet” after the food site is closed.

Despite the fact the content already exists, is useful, helps those who can't afford expensive cookbooks, and is a genuine public service, our free BBC food recipes are likely to go. This is a sad loss for food fans, home cooks and those who just want to learn how to cook...

A must read article: Ruby Tandoh on her experiences of "wellness" eating and what is wrong with this craze:

Eat yoghurt, marinade your meat, eat more fibre. Simple, easy, achievable things which could lower your risk of cancer. No fiddly diets or spurious "wellness" or "detox" advice.

Foodies' travel guide to Bangkok. I love Thailand. So much to see and do. Wonderful people. Such fab food!!

Easy fruit preparation. Some are obvious, but watermelon pops and kiwi "barrels" are cool!

I found this via Meemalee's Kitchen's Facebook page. A fascinating memoir of being Prince's on-call private chef. Rest in peace, Prince, you beautiful, talented, quirky, musical genius. Even now, it's hard to believe he's gone.

My favourite annual fundraiser is back - celebrate curry (whether you eat it out or cook it yourself) and help Find Your Feet!

Some very interesting, unusual and kooky cookbooks; historical leaders' fave foods and famous photographers share their recipes. Coming out this month:

A fascinating, opinionated and thought provoking look at the 50 Best Restaurants list:

What you might have missed at Snig's Kitchen:

Speedy Lamb stir fry! Easy, quick, tasty simple. Don't be scared of cooking beautiful tasty lamb at home!

We know Champagne, Prosecco and Cava. Cremant is also made with a second fermentation in the bottle for fizz and bubbles. Who's ready to try something new?

Informal tacos, burritos and cocktails at Benito's Hat brings some Mexican sunshine to London.

My review of Lotus' highly original and superbly executed five course tasting menu. Indian food at its best.


Bob Dylan and The Band – The Basement Tapes

Steve Mason - Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time

Blur – The Magic Whip

Beck – Modern Guilt

The Arcs – Yours Dreamily

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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