Wednesday, 22 June 2016

June 2016 Favourites List

The Summer Solstice has happened here in the UK, we hoped for much this Midsummer's Night, but received precious little magic and even less sunshine. The Great British Summer is late in arriving, and we wait with baited breath...

The Summer Solstice was a time for magic and mayhem, hence William Shakespeare's famous comedy involving two mortal couples and their trials and tribulations in love as the Fairy King and Queen play games at their expense. 2016 is the 400th year of the passing of the Bard of Avon, which has led to to we Brits to reflect.

You will note that of my favourite TV shows for the month I have chosen two comedies inspired by and featuring Will Shakespeare. Upstart Crow represents a return to sitcom writing form by Ben Elton, his best work since Blackadder II to Blackadder Goes Forth, with the dream combination of Peep Show's David Mitchell as the working class bard and Liza Tarbuck as his good missus Anne Hathaway (yes, really, that WAS her name). Why Upstart Crow? Because the learned, established arts community did not want to accept the son of a glove maker into their ranks. Cunk on Shakespeare, my other choice, is the intentionally hilarious mock-documentary as historian, intellectual and cultural commentator Philomena Cunk takes a "journey" into the world of Will. 

My pictures this month are not of Elizabethan printing presses, only because no self respecting museum was going to let me gawk around with my camera taking pictures. And unlike Philomena Cunk, I was unlikely to be allowed to handle Shakespeare's First Folio, white gloves or no gloves. 

So instead I've gone for some heritage technology from the 1940s to 1960s. The days when early plastics made cutting edge technologies affordable through mass production. It seems amazing these days when a mobile phone with telephone capabilities, a video camera combined with stills camera, a computer and the power to connect to the internet can fit in the palm of your hand that these were the beginnings of those technologies. But I think they're rather stylish and we should never forget how we got from there to here.  

And now I will leave you to dip into this month's lovely stuff which I've collected together for you.


Black pepper steak stir fry recipe by "Big Spud" (AKA Gary Fenn):

A creamy lamb shank and shoulder soup with dill, Greek "Easter" soup:

I only got converted to broccoli as an adult. It is high in vitamin C and calcium and obviously full of fibre. This pasta dish is quick and simple, full of lovely ingredients like Dolcelatte and walnuts!

Herby rice, Persian style, would be great with fish. Din Dins Kitchen on Grays Inn Road do a similar rice dish. 

Quick easy Indian street food snack, vegetarian friendly and full of fibre and protein.

 Pistachio and rocket pesto sounds pretty cool to me - looking forward to giving this a go very soon!

 An overnight marinaded roast chicken - one to start on Saturday for Sunday lunch!

A sly way of using those rock hard avocados you sometimes end up with - avo pickles!

 Recently I've been messing around with new twists on Shepherd's Pie. This carrot mash topped version by Nigel Slater looks excellent!

An alternative Tabbouleh recipe: one made from quinoa.

Fish is for Friday - how about this archive recipe from Kavita of Kavey Eats?
A squid "Pad Thai" style dish from Leon restaurants' new salads book:

Articles/Know How:

Three London restaurants make top 50, with six in the top 100. The Ledbury, Clove Club, Dinner, Hedone, Lyle's and St John make the list.

Useful guide to how long you can store certain produce: 

I am currently growing some Cyprus mint from off cuts of a bunch bought. I wonder how many of these really work - time to experiment! The food items you can regrow from scraps:

What you might have missed at Snig's Kitchen:

London Produce Show 2016, my observations of brilliant new fruit and veg products with an account of my experience of a special session for press and media. 

Small production, craft beer, super pizza, great fun menu. A fab place for evenings out in South East London!

My other writings:

Employment rights: An unseen iceberg in the Brexit debate:

Employment rights - the neglected issue or elephant in the room in the EU referendum discussion: 

The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths; 30 years on: (originally posted here:,  Graphic design and layout by Aly Stevenson and Ory Englander.)


Upstart Crow

Cunk on Shakespeare

The Night Manager


The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead

The Beatles - Revolver

The Beatles - Rubber Soul

The Beatles - Beatles For Sale

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.


  1. Love your favourites lists, and not just because you've so kindly included one of mine! Always atch an interesting and varied list!

    1. Hello Kavey,
      I'm delighted you like my Favourites Lists! I try to keep them varied and interesting. It isn't always easy.
      Thanks, as ever, for reading my blog. Thank you also for commenting!