Monday, 27 November 2017

November 2017 Favourites List

In my September Favourites list this year, I told you all about how I received the wonderful surprise of seeing some new street art in my local neighbourhood magically appear. (For the story, visit here: Well, the good people of Catford haven't stopped there! Local artists are busy working, some are volunteering their skills, designs and time for free to make our locality feel loved and look beautiful. Co-ordinated by Caroline Hughes of 6arts, it's a mission to increase civil pride and create thought provoking urban art.

In the last couple of months, the street art invasion of Catford has intensified. We now have the other side of Catford Bridge (the road bridge over the railway lines) decorated with running greyhounds. 

This is a tribute to the old Catford Greyhound Stadium, which was near by, but also a poignant symbol. It is a sad fact that whilst many people love the spectacle of greyhound racing, once their careers are over, the dogs find themselves surplus to the requirements of their owners and trainers. The artist, Andrew Ioakim, has rescued some of these greyhounds, so for him, the dogs are not running in a race; they're making their bid for freedom and a life of love and affection with a "forever owner".

Another amazing project is the Nature Tunnel, designed by artist Zoe Hendersen. Assisted by scenic artist Charlotte Gainey, Tamara Froud, Caroline Hughes and a group of dedicated volunteers. They have transformed the unloved tunnel leading from Halfords to the train station, a sad, stinky little place... (No prizes for guessing why it smelt so bad!) It is now a tranquil "Tunnel of Trees", a gorgeous celebration of nature.

Finally, we have Lionel Stanhope's retro railway "Catford" signs at the railway
bridge. Their neon colours resplendent, they're a bold and beautiful welcome to da 'hood! Catford is now proud to welcome you in, confident and colourful.

So I hope you will enjoy this month's pictures from Catford's amazing artists, designers and volunteers, brightening up the neighbourhood bit by bit. I hope you will also like my choices of the usual mix of recipes, food writing, and my own efforts since the last Favourites List. 

Fish pie (fish in a creamy sauce, baked with mashed potato on top) is a British classic. Here are 10 tips to make your fish pie even better. I totally agree with not double cooking your fish - overcooked fish is ruined fish!

Tom Kerridge with his wintry recipes for beef brisket lasagne, classic fish pie and spicy sausage casserole with black cabbage pesto:

A side dish with a difference for this weekend's Sunday lunch? Parmesan baked cauliflower:

In local grocery shops I've admired Autumnal pale green Kohl Rabi. Other than knowing vaguely they're a Brassica (same family as super healthy broccoli), I know nothing about them. Or how to cook them. Here's a salad recipe from Nigel Slater:

Janice Pattie writes the Farmersgirl Kitchen blog. Here's her recipe to make you own "mincemeat" for festive mince pies. (Non-UK readers - there's no meat in mincemeat. It is made of dried fruits, which is baked into little pies for Christmas).

Janice's video of how to make the recipe can be found here:

You can use leftover pumpkin to make this dish. Substituting pumpkin for butternut squash is no big deal.

This Japanese poached chicken can be served with veggies or with rice, as you prefer. A simple dish for Monday's supper, as we look to the week ahead:

With the warming flavours of cumin, ginger and coriander, this cauliflower and carrot soup can be served chunky and hearty or smooth and well blended. Vegan, and vegetarian from Jac at Tinned Tomatoes blog:
Food writing and resources:

Food critic Marina O'Loughlin asked Twitter for their "Cheap Eats" recommendations. The brilliant Anya (@anyabike on Twitter) a noted employment lawyer, has put them all together in a google map:

Recent studies show conventional dietary wisdom is wrong - eating fats will not necessarily result in weight gain, and your body needs certain oils and fats for good health:

I plan my meals. We do a weekly plan with one big shop and a couple of top-up shops a week. It definitely saves us money and prevents that "what's for dinner?" panic at 7:30pm. Here are 20 reasons why you might want to meal plan:

Goodbye to Antonio Carluccio, the great champion of Italian food in the UK. Rest in peace, Antonio!

What you might have missed at Snig's Kitchen: 

New blog post - creamy chicken with cider and mushrooms. A new recipe post:

My other writing:

Not food, but legal skills. I am proud and delighted to host Dan Hoadley's Pro tips on Cross examination on my law student blog:

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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