Friday, 23 March 2018

March 2018 Favourites List

This month’s picture may seem a little out of place for a favourites list for March. They’re more in the vein of Christmas! 

We Brits are obsessed with the weather. We can talk about it in incredible detail, with any other English speaking human being, for any required length of time. We get excited about it, we often complain about it, we never get bored of it. Even the subject of what to wear for the weather can embroil us in deep conversation.

We don’t have fifty words for snow. But we can talk about it forever. London rarely gets snow, being down in the very south of the UK and because it has its own microclimate (often a degree warmer than the outskirts). So when the cold weather front dubbed “The Beast From The East” hit us, bringing us some of the white stuff, we filled our boots. Instagrams, tweets and Facebook pictures of backgardens, snow covered cars and snowmen filled everyone’s timelines.

We only had a decent inch or so of snow. Our compatriots up north had a lot more. But don’t begrudge us our flurry of joy. We had so much fun. The trains didn’t run, the roads weren’t gritted, and boilers went on the blink. But we didn’t mind, it was just something else to chat about.

My pictures are of Central London in the snow. I hope you like them. I will confess, I really hope when I come to compile next month’s favourites list Spring will have arrived! I’m freezing!


Mung bean vermicelli are so see through, they are called glass noodles. Here's a Thai recipe using prawns and pork mince which uses them:

New noodle recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi using rice vermicelli, udon and sea spaghetti:

La Scala in Beverly Hills has the reputation of being the restaurant of Hollywood stars. They are famed for inventing the American chopped salad - easy to eat, no need to slice anything, light and unfattening. Perfect for busy actors lunching. La Scala shared their recipe with Rick Stein on his recent Mexico series.

I would swap out Cumberland sausage for the more meat-rich Italian sausages I can get from the Italian deli in Lewisham. But a quick supper dish for cold evenings:

Did anyone else like the look of Madhur Jaffrey's Lamb shanks braised in yoghurt and spices served with dill pilau on a very recent Saturday Kitchen Best Bites (10 March)? The recipe is here:

Food writing I’ve enjoyed this month:

Food memories take us back to better times, more innocent times. This beautiful evocation by food blogger and NHS doctor Aaron Vallance of his grandma Beryl's chicken soup has made me a little misty eyed.

Food writing is best when it is passionate, full of love... or full of laughs. This is a brilliantly humourous blog post on Brussels sprouts... AKA mini demon cabbages!

Southern Italy is a beautiful place to travel around. Imagine flitting from town to town sampling the very different and perhaps controversial versions of pizza to be found? Imagine no longer…

Pre-prepared ingredients in supermarkets often attract negative comment. "Why would anyone buy ready made mashed potatoes?" But many of these products aren't a short cut for "the lazy". They're necessary for those with pain/strain/injury issues, disabilities and persistent conditions. The packaging often has far too much plastic, but that's a problem across the board in our supermarkets. Before we judge, we need to be more thoughtful.

8 March was International Women's Day, prompting Metro to write about 5 inspirational women of Indian origin, shaking up the London food scene. (International Men's Day is 19th November, in case you were wondering.)

After International Women's Day, it seems apt to think about whether food marketing should be gendered. Why would one chocolate bar be "not for girls", yet another is a feminine indulgence? What next? Bloke blue bottled Champagne? Women's flowery sausages? Let food be food, I say!

Beyond five spice - a guide to the essential condiments for home cooked Chinese food:

An emotional, beautiful, evocative read. Remembering his Vietnamese-American upbringing, Andrew Bui discusses his love for Pho. And he shares his recipe.

Food recycling taken up a notch - how used chewing gum can be given a new lease of life:


What you might have missed at Snig’s Kitchen:

Some thoughts on blogging, to coincide with me finally adding a recipe index to my blog:

Here is that recipe index for you to browse through!


Lady Bird


The East


Mum (second series)

Before We Die (Innan Vi Dör)

Synth Britannia 
Synth Britannia at the BBC


Agnes Obel – Aventine

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice

Dorothy Ashby - Afroharping

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.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Recipe Index - new to Snig's Kitchen

Dear Readers,

I have finally got round to compiling a recipe index for this blog. I know, it has been a very, very long time coming!

I started writing this blog with absolutely zero knowledge of how to do any of this stuff. I wanted to share my passion for food online, in an immediate and simple way. I’ve learned a lot as I’ve gone along, but realise there is so much I am still working out. I chose a “blogger” blog because it seemed like the blog platform which required no knowledge to get started. I started blogging with lots of enthusiasm, but no technical skills. The simplicity of the blogger interface has suited me, even though some of its quirks have driven me up the wall (portrait photos being displayed as landscape, complete with 90 degree rotation is one which really winds me up!). 

Photo by Kavita Favelle

One thing I have realised over several years of blogging is that a blog, because it essentially is an online diary, means the older content you post gets buried. There are recipes which I am proud of and I know work well which readers can’t easily find, because they were posted some time ago. 

I hope that this recipe index will make my blog more useful, more accessible, and more helpful than ever before. I hope you will give some of these recipes a try. Or if all you do is have a little browse in your lunch break to give you something other than work to think about, that’s great. As always, please let me know how you get on and what you think. It is always a joy to hear from you, my readers.

I have tried to compile the index in the same way as a book index would work. Therefore, some dishes will appear more than once in the index because it has more than one “key word”. This might annoy some people, I know. But it will help those who like to browse or find inspiration with no particular fixed idea of what to cook.

I hope you will have a browse, wander around some of these blog posts and find stuff to interest you.

With very best wishes