Sunday, 23 December 2018

December 2018 Favourites List

Welcome to my final Favourites list of 2018. I hope it has been a good year for you. In the UK it has been a confusing and chaotic year politically. However, we had a glorious Summer. We also do our best to keep going when things go wrong, even if we like to moan a bit.

I've had a good year, teaching lovely students, gaining my Fellowship to the Higher Education Academy and getting the chance to indulge my passions for food and travel.

This month's pictures are of a recent street art project on Lewisham's Molesworth Street. It runs behind the High Street, parallel to the River Quaggy. Created by street artist Louis Masai, whose art reminds us of the many endangered species of animal life worldwide, this artwork is dedicated to otters. Otters are becoming increasingly rare in the UK, sadly.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May 2019 bring you joy, love and success.


Christmas inspiration from Nigel Slater; Oysters with pickled grapes, roast turkey leg with potatoes and tarragon trout tartare, turkey, pumpkin, quince pies, lemon Bundt, Golden sultana and candied orange cake:

How to cook your Christmas turkey - recipes and timings. (Non-premium content - you only need to sign up for a free account).

A Christmas dinner starter - tear and share savoury choux pastry wreath with smoked salmon and horseradish dip.

Part 1 of a 4 part series - Christmas party food; Meera Sodha’s baked onion bhajis, Nigella Lawson’s drunken devils on horseback, Trine Hahnemann’s Christmas salmon, Nicola Hordern’s crisps with Italian autumn truffle and creme fraiche, Rosio Sanchez’s churros with goat’s milk cajeta:

Part 2 of the 4 part Christmas party food special;

Jeremy Lee’s royal mincemeat pye, Rachel Roddy’s panelle di Fabrizia (Fabrizia’s chickpea fritters), Nigel Slater’s pork and partridge pie, Tomos Parry’s smoked cod roe, fennel butter and toast, Sam and Sam Clark’s chicharrones de Cádiz:

Part 3 of the 4 page series of ultimate Christmast party food: Richard H Turner’s spiced brown breadcrumbed Christmas ham, Vivek Singh’s sticky chicken wings, David Tanis’s filo pastries with mustard greens and za’atar, Simon Hopkinson’s Le Grand Aïoli, Dominique Ansel’s chestnut whiskey cream puffs:

The fourth and final part of the 20 ultimate Christmas party dishes: Andrew Wong’s pipa duck pancakes, Chantelle Nicholson’s caramelised parsnip, pickled walnut and crispy cavolo nero, Jeremy Lee’s Ogleshield sandwiches, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s red pepper, vine leaf and goat’s cheese dolma cake (Honey & Co), Nigella Lawson’s Christmas rocky road:

Brown sugar glazed carrots - perfect side dish for Christmas dinner?

Spice up your cottage pie! Cottage pie with spiced parsnip and potato topping. A classic, tweaked! 

Sweet and sticky mushrooms with jasmine rice and spring onions, flavoured with ginger, garlic, chilli, oyster sauce, from Thomasina Miers:

Food writing and articles: 

This year we lost the food hero, author, chef and TV presenter Anthony Bourdain. Here is a tribute to him, from the people who knew him best. (The story of him feeding the skint foodie is particularly touching):

After the unintentionally hilarious "Millenials are ruining Mayonnaise" (do check it out if you haven't seen it before!) apparently the next thing Millenials are wrecking is tinned tuna... (please, can we just leave Millenials to like what they like - food fashions change, it's normal!):

The best present ideas for cheeky tipplers:

Christmas shopping for your foodie friends and family members? Here is a selection of the best food and drink books of 2018, from Kavey (Kavey Eats):

Khushbu Shah said on Twitter recently "Growing up, it was frustrating to see Indian food reduced to toilet jokes. In the past year, it has been frustrating too see Indian food reduced to the latest wellness trend". This struck a chord with me, as I see wellness gurus reinvent Haldi Dhood, and wax lyrical about the healing powers of ginger and turmeric as if they are new, unknown things, when they've been around for generations. Khushbu's fuller thoughts are here:


The Little Drummer Girl

Mrs Wilson

Big shout out to "Before We Die" currently free to watch on All 4 - a favourite box set from earlier this year!




Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine

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.