Truth compels us to assert our conviction of the superior wholesomeness of bread made in our own homes - Eliza Acton

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Saturday 20th May

Funniest conversation with a waiter, ever. This is in a relatively classy french restaurant in the West End, mind you.

Mother in law: What cut is this, the fillet of veal?

Waiter: It's meat.

M-i-L: Well, yes. But is it the same as an escalope?

W: Bouf, dunno.

M-i-L: Parlez-vous français? C'est un escalope, n'est pas?

W: It's a deer.

M-i-L: !!!

W [mimes antlers]: Bambi, yes?


Tuesday 16th May


These mendiants took a swerve away from the traditional. You know the idea, of course: blobs of melted chocolate are studded with dried fruit and nuts... usually almonds, raisins, your basic baking-aisle stuff. I wanted these to be more exotic, the sort of thing you'd find in serious-but-playful chocolatiers like Montezuma's and James Chocolates. So I started with some organic cayenne-flavoured dark chocolate, and used combinations of cashews, dried pineapple, ginger and coconut. The flavours are good and the mendiants have a real kick to them - I'd like to try again with more ingredients: certainly papaya, mango; what about lime? I'd like to work out how to get herbal flavours like basil or lemongrass in without adding an unwelcome texture. The hotness is great, but maybe a batch should have some made with a plain chocolate - or plain chocolate could be used throughout, and chilli added to a few in some form.


Friday 12th May

terre a terre terre a terre

Aaargh. I'd say let this be a lesson to me, but I know full well it won't be. It is now around a month since we went to Terre à Terre and I can't let it go without blogging; but the details have fluttered gently from my memory like so much cherry blossom. I can tell you this much, it was fab. The food is vegetarian, as befits boho Brighton, and the menu is global, though not in the out of focus, moussaka and chips way that sets alarm bells ringing. I can't really do better than link to the menu, here. To me it reads like the purest gastro-pr0n and it was just as exciting to eat. I had the 'Tiffin Tandoori Boudin'(on the left), C the 'Ravioli Butter Cookie Crumble' (on the right) - both of them were madly over the top but impeccably put together... six or seven elements, any of which would have been an vividly interesting dish on its own, but which complimented each other as well. They were busy on a Saturday lunchtime, and the service wasn't the speediest, but it's a nice lively space and we had plenty of wine and nibbles to keep us from even approaching impatience. All in all, if you trust my failing memory (something in the Brighton air perhaps?), highly recommended.


Monday 8th May

Hurrah, Spring is here at last! Over the weekend I had my first asparagus, and it poured with rain. Definitely spring. I also had my first strawberry of the year - not English just yet, of course, but a colleague brought them in and she couldn't believe I hadn't had any since last summer. I suppose it is a little eccentric, but it's an easy little sacrifice really, for so much good: fewer food miles, supporting local producers, a better product (mostly), and best of all the fact that *ahem* it just feels a hundred times better when you make yourself wait for it. Let's face it, the English summer has enough ways to disappoint you to make it well worth balancing them out with a treat, even if it is a slightly contrived one.