Some notes on Christmas dinner, because everyone likes being told how to do that, plus a chowder so good it will make you reassess your religious beliefs.
Lasagne with sardines
I'll be moving out soon, but no one will ever be able to say I never made a lasagne here.
When two worlds collide: a 1997 Paul McCartney album and its influence on the trailblazing decision to put chilli in a pie.
Jollof rice and chicken
I have never to my knowledge eaten any Nigerian food, but it sounds like it involves big piles of chicken and rice, which is very much in my wheelhouse. I decide to eat some.
Burgers with pickled cabbage relish
All food bets are off around the Christmas period: a lawless time when it feels reasonable to have fudge for breakfast and you can drink Hofmeister at 10am without anyone raising an eyebrow. So as going to the effort of making one burger seems a waste of energy, I'm going to have two.
New Year’s Eve failure steak
I ended the year as I lived it: doing something to a standard that was acceptable but ultimately fell short of its potential.
Griddled chicken and chickpea stew
As my grandfather used to say, you can't griddle a chicken without humiliating a junior halal butcher.
Lunch potato salads
I am trying the 5:2 diet, because I heard it facilitated George Osborne's transformation from awful bastard into slightly thinner awful bastard. This requires planning, especially where lunch is concerned, because it turns out that on your low-calorie days getting the turkey club sandwich from Sainsbury's will mean all you're allowed to eat for the rest of the day is dust and grass.
Penne with bacon and peas
I’m heading home doing a mental fridge/cupboard inventory, and I’ve got all this stuff to use up. An onion on its last legs. Two rashers of bacon that I’m not wholly convinced haven’t gone off. Massive reserves of pasta and frozen peas. I Google a recipe. All I need is to score some soured cream on the way home. I can do that. I can do anything.
Gammon in Coca-Cola with a maple syrup glaze
Getting rid of unwanted things in the kitchen cupboard is becoming a bit of an obsession. I’ve had a bottle of Coke in there since it came with a takeaway pizza deal some time last year and I’m not a fan of the stuff. You can use it quite effectively to clean the toilet apparently, or you can drop a bit of a dead pig in it and boil it for a while.