White Mice for Breakfast

"O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men!"

Buttering Up. February 5, 2011

Filed under: Confectionary,FoodTravel TravelFood — theotherhand @ 4:33 pm
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My dear tartiflettes! I am taking the briefest of interludes from my daily duties of eating, writing, babysitting F.R. Leavis, entertaining Ricky Martin and keeping Barthes OFF the porch roof to introduce a most delectable new source of foodspiration.

May I introduce BUTTERSTRUCK.COM, the newest venture of my long-time compatriot and co-partner in crime during the wild days, when we would frequent hard-core bakery club, The Buns of Brixton, and talk shop. Gone are those days, dear pikelets, but I am pleased to say that Miss de Noves and I remain as close as ever; I wish her all the best with the new venture, to which I may contribute from time to time. Leavis is most excited about Butterstruck, and keeps quoting passages of it to me.

Barthes, meanwhile remains a nuisance. Pleas excuse me, chevres, I can hear him clambering about the roof now, with one of those pincer grab hands to steal this morning’s rock buns…


Esther. xxx


καυτό πράγματα December 9, 2010

My DEAR Crumpets!

How dismayed I am to think how I have neglected you all these past months; the thought of my loyal fans languishing in their homes, beating themselves with stale baguettes in order to stave off the emotional pain of my departure fills me with nothing less than REMORSE and DESPAIR.

However, back I am from my visit to the Bermuda Triangle with Ricky and Leavis. It has been a most profitable trip, dear cornichons, since your own diligent food literateur found herself transported to many places over the world, not least to the island home of my old friend dear Geraldine Punnington.

Miss C. North and I languished for several days in bright sunshine, gorging ourselves on baklava, halloumi, tahini, and all variety of …OPITAS. Did you know that thAT means PIE in Greek, my dear CherryOpitas? We thus indulged in spanakOPITA, tahinOPITA, halloumOPITA… my, the list goes on!  Esther, you cry, do not taunt us with unillustrated morsels! Well here we are, crumpets:


Many OPITAS from Zorba's Bakery

And since you have been such pleasant companions, I shall also treat you to a picture of a remarkable groceria find!

Kolokothakia, that is LITTLE PUMPKINS, from Kipris

Remarkable, no?! It was indeed a delightful trip, with never ending mezzes abounding, such as the one at the Omodos Taverna, which continued for many days and nights, never ceasing! There were dishes of olives, and tzatziki and tahini, enormous greek salads, there were dishes of beans and rice, courgette and eggs, cous cous, plates of kleftiko (the interesting history for which can be read HERE) and when we thought we should perish from the piquant abundance of toothsome delicacies, there arrived a WHOLE BAKED TROUT.

Goodness, I recommend you all take out your embroidered E.C handkerchiefs and fan yourselves before you too faint away from fooxuberance. (Food exuberance for those who are uneducated in culinary lingo.)

I must dash and leave you for now, dear tureens; I hear Leavis calling me from the kitchen. (He is making a batch of devilled eggs, and I fear, hashing up my spice cupboard entirely.)

Never fear! Another baking bulletin will reach your eyes in the near future, with an AMBROSIAL ADVENT THEME.

Until then, clafoutises,

Esther. xxx


Morsels in the Metropolis May 1, 2010

This week dear feuilletines, I will expound upon COMESTIBLES in the CAPITAL, MORSELS in the METROPOLIS.

Yes, crumpet followers! Last week, I, Esther, ventured off my colonial porch and bravely sallied forth into the bright lights of LONDON TOWN. And it was indeed a pleasant experience! I had not ventured into town since Leavis’s rather embarrassing fight with one of those tall hatted fellows at Buckingham Palace, but was pleased to see that so many of my old stomping grounds were still doing a roaring, nay, foaming at the mouth trade! I was delighted to exhibit these diverting delicatessens, these emporiums of the edible to my learned compatriots, Geraldine Punnington and Pamela Vatrue, hereafter named as Gerald and PAM.

(Gerald, PAM and myself were coincidentally celebrating the completion of academic projects; myself for the newly finished Humbug Compendium, Gerald for a new chapter in her Complete Pun Dictionary entitled ‘Early Modern Effluvium’, and PAM an epistolary follow-up to her wildly successful, Whitney, My Love.)

And to my toothsome JOY, dear kastanjes, that we were also joined by an old and very dear comrade from my colourful past, the mysterious Zucre d’Churros…

But more of that later! Quell your cravings and salivations and be assured that I  shall introduce the first petiterie without further dilly dally:

The most ergonomic NEAL’S YARD SALAD BAR


Eclectic, economical, effervescent... NYSB deserves all the e-headed superlatives in the world. Wondrously homely vegetarian, vegan or carnivore food with Brazilian flair! One word: CHEESE BREADS.

Dear, dear pikletings, I almost fear to speak of this hidden gem for fear of it being overrun with E.C. supporters; so if you must swarm, please swarm sedately, in pairs and at a genteel pace. Here are some pictures taken on my photom-a-graph:

Delectable Bruschetta...

Tantalizing tartlets, CHEESE BREAD IN A BASKET

Secondly, if you are partial to yoghurt of the frozen variety in a myriad of flavours and colours, then this hidden titbit just off Covent Garden purveys the most delightful kind…


also renowned for a pond'rous selection of fresh organic MUFFINS.

PAM's hand holding her 'fro yo'; what delightful slang emerges from the streets these days. I must tell Leavis.

I know, succulent readers, you are wondering when I shall elaborate on the tantalizing reference to my mysterious friend,  Zucre d’Churros… well that moment is now! Walking through London, I was delighted to receive a telegram from my old acquaintance, and we hurried back to Cov Gar in order to meet her! Zucre has spent the past few years engaged in enigmatic and recondite activities in Iberian countries, and so it was delightful to be re-united. I am also eternally grateful to her for introducing your favourite food writer to a HAVEN, a FIRMAMENT of Italian delights, by the name of:


Princi, like its Milanese counterpart, also sells fresh wood-fired pizza and organic bread! AND CAKES, MANY CAKES.

Sadly, my croquettines, the cakes were of such interest and delectation, that their existence was too fleeting to capture in a photograph. But, be assured they were as scrumptious as Zuchre foretold.

Thus concludes this week’s gastronomic revelry, E.C. followers! Do pay attention for next week’s adventures featuring your own Esther, Leavis and of course, the diabolic Barthes.

Chow until supper!

Esther. xxx


Turkish B Good March 15, 2010

Filed under: Confectionary,Savoury Delicacies — theotherhand @ 1:05 am
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This week, piccalillies, I whole heartedly encourage you to HAVE A:

Oh my, did those pearly kings and queens have the right idea! However, as colourful and wholesome as the cuisine of the music halls was, this missive, dear eaters, does not address boiled beef, pork trotters or savs. It instead concerns a deliciously CHARMING peti’terie… (a petite eatery for the less perspicacious amongst you; a SMALL culinary locale. Please make a note of this new vocabulary in your specially designed E.C. (Esther Crumpet) memo pads. I trust you have all obtained these; repetition is ever so bothersome)

… a CHARMING peti’terie with a most flavoursome dish of plantain persuasion. An elegiac elopement of textures and tastes, rich, yet humble, sweet and cool, melting but…

But I am gamboling ahead of myself, loyal chouxs! I must relate the series of felicitous coincidences which led me to the bananaine surprise! Know then, that poor Leavis has been feeling under precipitation of late, so to cheer him up I set out for a visit in my new perambulatory machine, taking with me a batch of freshly risen CRUMPETS.

However, as I was driving through the merry streets of Canterbridge, who should I espy perched in the window of a cosy establishment but Mrs P. and Pamela, who were pleasantly occupied in cooing at passing toddlers. Eager not to miss such good sport, I joined them for luncheon. Said peti’terie, Cafe Otto, is graced by two splendidly astute hosts, whose rhetorical nudges towards a superb plate of dolma were gratefully accepted.

‘Twas towards the end of our jovial repas however, that the real treat-ine was granted, and fortuitously, I captured an image:

As simple, yet elegant and TASTEFUL as one of Miss Pamela’s bows. A yielding, fudge-like centre embellished with hidden jems of pistachio and walnut, melding in a delicate morsel of banana, with chocolate robing as classic as a beatnik’s black polo neck. What is more, it was GRATIS, dear eaters, a quality which emphasized its charms twofold.

Poor Leavis never did get his crumpets. Although I entrusted them to the doorman, Roland Barthes was hanging about again like a hungry beagle. I suspect he ate them.

Love and cucumber sandwiches,

Esther xxx


Chi’s Hake February 4, 2010

Filed under: Confectionary — theotherhand @ 12:03 am
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So recently, while the world has been touting the fame of this hot new blog site to all and sundry, (why do I get an image of plastic hair bands and combs with that word?) I just happened to MENTION in passing the wit and elegance of my inaugural post to some acquaintances and admirers. Whilst they were swooning into their kir royales, my esteemed colleague Ms. Punnington observed that, as yet, said hot new blog site has only the one post.

To this I reply:


And before you ask, no, this is not a mythical Asian tale involving a wish granting, but ultimately treacherous fish. It is a post about CAKE. (Ms. Punnington, I assume you will have grasped this at the title, everyone else, think fast)

Come on… Chi ….


… Haaaaake.

Put it together and what’ve you got? That right, this.

Yes, who wouldn’t wish.  No, in fact, whilst I was a-fixing my new battleship hair ornament to my powdered curls, I received a tasty surprise visit from my dear friend Pamela Vartue, who escorted me to the towering garret where several of my close comrades dwell in bookish harmony. There, I was greeted by the sparkling sight of an impromptu soirée and a marvellous CHEESECAKE. Or rather, a marvellous white chocolate and blueberry cheesecake, with meticulous Times New Roman Numbering. Observe…

Beauty to behold. And delicious I assure you! (And clever! The book-learned amongst you will know that ‘chi’ is the 22nd letter in the Greek alphabet; which surely puts the ‘chi’ in Chi’shake. I can also assure you, that although it LOOKS like a 22nd birthday cake, it is rather indicative of my success in the ’22 Crumpets in a Minute Challenge.’ To tell you my age, dear readers, would be most unseemly).

Sadly, on this occasion, my faithful crumpeteers, I will not be providing the recipe. (I may do so at some point in the future, if Ms. Punnington, the confectioner responsible for the cakey creation, so obliges.) However, as my dear Grandmama, Lady Iris Gindram frequently tells me, if you presume to ask what such a paragon of patisserie contains, you should expect the answer, “Shit and Sugar.”.

Until tea-time,

Esther. xxx