White Mice for Breakfast

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

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:

DELECTable

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

Advertisements
 

Iberian Indulgence! July 1, 2010

This week, scallops, I will be describing the delectation of:

That’s right, TAPAS. Or to be more precise, certain delicious southern Spanish foodstuffs, the ciruelas of Córdoba, the mariscos of Murcia, the limón of the Levante, the ajo of Andalucia, all steeped in the aceite of Olivar del Desierto in the Tabernas desert.

Yes, crumpeteers! Your favourite intrepid literary food writer has been gadding away from the green shores in search of new and noteworthy dishes! And I am delighted to announce that my success has been as resounding as a ladle in a le cruset! Not only does your devoted Esther have news of sumptuous SPANISH sustenance, I have also located a new ‘Cheese of the Week’; so flip to a free page on your E.C. memo pads and watch out for another post hurtling into the stratosphere!

FIRSTLY, langostinos, we shall discuss the initial repast of the day, and although the beginning is a very odd place to start in my opinion (Leavis is also of a mind about this; why not simply plunge in mid-way, crumps, avoiding preliminary dilly dally? That singing nun has misled a whole generation, I’m sad to say) we shall begin with BREAKFAST.

Indeed, the daily desayuno. No metropolitan, Madrileño chocolades con churros to be found here, beets! Rather, the fascinating tradition of TOSTADA. A cheap, nom-licious dish, made from toasted baguette halves ‘barra’, pricked with a fork and drizzled with olive oil, before being rubbed with crushed, de-skinned tomatos and light flourish of salt. (In my case, I should also request a cafe SOLO, a coffee as strong and dark as a power-lifted covered in tar. But do not let me sway you, I’m sure cafe con leche is acceptable).

But Esther! I hear you cry. Surely this provides the perfect canvas, the base, for tasty additions? If, dear eaters, you have visions of serrano HAM, CHEESE, other ethereal savouries wafting o’er your palates, do not be alarmed. For indeed, this was also explored most thoroughly! Myself, being a traditionalist, sampled a simple tostada con tomato, ajo y manchego:

My dear friend Miss Pamela Vartue, on the other hand, braving the Andalucian sun and risking her fair complexion with only a jaunty continental hat for protection, was most inquisitive and sampled a fascinating TOSTADA of tomate y ajo con jamón serrano y huevos de codorniz: (tomato, garlic, serrano ham and quail egg… these sound infinitely nicer in Spanish, no?)

My other dear travelling companions also performed admirably in the food-discovery objective; I do believe Miss Vartue and Geraldine discovered some delectable mejillones, whilst Ms North fed my ever-increasing love affair with manchego and queso curado (and semi-curado for that matter…) and we all four  lit upon a wondr’ous dish of patatas alioli, a garlicky romance to the cuisine of Córdoba.

Although Leavis preferred to stay behind and read up on salmon, Barthes did attempt to tag along. Luckily we gave him the slip at the aerodrome, by shouting ‘By God, is that Empson by the luggage carousel?’ and running away while he was distracted.

Keep a watch for that cheese, dumplings!

Más mantequilla!

Esther. xxx