Archive | January, 2013

Politicians should practise what they preach

29 Jan

This is a copy of a letter which I sent to the Radio 4 PM programme today. I have never yet had a letter of mine mentioned on the programme, but there is  always a first time! I sincerely hope that Mr Clegg does the right thing and chooses a state school for his son. Oh and it had better not be a grammar school either…. But I’ll save that rant for another day.

I am commenting on the report yesterday about the possibility of Nick Clegg sending his oldest son to an independant school; this was following his recent assertion that private education is ‘corrosive for our society and damaging to our economy.’  He says that he is a father first and a politician second. Well, I say what is the difference? Political views stem from one’s personal views, It is as simple as that. I do not blame politicians for having themselves attended private schools – most people do not have a choice in their own education. But they do have a choice about the education of their own children.

 Disgusted of Maidenhead.

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Mussels cooked Spanish-style, adapted from a Rick Stein recipe

6 Jan

Mussels cooked Spanish-style, adapted from a Rick Stein recipe

Unexpected Guests?

5 Jan

I am a keen cook and read many food magazines and cookery books. I use many of the recipes within them as well as creating my own recipes. One thing that has fascinated me over the years is the concept of ‘unexpected guests.’ So often a particular recipe is recommended as being suitable for unexpected guests. Now I am as sociable as the next person, and always willing to provide drinks and refreshments for those who may call in on occasions and my cake tin is generally full of something tasty. Wine and nibbles are freely available. However, I think most of my guests would be embarassed if I suggested that they should stay for a full-blown supper or if arriving mid-morning that they should partake of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or Mexican eggs. It is most unlikely that people would be passing by, and would say ‘by the way, we’re a bit peckish, do you happen to have a home-made pork pie and roasted vegetable salad in your fridge? So who are these guests that we are supposed to be catering for? And having prepared the food in case they happen to turn up hungry and thirsty, what are we supposed to do if any unexpected guests fail to materialise? Put it all in the freezer maybe! Ah, but supposing there are items unsuitable for freezing on the ‘unexpected guests’ menu, such as salads? And then what happens if, having packed it all into the freezer, the guests unexpectedly decide to come after all?

On the subject of expected guests, I was very amused a few weeks ago, whilst watching one of my favourite chefs on television. He was apparently expecting guests, but had absolutely no food in for them. What bad organisation, given how many delightful small and specialist shops there appear to be on his doorstep! All he could find was a handful of prawns, which he made into some delightful oriental quick-fried nibbles.  However, by the end of the cooking session, having made about 4 tiny nibbles for his guests, he has already consumed one of them. Just how many guests was he expecting? And let’s just hope that they were all on a diet and would be content with one small canape!