Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘review’


Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of Childhood in India
Madhur Jaffrey – pub: Ebury Press

Madhur Jaffrey first came to my attention in the 1980s, initially as an actress in the Merchant Ivory film ‘Heat and Dust‘ and then through her popular Indian Cookery Series on the BBC.  I still have and use the book which accompanied the series called, simply, Indian Cooking along with a second book, beautifully illustrated with colour plates as well as recipes, called A Taste of India and a slim booklet produced by the BBC for the series Flavours of India containing a few ‘taster’ recipes from the full length book.

Climbing the Mango Trees, a delightful autobiography containing black and white family photographs and a large number of recipes, tells of Madhur Jaffrey’s childhood in India around the time of Partition.  In this very readable book she introduces us to the world of her Indian childhood with its joys and sadnesses and shares many stories of the wonderful foods the family enjoyed.  She describes how she grew up as part of a large and wealthy extended family who lived in very close proximity to one another, bringing a long lost age back to life.  In particular Madhur Jaffrey shares memories of meals with her readers, from everyday dinners, lunches, breakfasts to foods eaten on special occasions, such as mass catered family weddings or picnics.  Many anecdotes in the book centre on the smells and flavours that take Jaffrey back to her childhood, such as the tart but spicy flavour of unripe mango, eaten straight from the tree and dipped in salt, pepper, red chillies or roasted cumin.   She tells of picnics in the foothills of the Himalayas with sultana and mint stuffed meatballs, ginger and coriander flavoured cauliflower and spiced pooris, a type of puffy bread, eaten with hot green mango pickle.  Partition brought changes as the political map was rewritten.  Schoolfriends and their foods disappeared as Muslim friends fled the country, taking with them their Keema dishes of spiced ground meat, to be replaced by the incoming Pujabis who introduced Tandoor ovens with their distinctive way of baking bread and roasting spiced meat.

At the back of the book are 32 family recipes and I hope to try many of them out at some point including: Potatoes with Tomatoes, Lamb with Spinach, Maya’s Meat with Potatoes, Bimla’s Chicken Curry, Everyday Cauliflower, Carrots with Fenugreek Greens, Savoury Biscuits Studded with Cumin Seeds and Fresh Limeade.

This was a book that I enjoyed very much.  Part biography, part food memoir, it taught me through the eyes of a young girl much about life in a country going through extreme change, but also the need to value that which cannot be altered: the enduring importance of family bonds and of shared food in keeping memories alive.  If you are fascinated by India or its cooking I hope that you too will enjoy climbing the Mango Trees in company with Madhur Jaffrey.

Listen to Madhur Jaffrey talking about her Indian childhood. You Tube link:

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A very happy New Year to all my readers!

At the start of a new year I like to look back to see which posts on this site have generated the most interest.  (Click the links for previous statistics: 2009 and 2010).  WordPress 2011 in review has also provided their own take on my statistics.

My most viewed posts of 2011

 1.  2. 

3.  4.  100_7970   Baked tomato stuffed marrow

5.  6. 

7.  8. 

9.  10.

All images copyright ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’
http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

1.   Sweet Crumble Mixtures
2.   Beetroot Chutney
3.   Basic recipe – Suet Dumplings
4.   Baked Tomato Stuffed Marrow
5.   Tarte au Citron (French Lemon Tart)
6.   Fragrant Marmalade Cake
7.   Cherry Coconut Cake
8.   Basic recipe – Sweet Scones
9.   Sherry Jelly Berry Trifle
10. Creamy Pasta with Bacon & Courgettes

I like to keep track of the statistics too, by way of comparison from year to year.

Total number of visitors (cumulative):
2009:    5,653
2010:  58,247
2011: 174,365

Top day & number:
31 December 2009 – 118 visitors
23 December 2010 – 300 visitors
23 December 2011 – 664 visitors

Happy cooking & eating in 2012

Read Full Post »

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Read Full Post »

November ‘Meanderings’ …

North African spicy flavours are ideal at this time of year when the weather is chillier, although I can quite happily enjoy them at any time of year.  There is a lovely spicy soup, Chorba, which is a meal in itself and three simple recipes that are quick to both prepare and cook.  They would be lovely served together at a dinner party.  Click here for all North African Style Recipes on this site.

Recipes this month

Chorba with Ras el-Hanout & Noodles     Fragrant Flash Grilled Figs & Peaches
 
Moroccan Style Marinaded Lamb Steaks                    Orange Couscous
 
Westfield Stratford City & the 2012 Olympic Site

2012 London Olympic Site in the mist from the
top floor of John Lewis, Westfield Stratford City – 11.11.11
(Click picture to see enlarged view)

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’
http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

——

‘For what we are about to receive…’ December 2011

Coming in December some recipes for the Christmas season: Caramelised Red Onion Chutney, delicious served with cold meats or cheese; Sweet & Salty Crunchie Nut Bars, a festive chocolatey treat; non-alcoholic Spiced Mulled Apple Punch and our family Christmas Cake for 2011 using the Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake Recipe.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Full Post »

October ‘Meanderings’ …

Some very generous friends this year have given me lovely Bramley cooking apples from their trees so I decided to base two of my October recipes on these.  Added to this was a lovely American style Cucumber Bread & Butter pickle from Pam Corbin at River Cottage and a family favourite quickie recipe, Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese.

Recipes this month

Spiced Apple & Cider Cake     ‘Cauli-mac’ – Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese
 
Spiced Apple Chutney                    American Style ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle
 

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’
http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

——

‘For what we are about to receive…’ November 2011

Coming in November some North African Style recipes.  Chorba, a spicy tomato soup with noodles, Moroccan Style Marinaded Lamb Steaks and Orange Couscous a fruity accompaniment plus Fragrant Flash Grilled Figs & Peaches a simple recipe with both spicy and floral notes.  (Also a post showing the 2012 Olympic Site & Westfield Stratford City shopping centre both of which are just down the road from us.)

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Full Post »

September ’Meanderings’ …

By September our holiday to France and Spain in July was sadly a distant memory.  Trying to keep the memories alive I shared some French style recipes.  Click here for all French Style Recipes on this site.

September also saw the start of a new phase in my life, as I started a two year basic theology course and adjusting to having homework, reading and essays after many years away from study. You can read more about this here.)  Whilst wanting to continue with posts on this site, I recognised that I would need to adjust my schedule so from now on my plan is usually to add four recipes each month plus Meanderings ‘a la carte’ my usual monthly roundup, but in a simplified form.  I continue to love to cook but will just have less time to share my kitchen adventures, for the time being at least!

Recipes this month

Prawns with Provençal Tomato Salsa  Country Terrine/Pâté (Terrine de Campagne)
 
Tarte aux Poires Bourdaloue (Pear Frangipane Tart/Pie Bourdaloue)    Brioche
 

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’
http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

——

‘For what we are about to receive…’ October 2011

Coming in October, two ways for using that Autumn favourite, Bramley cooking apples: Spiced Apple & Cider Cake and Spiced Apple Chutney, plus an American Style ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle and ‘Cauli-mac’ – Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese one of our favourite quick and easy suppers – most definitely early Autumn comfort food.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Full Post »

August ’Meanderings’ …

We came back from holiday at the start of August and within a few days the television screens were filled with images of riots across the UK.  Tottenham, the initial flashpoint is just down the road and some of the disturbances started to spread even closer to home.  Out of these troubles came a realisation that the police, many of whom had been drafted in from other parts of the UK and the emergency services had no central canteen or place to rest and following discussions between Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, members of the Parish of Walthamstow and members of the local community this need was addressed in an amazing way.  For more information read on….

#AWESOMESTOW Walthamstow – I just had to share this …
#AWESOMESTOW Walthamstow – a community I am proud to be part of!

Recipes this month

It is fair to say that we did not have the best August weather this year, we certainly seemed to see very little sun, but nonetheless I shared a selection of recipes for the summer months. In the middle of August we celebrated our Silver (25th) wedding anniversary so I made and decorated a cake to share with the family and friends who celebrated with us using the ‘old faithful’ family Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake recipe that I usually use for our Christmas and Easter Simnel Cakes.

Basic Recipe: Traditional Style Lemonade
Speedy Tomato Ketchup                                 Sticky Tomato Pork
 
Carrot & Chickpea Salad                                  Roasted Mixed Tomatoes
 
Special Occasion Cake – Silver Wedding Anniversary

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’
http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

——

‘For what we are about to receive…’ September 2011

Coming in September, I will be trying to keep the experience of our French holiday alive by posting some French inspired recipes: Prawns with Provençal Style Tomato SalsaFrench Style Country Terrine or Pâté (Terrine de Campagne), Tarte aux Poires Bourdaloue (Pear Frangipane Tart/Pear Pie Bourdaloue) and Brioche.  We also went to Spain, of course, but I posted a series of Spanish style recipes back in May 2011, however I planning another Spanish themed month, hopefully in 2012.
Click here for all Spanish Style Recipes on this site.
Click here for all French Style Recipes on this site.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Full Post »

July ’Meanderings’ …

July was, for a change, our holiday month (we usually go in August).  While we were away travelling through France to Spain and back again I decided to send this blog on a virtual holiday to the other side of the world and post a selection of Chinese style recipes. Click here for all Chinese Style Recipes on this site.

Recipes this month

Sesame Prawn Toast Chinese Style    Belly Pork & Greens/Broccoli/Bok Choy
 
Duck with Chinese Style Plum Sauce                                     Special Fried Rice 
 
Lychee Sorbet

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’ http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

——

‘For what we are about to receive…’ August 2011

Coming in August will be recipes for home made Speedy Tomato Ketchup and a wonderful Sticky Tomato Pork recipe in which it can be used.  Also, hopeful that the weather would be warm, my favourite recipe for home made Lemonade, a simple quick Carrot and Chickpea Salad and Roasted Mixed Tomatoes just in time for the hoped for gluts of tomatoes on the market.  August is special month for us too as we will be celebrating 25 years of marriage and I will be unveiling the cake I have made to share with our family and friends, using our family favourite Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake.  Finally, I will be sharing some news about what I will be up to in the Autumn.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Full Post »

June ’Meanderings’ …

Right at the end of the month, on 30 June, my WordPress stats counter ticked over 100,000 visitors – if you were part of that statistic then thank you!  As the July Meanderings ‘à la carte’ is now due as well (the holiday means I am rather behind) this is a slightly truncated roundup for June, which is being posted very late … though better late than never.

Recipes this month

Elderflower Syrup                                               Cheese Crusted Scones
 
West African Style Chicken & Peanut Stew      Aromatic Finger Lickin’ Pork 
Mango Curd

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’
http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

Meanderings Updated: (updates and additions to recipes already posted)
Mango Curd was added to the ongoing list of Curd recipes.

Bookshelf Meanderings:
Feast: Food that Celebrates Life by Nigella Lawson
I have had this book on my shelf for a couple of years but have yet to add a comment about it in these pages.  It was my first foray into the Nigella world of recipe books and I think it makes fascinating reading.  It has chapters which go through the year with sections covering a different type of Feast or Festival: religious, secular or just ‘fun’.  There are ideas for Christmas and Easter, of course: also food for festivals such as Rosh Hashanah, Passover and Seder reflecting Nigella’s Jewish heritage, but there are a host of other ideas too – Valentine’s Day, Georgian, Venetian …  It is a book I keep dipping into for inspiration and have made quite a few recipes, some of which will be posted in due course.
Already on this site: Aromatic Finger Lickin’ Pork, Onion Rice Pilaf, Spicy Hot Cross BunsOrange Shortcrust Pastry (used for Mince Pies)
On my list: Cantucci Biscotti, Bang Bang Turkey, Gingerbread Muffins, Galette des Rois (this or another recipe), Custard cream biscuits, Slow cooked Lamb with beans, Passionfruit curd (one for my list of Curd recipes), Creamed Spinach, Apple Cheesecake with Butterscotch Sauce, Lokshen Pudding, Chilli-Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Espresso Cake with Caffe Latte Cream, Cornbread topping (for Chilli con Carne), Tomato Couscous, Golden Cardamom Chicken with Crispy Onion Spiced Rice, Baghdad Baklava (though I have made Baklava before so need to consult my original recipe too), Sticky Semolina Cake, Rosemary Remembrance Cake.

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

‘For what we are about to receive…’ July 2011

I may be going away on holiday but the posts will continue to appear with the theme for next month being Chinese style food.  I have scheduled recipes to post automatically: a delicious starter, Sesame Prawn Toast, Duck with Chinese Style Plum Sauce, my brother in law’s recipe for tender Chinese Style Belly Pork & Greens/Broccoli/Bok Choy, Special Fried Rice and just after I get back, refreshingly fragrant Lychee Sorbet.  Meanwhile on holiday in France and Catalunya I hope, among other things, to be sampling Tapas and Creme Catalan washed down with a fruity chilled glass of Sangria.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Full Post »

May ’Meanderings’ …

Y Viva España!  Did I mention that we are going to Catalonia in North East Spain (via France) for our holiday this year?!  Not long to go now so I have been doing some research and experimenting with some of the foods we might find on menus.  Actually there I have made more recipes than I have posted this month, so there will be another flavour of Spain month some time in the future.

Recipes this month

Minted Melonade

Basic Recipe: Salted Fish   Basque Style Salt Cod (Bacalao) in Spicy Tomato Sauce 
Spanish Style Gammon Stew                                           Patatas Bravas
 
Arroz con Leche – Spanish Style Rice Pudding

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’
http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

Bookshelf Meanderings:
Spanish Bar and Restaurant Cooking: Authentic Recipes for Paella, Tapas and Sangria by María Solís Ballinger & Natalía Solís Ballinger
I treated myself to this book recently when, having borrowed it from the library to research Spanish food/tapas for our holiday, I then discovered a very cheap secondhand copy online. It is packed with good recipes: I had no idea that there were so many possible paella and sangria variations … and so much more too. In fact there were so many paella variations that sounded good I had to stop myself listing them all below as a reminder to try them out!
Already on this site: Patatas Bravas (Spanish Style Roast Potatoes – but my own recipe variation)
On my list: Piperada (Basque Style Eggs – similar to the French Piperade), Tortilla Espanola (Potato Omelette), Escalivada (Catalan Roasted Vegetable Salad), Pinchitos (Spiced Pork Kebabs), Ggazpacho Andaluz (Classic Andalusian Gazpacho), Tumbet (Aubergine Casserole), Calabacines y Romero (Paella with Chicken Courgette & Rosemary), Paella al Horno con Queso (Baked Paella with Cheese Topping), Paella de Pollo y Tomates Secos (Chicken Paella with Sun-dried Tomatoes), Naranja y Almendras (Chicken & Orange Paella with Almonds), Paella de Pollo y Gambas (Chicken & Prawn Paella), Paella de Bacon y Veneras (Paella with Bacon & Scallops), Paella Facil y Rapida de Pollo (Quick & Easy Chicken Paella), Helado de Canela (Cinnamon Ice Cream), Flan de Naranjas (Orange Flan – I have another recipe for this too elsewhere), Crema Catalana (Sweet Catalan Cream – like Creme Brulee) … plus some lovely Sangria recipes!

Entertaining Meanderings:
At the start of the month I did a special Sunday lunch for my father’s 90th birthday.  On the menu was traditional Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings and Roast Potatoes, plus Butternut Squash Ragout.  For dessert Lemon Meringue Pie (one of his favourite things and something I have not made in a very long time).  Also this month another large scale church lunch, which this time was Italian themed.  We served traditional Beef Lasagne, with a roasted vegetable version available for non meat eaters.  These were accompanied by mixed leaf salads and garlic bread.  I produced the desserts: two types of Tiramisu.  One was Tiramisu Trifle with alcohol, an adaptation of a Tiramisu recipe I have been making for many years, although I used sherry rather than marsala wine,.  The second was the same without alcohol, but with caramel sauce (dulce de leche) and diced pears added instead.  Finally, at the end of the month we invited three ‘old’ friends for Sunday lunch. This time I served Roast Pork with Apple Sauce and Pickled Prunes (an unopened jar from Christmas) plus Roast Potatoes and Ratatouille.  The dessert was once again Caramel Pear Tiramisu Trifle, though this time with the alcohol (sherry) which we thought was a definite improvement on the alcohol free version.

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

  ——

‘For what we are about to receive…’ June 2011

I have made promises recently to post recipes, so these will appear this month. These recipes are West African Style Chicken & Peanut Stew and Mango Curd, the latest in a series of curd experiments, variations on traditional Lemon Curd.   First though, taking advantage of the bushes currently laden with elderflowers, I am making this years Elderflower Cordial, though the pictures are of the batch I made last year.  After that I need to turn my mind towards our holiday and more mundane things, especially what we need to take – it’s a caravan so I suppose we will take ‘everything but the kitchen sink‘ (which of course comes ready supplied!)
There will be a July version of this post, but it may well appear late – once we are back from holiday.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: