Sunday, January 24

Food in my favourite films

I thought I would ease myself in by making my first post about film, and food. Rather than write about particularly amazing moments of food on film, or compiling a list of films to make you drool while you watch them, I thought I would pull a bit of a switcheroo and present food (and drink) moments in my favourite five films (which are not in order of preference, not set in stone - just a for now kind of list):

1. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968).

The chocolate mousse (or "mouse" as Minnie calls it) with the chalky undertaste:

"There Daddy. Do I get a gold star?"

Forget about the devil, there's the horror.

2. The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940).

One of the best drinking (and hangover) movies:

Champagne, its a great levellererer...


3. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954).

The perfect romantic dinner, brought to you by Lisa Carol Freemont & 21:

"Lisa. It's perfect, as always" (Try not to sound so disappointed!)

What could have been. The views across the courtyard:

Miss Torso 'juggling wolves'

Miss Lonelyhearts dines alone.

Mr Thorwald tends to his invalid wife.

4. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls, 1948)

The unknown woman goes to dinner with her unrequited love:

Another Lisa, another lobster dinner

"Now I see you as a little girl"

5. Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956)

A film dominated by drinking. Amusing at the beginning:

Kyle (Robert Stack, on the left) and Mitch (Rock Hudson, right) have flown from Texas to NYC for "the best steak sandwich in the world" at 21 (of course), but where's the steak?

Takes on a tragic turn towards then end:

Kyle arrives late, and very drunk, to his own dinner party

"Bring me a cocktail I can drink"

"spose you're wondering why I invited you all here tonight"

His wife, Lucy (Lauren Bacall), in love with Mitch but carrying Kyle's longed for child, takes him away

leaving the cocktail to remain undrunk. Kyle is shot in a struggle with Mitch moments later.

Diary of a morbidly obscene biscuit addict

When asked to put something together for this feast of a blog, I think only one person was expecting such a biscuit shaped spanner in the works such as the following.

Diary of a morbidly obscene biscuit addict


This week I have been facing insurmountable odds in my battle with an aggressive combatant:


These vile little biscuit specimens with such catastrophically kaleidoscopic faces, so gaudy they famously made Andy Warhol sick*1, have been taunting me remorselessly all week. The sugar rainbow adorning their attractive topside a very affront to my maudlin mood. I don’t know whether I think that by eating the Party Rings some of the delightful colour will some how rub off on my general outlook on life or that I am eating them to just get them out of my face!

Whatever the reason, it’s beside the point; dwelling on the philosophical ramifications of ingesting these day-glo edibles is not going to keep me from the task at hand. So I go about throwing hippy biscuits into my gaping maw with the same fervour as a hairy biker sucking the marrow out of a human femur “wye eye man, its right teehsty”*2

And then I’m off. Like Super Mario being fired out of a sour faced cannon I’m on a space odyssey. Look there’s the famous Friesian nebula, where all the planets look like cows. And look out! Crafty Pete the Cosmic Gibbon is aggressively waving his fist at me for trespassing. I chart a new course for the coco-pop asteroid rings of the cookie dough planet Great Uncle Beta. I take a closer look. Nine seconds later I have eaten my way through the Great Uncle’s 10,000 mile interior. Oh my God! Cheesy Sue is here, and with her sausage roll dog! Me and Cheesy Sue go way back, we had a thing together for a while. She was great! But then Carol Vorderman told me too much cheese could cause dietary problems*3 so we had to split up.

The sausage roll dog calls my name. The voice is familiar. My fantasy space voyage dissipates. My boss is asking me why I have been flying around the office spreading crumbs and eating any and all perishables that cross my line of sight. “I have been eating Party Rings” I triumphantly cry, dragging out the word ‘rings’ so I sound like a crazed telephone. “Only 89p a pack”*4 I add as my eyes dart around the room. “If I give you £1.78 exactly will you buy another two packs?” she politely asks looking rather nervous but also a little eager. “HAHA” I bellow, snatching the money and making for the door. “I will return as your king and military commander – Captain Riboflavin Cholesterol, the Caramac Kid, the Sultan of Smarties, the Double Decker douchebag, messiah of Maltesers, the pink wafer prince...


My battle with Party Rings an abominable failure.

*1 - Not true
*2 - Requires a Geordie accent, oh and the hairy bikers are categorically not cannibals, I hope. For otherwise we are all doomed!! Doomed!
*3 - This could have actually been from GMTV’s Dr Hilary Jones
*4 - True! Go and see.

Monday, January 18

Two Delicious Lunches.

Cooked for me by some kind friends.

Nibbles: Olives, cured ham, celeriac salad, pickles and bread.

Preparation of first course.

Some nice grey mullets, and their guts.

Uncompleted pudding, with a ladybird.

First course: Pumpkin ravioli.

Main course: Roasted grey mullet with fennel and olive salad.

Pudding: Hazelnut meringue with raspberries (or without for those allergic) and cream.


Colourful selection of vegetables and tofu.


Another uncompleted pudding.

Main course: Stir-fry with vegetables and smoked tofu.

Pudding: "To represent all that is wrong with Western society" banoffee pie.

Sunday, January 10

Stew For Newman

My friend Ben had a stew at our house once. Since then, he’s asked me about fifty times (ie twice) what went on so that he might make it for himself. I’m generally pretty low on patience, so I thought I’d get it right out there straight away, then it need never be repeated again. So this one’s for you Ben, now leave me alone.


The Insides
Garlic – in bits.
Onions – yes.
Celery – if you know what’s good for you.
Some root veg – carrot, swede, turnip, whatever you fancy.
Greens – leeks, purple sprouting, peas, it’s all good.
Pulses – Puy lentils make it good. Adding borlotti beans makes it better.
Herbs ‘n’ that – I’d say pepper, thyme, maybe a bit of rosemary.

The Method
Cook the veg up in a big pan with a lid for a bit, holding fire on the pulses, until it all starts to soften, then pour in a couple of glasses of red wine (or a bottle of half decent ale) and a similar amount of water. Insert herbage, and maybe a good sprinkle of stock if you’re well, er, stocked. Sorry. Get it bubbling-hot, then add a handful or three of tasty puy lentils and let it cook for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are done and the veg is soft enough for an old man’s teeth to manage. Hopefully, you’ll add some borlotti beans near the end, making it a bigger, better and bolder stew all round. Eat it with potato cakes for added fatness.


The Insides
Potatoes – hence the name.
Greens – because they’re healthy.
Butter – to counteract the greens.
Salt – because it’s important to live dangerously once in a while.

The Method
Make a load of mashed potato, skins ‘n’ all, with plenty of butter and a good pinch of salt. I like a bit of mustard, but more of that another time. Stir in some lightly fried up greens; again, just whatever’s hanging about like leeks, sprouts or cabbage. Mix it all up and form into fat wadges of goodness, about the size of a teenager’s angry fist – you probably want one each, so make as much as you think you can handle, tough guy. Lay ‘em out on a baking tray, add a little pat of butter on the top (because you’re worth it), then bake in the oven for about half an hour or until the edges go crunchy.

Ready? Set the table? Go.