Wednesday, September 29

Put a tortilla chip on it, Dad!

Fatherhood, and the attendant exhaustion from sleep deprivation, can make you do weird things.

Case in point:

Take this delicious Swedish treat. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack at ANY time of day or night:

DAY: Sunday lunchish. (My breakfast, Dad’s late morning snack. He’d already been up several hours by this point looking after his two babies.)

NIGHT: Next day, ca.11PM. Just back from the airport. That cheese didn’t stand a chance of making it to the next day! Note the delicious Swedish smoked porter. It is at this point that I cannot resist showing my haul of Swedish treats, even though my camera battery was dead and I couldn’t hold my cell phone still because I was so excited:

Crappy pic. But so awesome!

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I was enjoying my first snacks of the day when Dad went back to the kitchen and reemerged with last night’s guacamole-delivering vehicles. He then proceeded to crumble them over his snack:

Also we were drinking coffee:

Hey, it’s not the first time this blog has gotten freaky with the sandwiches. And that Swedish cookbook has loads of weird and awesome sandwiches, including this sandwich gateau! So get over it. Dad says it’s awesome.

Saturday, September 4

Holiday Bounty: Cook Books

Over 2 glorious weeks off (the first holiday Scott & I have had since last year) lots of food was bought and eaten - gourmet curry dinner in the Lake District, tasty Fish and Chips eaten near a lake and the sea, fishy treats from Norfolk pub, The Anchor in Morston etc etc. Instead of chronicling this tummy pleasing adventure I thought I would share something else food related: recipe books.

Whilst away we went to plenty of second-hand bookshops - in Windermere, Keswick, Bowness, Burnham Market, Holt, Norwich - and bought a lot of books between us of various types and genres. I came back with 3 cook books which I would like to share.

In Windermere I bought 2 slim volumes: The Book of Pies by Elisabeth Orsini, published by Pan Books in 1981 & French Country Cooking by Elizabeth David, first published in 1951 (my edition was published by Penguin in 1976).

The Book of Pies is part history and part recipe book, with over 200 recipes adapted from traditions of pie-making and sections dedicated to pastry, fish pies, vegetable pies, poultry and game pies, meat pies and sweet pies and tarts. I look forward to thumbing through this in the coming autumn and winter months. Best of all it has some wonderful illustrations:

The author of French Country Cooking, Elizabeth David, is the heroine of British Foodies, as it was she who brought Mediterranean cooking to England, rescuing us from the blandness of our national dishes. Her French Provincial Cooking was recently named 2nd best cookery book by The Observer Food Magazine. I for one love that the book has chapters like 'Wine in the Kitchen', and it also has some lovely illustrations by John Minton:

Then, in one of my favourite bookshops, Brazen Head in Burnham Market, I picked up a rather weighty tome, The Great Scandinavian Cook Book: An Encyclopaedia of Domestic Cookery translated and edited by J. Audrey Ellison, published in English in 1966 by Allen and Unwin. It lives up to its subtitle as encyclopaedia, with sections on kitchen equipment, food nutrition and menus for parties as well as every food type imaginable. It too has wonderful illustrations, with sketches which strongly remind me of the kind of scandinavian design found in the 1950s, that I so love in the ceramics produced by porsgrund, fiijo & gustavsberg (to name a few) ...

... as well as glossy photos ...

... and more realistic, informative and very thorough drawings of food.

However, whilst flicking through it there was one particular aspect that made up my mind that I had to buy it. There is a chapter on sandwiches, with pages of pictures of open sandwiches with all sorts of food combinations (from the classically swedish potato, herring, chives and soured cream, to the frankly peculiar and pointless sounding grated carrot and banana slices).

And if that wasn't exciting enough, there is a recipe for a sandwich gateau, which you can see below. I can't wait to make this.

Watch this space for the making of recipes from these cookbooks!