Valentine’s Day Extravaganza; late bird special

Once, my friend decided to introduce me in the following manner:

“And this is Dave. He is continental and, therefore, always late.”

So, to keep with tradition, I have decided to delay my Valentine’s Day posting. Also, the sign of good blogging is your being able to provoke a reaction. And what better way to get a reaction than to remind people of how miserable Valentine’s Day makes them just when they thought the coast was finally clear?

Right, so this year the dreaded 14/2 was special for me because it was my first non-single Valentine’s Day (it only took me 21 years to jump that hurdle)! Rather than going for the roses/card/chocolate cliché (well, I kind of went for chocolate…) I decided to go all out and make a pretty snazzy meal for two.

Before this goes further, I would like to remind my readers that student food standards are in effect at the moment and, hence, anything that doesn’t use baked beans can be considered pretty darn snazzy.

My offering to cupid took the form a three course meal which was completely home made. And it only took me five hours! Firstly, we had a butternut squash, spinach and feta cheese tart; then we had a lemon and thyme roast chicken with roast vegetables (not risqué enough? Too bad!); and, finally, for my pièce de résistance (why is it even called that?), and chocolate ganache tart with a mixed berry compote underbelly (I have no idea what the culinary terms for these are…). Continue reading

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Treinador do Sporting Despedido: Vamos passar dez minutos com esta m*rda!

Antes de tudo gostaria de dizer que não peço desculpa pelo meu uso da língua portuguesa.*

Segundo, gostaria de reafirmar que isto é, de facto, um blog que encontrou maior ênfase em comida e fotografias (já sem falar que está maioritariamente escrito em inglês). No entanto, isso não exclui (ou excluirá) uns esporádicos artigos/posts sobre qualquer outro tema, como é o caso presente.

Admito-o: não costumo ver o noticiário. Quanto mais o noticiário do meu país, visto que sou emigrante. Ora, por ventura, hoje decidi ir ao site da RTP e ver a emissão gravada de 13 de Fevereiro 2012.**

Ora bem, qual foi a primeira coisa que me veio ao ecrã? Domingos Paciência, até então treinador do Sporting foi despedido.

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On how it may be possible to puke rainbows

I apologise for the title: I couldn’t think of anything witty/pun-y to write. Its relevance will be tackled later; promise.

Before that, however, I would like to introduce you to my new toys. Two conserve/terrine jars and their sister, the stoppered bottle.

Let me begin by drawing your attention to the wrapping paper I used as a shoddy background for the picture. Is it not amazing? I found a really cool shop on my last trip to London called Tiger, which has some quirky products on the cheap (end unsolicited publicity).

You may or may not remember my previous post about making jam. As I found out in my past adventures in jam-making, the water that is used when initially simmering the fruit can be used to make syrup instead of simply being discarded like a used condom in a pool party (don’t be shocked; y’all have seen one). Well, I needed containers for this syrup that would be made and refused to use my newly acquired jam jars, as they were too small and would all be used up (a lot of simmer-water was made).

So far the liquid has been in measuring cups in my fridge (though, I could have simply left them outside, on account of the cold we’ve been experiencing). Now, their destinies will be fulfilled, which will leave a hole in their souls in which they will tumble down towards alcoholism. No, really; I’m making drinks syrup, so it’s easy (and accurate) to assume that they will end up in a vodka based concoction. Yessiree, I’m going to make myself some colourful drinks!

Speaking of colourful stuff (yes, the rainbow mentioned in the title will now be justified—did you actually think I was going to make a cheap alcohol/chunder joke? Shame on you!), I made a rainbow cake! Actually, I made two. Back in December, my friend threw a potluck cake party and commissioned me to make a rainbow cake. My idea was to make a bundt-shaped cake using sponge batter, with each section having its own colour and a slight wave effect, where each colour attempts to invade one of its neighbours. So, rainbow cake two cakes, eating too much, puking rainbow… see the connection? No? I don’t blame you, it was a bit of a stretch, after all.

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Let’s have a jamboree!

Brits love their puns and I’m cool that way so I think it fair to warn you that titles will include puns as often as possible.

All disclaimers aside, let’s get to the culinary core of it: I made jam.

It wasn’t the first time. I’d actually done it two Summers ago, when I first moved in to the house I’m inhabiting at the moment. I had intended to write about it, but then I got distracted and by the time I was reminded (read by the time I suddenly realised that the thing I remembered that I had forgotten) I felt as if too much time had passed. I even took pretty blackberry pictures.

This time round, I made strawberry jam and what the English like to call “marmalade”. According to wikipedia, the term “marmalade” in English refers to any preserve or jam made from citrus fruits. I call bollocks. To me marmalade means it came from “marmelo”, the Portuguese word for “quince”. Therefore, quince is essential to make marmalade. I would understand if marmalade had a similar consistency to “marmelada”—akin to a moist (hate the word moist…) turkish delight. However, since it does not, in fact, have any similarity to marmelada, I (irrationally) refuse to take the word “marmalade” seriously and, hence, begrudgingly use it to avoid confusion when conversing with any British individual.

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