A trussed and roasted chicken
A trussed and roasted chicken
Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

The Roast Dinner, or the Sunday Roast, or whatever you want to call it, is a very traditional British Dish. It’s one of the few parts of British cuisine that people seem to appreciate, and for good reason. Across the pond, it’s easy to see inspiration from the traditional Roast Dinner in meals such as Thanksgiving Dinner or a traditional Christmas Dinner. The origins of this meal are debated to this day. But one thing we can all agree on is that the roast dinner is a lot of hard work and takes pretty much all day to cook. But what actually is a Roast Dinner? And is it really that hard? …


A man staring a four jars of pickles
A man staring a four jars of pickles
Photo by Micah Tindell on Unsplash

When the lockdown started, I, like most other people found myself with nothing to do. This was fine. This meant that I had all the time in the world and could focus on all those long-awaited projects that I never got round to back in the before-times when I had a life. Again, like most other people, this meant a lot of baking. But that wasn’t all. You see, I’m a cook primarily, not a baker. Yes, there is a difference. So I also turned to preserving things. It made sense, it was simple and gave me a reason to keep an eye on the calendar during the great amorphous blob of time that is lockdown. So, why write this article? Well, firstly, because I want to. Secondly, I think this is an underrated ingredient to both eat and make and feel that others would benefit. Thirdly, in my country, we’re entering another lockdown. …


Dumplings on a plate which tragically haven’t been fried yet
Dumplings on a plate which tragically haven’t been fried yet
Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

So I haven’t actually been to Central or Eastern Europe (or CEE for my poor keyboard). Although a trip Poland has come up in conversation an awful lot lately. The primary reason for that is our recent love for all food Polish. Well, the stuff we’ve eaten anyway.

It’s not just Polish food specifically that we fell in love with, although pierogi has been a revelation this year. I’m in both parts incredibly grateful and a teeny bit bitter towards the person who introduced me to them. Delicious, yes. Healthy… well, it depends on your definition of the word. Anyway, as I was saying, my family has always had a soft spot for borscht, a dish claimed by many CEE countries. …


The components of a sandwich falling in an aesthetically pleasing artsy manner
The components of a sandwich falling in an aesthetically pleasing artsy manner
Photo by Sara Cervera on Unsplash

That’s right, I’m going to rant about sandwiches. Now, I’m going to take a wild and unsubstantiated guess here and say that many of you don’t know how to make a decent sandwich. Some will. This isn’t a hidden and secret art, otherwise I probably wouldn’t know about it. But still, for those ignorant out there, I’m here to help. In the most condescending way I can manage. You’re welcome.

First off, let’s look at the example of an improperly made sandwich. Unsplash have kindly provided us with a great example of this. To the left, we see a sandwich that seems like it should work. Meat, lettuce and cheese. What’s wrong with that? It’s simple, look at the bread. …


A delicious curry
A delicious curry
Photo by Daily Slowdown on Unsplash

I’ve heard tell that British food is boring, heavy and uninspired. I slapped this person, then pointed at the history of British Colonialism. I’m not going to talk overmuch about the history of the British invasion of India, although I do recommend that you look it up yourself (Europe as a whole just went nuts). But what I will say is that for 400 years, the history of Britain and India have been interlinked. The British fell in love with the Indian food and, in time, the British Indian cuisine was born.

So, now that we’ve briefly addressed the (Indian) elephant in the room, and you’ve returned after twelve hours of research into the history of colonialism in my weak attempt to not go off on a tangent, let’s talk about curry. First of all, what’s the difference between Indian food and British Indian food? Well, it’s simultaneously bigger and smaller than you might think at first. The ingredients are largely the same. Many of the principles in the method are the same, such as developing a curry paste in advance along with a spice mix. However, the differences are significant. Indian food is, obviously, designed to be eaten every day. Even that term ‘Indian food’ is a bit disingenuous as India is a comically enormous subcontinent and the foods that people grow and eat are hugely varied. Many parts of India don’t necessarily have what we consider ‘curry’ as a large part of their cuisine. The ‘mix and match’ principle of British Indian food doesn’t show up. One dish is designed for one type of protein (if any) and that’s that. The idea of a madras, for example, being served with whichever meat you fancy, isn’t a thing. …


Porridge with served with fresh fruit nuts. Also, whole star anise for some reason.
Porridge with served with fresh fruit nuts. Also, whole star anise for some reason.
Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

So you’ve eaten something and it feels like a rock has landed in your stomach. Congratulations, you’ve experienced the World of Stodge. If this is your first time, you’re either a small child or very sheltered indeed. In either case, you’re likely aware of the somewhat poor reputation stodgy food holds. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to explore this.

According to my skilled and thorough research (or something), the word ‘stodgy’ has two meanings. One is the familiar food-based meaning, ‘heavy, filling, and high in carbohydrates’. …


Various types of mushroom
Various types of mushroom
Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Mushrooms get a lot of flack. It’s mostly from children, or the odd adult who doesn’t know any better, but I’ve met a lot of people who don’t like mushrooms. This is fairly normal, I hear you cry. People are free to dislike things even if they’re wrong. Fair enough. But I’ve found that a lot of the time, the reputation of the lowly mushroom is being unfairly besmirched.

Now I’m going to voice a theory. I hold this theory about many things, but mushrooms are a prime example. Sometimes when we don’t like something, it’s because we haven’t given it a fair chance. In fact, the problem is often how we use it. Is this a revolutionary thought? Absolutely not. I’ve never claimed to be original. But let’s look at some of the more common complaints about the mushroom. …


A hand holding a red chilli pepper with a black background
A hand holding a red chilli pepper with a black background
Photo by Miguel Andrade on Unsplash

Here’s the thing. I’m not a complete chilli head, I don’t ram superhot chillies down my throat and peer longingly at the top of the Scoville scale. But I love spicy food. I know this isn’t exactly unusual, there’s a reason chillies are a huge market. Many people love spicy food. But why?

Seriously, it shouldn’t make sense. Part of what makes food ‘hot’ is capsaicin, a chemical which excites pain receptors of all things. Maybe we’re a bit nuts. Maybe the spice haters are the sensible ones.

Or maybe not. I never used to like my food too spicy. I didn’t get it. I didn’t mind a hint of spice, but I didn’t understand the appeal of food that burned; after all, it made me sweat, it made my nose run. Who would put themselves through that? My family, apparently. We currently live in a semi rural area where most people don’t seem to have a tolerance for hot food, but originally we came from a city with much more eclectic tastes. So often the food we ate ranged from Caribbean meals to Indian style curries. I managed this quite heroically, with a healthy helping of yoghurt to ease me through it. So what happened? I did build somewhat more of a tolerance as I got older, but that wasn’t what converted me. …

About

Sarah Fenly

Hi, I’m Sarah. I live somewhere in England and I love to cook and to write. I figured it would be an idea to combine those passion so here we are…

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