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Turkey soup

26 Dec

Turkey soup

Turkey soup is as much a part of our family Christmas as the main meal, and is one of those dishes that take me straight back to my childhood. There is no other dish that gives me more comfort.

We ate roast turkey only at Christmas and Thanksgiving, so we couldn’t have had turkey soup that often. But perhaps mum froze the stock and used it throughout the year. (And she also made pretty much the same soup with chicken carcasses or ham bones.) Continue reading

Bran bread

15 Nov

bran bread

I love the simplicity of this bran bread recipe. All Bran, dried fruit and milk is left to soften before being mixed with some flour and baked for an hour.

It is essentially a baked bowl of soggy cereal, but what a difference that baking makes.

The resulting loaf is toothsome, moist and flavourful. “It’s like a cross between malt bread and Christmas cake,” my daughter said, and she’s spot on.

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Fake soufflé

13 Oct

Fake soufflé was one of mum’s dinner party staples in the 1970s, but I remember she found the name embarrassing.

As if she was cheating her guests by not providing a “real” soufflé instead of this light, fluffy, delicious concoction.

I think fake soufflé could do with a rebrand. Continue reading

Salmon with crab apple jelly and horseradish glaze

9 Oct

salmon with crab apple and horseradish glaze

Coating salmon in a sweet-tart glaze before baking in the oven is one of my favourite ways to cook it.

And this combination of crab apple jelly and horseradish is probably my favourite glaze to coat it with.

Crab apples were plentiful where I grew up. They’re not much good for eating, so my mum either pickled them whole or cooked them into a lovely tart jelly.

I occasionally see crab apple jelly for sale in the UK. Whenever I do, I always buy a couple of jars. It also works well with apricot jam.

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Japanese hot dogs

5 Oct

Japanese hotdog
On our trip to Vancouver last summer, Japadog was on my list of things to do/try while we were in town.

For various reasons, I didn’t manage to eat one until we were at the airport, about to fly home. Probably just as well…

Japanese hot dogs are delicious, extremely moreish, and could definitely see myself working my way through their kurogoma kimuchi dog (turkey sausage with kimchi and black sesame seeds), ebi tempura dog (prawn tempura on rice) and yakisoba dog (“popular Japanese noodles and aribiki sausage”).

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Spinach and water chestnut dip

27 Sep

spinach and water chestnut dip

Spinach and water chestnut dip was all the rage in the 1970s, and I adored it.

An unlikely cast of ingredients – spinach, water chestnuts, powdered soup mix and mayonnaise – come together in the most silky, savoury, crunchy way imaginable.

As I remember, it was usually served in a hollowed out bread loaf, surrounded by chunks of bread for dipping. Continue reading

Lotus salad

17 Sep

Lotus salad

Years ago, my cousin part-owned a funky café-gallery called The Whip, in what was then a pretty scruffy part of east Vancouver.

The first time I ate there, I ordered the intriguingly named lotus salad – baby spinach tossed with blue cheese, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds, drizzled in a blackberry vinaigrette.

It was love at first bite, and I’ve been making my own version ever since. Continue reading