rhythmaning: (whisky)
Whilst I’m at it, talking about Edinburgh, I thought I’d mention some of the place I hung out in. These are probably some of my favourite places in Edinburgh!

I spent several evenings at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, both at the Vaults and at 28 Queen Street. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I doubt this will surprise you. It is just a great place to hang out – good but informal food, great drink. The Vaults in particular is a very relaxing place – I spent several evening there, including a great whisky tasting which I meant to post about – a valedictory tasting led by Laura, who was leaving her job at the society after several years. I saw that just by chance – I had popped in for a night cap the day before, and noticed it was on. It was great – most of the people at the tasting were SMWS staff – it felt just like a leaving do, with great whisky and some wonderful stories.

I ate two or three times at V&C’s VinCaffe. Good food, great wine. I had breakfast there one day, too. I wasn’t working. I had a hangover. It was great.

I also went to the Guildford Arms a couple of times – once just to drink, once to eat and drink. When I lived in Edinburgh, I used to go to the Café Royal, just next door to the Guildford, but it was packed out when I popped my head around the door, so I went into the Guildford instead. I can’t remember going there before. They had a great whisky list, friendly service and a beautiful ceiling. The restaurant was good, too.

The friend I stayed with for a couple of weeks recommended Café Fish - just across the road from the Vaults. I went there twice, and had their very superior fish and chips both times. I liked this place. The fish was very good.

I had a great meal at Zanzero. Again, great food, great wine, and a great welcome. I’d have gone back, but I only stayed in the western end of the New Town once, so it didn’t make sense – I’d have had to walk past other places to get there. I didn’t make it to Zanzero’s big sibling Centotre for dinner, although I did have breakfast there when I stayed over and hung out with the Edinburgh Coffee Morning crowd. Great coffee and great conversation!

I spent one evening watching football in the Cambridge Bar - good burgers, good beer, lousy football – and another with a crowd of old friends at Café Andaluz - lots of tapas, lots of wine, lots of friends.

There were of course places I liked that I didn’t get to visit – the one place I feel I missed was the Shore Bar, probably my favourite pub. It’s where I had planned to go before I found out there was a whisky tasting to go to instead…

Supper

Jan. 30th, 2009 07:51 pm
rhythmaning: (whisky)
I nearly had a culinary disaster tonight; well, a disappointment, at least. I was planning to cook myself a beef stew. I put the cooker on, set the heavy pan on the hob, poured in some olive oil... And then I realised I didn't have the tin of tomatoes that habitually sits in my cupboard.

My beef stew – for which I don't have a recipe - needs a tin of tomatoes.

I then looked in the freezer, sure that I had a piece of salmon that would suffice (if not replace). I was wrong about that, too.

This put me in a bit of a quandry; all I could think of was some pasta – my usual stand-by – or risotto. And pasta, for me, usually needs a tin of tomatoes... (Not always: pasta and garlic is delicious; and pasta and mushrooms; but neither of these felt like they would hit the Friday night with a few glasses of wine mark.)

So I went with risotto. This is actually a curious choice. I often cook risotto – but almost always on days when I have decided not to drink alcohol. (I have for a while been thinking about writing about my attitude to alcohol – almost uniformly positive, except that after some article I read many, many years ago, I make sure I don't drink alcohol at least two days in every seven; well, let's face it, I only ever don't drink alcohol two days out of seven – it is only if I have been ill or away somewhere dry that I exceed that!) For some reason, I will happily not drink wine with risotto, whilst I feel most meals are improved greatly by a glass or three of wine.

I cooked my risotto – sauteeing a shallot and a couple of cloves of garlic, adding sliced jerusalem artichoke (because it was there and needed eating), simmering some mushrooms in a mixture of (cheap) white wine and water since I really can't be arsed with stock (all the alcohol evaporates off; I see no inconsistency about cooking with alcohol when I am not drinking the stuff) – and many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] coughingbear for that tip. Adding a healthy grating of parmesan and fresh basil from my very own herb farm (aka a pot in the window).

It was delicious.

I mean, it was really, really delicious.

I ate it with a couple of glasses of Chilean pinot noir, reckoning the mushroomy flavours of the grape would match the food. (Matching wine and risotto not normally a decision I have.)

It was lovely.

Now I am sitting here with a glass of Talisker and a couple of bits of chocolate, listening to the radio and feeling that all is very right with the world.

And I really must remember to get some tins of tomatoes in!

Supper

Jan. 30th, 2009 07:51 pm
rhythmaning: (whisky)
I nearly had a culinary disaster tonight; well, a disappointment, at least. I was planning to cook myself a beef stew. I put the cooker on, set the heavy pan on the hob, poured in some olive oil... And then I realised I didn't have the tin of tomatoes that habitually sits in my cupboard.

My beef stew – for which I don't have a recipe - needs a tin of tomatoes.

I then looked in the freezer, sure that I had a piece of salmon that would suffice (if not replace). I was wrong about that, too.

This put me in a bit of a quandry; all I could think of was some pasta – my usual stand-by – or risotto. And pasta, for me, usually needs a tin of tomatoes... (Not always: pasta and garlic is delicious; and pasta and mushrooms; but neither of these felt like they would hit the Friday night with a few glasses of wine mark.)

So I went with risotto. This is actually a curious choice. I often cook risotto – but almost always on days when I have decided not to drink alcohol. (I have for a while been thinking about writing about my attitude to alcohol – almost uniformly positive, except that after some article I read many, many years ago, I make sure I don't drink alcohol at least two days in every seven; well, let's face it, I only ever don't drink alcohol two days out of seven – it is only if I have been ill or away somewhere dry that I exceed that!) For some reason, I will happily not drink wine with risotto, whilst I feel most meals are improved greatly by a glass or three of wine.

I cooked my risotto – sauteeing a shallot and a couple of cloves of garlic, adding sliced jerusalem artichoke (because it was there and needed eating), simmering some mushrooms in a mixture of (cheap) white wine and water since I really can't be arsed with stock (all the alcohol evaporates off; I see no inconsistency about cooking with alcohol when I am not drinking the stuff) – and many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] coughingbear for that tip. Adding a healthy grating of parmesan and fresh basil from my very own herb farm (aka a pot in the window).

It was delicious.

I mean, it was really, really delicious.

I ate it with a couple of glasses of Chilean pinot noir, reckoning the mushroomy flavours of the grape would match the food. (Matching wine and risotto not normally a decision I have.)

It was lovely.

Now I am sitting here with a glass of Talisker and a couple of bits of chocolate, listening to the radio and feeling that all is very right with the world.

And I really must remember to get some tins of tomatoes in!

Spoiled

Jan. 5th, 2009 07:47 pm
rhythmaning: (whisky)
After spending ten days down south and five days way out west, it was quite nice to get back to my flat for a bit of hibernation.

The best bit was stopping off at Loch Fyne Oyster Bar on the way back. Again, they were too busy to serve me; again, this wasn’t too much of a problem given the overindulgence I had forced on my system over the last couple of weeks. (Also, someone had said that they thought the restaurant might be on hard times, what with the credit crunch and all; so the fact that it was full seemed like good news.) Whilst lingering in the shop (buying kippers, pickled herring and a smoked salmon roll to make up for not having lunch…), I realised that they had large packets of smoked salmon on sale, so that the good stuff cost the same as the packs of offcuts I buy to cook with. (Smoked salmon pasta, and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs work very well with offcuts!) So I bought a pack, and then realised I could freeze it, so I bought another.

I spent a bit more than I had intended, but at least I shall be eating smoked salmon sandwiches for a month!

Spoiled

Jan. 5th, 2009 07:47 pm
rhythmaning: (whisky)
After spending ten days down south and five days way out west, it was quite nice to get back to my flat for a bit of hibernation.

The best bit was stopping off at Loch Fyne Oyster Bar on the way back. Again, they were too busy to serve me; again, this wasn’t too much of a problem given the overindulgence I had forced on my system over the last couple of weeks. (Also, someone had said that they thought the restaurant might be on hard times, what with the credit crunch and all; so the fact that it was full seemed like good news.) Whilst lingering in the shop (buying kippers, pickled herring and a smoked salmon roll to make up for not having lunch…), I realised that they had large packets of smoked salmon on sale, so that the good stuff cost the same as the packs of offcuts I buy to cook with. (Smoked salmon pasta, and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs work very well with offcuts!) So I bought a pack, and then realised I could freeze it, so I bought another.

I spent a bit more than I had intended, but at least I shall be eating smoked salmon sandwiches for a month!
rhythmaning: (cat)
Strange and bizarre though it may seem, I do actually know people that don't like custard. Some of them may even read this journal.

So they may be pleased by this story about the wanton destruction of custard.

Me, I love the stuff.

(via Arbroath.)
rhythmaning: (cat)
Strange and bizarre though it may seem, I do actually know people that don't like custard. Some of them may even read this journal.

So they may be pleased by this story about the wanton destruction of custard.

Me, I love the stuff.

(via Arbroath.)

Sossiges

Sep. 18th, 2008 07:17 pm
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I haven't written about food for a while; no particular reason (I promise you I have been eating; and cooking). But I have just had some sausages for the first time in a few months; and they were delicious.

I have no doubt how to cook sausages: until they are burnt. In the oven, their skins blackened.

With mashed potatoes (complete with fried onion and garlic mashed in).

And a large glass or three of wine (a 1999 Chateau Neuf du Pape - I have a case which needs drinking, so that is what I am doing).

Followed by currant bun "bread-and-butter" pudding.

Magic.

Sossiges

Sep. 18th, 2008 07:17 pm
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I haven't written about food for a while; no particular reason (I promise you I have been eating; and cooking). But I have just had some sausages for the first time in a few months; and they were delicious.

I have no doubt how to cook sausages: until they are burnt. In the oven, their skins blackened.

With mashed potatoes (complete with fried onion and garlic mashed in).

And a large glass or three of wine (a 1999 Chateau Neuf du Pape - I have a case which needs drinking, so that is what I am doing).

Followed by currant bun "bread-and-butter" pudding.

Magic.

Tonight...

Mar. 7th, 2008 10:17 pm
rhythmaning: (bottle)
Stopping at my wonderful local cheesemonger on my way home, I bought some parmesan, some cheddar and a bit of strathdon blue, from Speyside, which I haven’t had before (I wonder how it goes with whisky?).

As I was leaving, the guy behind the counter said, “If you want some bread, just help yourself.” I must have given him a quizzical look, because he explained, “I’m closing in a minute so it’ll be thrown out, so just help yourself – you’ll be doing me a favour.”

I took a loaf, reckoning that I would buy a copy of the Big Issue (“bigger shoes!” he shouted as he walked across the Artic snows) or give a quid or so to the next homeless guy I see.

Only later did I think I should have taken a couple of loaves, and stuck them in the freezer.

* * *



My small bit of bread and cheese when I got in was lovely.

I had a glass of rather good claret with it - Chateau Dutruch Grand Poujeaux. It was really good with the cheese.

I then switched to a glass of Italian nero d’avola – finishing off a bottle – before, later, having another glass of the claret with a steak for supper. This time, though, it tasted completely different: strongly floral – a whole field of violets. I don’t know if it was the cheese, the nero d’avola, the steak or the salad I had with it – or maybe just the time since I had opened the bottle - but the change was remarkable.

* * *



On the radio, Petroc Trelawny was introducing a concert by CBSO, featuring works by Arvo Pärt and Shostakovich.

The piece by Pärt was “Fratres”. I like this music – I have a couple of versions of it: it builds in intensity.

I had always assumed that the name was Latin; Pärt tends to write somewhat religious pieces – “sacred minimalism”, wikipedia calls it – and I thought this was reflected by his use of Latin phrases to name his pieces.

So I always thought this piece was pronounced “fra-tres”; or even “frat-res”. But what Trelawny said was “frarts”. Twice.

Perhaps that is how it is pronounced in Estonia (Pärt is Estonian); or maybe Twelawny knows how the Romans actually pronounce the word!

Tonight...

Mar. 7th, 2008 10:17 pm
rhythmaning: (bottle)
Stopping at my wonderful local cheesemonger on my way home, I bought some parmesan, some cheddar and a bit of strathdon blue, from Speyside, which I haven’t had before (I wonder how it goes with whisky?).

As I was leaving, the guy behind the counter said, “If you want some bread, just help yourself.” I must have given him a quizzical look, because he explained, “I’m closing in a minute so it’ll be thrown out, so just help yourself – you’ll be doing me a favour.”

I took a loaf, reckoning that I would buy a copy of the Big Issue (“bigger shoes!” he shouted as he walked across the Artic snows) or give a quid or so to the next homeless guy I see.

Only later did I think I should have taken a couple of loaves, and stuck them in the freezer.

* * *



My small bit of bread and cheese when I got in was lovely.

I had a glass of rather good claret with it - Chateau Dutruch Grand Poujeaux. It was really good with the cheese.

I then switched to a glass of Italian nero d’avola – finishing off a bottle – before, later, having another glass of the claret with a steak for supper. This time, though, it tasted completely different: strongly floral – a whole field of violets. I don’t know if it was the cheese, the nero d’avola, the steak or the salad I had with it – or maybe just the time since I had opened the bottle - but the change was remarkable.

* * *



On the radio, Petroc Trelawny was introducing a concert by CBSO, featuring works by Arvo Pärt and Shostakovich.

The piece by Pärt was “Fratres”. I like this music – I have a couple of versions of it: it builds in intensity.

I had always assumed that the name was Latin; Pärt tends to write somewhat religious pieces – “sacred minimalism”, wikipedia calls it – and I thought this was reflected by his use of Latin phrases to name his pieces.

So I always thought this piece was pronounced “fra-tres”; or even “frat-res”. But what Trelawny said was “frarts”. Twice.

Perhaps that is how it is pronounced in Estonia (Pärt is Estonian); or maybe Twelawny knows how the Romans actually pronounce the word!
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I have just eaten pasta with a simple tomato and mushroom sauce.

It was absolutely delicious.

To make the sauce, I sautéed an onion with several cloves of garlic in some olive oil. I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, a handful of dried herbs, and a glass of red wine, and left it on the hob for three quarters of an hour or so. Then I added six sliced mushrooms, and left the lid off the pan so it the liquid would reduce.

I grated some grana padano over the pasta and sauce.

The whole was really delicious. It was surprising that something so simple could taste so good.

I can’t help thinking it must be something in the tin of tomatoes. This tin came from Tesco – a British supermarket – as opposed from Waitrose, where the last few tins I used came from. (Before that, the tin pretends to have come from Italy. I don’t know whether this is true or not.) This tasted much, much better than the last tomato and mushroom sauce I made. So, thank you, Tesco.
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I have just eaten pasta with a simple tomato and mushroom sauce.

It was absolutely delicious.

To make the sauce, I sautéed an onion with several cloves of garlic in some olive oil. I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, a handful of dried herbs, and a glass of red wine, and left it on the hob for three quarters of an hour or so. Then I added six sliced mushrooms, and left the lid off the pan so it the liquid would reduce.

I grated some grana padano over the pasta and sauce.

The whole was really delicious. It was surprising that something so simple could taste so good.

I can’t help thinking it must be something in the tin of tomatoes. This tin came from Tesco – a British supermarket – as opposed from Waitrose, where the last few tins I used came from. (Before that, the tin pretends to have come from Italy. I don’t know whether this is true or not.) This tasted much, much better than the last tomato and mushroom sauce I made. So, thank you, Tesco.

Grating

Jun. 25th, 2007 09:19 pm
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
I bought a cheese grater the other day. The one I had was annoying me – it was a large, steel box thing, hand to get at the cheese which would fall in the middle. It just annoyed me.

So I was in the supermarket when saw a very simple, flat – and that was important to me, I wanted a two- rather than three-dimensional - cheese grater.

I bought it.

It had no packaging. It was just a cheese grater, with a label.

The label said “please keep the packaging for reference”.

It had no packaging. I think the label was just trying to confuse me.

Grating

Jun. 25th, 2007 09:19 pm
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
I bought a cheese grater the other day. The one I had was annoying me – it was a large, steel box thing, hand to get at the cheese which would fall in the middle. It just annoyed me.

So I was in the supermarket when saw a very simple, flat – and that was important to me, I wanted a two- rather than three-dimensional - cheese grater.

I bought it.

It had no packaging. It was just a cheese grater, with a label.

The label said “please keep the packaging for reference”.

It had no packaging. I think the label was just trying to confuse me.
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I had a friend visiting last weekend, and we decided we wanted a pizza. I let slip that I had never ordered a pizza delivered to the door before.

Read more... )
rhythmaning: (bottle)
I had a friend visiting last weekend, and we decided we wanted a pizza. I let slip that I had never ordered a pizza delivered to the door before.

Read more... )
rhythmaning: (cat)
I seem to recall a while ago there was talk about deferred gratification on my f-list.

So I really wanted to tell you all that, the day before I went away, I finished my dark chocolate Easter egg. It only took two months of nibbling.

And I really should have used [livejournal.com profile] parthenia14's chocolate icon for this post...

rhythmaning: (cat)
I seem to recall a while ago there was talk about deferred gratification on my f-list.

So I really wanted to tell you all that, the day before I went away, I finished my dark chocolate Easter egg. It only took two months of nibbling.

And I really should have used [livejournal.com profile] parthenia14's chocolate icon for this post...

Chocolate!

May. 24th, 2007 07:08 pm
rhythmaning: (Default)
I was given some chocolates from Plaisir du Chocolat the other day.

They are very good chocolates; deliciously rich, with amazing flavours.

They are also very colourful and artistic: they have intricate designs on them so you can tell them apart. I haven't quite worked out whether the pictures match the tastes yet.

DSC_0011

DSC_0011 1

DSC_0011 2



Edit: Plaisir du Chocolat is actually in administration - they've gone bust. Apparently, though, they have had lots of offers, so they'll probably continue in one form or another. So my supplies are safe...

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