Tag Archives: food

The 12 plates of Christmas

I’m an atheist, and really don’t like tawdry commerciality, so I don’t really do Christmas. The holiday does, though, provide a reason (if one’s needed) to hibernate and eat. If only there was a tick box for food in the religion section of the census. So, without further ado bring on the 12 plates of Christmas.

The turkey has been bought. Though it would probably be more traditional, and preferable, to have a goose.

Ditto the ham.

And the beef. So there should be some decent packed lunches to take to work next week.

Not forgetting the venison.

And there’s a couple of kilos of tiger prawns in the freezer. They’re best served a la plancha with plenty of chilli in the oil

There’s also a duck in the freezer, along with some Chinese pancakes.

Or a large jar of confit for making cassoulet.

Though it would have to be done with chorizo (cooking and eating varieties from Galicia) because there isn’t any Toulouse sausage.

But there are wild boar sausages

With Old Spot smoked back bacon for a serious breakfast

Rather than Stilton there’s a wedge of organic Caerphilly

And the Cava is chilling nicely. Cheap stuff from the supermarket for the bucks fizz, and some quality bottles brought back from Spain for dinner.

Here’s hoping you all have a good holiday.

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More Spam

The supermarket Spam (see previous post) must have gone down like a lead balloon, because it hasn’t been seen on the shelves since. But if you want to reminisce about its myriad delights then you can always take a peep though the hallowed portal of the Spam Museum.

No, I’m not making it up. Such a place really does exist in downtown Austin, Minnesota. There really is nothing I can add to what is written on one of the pages of their site:

It is said that within the hallowed halls of the 16,500 square foot SPAM® Museum lies the sum of all human knowledge. After all, SPAM® is the cradle of civilization. It is the ultimate culinary perfection. Within these walls, all of life’s questions will be deliciously answered.

Every SPAM™ Fan needs to make a pilgrimage to the SPAM® Museum. It is the very center of the SPAM™ universe. It is a necessary journey for anyone who loves canned meat.

Austin is home to 20,000-plus people and the HQ of Hormel Foods, and although it was the birthplace of John Madden it probably doesn’t have a great deal else to commend it. So if you’d rather munch your meat somewhere a little more exotic, then you need to head to Hawaii. For on April 25, 2009 Waikiki beach will host its 7th annual Spam Jam. As the museum site says so eloquently:

Held on one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the world, SPAM JAM® Waikiki shows the world how much Hawaii loves SPAM®. It draws thousands of SPAM® Fans every year with SPAM™ dishes from the top restaurants in Hawaii and plenty of free entertainment. Best of all, proceeds go to help the Hawaiian Food Bank.

I’m indebted to Sandra Gurvis’s “America’s Strangest Museums”, which claims that: “If all the cans ever eaten were placed end to end they would circle the globe at least 10 times.” I think that’s definitely a contender for the “useless things you never need to know, but will now probably never forget” list.


No, not the crud that clogs up your inbox. The other type, that’s trademarked and might, for all I know, do horrible things to your innards instead.

I like food. But I’m not a foodie. Spare me all the fads and fripperies of fine dining. And I have nothing against fast food per se. But it’s not a proper chippie unless it has a jar of pickled eggs on the counter (Do they still exist? Or did Edwina Currie kill them off?).

I can also cook. Don’t be too shocked. Some men are remarkably self-sufficient. But I digress (though I’ll return to supermarkets later).

I was browsing the shelves in search of something for supper. I know how the marketing game is played. So when I see a “New” sticker on the shelf it’s a fairly safe bet that I, and everyone else, will check it out.

And this delectable delight was….

Spam Fritters.

So retro chip-shop food is suddenly metro hip? How long before we see a special offer? Buy two packs, get a mini-sized jar of pickled eggs free.

What really shocked me, though, wasn’t the idea. But the price. £1.98 for four slices that looked like they could have been cut from one of those small cans (people of a certain age will know what size tins luncheon meat used to be sold in) with something to spare. Is Spam really that expensive these days? Or will metro hip folk really pay through the nose for anything (The packaging was miserable, without even the slightest reference to its retro roots)?

Were it not for the fact that I’m off to the provinces this weekend I might be watching the “reduced to clear” shelves to try to get a measure of how many people did succumb to the other Spam.