Soviet era recollections #1 – Pineapples in Hungary

This conversation with a Hungarian friend grew from having heard other friends from Poland, the DDR and beyond talk about eating their first banana. Coming from Australia, I can't remember a time without fruit.

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Making Congee from leftover rice (and anything else)

Congee, in all its variations around Asia, is at its a core simply a rice porridge and can be made from leftover rice which I often have lying around. This bastardised version uses yesterday's rice and mostly soy sauce and ginger for stock as well as whatever needed eating up.

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A laboured goodbye

As futile unspoken ultimatums go, it was one of my sillier ones but I had meant it in a sort of self deprecating way. As it happened, I almost missed my flight to Finland...

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Rapid tomato, basil and cinnamon pasta sauce

This simple pasta sauce is basically a twist on a what the Italians call sugo all'arrabbiata. Or at least that's what I think they call it though they might view this a bit of a perversion. At it's core, it's a fast cooked (~10 mins) sauce of tomatoes, chili, onion and garlic. This recipe adds basil and a hint of cinnamon to give it an intriguing and earthy taste. The whole meal should take less than 20 minutes to knock up.


I'd had a very low key Sunday, catching up on sleep and going for and incredibly gentle run in an attempt to flush out some recent excess. Oh and I woke up in her bed yesterday. She was even there too.

Over before it really started

Somehow she's reduced me to tears on a re-routed train through the flooded north of England ,so I'm listening to sad and angry songs, swilling lager and trying to lose myself in the wet and wintery scenery. What a Hogmanay this will be, should I ever make it to Edinburgh.

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