Category Archives: Food and drink

An accidentally sensational pizza

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How much do different kinds of cups of tea cost?

(Grammar note: I think that “How much do different kinds of cup of tea cost?” would be more correct; but it feels wrong, and I am going with what feels right. See also: who vs. whom.)

Last time, I calculated that when I make a cup of tea, it costs 2.34 pence, made up of 0.8p for the teabag, 0.7p for the milk, 0.04p for the water and 0.8p to heat the water. That is using the cheapest regular tea available. But how much do other teas cost to make?

We’ve been drinking Earl Grey for many years, and more recently Lapsang Souchong. Since Christmas, we’ve added Lady Grey to our repertoire, too. We’re buying boxes of Twinings tea-bags for all of these, though no doubt there are more expensive and better options. Let’s look at the prices.

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How much does a cup of tea cost?

However much I might lament the inexorable downward trend of everything that was once bright and good about my country, I was born an Englisshman and am still one today — which means I drink a lot of tea. (That me be the one aspect of Englishness that survives the current apocalypse.)

I am drinking even more tea than usual at the moment, because I am once more trying to lose weight — to get below that obese threshold, into the merely overweight. Tea fills my belly without loading up the calories.

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Pulled pork

It wasn’t until my 2007 trip to Oklahoma that I realised the food called “barbecue” in the USA bears no relation to the charred-on-the-outside, raw-on-the-inside sausages that bear that name over here in the UK. My visit to Van’s Pig Stand in Norman, Oklahoma was a revelation to me. I experienced meat like I had never tasted before. I’ve never attempted to replicate the ribs or brisket — one day I will — but pulled pork is astonishingly easy.

So here’s how I do it.

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Three recent meals

On Monday last week, I made pizza from scratch for the whole family: but because it’s hard to separate a mass of dough out into five equal parts, I made enough for six pizzas, and saved the last dough ball for the next day. This is my lunch last Tuesday:

That’s a home-made dough of course, topped with a very simple tomato sauce, mozzarella, thinly sliced chorizo and jalapenos.

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Moussaka

I don’t honestly even like moussaka much. By my wife loves it (and aubergines more generally), so a while back (pre-lockdown) she ordered it in a supposed Greek restaurant, only to find that what arrived resembled a shepherd’s pie: very little aubergine all mixed in with the meat sauce, and with a layer of mashed potato on top in place of the white sauce. Ugh.

Here’s how it should look (stolen from a recipe on the BBC website)

Anyway, being the exemplary husband that I am, I cooked a moussaka for her, more according to her preferences. This is the recipe I landed on (having read two or three that were in the ballpark but not quite right). Continue reading

Home-made beefburgers

These are very much better than anything you get in a shop.

They are really simple to make. Here’s how.

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I’m getting better at this pizza thing

I didn’t think to get a photo before I’d eaten a good chunk of it:

But here is last night’s pizza — one of three that I made. Fiona’s was topped with olives and anchovies, Jonno’s with BBQ chicken. For my own, I planned to go 100% traditional and use only tomato sauce, mozzarella and a few basil leaves, but I chickened out at the last minute and added sliced chorizo.

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Making pizza from scratch

This is a recipe adapted from one that my good friend Charles Ledvina gave me. I have only made it once — to good effect — so I am blogging this mostly so that I have an easy way to find it. If you find it useful, too, all well and good.

The first pizza as it came out of the over. The cheese is slightly toasted, because I left it in too long, hoping to char the crust.

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What to do with leftover rice

Now that we’re in lockdown, and it’s difficult to get food delivered, we’ve become more careful about making the best use of all our leftovers. In particular, when we have left-over rice (most likely from one of our curries), I’m remaking it into a sort of Singapore fried rice.

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