a cook who writes
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@nigelslater
A bowl of Japanese yuzu, glowing in the dark entrance hall of my endearingly rough-edged little hotel. A cheery welcome after a long journey on a rainy night. It is very much the end of the season for this fruit, but it is my favourite member of the citrus family for the kitchen. Its grapefruit-meets-lemon sourness is exceptionally useful. Back at home I have access only to the bottled stuff. Fresh yuzu are horrendously expensive in London, not to mention as rare as a winter swallow. These came from a tree in the Ryokan’s garden. Last night I had radishes that had been pickled in fresh yuzu rather than in vinegar. I shall be trying that one, albeit with the bottled stuff, as soon as I get home in March.
Thu 21st February 2019
@nigelslater
Syllabub, made with blood oranges and oloroso. A simple recipe but one that needs care and a watchful eye as you whip the cream, zest and sherry. The trick is beat slowly as the mixture starts to feel heavy on the whisk. You need to stop the second the syllabub will sit in a soft peak. Details in Sunday’s @obsmagazine , theguardian.com and nigelslater.com from late Sunday. 🙏And can I say an enormous thank you to everyone who has sent such incredibly kind and generous messages about GreenFeast. You have made us all so very happy. The first volume comes out in May, the second in October. Two hundred recipes. Mostly plants. No meat or fish (though not strictly vegetarian). Presented in a similar style to Eat. Softbound in linen covers. Published by @4thestatebooks Massive shout-out to James Thompson @sloefilms , Jonathan Lovekin, @tom_kemp_ and David Pearson @typeasimage 🙏
Sat 9th February 2019
@nigelslater
Sneak peek. GreenFeast. Little sisters for Eat. Due spring and autumn 2019. “What vegetables do you want to eat today?” Details at nigelslater.com
Fri 8th February 2019
@nigelslater
I have been carrying these swatches of linen, pinned to the cover of my notebook, for weeks. There is always something clipped to its battered leather cover - a handwritten aide-memoire, an interesting paragraph torn from the newspaper, a receipt to be filed. (And, once, a bay leaf as a reminder that supplies were getting low.) At school I used to write such reminders on my hand but that is useless as a cook because you spend so much time washing up. So important ‘notes to self’ are invariably pinned here, on the inside cover of the notebook and diary that I must open at least twenty times a day. The linen swatches are a gentle reminder that my current project is not yet finished.
Tue 5th February 2019
@nigelslater
Split yellow lentils (with onions, ginger, cardamom and curry leaves) layered with sweet potatoes, and baked in readiness for a crisp, cold, winter’s night. Details in tomorrow’s @obsmagazine and online theguardian.com and on nigelslater.com from Monday.
Sat 2nd February 2019
@nigelslater
Kitchen. Winter morning light.
Wed 30th January 2019
@nigelslater
Sweet mussels, crisp fennel, pink grapefruit and salty little capers. A refreshing winter salad. Details in today’s Observer magazine, at theguardian.com and shortly on nigelslater.com in the recipes section. I should probably add that there’s a big warming leek and haddock pie too.
Sun 27th January 2019
@nigelslater
Dark winter afternoon. Dry brown hydrangeas on crisp stems, ivy, yew, wet earth the colour of chocolate cake. And here and there in the dusk, snowdrops shining like fairy lanterns, narcissus and tulip bulbs peeping through the soil. A pale pink pelargonium still in flower, and everywhere the scent of winter box, trapped between the garden’s tall yew hedges. There is life in this little garden even now. You just need to look closely.
Sat 26th January 2019
@nigelslater
A dark and sticky loaf for cheese. Essentially a malt loaf, but with golden sultanas, pumpkin and sesame seeds, we ate it in thick slices with blue cheese, though almost any would work. (You could simply butter it if you preferred.) Somewhere between cake and fruit loaf it kept well, wrapped in foil, for several days. Details are in @obsfood on Sunday and soon on theguardian.com and nigelslater.com in recipes, winter baking.
Sat 19th January 2019
@nigelslater
I spent one of those peaceful, delightfully uneventful afternoons that follow Christmas, in the kitchen, quietly baking and listening to the radio. (Grace Dent’s extraordinary, addictive Radio 4 series, The Untold). First it was a batch of cookies with dark chocolate, rose and marzipan and then a cake with little shards of chocolate, hazelnuts and dried apricots. The recipes are in this Sunday’s @obsmagazine and, later, will be on both theguardian.com and nigelslater.com. (Oh, and there are several episodes of @gracedent The Untold on BBC iplayer.)
Sat 12th January 2019
@nigelslater
Happy New Year! Wishing you peace, good health and happiness throughout the coming year.
Mon 31st December 2018
@nigelslater
Of all the parcels you could find under the tree at Christmas, a proof copy of your favourite author’s new book is as good at it gets. The arrival of Robert Macfarlane’s Underland has made my Christmas. Mr Macfarlane takes me places I would normally fear to go - up mountains, occasionally into deep water and in his new book, far, far underground. (Full disclosure, my vertigo is so acute I can barely use an escalator; nothing on this earth will ever get me down a pot hole.) Work has pretty much gone out of the window these last few days, the television has remained resolutely switched off. I have spent every possible moment sitting by the fire with this man’s luminous, entrancing words. This is just the best Christmas ever. (Underland is published in May by Hamish Hamilton.)
Thu 27th December 2018
@nigelslater
Happy Christmas!
Mon 24th December 2018
@nigelslater
A new, coarse textured crispbread, seriously crunchy and choc-a-bloc with sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and oats. Easy to make, it keeps brilliantly in an airtight box. Here, with a beetroot and smoked mackerel paté for Christmas but good for cheese too. Details are in tomorrow’s @obsmagazine and soon on theguardian.com and at nigelslater.com in the recipe section under winter baking. ✨🙏 Thank you once again for all your kind get well messages. A bit shaken up, but just cuts and bruises really, oh, and a black eye. Your kind messages mean so much and have made me feel so much better, thank you. 🙏✨
Sat 22nd December 2018
@nigelslater
The garden sleeps. The great thing about this time of year is being able to see the garden’s bones. Without its ‘plumage’ you can see the opportunities that exist, spaces to fill, plants that need moving or pruning and it allows us to take stock. I love the fact that underground all is quietly happening, bulbs sprouting and next year’s growth already coming to life. 🍂🌱
Fri 21st December 2018
@nigelslater
Baked aubergines with rosemary and hazelnuts. I love the contrast of the silky, olive oily aubergine flesh and the crunchy toasted hazelnuts. The dish will be on our table this Christmas. Details are in today’s @obsmagazine and the guardian.com
Sun 16th December 2018
@nigelslater
✨✨The Russian edition of The Christmas Chronicles arrived today. A beautiful sister for the German and Dutch editions. For those who have asking, there are now signed copies of the original, English version in many branches of @waterstones and there is a new chapter of the Christmas Chronicles podcast due out today, Thursday, on Spotify and iTunes. Thanks to everyone who had been following it. And thank you once again to everyone who has been asking how I’m getting on. I’m ok, mostly staying quietly at home writing and cooking for new projects for next year. 🙏✨✨
Thu 13th December 2018
@nigelslater
Whenever a chicken, duck or partridge is roasted in this house, I make a broth from its bones. Light and clear, it provides a frugal dinner for another day. Today, a broth made from a roast pigeon, with pink cauliflower and mushrooms. A humble supper for eating under a grey December sky. Details in my column in the Observer. @obsmagazine
Sun 9th December 2018
@nigelslater
I have been getting the Christmas decorations down from the attic this week in preparation for the arrival of the tree. As I carefully unwrap each from its tissue paper, I am reminded of where they came from and for how long I have had them. Some of my favourites were picked up at the Christmas markets in Stockholm, Cologne, Nuremberg and Vienna I visited whilst writing the Christmas Chronicles. I suddenly remembered this shot, taken on my phone at dusk, at a stall at one Vienna’s sparkling Christmas markets, a version of which ended up in the book. #regram
Thu 6th December 2018
@nigelslater
Late autumn afternoon and I have moved the most tender potted pelargoniums and ferns onto the table in the little basement courtyard. The vent from the Aga in the back kitchen allows enough warm air out into the space to protect many plants throughout the winter. The tree ferns are here too and the most tender of the pot plants.
Sat 24th November 2018
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