Tuesday, 22 April 2014


And suddenly it was the Easter holidays, most of which my daughter spent coughing and not sleeping, meaning I’ve been feeling ghastly too and the blog has had to be temporarily shelved. I suspect this will happen a lot. Nonetheless I persevere. There is, I promise you, more writing in the pipeline.

But in any case, recently I have been mostly watching Masterchef, so there is currently little variety to my television viewing. This series seems slightly condensed and speeded up in comparison to earlier ones, since it’s “only” on three nights a week. There’s the familiar velvety voiceover saying the obvious about what’s on the plate, contestants saying “I’m here to go all the way” or “I hope I’ve done enough” or “I’m absolutely gutted - I still haven't shown them my best” (why the hell not?), former champions brought in as critics saying, “Oh no, they're going to deconstruct something", John Torode saying, “This is a lovely, lovely thing” and Gregg Wallace strutting around saying little more meaningful than “Phwoargh!” Interspersed there is cooking ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, with smears. As usual, it’s all in the seasoning. Everyone does everything in the final minute. No one, it seems, can cook rice. Figs and cranachan are all the rage. John Torode is cooking more on screen than he used to, trying out the sweet or savoury invention test or demonstrating one of his own dishes that the contestants then have to replicate. His Asian-influenced fusion food is a lot more delicate than his manner.

To get myself back up to blogging speed, the travel section of this entry is simply going to be a link to my Italian cookery lesson with Sara Danesin Medio, a former Masterchef finalist who now runs a dining club in York and who (I have reliably been informed) will feature on this Wednesday’s episode. As some of you will recall, to do a cookery course was one of 40 challenges I set myself in the year running up to turning 40. It was a wonderful day. Ironically, the coughing daughter was ill then too... 

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