This post is not about Tim Noakes

I mean, you’d think I have nothing better to talk about. Well I do. Like the dinner that I finally got round to cooking last night. It took a lot of planning, mainly in the sense of being able to find a day that four adults are all free to sit around a table (I blame the children. All of them, everywhere).

The planning of what to eat was less difficult. One of my new favourite things to cook is bloody mary beef, because I love bloody marys, and I love anything that takes more than 5 hours to cook – on this, Jamie Oliver and I are on the same page (just not on all those *other* pages). So with a cocktail-themed main course, it was obvious that the rest of the meal had to be centered around booze too. For starters, we had a margarita prawn cocktail – kind of like a normal prawn cocktail, except there was lime, tequila, coriander, cumin, and chilli-salt-rimmed glasses, inspired by this recent little lunch at an “authentic” Mexican eatery (in Cape Town!):

san julian

Dessert, therefore, naturally had to be a gin and tonic pudding, with bitters ice cream (though I was taken a bit to task about whether a gin and tonic is actually a cocktail or a mixed drink. Is it? But this by someone who thinks there’s flour in fudge. Tsk, tsk).

Lest I misrepresent, it was a delightful evening, possibly a highlight of which that we very gifted this very special condiment (Yorkshire’s best-kept secret):


It’s a bit like Worcestershire, but also not – slightly more tart and vinegary (and evidently very good for biltong). Perhaps because it contains several tamarinds and no anchovies?


I’m delighted to have it in my kitchen, and look forward to playing around with it. (In fact I now regret not having put it on the table for the bloody mary beef, which was a bit lacking in that flavour department.) Fortunately there are many meals (and bloody marys!) to look forward to. Yikes, ice cream? (This must be the sugar addict talking). #Banters look away.