Is there anything more comforting, on a cold wintry day, than a home baked pie? It gives that lovely, cosy, hygge feeling, warming you from the inside out. I had lovely homemade pie when at a friend’s, one recent Sunday. Hers was chicken, bacon & […]
I love Mexican food, and this dish, made with turkey (or chicken), makes a nice change from Chilli con Carne (literally, Chilli with beef). I’ve used turkey here as those thin, quick-cook turkey steaks slice very easily into thin strips. Combine with my beef or […]
I’ve literally just thought of this, done some experimenting – and here it is. Boozy pancake glaze. It is boozy, too, because there’s no cooking or heating involved at all (thus the alcohol is not destroyed – yay)! 3 ingredients – squeeze, stir and spread on. Pancake day might be a little merrier from now on…
Makes enough for 2-3 pancakes. Simply multiply the quantities, and follow the same steps, to make more.
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed, 1 tbsp
- Gin, 1 tbsp
- Icing sugar, 4 tbsp
- Put the lemon juice and gin into a bowl. Sift in the icing sugar, and stir well. (If small lumps appear, don’t worry; they’ll soon disappear again once the juice and alcohol get to work.)
- That’s it! Spread a thin layer onto a pancake, roll it up – and watch it disappear.
Serve with a gin and tonic on the side
Yummy, meat-free and really easy to make, this uses paneer – a firm, white Indian cheese (a bit like Halloumi), which makes a welcome change from vegetable or lentil based curries. It has a kick to it, so add less spices if you want a […]
And I do LOVE Waitrose. Supermarket-topia, I call it. Yes, the green shop has a reputation for being Britain’s ‘poshest’ supermarket, and there’s even an infamous Facebook page ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ which gently pokes fun at it (like the cover photo caption asking, ‘don’t we […]
I’ve just posted my ‘Versatile blogger award’, and one of the facts about me that I listed has inspired me to write a post about it – well, that and the fact that it was a topic on my rather convoluted to-do list, anyway…
It’s all down to ‘Derek tastes of ear wax’, a Horizon documentary aired in the UK in 2004. In all my 30 years, as I was then, I didn’t know until that programme was shown that I had a condition called synaesthesia. Not only that, but I had a very rare type, that causes me to ‘taste’ words. Until this was discussed on TV, I didn’t even realise that this was unusual. I just assumed everyone experienced words and names in the same way. (I mean, why on earth wouldn’t I, right?)
In my case, the sensation is particularly strong when it comes to names; everyone I know, or come across has an associated flavour, if you like. It does sound weird, I realise, but to me it isn’t, as I can remember the same associations from childhood. In fact, it is apparently in our younger years that us synaesthetes form these odd associations.
In layman’s terms, I understand that people with lexical-gustatory synaesthesia basically have crossed wires in the brain – connections between areas that aren’t present in most of the population. When I hear or read a word or name, my sense of sound or sight is stimulated, yet I experience a taste, too. These links are there in childhood, but in most people, they vanish over time, during development. For some reason, in synaesthetes, the connections remain, and last a lifetime.
So what is it like to live with? I have read about folk for whom it causes problems – a complete sensory overload, which is overwhelming, reportedly causing panic attacks in extreme cases. Happily for me, it isn’t like that. It’s usually just a bit of fun, something of a party trick, really. Mister has tested me over the years, trying to catch me out, and looks at me in baffled bewilderment as I state, yet again, that Dave tastes of custard, and always will…
One study I’ve read about states that it’s the meaning of the word that matters, and determines the flavour. Not so in my case, I’m afraid. Often the word’s sound can influence how I experience it, though. Now, I’m sat here trying to think of an example, but that’s really difficult. You can’t give me a flavour and ask me to match it with the word – unless it’s one that I’m extremely familiar with and I therefore can instantly remember, off the top of my head. In general, I have to hear the word or name first, then I can immediately match it to the taste sensation I experience. Not vice versa.
So your name’s Peter? Hot dog sausages. Paul? Tinned potatoes. Susan? Tinned rice pudding. Same for Sarah, with an H. Sara, though, tastes of school dinner, semolina pudding with some sort of golden syrupy sauce. Melanie? Melon – that is the perfect example of what I was just saying about the sound, in some cases, matching the flavour. Susannah is similar to Susan – rice pudding with apple sauce; an apple Mullerice, in fact. It is always as specific as that – although sometimes I can’t decide between two very exact, but different, flavour options. Does James taste of Weetabix (mashed up with milk), or of Raspberry Ruffles? There’s that sound thing going on again with the latter, because the company who make those particular sweet treats are called Jameson’s. James would never, ever taste of Irish whiskey, however.
‘Full of Eastern promise’ said Fry’s of their Turkish Delight, back when I was growing up, yet the word ‘promise’ is strongly flavoured with Fry’s Chocolate Cream, not their Middle Eastern chocolate-covered confection. The word smart tastes of – Smarties. Just as you might expect. If you promise me something, just don’t be surprised if I get a craving for a Fry’s Chocolate Cream. That does happen. A lot.
Another strange twist lies in the assumption that if I don’t like the flavour, then I don’t like the name. That can be true, but not always. The sound and look of the name can play just as big a part. Having said that, I doubt that I could call my child by a name I didn’t like the taste of. My daughter’s (whose name I don’t want to reveal) name tastes of frangipane, even though there is a more obvious flavour option for her moniker, if you looked at it logically.
There’s certainly no logic in my form of synaesthesia. Apart from Melanie tasting of melon, and James of Jameson’s chocolates, that is. Mike tastes of pineapple, yet Michael’s flavour is some sort of meaty pie filling that I can’t quite put my finger on. What is common to me and other synaesthetes, I’ve found, is that words can taste of things that you wouldn’t normally eat. Polly tastes of pollen (and hey, there’s that sound association again, just as Kerry tastes of cherry, and George, of fudge). Thus, you’d think Doug would taste of earth, not choc ice. Which takes us right back to Derek and the ear wax. Except in my case, Derek definitely tastes of tinned chicken soup.
Names & what they taste of – a few examples
Anne – Apple pie
Brian – Campbell’s meatballs
Charlie – Bounty bar
Diana – Digestives
Elizabeth – Tinned ravioli
Fiona – Fish fingers
Grace – Grapes
Helen – Tinned pineapple
India – Vegetable curry
Jack – Sage & onion stuffing
Kay – Chocolate cornflake cake
Lottie – Spaghetti hoops
Maria – Jam tart
Nicholas – Cola cubes
Oscar – Tinned peaches
Poppy – Boiled fruit sweets
Rachel – Liquorice comfits
Sophie – Drifter bar
Tim – Evaporated milk
William – Fried onions
It was a hard week last week, in some ways, so it was a nice little pick-me-up when I got a Twitter notification, saying that I’d been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by @cookwithkids1 (whose 5-minute fudge recipe, incidentally, is both on my radar […]
Cycle Center Parcs, Longleat, Wiltshire, UK The absence of cars (and tutting dog-walkers, some of whom seem to think that cycle paths are for their sole use, even though I’m very careful, I promise) elevates cycling to a whole new level. I’d live like this […]
It’s really easy to convert a yummy pasta sauce into a pasta bake (or al Forno, as they’re usually listed on the menu at pizzerias). I often make double of whatever pasta sauce we’re having and freeze or chill half of the sauce. Then, we have it again a few days or weeks later, reborn as a delicious pasta bake. I’ve even done the same with chilli, too; mixed with cooked pasta and topped with cheese, it makes a lovely, spicy oven-baked pasta dish. In the photo, I’ve used my Pepperoni sauce, with very large pasta shells (which we were given at Christmas; I’ve seen similar in T K Maxx).
- Pasta, 400g
- Cheese, cheddar or similar, 100g, grated
- Water, 100ml
- Pasta sauce, or chilli, of your choice – here are the links to recipes that work well:
- Cook the pasta as per pack instructions, then drain well.
- Put the cooked pasta into a large ovenproof baking dish. Add the sauce you have chosen, plus the 100ml water and mix well.
- Top with the grated cheese, then bake at 180 degrees fan for around 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese topping is golden and bubbling.
Serve with salad or vegetables, &/or…
…if you add ciabatta, focaccia, garlic bread &/ chips, it will easily serve 6.