A New Coronation Chicken, Fit for a Queen


What sandwich filling infused with ‘curry’ spices was made specially for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953? Why, coronation chicken, of course! Indeed, the (mustard) seeds for this revelatory dish were planted nearly twenty years earlier, with the presentation of the similar ‘Jubilee chicken’ for George V’s silver jubilee in 1935.

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March 3, 2015. Tags: , , . Asian, British, Indian. Leave a comment.

Homemade Jaffa Cakes (for the 11 year old’s Birthday)

Jaffa cakes, homemadeIt can be a pain in one’s well-padded tuchus if one loves British sweets, chocolate and biscuits, but doesn’t currently live in the UK or its ex-territories. Yup, the former colonies got the short end of the chocolate finger here, for those Brits came, they conquered, they built the train lines, they took the jewels, the Jaffa cake and the curry, and left those behind with royally sweet teeth. (more…)

February 7, 2013. Tags: , . Baked Goods, British, Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Kids. 2 comments.

Cupcake and Cake Gallery III

A slideshow of my cakes and cupcakes. Enjoy!

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January 20, 2013. Tags: , . Baked Goods, Birthdays, British, Cakes, Cupcakes, Desserts. 2 comments.

Grandpa Mike’s Bubelach

This bubelach is precisely why I set up this blog. To pass on family favorites from one generation to the next 🙂

During our recent visit to London, Grandpa Mike treated the boys to his favorite recipe for bubelach, a fried pancake which uses matzah meal and so, is suitable for Passover consumption. (more…)

April 25, 2011. Tags: , , . Breakfast, British, Festive, Jewish, Passover. 7 comments.

Fish and Fennel Pie

This is a favorite recipe from Jamie Oliver, and one which Him Indoors had added to his repertoire a while ago. I don’t know why my husband picks the not-so-direct recipes for when he decides to cook. Such as risottos and then this one above, and excluding the baked beans on toast – excellent as well – which he occasionally produces with a flourish for a weekend lunch 😉  With the risottos, I gather that half the attraction is drinking the wine that’s meant to go into the pan, making the whole process very enjoyable for him, and no doubt, fortifying the reserves of patience he (and anyone) needs to cook a good risotto.

Perhaps this recipe may be of use for anyone leaning fish-wise and looking for ideas over Lent, when many try to abstain from luxury food. Although eating fish is a ‘hardship’ I would enjoy on a daily basis! To be absolutely strict, substitute fish or veg stock or milk for the cream, and eat a very small sliver of the final product (I dare you to stop there though).

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March 5, 2010. Tags: , . Baked Goods, British, Dinners, Fish, Mains, One-dish meals, winter. 9 comments.

Eye Candy for Design-Hungry Kitchenistas

I have a weakness for shiny things. And colorful things. And sleek, cleverly designed things. If a shiny or colorful thing comes in a beautifully designed package, then I have no choice but to get the credit card out. From where we once lived in central London, I didn’t have to go far to find a plethora of design-centric stores inspired by creative geniuses in Britain or Europe, which offered me perfect visual inspiration, if not gratification for any urgent kitchen-related needs. Apart from the smaller stores on Islington High Street, there were Habitat, Heal’s and The Conran Shop, which luckily came across the Atlantic too.

I came across Joseph Joseph’s attractive website recently, set up by a pair of equally fetching UK-based twin brothers, and noted with glee that they will, for a fee, deliver to the US. As the items are priced as invitingly as the contents of Joseph Joseph’s online shop, I have already popped one (guess which) into my virtual shopping basket.

It’s sitting there for now because I don’t need this beautiful thing, I merely covet it. But if one of you has a special occasion coming up , let me know. It could inspire the right amount of pressure my finger needs (which isn’t much) to push that Buy Now button!

February 2, 2010. Tags: , . British, Kitchen Gagdets, Kitchen Stuff. 2 comments.

It Ain’t Just Bangers and Mash in Britain

One of the fun things about having lived in many places is that you get to know the food intimately. Add to that decades of cooking and fearless eating, some severe myopia and moderate deafness, and the result is an unusually acute sense of smell and taste. Should you be afraid? I used to be able to smell a flatmate approach my apartment door the second he was out of the elevator (he wasn’t particularly inoffensive-smelling) – it would hit my nose the very moment my cat’s ears would prick up in interest. Back when smoking in pubs was obnoxious but legal, I would be unable to get to sleep afterwards until I’d had a hot bath and washed and dried my hair twice. And, while pregnant, the mere suggestion of some scents would make me gag.

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November 17, 2009. Tags: , . British, Musings, Stories. 3 comments.

Red, White and Blue(berry) Trifle


Happy July the 4th! Made this to take to our favourite neighbours’ today – all at the last minute and didn’t have time for a proper photo (try and ignore the missing chunk, more would be missing in another few minutes). Didn’t take long at all to assemble, just make sure you’ve done the jelly or jello ahead of time.

  • jelly, 2 packets (follow instructions and have all gelled)
  • cream, 500ml
  • milk, 700 ml
  • egg yolks, 12
  • vanilla pod, 1, seeds scraped out
  • sponge fingers, about 2 packets
  • strawberry jam, as needed
  • sugar, 4 tbsp
  • corn starch, 2 tbsp

  1. To make the custard, bring the cream and milk almost to a simmer, having scraped the vanilla pod seeds into it first
  2. While cream and milk heat up, whisk egg yolks together with corn starch and sugar in a separate bowl
  3. Once cream has just started to simmer, pour it onto the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time
  4. Return this whisked egg-cream mixture to the pan on the stove and keep whisking, heat still on, until it begins to thicken
  5. Take it off the stove, transfer to another receptacle and allow to cool further
  6. When cool, assemble the trifle
  7. Layer the sponge fingers, sandwiched together with some jam, at the bottom of a large glass bowl (for visual effect)
  8. Add the cut up jelly/jello on top of the sponge fingers
  9. You may add strawberries on top of the jelly/jello (I normally do)
  10. Pour custard on top of the fruit and jelly
  11. Top up with 250ml of double cream which has been whisked to the fluffy stage
  12. Finally, a few handfuls of plump blueberries right on top
  13. Cool and luscious on a gorgeous summer’s day spent with wonderful people!

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

July 4, 2009. Tags: , , , . British, Desserts, Festive, Kids Cuisine. 3 comments.

Cucumber Salad


My mother-in-law makes a very morish version of this salad. I asked her once what she put in it and she reeled off some ingredients hastily, probably embarassed that the seemingly humble dish had attracted such interest, when on the dinner table lay at least five other items warranting adulation. I hope I mentioned these others to her too, because she is such a superb cook!

Here is my approximation of this salad, with an added twist (of lemon).

  • English cucumbers, 4, sliced thinly
  • white vinegar, distilled, 1/2 cup
  • water, 1/2 cup
  • sugar (or sweetener), 3 tbsp
  • celery seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • dill, handful, chopped finely
  • mint, handful, chopped
  • spring onion, 3, sliced finely
  • lemon juice, of one lemon
  • lemon zest, of a whole lemon
  1. Slice the cucumbers thinly
  2. Separately, add all the other ingredients, except herbs, in a saucepan
  3. Bring the marinade to a simmer, just enough to ensure the sugar is well incorporated
  4. Allow to cool slightly, add chopped herbs, taste and adjust sweetness, piquancy and seasoning, then pour over the sliced cucumber
  5. Refrigerate at least 12 hours
  6. Before serving, check seasoning and adjust if necessary, adding some fresh herbs on top

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

April 9, 2009. Tags: , . British, Jewish, Passover, Salads, Sides, Spring, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Creme Brulee


I don’t as a matter of habit make creme brulee in the middle of the week. All blame for today’s extravagance is to be placed squarely on the slim shoulders of my son, who has picked Creme Brulee, or Burnt Cream, as the topic for his French project.

So, this is what I’ve discovered helping with this very important 3rd Grade assignment. Credit for this luscious vanilla-infused pudding, the declared favourite of both my children since a time when they, as chubby-cheeked tots, demanded their gran for ”kwem boolay,” is claimed by the old nemeses, England and France.

A late 17th century Frenchman, Francois Massialot, who describes himself as a chef to royalty and “people of first rank,” details creme brulee in a cookbook, and, in a later book, renames the recipe Creme Anglais, or English Cream. Cambridge’s Trinity College is celebrated as the birthplace of the same. We may as well throw the Spanish into the fray with their crema catalana, which is flavoured with cinnamon.

A version with chocolate can be found here.

The dessert’s ‘brulee’ is a layer of luscious, hardened caramel on top – which gets this way from the process of grilling or burning sugar over the custard.

And so, here’s how you can recreate a slice of heaven in your kitchen. This unplanned mid-week dessert turned out absolutely divine :D—- (that’d be drool)

  • heavy cream, 600 ml
  • caster sugar, 1/4 cup
  • egg yolks, 6
  • vanilla pod, 1

Prepare the vanilla pod by slicing it, but not through, and using a blunt spoon to scoop out the seeds
– Add vanilla seeds and cream to a pan and allow to simmer for a minute and take it off the heat


– In another bowl, cream the yolks and sugar
– Add a little hot cream to the yolk-sugar mixture, then slowly add all the cream to the yolks, whisking continually

– Preheat the oven to 150C, about 275F
Sieve the hot custard into ramekins


– Place ramekins in a deep roasting dish, pour hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins
– Bake the custards for about 30-45 minutes. When done, they will be a little wobbly in the centre

– Allow to cool and refrigerate

– Remove the custards from the fridge hours later, or a day later, add about 2 tablespoons of sugar on each of them and place directly under a preheated broiler

– Grill, watching closely for a couple of minutes and remove as soon as the sugar has melted

– Once they’re outside the oven, the caramelized sugar will settle into a hardened layer on top

– Serve with a cast iron spoon and oversized bib to preempt dribbling

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

March 25, 2009. Tags: , . Baked Goods, British, Desserts, Passover. Leave a comment.

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