Cluck cluck go the sound of the hens

We finally did it. After Phatty helped us with the chicken coop we’ve acquired a couple of beautiful hens. We’ve named them Burt and Ernie.

Already after only one day they’ve started laying; two eggs so far. I’m poaching them for breakfast! I’ll post my new favourite recipe to celebrate. Black pudding and poached egg salad…

This will be an interesting experiment. We live in a small terraced house with a very small back garden, just enough for the chicken coop. One thing I really wasn’t prepared for is the volume of the clucking. Who knew chickens cluck so bloody loudly.?

Five thirty this morning they started. The neighbours already are plotting ways to leave the coop door open for the foxes I’m sure. Apparently they’ll settle down… We’ll see…



Courgette Love

I have grown some courgettes and I have rather a lot. I have made a courgette cake (courtesy of a Nigella Lawson book) and, I have taken to pickling them as well. it’s a recipe we’ve mucked about with, so we can safely call it ours. I’d be happy to post it if anyone’s interested.

[note: this was a lonely comment on a test post and now has a comfy post all to itself]

We’ve been eaten and regurgitated!

Hibernating BearGood afternoon fellows of the world. We’ve been hibernating from the awful “summer” that we three Brits are having. So to get us back into the MCC madness we’d like to get some ideas for summat to cook.

Any suggestions?

Nothing too complicated, something that we can learn from and then post back here to pass on our new found pearls of wisdom (mmmm pearls).

Now this is Man Cooking…

Lightly toast some bread. Add a really, really thin spread of marmalade (optional, but try it…). Top with grated cheese and apply the MAPP torch. You’d be surprised just how close you have to hold it to get the cheese to brown—I started waving it vaguely in the direction of the bread, but ended up playing the flame directly over it.

Really. Blowtorch’s are all very well but marmalade and cheese? Originally found here

5 things you didn’t know about Phatty…

Crikey. I got tagged too, so here goes.

  1. My second favourite cheese is Edam.
  2. My wife is Danish.
  3. I look great in a kaftan.
  4. I have three bad habits. One of which is very popular.
  5. I have a tattoo.

There you go then. I feel sort of naked now. Is that normal?

Five things you don’t know about Redeye…

Kathy from has tagged me and phatty in some kind of virtual grown up game of, err, Tag.
So, five things you don’t know about me… This is going to be easy…

  1. I used to organise Acid house parties.
  2. I’m so hairy it looks like I’m permanently in a body sock.
  3. I have two children.
  4. I once went to hospital with a towel around my waist…
  5. Gee and I got together 10 years before we got together eight years ago and hated each other.

Actually that was more difficult than I thought, and I’m still not sure that it makes sense. I’m going to think of some people that I can annoy tag with this game. Phatty?

We’ve been quiet.

It’s funny we’ve been doing MCC for about 5 months this year last year, and for the most of the time it was fantastic. A true learning experience, not just the cooking, but the blog, the social side of it, the confidence building and probably many other things.

Now though, the MCC has new beginnings, we’ve lost our Sensi to the real world, and we the remaining MCC disciples worriedly look around for a master to lean on. So until we find a new Sensi, we’re going to dip in and out of local chefs and get a different angle on things. It’s a bit like “Have I got news for you” losing Angus Deaton and replacing him with different people every week, never quite the same but entertaining never the less.

Our Next MCC is next week and we’ll be doing a Steak and Kidney pie, which really, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it. Apparently it’s dead easy…

Cooking for 10 Crazy Women (and I’m still alive)

In November I had my first big cooking test, you could call it my first grading. It was Gee’s (my lady) birthday and she was having her friends round for some eating and drinking. Foolishly I offered to cook for them without actually realising what I was saying. Cooking for 10? Generally I have trouble making breakfast for the kids, despite MCC.

So I spent days deciding what to cook that wasn’t too heavy, would go well with copious amounts of alcohol and frankly was manageable by me. I settled on Thai Green Curry, the first ever MCC dish.

Gee's Birthday

I found the whole cooking for others, well, stressful; Generally it went down really well, but was it because I’m not the chef of the house or because I was being “sweet”, or was it genuinely actually ok? To my tastes it was great, which if it was just for me would be fine. Does cooking for others mean you have to find the lowest common denominator of taste to appeal to all palettes? Or do you just not worry and get on with it? I think I need more practice and if nothing else I think Gee would agree with me. 🙂 makes cooking easier.

Kathy Maister  from has finally launched her “beginners cookery” site and what a crispy buffet of a site it is too. The MCC has long been a fan of her simple  excercises in  increasing our culinary powers and now that her site is ready, you can  get the  recipes direct to your Ipod in video form. The site is nicely laid out with everything easy to hand and all dressed up in this new fangled Web 2.0 Ajax stuff. We love it, take a look.