Fire, pestle and soul in rural Thailand

The pestle and mortar is as rudimentary in the Thai kitchen as a kettle is in the UK, and already Jan Son is pounding out its familiar rhythms into a fragrant paste of chillies, galangal, salt and garlic. Of the meals I share with this family in rural northern Thailand, chilli mixes of varying strength,

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True simplicity in Jan Son’s Thai kitchen

The best methods of food preparation preserve nature’s delicate flavours. The art of cooking begins with sea salt and a crackling fire. When food is prepared by someone sensitive to the fundamentals of cookery, it maintains its natural flavour. True culture is born within nature, and is simple, humble and pure. – Masanobu Fukuoka A

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New beginnings and exciting projects

Just a quick note to say hello from The Forgotten Pantry (formerly wonky veg blog), and to give you a bit of a flavour of what’s in store for 2019. For those of you who’ve been following for a while now, you’ll know that I spend any trip I can seeking local home-cooks to cook

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quince

The fruit we forgot

Slatko od dunja | Quince preserve. Peel and slice a kilo of quince into cubes. Heat a kilo of sugar with a small cup of water until it forms a golden caramel. Add the quince, tilting the pan to coat in the caramel. Don’t stir. Cook until softened. Transfer to clean glass jars. The first

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palestine yoghurt

Lessons in lateral cooking

Haifa brings out a lump of what looks like hard, white cheese. It’s kishik. Dried salted yoghurt. She slices it thinly and it crumbles into salty shavings. It’s very salty actually, with a flavour and texture that makes me think of Parmesan. “This is baladi yoghurt”, she says. What she means is, it comes from

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Food, land and nationhood. A recipe from Ramallah

Baladi is an important word in Palestine. It sits somewhere between the English words of local, original, from-the-village and authentic. It is tied to notions of place and belonging, and it’s a word that’s used a lot. This is baladi food, I was often told. It’s Palestinian, it’s from here. Baladi food, in a land

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grandmother cake recipe

The myths we live by

Whenever we’d make the annual trip to Cambrai to see my northern French grandparents, Mamie would have a cake in the oven. A cake she made so often, actually, that it eventually acquired her namesake. Her Gateau Paulette was spongy, light and moist. The colour of farmhouse butter and perfectly risen. A cake I’d always

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Fish head soup is always a good idea

When we think about food waste, we might think about the leftovers on our restaurant plate or the bread we throw out at home. But what about the waste that happens far before it gets to our shopping bags? The chicken carcasses and fish heads; the carrot tops and ‘wonky’ vegetables that, in the name

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stuffed vine leaves

Stuffing vine leaves in Palestine

“Some recipes are poems. A few scene stealers are novellas. But stuffed grape leaves are short stories; tiny fables of transformation, not of people… but of food.” – Anna Ciezadlo, Day of Honey You could watch the entire length of The Titanic – and then watch half of it again – in the time it

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