Tag Archives: Cooking

An Unconventional Feast.

“Wait….. I know this…..Thanksgiving…..so is that like with the cowboys, and the indians……right?”

So young.

So hopeful.

So idealistic.

And it was up to me to shatter their dreams.

“Not quite.” Was all I could muster, eying the can of Pringles someone had brought along as a contribution to our Thanksgiving Feast.

I suppose that was an improvement to the flat next door that turned up with a handful of plates insisting that I had said in the invitation to, “Bring a dish”.

Which, to be fair…I suppose I had…cheeky Brits.

I felt it my moral obligation to spread the word of the Yanks, peace, justice, goodwill toward men, and basically I just wanted an excuse to stab a knife into that pumpkin that had been sitting on our window ledge for far too long.

Pumpkin Pie just waiting to happen.

The day before the feast I decided it probably a practical idea to plan my menu, taking advantage of a horribly drab International Relations lecture on the nuclear dimension of contemporary war to get a game plan. Leaving the entire lecture hall seated behind me drooling as I surfed the web for the supreme apple crisp recipe.

Six hours and three grocery stores later, I lugged my many many multiple bursting brown bags up the steps, round the corner, and into the kitchen where I remained for the next twenty four hours.

I’d reserved the morning for pies, and I’d reserved my flatmates for peeling: potatoes, pumpkins, apples, butternut squash.

I’d contemplated a Thanksgiving Dinner Draft, but dismissed that plan on account of it not really fitting into the spirit of things, mandatory lettuce washing and all. Instead I resorted to merely wailing desperately every time a victim entered the kitchen, “HOW ON EARTH IS ANYTHING GOING TO GET DONE ON TIME???……….”

It proved effective as my flatmates harbor unique talents of picking up subtlety.

However I found with this tactic that they all tended to stay in their rooms starving themselves the entire afternoon, for fear of being allocated a duty dare they enter the kitchen to grab a breadcrumb, or two.

Susanna, pleading for mercy and camped out on the couch, exhausted by my slave driving tactics in order to create the most perfect, harmonious, idyllic Thanksgiving Dinner on the face of Flat Two!

But fear not, don’t allow yourselves to be deceived by that plastic bag in the picture, everything was, as can be assumed, grown, harvested, and prepared by *cough cough* yours truly. From ground to table. With MAYBE the slightest of detours through a supermarket aisle in between…

Susanna and Sarah, doing a wonderful job of pretending to be having fun.

And thus it began.

Everything at once. The oven was beeping, the fridge was humming loudly, the stovetop was boiling over, and the microwave was making never before heard sounds not unlike the Philharmonic Orchestra with a slightly more techno edge to it.

But this was not the time to sit and wonder.

It was the time to bake, and stir, and cook, and taste, and grate, and peel, and season, and mix, and pull things out of the oven, and rotate pots on the burners, and turn down the heat, and open the fridge, and peel off wrappers, and somehow…

Green Beans with Apple Cider, Mashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash, Brown Sugared Sweet Potato Yams, Dinner Rolls, Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing, A Green Salad, An Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream and Two Pumpkin Pies.

If desired, one can memorize the aforementioned feast and repeat in alphabetical order, backwards, for entertainment on long car rides.

For the record, there’s about twenty witnesses the skeptics can contact.

I don’t have a photo, but I can tell you this; It was good, and it got eaten.

And we sat around the table and all tried to act as American as possible, this was achieved mainly by using the terms, “dude” and “gnarly” at frequent intervals, and emphasizing how the man was holding us down, and how the Fourth of July was by far our favorite holiday.

In what was probably the most unconventional Thanksgiving ever.



Filed under Peace and Love

Tastes Like Uni. (For all you yanks: Uni; University as abbreviated by our kilt wearing, haggis eating friends across the broad broad bay)

A (really, really exciting) Interactive iSpy Activity:

Seven Things To Be Found Floating About Our Kitchen


If you weren’t already convinced as to which land mass I happen to be occupying, here’s a hint.

One can simultaneously toast/bake/warm/reheat/broil/grill eight pieces of bread in our flat at a time.

Coming from a country in which toast and tea is reserved primarily as food for the sick and bedridden (all right, potentially a wee bit of an exaggeration, even by my own standards, but we’re trying to get a point across).

I found that endlessly impressive.

Our flat is stocked with not only a toaster, but also a, and I quote, “toastie maker.”

Other popular outlets for toast preparation include the oven, in addition to the microwave.

However my flatmates have incessently shot me down whenever I’ve offered to just warm up a batch of microwaved toast for them, describing it with harsh adjectives such as, “stale” “rubbery” and “unappetizingly chewy.”

Pretty cruel critique when divulged in a British accent.



(North Americans, this is Scottish for, “broke” a friendly term with the 18-25 age group)



Nonetheless probably the most common cupboard landscape round campus halls is the very spitting image before you.


No one’s quite sure what this is. What it’s for. How to use it. Nor how it appeared in our flat.

So, we did what all other practical uni students would do in this situation, threw it in the drawer of wonders and waited it out till it proved it’s worth.

Which surprisingly came in an impressivly short amount of time the very next day, and the next day, and the next.

Seeing as it has no use, we have managed to use it for just about everything there is.

We’ve set this awkward stick to work grinding, crunching, stirring, smooshing, flattening, rolling, and wrecking general destruction.


Seeing Jonathan eating food is never an odd occurrence.

In fact, that is a very, very natural occasion in the kitchen of Flat 2, one that happens most essentially on the hour, every hour rain or shine, more rain than shine, never fail.

The only impressive, and therefore relatively odd happening in this photo is the way in which Jonathan is avidly (and may I note successfully) consuming a Tesco bought lasagna meal pack meant for four.

That gorgeous trophy of a college student’s dinner was devoured in one single sitting.

In a span of about fifteen minutes.

Only under the strictest supervision of peer pressure of course.


I could probably write a novel about the chickpea incident.

Screw that, I could write encyclopedias, as in multiple, about the chickpea incident.

Or at the very least a couple of semi-decent blog posts.

However I now present to you, the debut recounting of:

The Chickpea Incident; Abridged Version.

It has something to do with me coming home from lectures right about dinner time, absolutely starving as always, if I were a twelve year old boy, the hunger would most certainly be attributed to an inevitable growth spurt just minutes down the road of maturity.

But I fear I’ve far out-aged the good old days of growth spurts and must now face the reality that all that food I’m consuming really isn’t going to make me taller, and I’ve got nothing at all left in the world to blame my hunger upon.

Anyhow, it’s the type of evening when everything smells delicious, like really, really good.

And all I want is some sort of insta-meal to just appear before me, you know, the way that food would just sort of, materialize whenever mum was around back home.

Rummaging through the echo of my roomy kitchen cupboard, the results weren’t promising.

The options looked to be a can of beans for the third time that day, or the untouched economic sized bag of chickpeas I’d picked up from Tesco a couple of weeks back.

Chickpeas it was.

Now, I’m not really sure what a chickpea is, neigh how to cook it, the more important thing however, is that it was on sale.

And such a bargain it was (moment of nostalgic recollection).

With the simplest of calculations, I figured that the mere two pound investment would then feed me for the next couple weeks solid based on the size of that bag.

Besides, they were practically peas right, just like, attractive, womanly peas, “chick” peas.

Yeah, not.

After a short flat debate, I decided to treat them like pasta and throw them in a pot to boil, expecting, like pasta (minus the pest0), in ten minutes time I’d have a steaming plate, and fork in hand.

Healthy, nutritious, and delicious.

In hindsight, it’s almost adorable. How innocent and idealistic I was.

Ten minutes turned into half an hour, which turned into two hours, which turned into ten hours, which eventually became a twenty-four hour span, which is how I met chickpeas.

Thee absolute most high-maintenance pea on the planet, at the most aptly inopportune moment of college student starvation.


Only in a flat with medics do we have poetry and artwork regarding the corpse they’re dissecting in anatomy class gracing our fridge tops.

Expressing their deepest darkest sentiments about slitting flesh with scalpel.

Great. Sure works up the ole appetite.


The relatively gruesome result of what was, I believe, appropriately dubbed, “Epic Meal Time.”

It involved eight male freshers (scottish slang for first years), forty quid of meat products, and some sort of bacon weave, from what I could determine.

Feel free to skip over this next part under the pretenses of preserving your stomach if you wish.

However I feel it necessary to comment that this photo was taken the morning after, and moments following this endearing image of processed meaty goodness was captured, the contents of this picture were consumed, instead of Corn Flakes, for breakfast by my lovely male flatmates.

I’ve never known a better time for being vegetarian.




Filed under Peace and Love