I went to the seaside last week. A major shock - they sell candy floss these days in sterile little bags instead of making it there and then in formidable steel buckets, a flurry of strands on a stick and the smell of hot sugar half a mile ahead and behind. I guess it's elf 'n' safety - how unhygienic if the dude in the kiosk makes the candy floss on the stick and presents it to the little ones, no hand washing facilities to be zero hygiene-rated in sight! Guess what: bacteria die in a high sugar environment and I can hardly imagine anything higher in sugar than candy floss.
Enough of the rant though - I also had, as I should, completely excellent fish and chips in Poole, at Nick The Fish (bravo, Nick!). And so to bring that summer feeling a bit closer, let's make oven baked fish and chips this week - no deep fat frying needed and quite a bit healthier.
I also had red mullet which is now in season - and if you get hold of some, grill them whole very simply. That's good whole fish even for those who are slightly wary - not very boney and easy to cook.
But summer's not coming this week, in fact it's winter turning round saying: 'I've not showed my face here enough this year', so a good bowl of soup will not go amiss mid-week. My broccoli and Stilton soup is as easy to make as it is tasty. Or if it's fish you fancy, how about a delicious fish pie? Mine has slice potato layer on top but if you want mash, be my guest.
Meat free and in the true asparagus mood: the lemon and asparagus pasta - and it's the three tricks pasta recipe that will lend itself to any green veg if asparagus is not your thing, or not abundant in your neck of woods. Or maybe a pasta bake will suit better (when does it not?). Penne with leeks and mushrooms - make double and freeze one tray.
I've got a new breakfast bake too, and if I say it's pretty much doughnuts, only baked not deep fried, who will be able to resist jam filled Buchteln? For those impossible people who can, here are pineapple scones: easy, quick, rewarding and versatile - easily turned into apple scones, orange scones, grapefruit scones, blackcurrant scones, lemonade scones...