Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Eight Food Things


There’s a lovely food blogger in Seattle, called Tea, who writes the Tea & Cookies blog. She’s done a food meme, which I’m stealing, since I’m obviously not done with making people hungry and wanting to come and live with me. Those of you who’ve requested adoption might look to Tea, who is a seriously foodie food person. Compared to her, I’m an amateur, a dabbler, a mere hobbyist.

Eight Food Things:

What are your favourite foods?

Green asparagus. We recently discovered (thanks to Loren) that this can be grilled on the braai. A revelation! A quick weekday supper, now that we have our electric grill, is a steak each and a pound of green asparagus braaied to perfection. In Baden, where we live, the white asparagus is a kind of white gold, but in comparison to the green, I find it flabby and tasteless. Plus, it requires peeling which is a horrid bore. I’m a green Spargel gal.

Soft fruits – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries. I’m eating them by the punnet at the moment.

Avocado, preferably squashed onto nutty brown bread with tons of salt and pepper. Apologies Herschelian, I know you loathe it.

What foods do you hate?

Offal in any shape or form – please no kidneys, livers, hearts or tongues. Don’t do ’em. The only possible exception is chicken liver pate, but only in very small doses.

The mere thought of eel makes me gag. That scary combination of two legless beasts – snake and fish – is too much for me. I’d rather eat grass.

Slimy, pink, overprocessed meats. As my children say, bah!

Foods you like but are embarrassed to admit:

Salty popcorn. There’s tons of it in The Post-Birthday World and it made me salivate. When I was a student, a friend and housemate introduced me to her family tradition of emptying a packet of Smarties into a cinema bucket of salty popcorn. I was immediately hooked on the combination of salt, sugar and chocolate. I won’t countenance sweet popcorn though.

Treats of my childhood: orange chips called Niknaks, Peppermint Crisps, Zoo Biscuits and marshmallow fish. These are things I always buy when I’m in South Africa.

Salami sticks. Mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Strangest food you’ve eaten and enjoyed?

Warthog and crocodile. Warthog is like pork but better, and crocodile tastes like chicken.

Cooking failures that still rankle?

Nigel Slater’s Demerara Lemon Cake from his Kitchen Diaries. I made it recently in an attempt to move away from the Lemon Drizzle Cake, and it was an abject failure. The syrupy lemon slices that were meant to brown delightfully on top the cake sunk into the middle and the mixture near them remained raw. The whole lot had to be consigned to the bin.

The first meal I ever cooked for my husband, long before he was the husband. I called it Pasta Arrabiata, but it was really just pasta, tomato sauce and whole green olives. Very yucky. Bravely, risking never seeing me again, he told me he couldn’t eat it. I admitted I couldn’t either. We had toast instead.

Ingredients you don’t want to consider living without?

Lemons, olive oil, lemons, limes, lemons, flat-leaf parsley, lemons, chocolate, lemons, basil, lemons, cinnamon, rosemary and lemons.

Cuisine you’d like to know more about?

Moroccan, Iranian and Egyptian. I need to use up my stock of rosewater.

Foods you’ve hated but have grown to love?

Peas! I used to swallow them down with water as a child, or gather them in my mouth and later spit them in the loo. Now I love the little darlings.

Tomatoes – South African tomatoes are watery and floury compared to the firm, juicy, sweet European varieties. Barely a day passes without me eating a tomato.

Underdone beef and lamb used to make me shiver with horror, but now after 15 years of hanging around with my husband’s family I have grown used to pink juices. Especially good with tons of mustard.

Current kitchen conundrum?

Space. My three kids really want to help in the kitchen, and I really want to encourage them, but the kitchen is so small that I feel claustrophobic when one other person is in there with me. One day I will have an enormous kitchen with a farm table, lovely chairs, a sofa, a huge workspace and bookshelves.

If this grabs you, consider yourself tagged!

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

14 thoughts on “Eight Food Things

  1. My husband also has a thing for Peppermint Crisps and my children are Zoo Biccy junkies. I don’t buy them so they are a great treat when they raid their aunts’ biscuit tins on the weekends.

    I’ve stolen this meme from you and enjoyed thinking about food all evening.

  2. I’m so delighted you decided to jump onboard. It seems we share some tastes–lemons, lemons, lemons! I’ll see if anyone else bites and post an update soon. Cheers!

  3. Mmm… share your love of avocado on bread bread with a squeeze of lemon juice… Peppermint Crisps or anything minty with chocolate… green asparagus lightly steamed with lashings of butter.

    I’ve gotten past squeamish with eel but I still wouldn’t order it for myself. I’ll make do with stealing little bits off D’s plate when he orders it.

    I won’t request adoption (I like my kitchen too much) but might have to take up the tag.

  4. Mmmmm, lovely food! Kiko’s Daddy would like warthog (he’s eaten kangaroo!) I am with you about the enormous kitchen with farmhouse table. That would be lovely. I am going to tag myself for this tomorrow when (hopefully) I will have had eight refreshing hours sleep and the planets will have realigned.

  5. We’ve got the farmhouse table (made my my husband’s great-grandfather for his son’s wedding!) but since our kitchen is joined directly to the main room it straddles the borderland between the two. Otherwise we are lacking space as well.

    I cracked up at the idea of little Charlotte saving peas like a chipmunk and spitting them out later! Did you never have to talk at the table?

    What does eel taste like?

    Salami sticks — those were always my preferred road trip food, along with something chocolate. Before I had kids and had to present myself as a good nutrition role model.

  6. We have TWO avo trees (both planted from pips!) which are DRIPPING with avos at the mo! Even enough for the squirrel who is feasting! As you say, mashed up on wholewheat bread…………not good for winterspek though!

  7. The very thought of liver makes me want to gag. My mother used to make me eat it and I remember literally covering the whole slab in about 2 centimetres thick of ketchup, just to hide the pungent taste.

  8. Oh no, another tempting meme. And Smarties with popcorn? What a great-sounding idea! Of course, Smarties are difficult to come by here, so I’ll have to substitute with inferior M&Ms, but I’m sure it’ll still be good.

  9. ooohh lemons! you have inspired me to get some on the way home.. Have you tried that Lemon Meringue Cake in ‘Feast’ yet? My baking is not legendary, as yours is, but I made this for a party once, and it was the only pudding that was entirely gobbled up. And as Nigella says, it is much easier than the original l-m-pie version (too much fiddling)..

  10. My mother was more likely to throw Dots or Mike and Ike in the popcorn so I too appreciate salty popcorn with added sweet things (but I once had salty popcorn drizzled with chocolate — yum) — my current favorite is to add some trail mix (nuts, dried cherries and cranberries and chocolate chips) into a big bowl of popcorn — yum!!

  11. I think we have very similar tastes, Charlotte! I love salty popcorn (one of the few sugar-free treats I can have) and asparagus, and I don’t think I could eat offal if my life depended upon it!

  12. Hi Charlotte,

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the asparagus recipe. I have some other grilling favorites about which I will post as I make them over the course of the summer. Stay tuned!


  13. Pingback: My Pearwood Luggage Still here - bearing a meme «

  14. Pingback: Food. Glorious food. « White Thoughts

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