Halloween in Suburban Surrey

Surrey – nice, pleasant; Home County. Ten or so miles from Central London. Nothing nasty in Surrey. Except tonight. Tonight the dead rise, the dervishes scream and the stench of death hangs heavy in the air. Also a rather unpleasant spider appeared on our quaintly dilapidated doorstep:

The hairy arachnid had a taste for russet brown paint

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Tintin – Spielberg Pulls it Off!

A new film is out (in the UK at least) made by two of the most successful directors of all time  – Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ is a motion-capture, 3-D film based on the timeless cartoon creation of Belgian comic-book artist Herge. And naturally, for a film that has brought to the silver screen something that has been read and loved by generations of kids (and adults), controversy has been aroused. So…is it any good?

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Cooking Multiple Lasagnes at the Same Time

Tonight its lasagne. (With an ‘e’ rather than an ‘a’ because we’re in England – who knows how the Italians spell it). I’m sitting here in the corner whilst everyone else is arguing about the relative (lack of) talent amongst the contestants in this year’s X Factor; my opinion – every one of them is dire and wouldn’t get a gig at the local Working Men’s Social Club.

Because our family features foodies (me and the eldest boy), vegetarians (the wife) and ‘fussy eaters’ (the youngest boy) cooking any meal for everyone requires logistical skill (culinary talent is a nice to have rather than an essential requirement, especially on a Saturday night). So tonight its Chicken & Bacon Lasagne, and Mushroom Lasagne.

Haven’t we seen those mushrooms somewhere else?…

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Cooking with Kids

Now I’m well used to ‘Cooking with Wine’. What about ‘Cooking with Kids’ – would that taste as good. Would that be as relaxing? I’m used to cooking for kids. But what happens if you reverse the roles? Get them to cook for you. What happens? Lets find out. First you need to get them to come up with a menu. We went for a three course meal, to be prepared by an 11 year old, for his Scout cooking badge.

Would you eat anything prepared by a child?

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A German Soldier’s Memoir of the Eastern Front

Anyone who likes history, and in particular military history, knows there is a seemingly inifinite supply of books on WWII. Mostly written by worthy academic types, these often huge tomes strive to analyse, understand and ultimately explain something which is, as time goes by, increasingly inexplicable. This book, however, is different. ‘In Deadly Combat’ is a memoir of a German Officer who spent most of the War on the Eastern Front. And he survived.

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