Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Friday, 29 March 2013

Food for Thought for Friday

Faery Gold has just gone live in the Spring 2013 Issue of The Linnet's Wings.

Now I am chuffed about this because it's a story I had written ages ago and forgotten about and then along comes Editor Bill West and asks if he can have it :) That is rare and satisfying.

Another rare and satisfying occurrence is that it is in the same issue with a story by John Ritchie -- A Virginia Ham. John is a friend of mine and I greatly admire his writing. Also I see Stan Long has a poem in there too. Stan is an EDP poet also. Iam in good company. So of you have a bit of time to spare go The Linnet's Wings. Have a read. Buy a copy.

And if you fancy 'hamming it up' HERE are some recipe ideas. Of course I can't get my hands on a Virginia Ham here in the UK but there are good hams to be had from local butchers all over Britain and in the meantime, I have some serious Easter Egg eating to do.

This Easter Egg is so serious it's almost grave :) but all that mintiness will undoubtedly enliven my tastebuds!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Food for Thought for Friday -- BLOGHOPPING

I was invited to a BLOGHOP by Amos Grieg from A New Ulster and I thunk to meself -- why nat? So in true BLOGHOP spirit, today's recipe comes from my BLOGHOP guest, Marion Clarke, answering questions about her work HERE.
I know Marion from Every Day Poets where she is a regular contributor. She is also a very talented artist. Marion lives in Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland, a very beautiful spot that I only visited once in my life even though I was also born in Northern Ireland. We also know each other through A New Ulster too and on Facebook. We have never met.

Well tasty I'd say -- wouldn't you? ;)

Marion's Chicken Tikka Balti 
 There is a lot of preparation involved with this dish, but boy is it worth it!
Marinade four chicken breasts cut into cubes in the following:
Chicken Tikka
Small tub of natural yoghurt

1sp fresh ginger, grated
2 crushed cloves of garlic
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste (if you use it - I don't)

1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
Heat a grill and either skewer the pieces of chicken or lay them out on a baking tray and grill, turning regularly until they are slightly charred. Make sure they are thoroughly cooked through. Leave to one side.

Balti Sauce
I usually make the sauce according to the recipe below, but only use half of it and freeze the rest for another day, so I have it ready next time I want Chicken Tikka Masala. Sometimes, if I'm stuck for time, I substitute the ground spices with a couple of tablespoons of ready made balti paste. If I don't have all the ingredients I simply use what I have at the time. You can't really go wrong with this recipe, and I don't think I've ever used bay leaves or cinnamon sticks, but I guess if you have them it will taste even better! 

Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add the following and stir together for one minute: 5 cloves, 4 cardamons, 10 black peppercorns, 4 bay leaves and 3 cinnamon sticks. Add 5 medium onions finely sliced, a 2 inch piece of ginger, crushed, a large garlic clove, crushed and stir fry until they soften. Add a 14 oz tin of tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of tomato puree and 2 tablepoons of fresh, chopped coriander and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the following spices: 1 desertspoon ground coriander, 1 desertspoon ground cumin, 1 desertspoon paprika, 2 teaspoons ground turmeric, 1-2 teaspoons chilli powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon salt (if you use it) and fry for another 2-3 minutes, continually stirring so the spices don't catch. Add water, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the sauce cool and liquidise or blend in a food processor. Your Balti sauce is now ready for use and/or freezing.

To combine the chicken tikka with the Masala Sauce...
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and add a chopped onion, an inch of grated ginger, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and stir until soft. Add as much of your Balti sauce as much as you want along with the chicken tikka piece and gently heat everything through until the food is piping hot.
Serve with basmati rice and nan bread, roti or chapatis - delicious!
For a quick raita, mix a small tub of natural yoghurt with a quarter of grated cucumber, a grated small onion, a teaspoon of mint sauce, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. This is lovely and cooling if you find the Tikki Masala a little spicy. 

I hope to have another BLOGHOPPER on my alterante blog, Parallel Oonahverse next Tuesday -- look out for that :) Now follow all the bloghops back and see where they lead.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Food for Thought for Friday

Tis the Ides of March and coming out of hibernation, I am at last going to an event -- at the Chillingham Arms in Newcastle. In fact I even wrote a poem for it. Aidan Clark suggested the theme which got me thinking about how different the end of many's a story would be without that latin temperment.

It’s a fact seldom acknowledged that the farther north you went in the Roman Empire, the more civilised it became – HOWEVER

Aidan has personally offered to display my remains the length of the Great North Road if I go over time so I'd better away and practise! 

Do come if you can. There's a great line-up!
The Chillingham Arms, Buses 62 and 63
Chillingham Rd Chillingham Road Metro
NE6 5XL Free parking

It is also Saint Paddy's of course 
and I am pleased to have a story about the little folk taken for The Linnet's Wings and 3 poems taken by A New Ulster.

 One more word --BUSHMILLS 

Recipe: Pour it. Drink it :)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Food for Thought for Friday -- Toasties are where it's at

Classic Croque Monsieur

Two slices of white bread
One slice of cured or roast ham
Sliced or grated Gruyere cheese

My oven has a toastie setting but this can be done with bread that's been lightly toasted, then filled with ham and mustard, the cheese placed on the top slice and then the toastie reheated in the oven until the cheese bubbles.

For Croque Madame, add a fried or poached egg onto the top when serving.

Tropical Croque

Place a ring of pineapple onto the ham and sprinkle with cinnamon, then continue as before.

Friday, 1 March 2013


Welsh Cakes
8oz Self Raising Flour
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch salt
4 oz butter
2 oz caster sugar
2oz sultanas
1 egg
a little milk
the method is to rub in roll out and cut into scones

Griddle bake on a dry pan or griddle until raised
Turn and do the other side.
Be patient and keep to a medium heat or they will burn. 

Cool on a rack
sprinkle with sugar