Harry presents: (the first in a series)

I was walking up Spadina St, which is where much of Chinatown is in Toronto, looking for bits for a ‘thank you’ dinner party for my Canadian hosts.

Many of the grocers have baskets of produce out the front and one shop owner had to periodically wipe the snow off piles fruit and veg. It was all pleasingly charming and disorientating (no pun intended).

Anyway, one of these baskets was full of small, dried, white figs of the same type that I had discovered back home in Sydney earlier that year. They come from Iran and are often labelled as “Iranian figs”.

I bought a bag and popped one in my mouth for the walk home which, when I almost broke a tooth, was how I discovered I’d actually bought several handfuls of dried chestnut kernels.

Taking them back with me to Halifax I sought a recipe. And there in my sister-in-law’s collection was a doozy.

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Helen presents: Jill Dupleix’s smashing, crashing

Jill Dupleix is a smasher, and she certainly seems to like smashing things – she had a recipe in The Age the other day which called for smashed garlic cloves. She published this recipe, also in The Age, as the very prosaic “Roast Boiled potatoes”. Recently, I saw a reference to it by the foodie John Lethlean, under the much more satisfying name of “Jill Dupleix’s Smashed potatoes”.

This recipe is going viral. I found Dupleix’s original recipe here, via this wee Scottish blog (love the header), and another one on a Brazilian blog, the Technicolor Kitchen. In this incarnation it’s called Crash-hot potatoes.

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Nabakov presents – Sexy Pink Mashed Potatoes

compleat bachelor fare archive

One of my favourites and I feel an excellent example of bachelor cooking at its best. Why? Because it works as a v. tasty and stylish addition to a romantic candlelit dinner on the balcony or as comfort food spooned right out of the saucepan while watching “Enter The Dragon” in your undergarments. And like most bachelors of independent means, it’s rich and thick. Also you only have to wash up one saucepan and two or three utensils afterwards. (Anyone who gets round to inventing a combination clothes and dishwasher has got my dollar.)

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