Tag Archives: food

Eastbourne pudding, anyone?


Reading about the current search for the definite recipe for Dundee Cake, so that it can get a ‘protected name status’ from the EU, reminds me of a puzzle I think I’ll never solve. Does anyone still make something that my grandmother called ‘Eastbourne Pudding’, and where does the recipe come from? Does it have another name?

Eastbourne Pudding involved slicing a few large bananas (not too ripe) in half or thirds (depending on size)  then lengthways down the middle. You spread the halves of banana with raspberry jam and put them in a serving bowl. On top, you pour about a pint of white custard (i.e. sweetened milk, thickened with cornflour). When that’s cooled, you pour over half a pint of single cream on the top, and just let the cream find its way wherever it wants to go, but make sure you get plenty when you serve the pudding.

It’s so simple, yet I remember it being gorgeous – no-one should be allowed to eat single cream like this, but here you had licence. My grandmother (who was a domestic science teacher, and taught me most of what I know about cooking) said they called it Eastbourne Pudding only because they had it at a guesthouse in Eastbourne when they went their on holiday as children, so it’s not the Eastbourne Pudding in this old book.

So does anyone else have memories of this pudding in their family, in Eastbourne, or anywhere else? Is it just a name for something else that has a proper name? I have a feeling I will never know.



We are happy cows: the new cereal from Kelloggs

Breakfast for me is a serious business: it’s got to be slow release, with protein, and low GI. I’m not an ascetic, I just like food too much: I’d no more eat a Twix for breakfast than I would for dinner. For this reason, I have completely ignored the high-stacked boxes of Kellogg’s new cereal Krave: you might just as well crumble some chocolate digestives  into a glass of milk. Easy to see what the concept is, though:  if the chocolate was on the outside, you’d think it was candy. Put the chocolate inside, and it’s a breakfast cereal.

But then last night, I saw a couple in my local Tesco  laughing their heads off at the display, picking up a box, examining it and saying ‘That’s so funny.” As they put the box  back and left, I just heard the tail end of a sentence “….I wonder…East Europeans”.

I looked again to see what could have been so funny, and mentally factored in the last two words I heard, East European. Then a slavic penny dropped. For in many East European languages (Slovakian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, for example), krava means ‘cow’. In Croatian and a few other languages, Krave (pronounced |kráh-veh, as in ‘Ave Maria’) is the plural, ‘cows’.  So there you have it: Cows the new cereal from Kelloggs. For the sake of balance and fairness, I should tell you that when I was shopping in Belgrade about 30 years ago, I  noticed a brand  of  fly-killer  called Bum!

Coincidentally, I find food retail fascinating. Reading about Krave from Talking Retail you’ll find that the aim is to meet a market for people who don’t really want breakfast but, erm, uh, OK, I’ll have some chocolate. These aren’t children, by the way, they’re 16-25 year olds, and one of the target groups is music festivals and University students.  ‘ “There’s a huge opportunity to grow breakfast and cereal consumption within the adult market by retaining young adults in the habit of eating breakfast,” said Mike Taylor, Kellogg’s sales director.’ An idea of how the big social marketing campaign for Krave has gone down with students can be gauged from responses to it in The Student Room. Nice to see that Universities are producing independent critical thought.

See also Krave and the decline of the Coco-Pop from allbusiness

Places that are still there #2: The Cosmoba, Bloomsbury

Picture of the Cosmoba

The Cosmoba, restaurant in Bloomsbury off Southampton Row

I can’t walk anywhere in Bloomsbury without being wistfully rushed back in time to when I was a student at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies back in 1978-81. And nowhere holds more potent memories for me of that time than the Cosmoba in Cosmo place just off Southampton Row.  God rot the internet, however much I may love it: when I try to think what was so special about the Cosmoba, it’s not just that it was in a tiny corner of London that feels like a wonderful guilty secret, it was the warmth of friends, conversation and being out and about after dark.

So last year when, after about 28 years of losing contact, I met up with my  friend  Jackie from college, we decided to see if by any remote chance the Cosmoba was still there. Well, would you believe it, there it was, and it seemed much the same in so many ways, even down to the red wine, chicken kiev and zabaglione that was about the only thing I would ever order, once I’d found out how good it was.

We’re going again soon, so since I was cycling past Cosmo place on my way back from the IoE on Monday, I thought I’d double check that it’s still still there. And yes, it is.

GI diet recipes #4: Grilled salmon with stuffed mushrooms



Also done in 20 minutes if you do it in the right order.

Put some basmati rice on to cook first

Salmon: Mix about a tbsp of sundried tomato pesto with two tbsp of low-fat Hellmans. Add in a few breadcrumbs if you want, or some bits of finely chopped fennel. Try adding anything to this basic mixture for fun (except parmesan cheese – it tastes vile with salmon). Cover the top of some salmon fillets with this.

Mushrooms next: mix up some breadcrumbs, black pepper, dried rosemary, the stalks from a packet of medium sized closed cup mushrooms, and a tbsp of olive oil. With a teaspoon, paste the breadcrumb mixture into the mushrooms – it can be domed on top.

Arrange the salmon & mushrooms on foil on a grill pan, and put under a hot grill for 18-20 mins.

Mean while, slice some courgettes, douse them in lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil, and then chargrill.

About 5 mins before you’re ready to serve, steam some snow peas.

While they’re cooking, grate about an inch of ginger, mix with half a tsp of mustard and a sloosh of soy sauce.

Put it all on a plate.

The breadcrumbs are not very low gi, and there’s more oil than a puritan would allow, but it’s all good fat.

GI recipe ideas #1: Breakfast



1 tomato
few slices of red pepper
Sainsburys Bistro salad (even if their christmas music is crap)
Balsamic syrup
Cottage cheese
Organic sunflower seed bread topped with
– Philadelphia light cream cheese
– Smoked salmon
– Horseradish sauce
– Lemon slice (if you can be bothered, frankly)

Assemble the above, including any other bits of salady stuff you have or like, and put it on a square plate. Everything looks nicer on a square plate.

Places that are still there, No.1: Scoffers


scoffers.jpgIt probably wasn’t called Scoffers at the time, but it looks exactly as I remember it. I stumbled across it again recently, almost 20 years after first going there. It was one of those places that you wander into without really knowing where you are because you’re walking & talking and  geography is the last thing on your mind.  I thought I’d never find it again, and that even if I did, it wouldn’t be there. So here it is, and for you too (you know who you are). And just in case I lose it again, it’s at 6, Battersea Rise.

Stir-up Sunday


stirup.jpg It’s stir-up Sunday, and so for the first time ever, I did what you’re supposed to do and made my Christmas cake. Ironic, really, considering that I have no intention of eating any of it, and a bit pointless since no-one really wants Christmas cake at Christmas. However, it was worth it for the smell that pervaded the house for the whole day while it cooked and cooled, and for the satisfaction of taking part in a quaint English ritual.
The recipe came from what has become my favourite of all books for Christmas food, Martha Day’s The Complete Christmas Cookbook, which I got as an impulse buy in a National Trust shop at Morden Hall Park last year for £4.99.