I had this week’s blog all planned out, but fate intervened as it tends to do.  I was supposed to travel to London to see the composer Handel’s house and also that of Jimi Hendrix, who had lived next door to Handel in another lifetime.  However, I came down with a sore throat and fever on Thursday of last week, and didn’t feel like making the journey on Saturday. True to form, the ‘Customer Services’ email I received stated that it was not possible to obtain a refund for the tickets or change the visit to another day.  Hey ho, it’s just another typical UK ‘after-sales service’, so I shouldn’t be surprised really…..

So, I thought I’d regale you all with my (dubious) prowess in the kitchen instead.  My mother passed on to me a hatred of all things culinary, and usually my cooking skills consist of throwing various veggies in the steamer, something dead in the oven, and coming back to both half an hour later, giving me time for another 30 minutes of writing.  However, I had ordered a cook book that guaranteed all its recipes were dairy and sugar free, and I was eager to try one of them out.  Sam hovered about absolutely staggered that I was actually following a recipe. The one I chose was aubergine and tomato gratin.  The picture in the recipe book looked like this:


Right, says Stevie, I’ll have some of that.   I fiddled and faffed about, frying, stirring and baking. One of the ingredients was a non-dairy cream which I couldn’t find in the supermarket, so I decided to improvise and use some non-dairy yoghurt instead which I already had in the fridge…

What a bad move!  When I took the concoction out of the oven, the yoghurt had curdled, giving it a je ne sais quoi appearance. Unfortunately it looked nothing like the original picture, as you can see below.  In fact none of my few attempts at following a recipe have ever worked out, and so I shouldn’t have been too surprised about the state of this one either.


Sam gave it the evil eye and asked if there was anything else for dinner.  I picked out the mushrooms and some of the tomatoes that looked edible, and found some frozen fish to cook.  Methinks I should have made the effort and gone to see Handel and Hendrix instead….