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Hello tastebuds!

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30/07/2012 by Mark Leach

This is my first blog post and so, by definition, it’s the start of my new blog about food and drink.

Not that this is a new idea. I’ve been planning to write about my interest in all things food and drink for some time. It’s partly because there are quite a few, if not thousands, of food blogs out there that I’ve waited until now to start my own. Over the past (ever since the internet was invented) years I’ve searched the web for recipe ideas. I usually turn to the web in one of three emergency situations.

The first I’ll call ‘recipe sos’ situations. These are times when you’ve watched a chef/cook on TV but haven’t had time to write down the recipe they’ve concocted. The cookbook to accompany the series is either not out, too expensive or you have no shelf-space left. So you turn to the web and find some kind soul has taken the time to type up the recipe. Even kinder, saintly types, have included photos and tips on how to cook the dish at home.

The second situation I’ve termed ‘ingredient inspiration’. You find a lone beetroot in your fridge and are wondering how to pair it up with a jar of gherkins and a tin of peaches.

The third emergency is perhaps the worst of all: ‘cook’s block’. A bit like writer’s block but instead of staring at a screen or piece of paper, you stare at anything in particular, hoping to think of something else to cook apart from one of your standard fallback dishes. Cookery cowardice.

So if I’ve turned to the web and found answers to these three emergencies, why create another blog? Two reasons.

The first has no foundation in fact but might be true, which is good enough for me. Food bloggers might quit blogging more than others, probably for health reasons. They write about food and drink, so it’s likely that they eat and drink more than most. How many are found slumped over an unfinished ‘mousse au chocolat’ article? Not sure. So I’ll move onto the second reason.

I like happy tastebuds. Preparing a meal, serving it with a well-chosen glass of something (usually) alcoholic and watching people enjoy it makes me happy. This may sound slightly odd and I’m sure somewhere in the US there’s a treatment centre or self-help group waiting for me. If so then as a psychological disease it probably ranks alongside giving away all your money to strangers or going round to people’s houses and doing their ironing for free. Treatment might help the patient but everyone else suffers.

Madness aside, cooking for others is something I love to do and I think people enjoy it because I get asked for my recipes. And as my mind gets filled with recipes and less useful bits of information like pin numbers and passwords, my capacity to remember recipes is diminishing.

So writing this blog is either a way to share my recipes, feed my mental illness, counteract senility or replace ill or deceased bloggers. Take your pick.

Whichever it is I hope you have fun cooking, eating or drinking what I write about.

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Ingredient of the week: pumpkin

It's September, so we say goodbye to one orange fruit, the sweet and juicy or sometimes dry and in-need-of-a-good-roasting apricot and hello to that master of disguise, the not so humble pumpkin. Large and round, narrow and thin, orange or alarmingly red, it's no wonder the pumpkin is associated with Halloween. They've appeared on one market stall so far but they'll soon be everywhere. The only way to deal with this vegetable is to roast it and add it to risottos or top it with something cheesy, cheese perhaps, and some nuts for a bit of crunch. Recipes to follow...
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