Hi Friend! I’m an Anglican parish priest living on the magnificent southern Sussex coast of England. Whether it’s the Battle of Hastings in 1066 country, the Roman Saxon fortress of Pevensey Castle, or one of Britain’s most haunted locations - Michelham Priory, my two children and I are surrounded by castles, history, and a few errant ghosts. I’m also the Anglican chaplain to the countries of Moldova and Romania, where my mission supports victims of child-trafficking and children in crisis. If you would care to learn more please visit: http://www.ProjectNewLife.org Or come visit my private diary at: http://www.BigWorldSmallBoat.blogspot.com I extend my most humble gratitude to all of you who have contributed in guiding me through my culinary disasters. Cooking is an escape for me and it’s a powerful way to say to my children “I Love You.” Your cooking advice is helping to dispel rumours that we are running a clandestine crematory in our home!
My favorite things to cook
Having lived all over the world, we have diverse tastes. My daughter and I enjoy chicken dishes and occasionally vegetarian ideas. My son is a rather strict carnivore, preferring traditional English roasts. And as with most male teenagers, rather than china and silverware, I suspect he would be just as content being fed from a low trough! (but he’s still lovely – the scallywag!) We have a fondness for Hungarian, Moldovan and Western Romanian dishes as well as some northern Italian and Middle Eastern meals. And there's nothing like a good old Australian Barbeque! But without a doubt our favourite dishes are either 'low country French' or foods from the deep south of the United States! I remember once being told that the secret ingredient to all Southern cooking was a heaping portion of Love! Indeed Y’all! A perfect ingredient to any recipe in life!
My favorite family cooking traditions
The only thing my mother made was reservations at restaurants. As a child I spent my life travelling with my father. Consequently, virtually every meal I prepare looks suspiciously like an airline meal or something served aboard a ship. So just to make things a bit more authentic, I occasionally delay our dinner by an hour or two, providing absolutely no excuse whatsoever! But then I also live by the adage 'it’s much easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission!' My favourite cookery books are my Culinary Institute Handbook, Larrouse Gastranomique –probably the best French cookbook I’ve ever been forced to decipher, Gourmet & Glamour in the Sky by George Banks – the former executive chef for British Caledonian, The Greenbrier Hotel’s guide to comfort cooking, The Plaza Hotel’s Banquet Guide, and a book I bought many years ago in Korea, which I only bring out whenever Mr. Piddles – our Jack Russell, becomes exasperatingly irritating – One Hundred and One Ways to WOK your dog!
My cooking triumphs
(1). Dispelling the rumour that all British cooking is bad. (Actually, we’re the most progressive nation in the world when it comes to the fusion of international cuisines!) (2). That I’ve finally gotten our dinner guests to stop referring to my Béarnaise Sauce as a soup and my roast chicken as “The Deceased!” (3). That my cakes no longer come with a warning notice from the Cement and Concrete Labourers Union. (4). And that my children no longer encourage guests to say their prayers AFTER they eat!
My cooking tragedies
The vast collection of door-stops we have that were originally meant to be cakes!... As with any tragedy in life, great epiphanies can emerge. Lately I have been giving thought to contacting the MOD (Ministry of Defence) about having them come to collect my cakes and using them as replacements for the bombs they’re currently using in Afghanistan. Just imagine, it would jolly well hurt if you had a pound cake dropped on your head. (Especially one of mine!). But it would also feed people and that's when the message would spread like wildfire – that the British were going to blanket Afghanistan with all their bad cooking! Personally, I think it would bring the nation to its knees! Of course, they might retaliate by launching a barrage of chic peas and falafel, but we could repel the insurgency with recordings of Gordon Ramsay’s cooking shows. Shame on me – No way! That would be far too cruel for anyone to endure!