last updated August 1, 2007

nine and a half weeks

I went to the doctors last week to re-register and took with me my wee list: it outlined my skin having miraculously cleared up since returning to the damp weather - which has unfortunately also led to my asthma having stirred from a long sleep. Wheezing is back. The other health point of note was that just two days previously and nine and a half weeks after coming back to Scotland, my stomach had finally started to process deep fried meat again. After about 6 weeks I admit to having become a little anxious about the whole thing....

I'd wanted to discuss diet because it has been the most striking difference in culture. I recall, and now completely understand, Yuka's disgust at the overall standards of the food industry here - I've become a bit of a Japanese snob with that regard. A good example was driving up from Manchester a few weeks ago and stopping at the service station for fuel and food - the glarey, flourescent wall of fizzy drinks, sweets and crisps on offer at two for the price of one was depressing. Even at a 'normal' shop, the presence of chocolate bars is something I have gotten out of the habit of seeing. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the healthy Scottish diet of wholemeal bread, west coast seafood, perthshire rasps, lanark tomatoes, ayrshire potatoes, porridge for breakfast, but there's still an awful lot of bad habits here.

The inability to try a more varied diet is a problem which plagues British tastebuds - squids, which a woman recently screwed up her face at in the fish shop as I was buying them, are just local fare - "a cannae eat them" says she to her friend who was in agreement. Leaving meat on the fire until you can only see black is another aspect of British cooking that makes me cry on the shoulders of the French and Japanese.

Anyway - I was waiting to post about food in a positive light and now I can - the squid recipe was amazing and the langoustine tails, flash fried in a wee bit of lemon with salad, was spot on. For the squid I broke up some stale bread into big crumbs and fried them in a decent amount of olive oil. Put out on kitchen roll to drain. Then I gutted the squids and kept the tentacles whole and bodys whole too and fried quickly in a bit of oil with chili and thin lemons. take it out, pour over the breadcrumbs and then sprinkle a bit of parsley. Amazing (thanks Jamie). Of course if the ingredients are fresh and you don't leave it in for too long then it's pretty difficult to go wrong.

Posted by stupot at August 1, 2007 05:30 PM