Category Archives: Mr Fussy’s Marmalade

Very old posts from an old abandoned blog.

Mr Fussy’s Marmalade

“One man’s (albeit slightly late) foray into cooking food more interesting than oven chips and beans on toast” – old strapline, 2007.

This blog didn’t exist 4 years ago.

What did though, was a food blog I started called “Mr Fussy’s Marmalade”. The basic premise is that I went through most of my teenage years not wanting to try new food. At some point in my mid 20’s, I had nothing else much going on in my life, so figured I’d try some of the foods I’d never eaten before while (sorta) learning to cook. It contained almost no pictures (which is a bit odd for a food blog, isn’t it?) ran for about 20 posts, then I got bored, and my mind wandered off onto other things (I’m still not a very good cook).

I’ve finally got around to adding those posts to this blog though (I’m not selling this very well, am I?), so if you fancy reading the sort of crap I was typing 4 years ago, then check out the new OLD category: Mr Fussy’s Marmalade.

The oldest post in that category explains it better than I’ve just done above (and also why it’s called “Mr Fussy’s Marmalade”).

Sausages, MM can you see my lovely sausages?

As the popular song goes..

I’ve never been able to cook sausages (as mentioned before on this blog), so a friend of a friend of a friend..etc.. has offered me some advice on how to cook them.
Not sure where to write it, so thought I’d stick it on here for future reference, for when I decide to try them out.

Method 1 – Frying on a low heat
Requires heavy frying pan with a lid

Add tablespoon of oil
Enter: Sausages
(The oil should sizzle a bit, but not a lot)
Add lid to saucepan and leave.
Should end up with a thick stripe of dark brown seared skin down the sausage.
Turn them over when you have this, and repeat.

Should be ready in around 20mins.

Method 2 – Frying on a higher heat
Requires heavy frying pan with a lid

Add half a cup of stock or some wine
Enter: Sausages
Turn heat up slightly and add lid.
Keep turning sausages to ensure evenly cooked.

Method 3 – Cooking in the oven
Doesn’t require heavy frying pan or lid

Heat oven to 280 degrees (if electric)
Add them for around 30mins, but check regularly.
Don’t need to turn.

Mr Kipling’s Country Slices

This isn’t really a meal as such, but it is food-related, and a general wondering of mine.
How come that ‘Mr Kipling’s Country Slices, baked with currants and sultanas’ are suitable for vegetarians, BUT ‘Mr Kipling’s Manor House’ cake, (which is exactly the same as the slices but in one large cake, as far as I can see) isn’t.

Actually, WHY isn’t really the right question. I know WHY.
‘Manor House’ has animal fat in it, but ‘Country Slices’ don’t. Very odd.

Talking to my sister (along with my girlfriend, also a vegetarian), I’ve discovered things like this before. Fizzy cola bottle sweets have gelatin in. BUT fizzy cola-flavoured laces (the same product, different shape) don’t.

Sometimes I wonder what the manufacturers are thinking when they make these things. I might write to Mr Kipling about the cakes and ask him.

Ganges Restaurant, Gloucester Road

Neither me nor my girlfriend could be bothered to cook this evening.
We decided on a takeaway, but as neither of us fancied chips or a Chinese, we settled on an Indian.
This would be fine, but for the fact that I’ve no idea where the nearest Indian to me is. I tried online but although I could find plenty of restaurants, I was struggling to find any with a website and, (more importantly) a menu.

As it wasn’t raining, my big idea was that we’d just wander up Gloucester Road and see what we could find. There’s loads of restaurants, and one of them must be an Indian. Probably also do takeaways, and it would be handy for next time.

We looked at one place that seemed fairly horrible, another place which wasn’t grabbing either of us with the menu outside, and then as we were wandering along, I spotted a tiny doorway sandwiched between two other buildings. Normal height, but not very wide. Just to the right of this was the menu (and there wasn’t enough room – we had to move when somebody wanted to come out), and we decided we’d go inside and see if they did takeaways.

Despite the 10% discount for takeaway customers, once inside, to my surprise my girlfriend said she quite fancied eating in, as she couldn’t really be bothered to wait for it, take it home and get our own plates and cutlery dirty eating it. I’m normally the lazier of the two of us by a long shot.
It did make sense despite only being five minutes from home, so I went for it.

As there was only two of us, we jumped the queue somewhat. The only people in front of us were a group of about eight waiting for a large table, and they squeezed us in between a store room and the stairs. Again, not really enough room so I was in the way most of the night.

We ordered drinks.
My girlfriend says she wants a beer, and they assume that she’s ordering for me, so then ask her what SHE wants.
I distract them and ask for the orange juice that I want.
When the drinks arrive, she gets the orange juice, I get the beer.

Nice looking beer, but the orange juice was the smallest I’ve ever seen. And that includes drinks I’ve bought on flights.

Poppadoms next, and I generally stick to dunking it in the mango chutney, as it always seems to the nicest sauce type stuff available.

Curries and rice next, and despite me ordering a korma because I don’t handle spicy food that well, I’m literally sweating before I’ve finished. I’ve been deliberately not trying to drink any orange juice, but before I’m half way through, I’ve finished it all.
My girlfriend had been to the bathroom and got some tissues, so I used some to wipe my brow, determined as I was not to buy a second drink as it was a surprisingly expensive tiny orange juice, considering hers was an averagely priced pint of lager.
I visit the bathroom myself and wipe my face with the cold water from the sink, as it’s not drinking water available.

Why I didn’t ask for some tap water at the table I’ve no idea. I’ve literally only thought of it now.

The 10% you save on the takeaway food is described as “service” when you eat in. Perfect – everyone is clear what costs what, and you’re not expected to pay an extra “tip”.
This pleases me because I hate tipping. You might not agree with me, and I’ve had the same argument with someone else.

They said it was to reward someone who is good at their badly paid job and serves you well.
I say that they wouldn’t get away with paying them so badly if they weren’t getting wages topped up with tips.
As for someone being good at their job – if they aren’t, they should be trained or fired. If you work in an office and you’re rude to the customers and unhelpful, you wouldn’t get away with it. Why then, would be acceptable elsewhere?

Anyway – the food was nice, the drinks nice (if on the small side for the price), and the service very pleasant.
I will definitely consider eating there again.

Sausages!

The bane of my life!
While shopping in Tescos a few days ago, my girlfriend suggested she might cook me something. I can’t remember what it was going to be now, but I asked “do you mind if I get some actual meat to go with it?”

For anyone not up to speed on my current relationship, I’m currently dating a vegetarian, and what with my hatred of most vegetables and her not eating meat, eating together is somewhat complicated.

Luckily, as she’s got a busy life with friends and hobbies, and I’m a miserable old git who is currently unemployed, I get up at noon and go to bed at 2am, and we don’t often end up eating together.

Back to my story, and I picked up some sausages. I’ve never been any good at sausages. They seem to go black and don’t cook properly in the middle.
However, my girlfriend is a pretty good cook, so I figured she could show me how to cook them.

I bought them and got home, mentioned this to her, and she told me that not only does she not eat meat, she doesn’t know how to cook it either!

Not to let this get me down, I decided I’d have a go anyway.
So I put some of the sausages on a baking tray and put them under the grill. In a little under 5minutes, my kitchen was completely full of smoke. I removed the sausages to discover there’s either a fault with my oven/grill, or some food stuck in there that’s burning when it gets hot.

Frustrated at the apparent lack of cooking equipment in my kitchen, I switched the grill off and found a frying pan to cook my sausages.
High heat? Low heat?
I’ve no idea so I put some olive oil into a frying pan (I guess I would have used vegetable oil in a frying pan ordinarily, but I couldn’t find any) and put it on a low heat.

Someone in my house has got one of those Tefal pans with the red spot thing in the middle. Its red with detail on it to start with, so I think that means I heat it til the detail disappears. I got bored of heating it on a low setting, so switched my gas hob to the highest setting, but still the detail didn’t disappear. Maybe it’s broken?
Bored of waiting, I chucked in the sausages which immediately started to go brown very quickly on the outside.

This is the bit that confuses me. I’ve attempted sausages before and they’ve been cooked externally, but with a chilly food-poisoning-inducing centre. Last time I mentioned this to someone, they told me I was cooking them too fast, and I should try a low heat setting for much longer. I turned them down, and to be honest the outside still seems to be browning very quickly.

As the brown outside started to go black on one, I grabbed a sharp knife and cut it open to find it not cooked inside.
I moved them around a bit, then cut them all into tiny chunks. It seems easier to cook smaller chunks of meat than big bits, from my little prior knowledge.

I asked my girlfriend to let me know if there was any smoke, and went off to find my ‘Delia’s Complete Cookery Course’ book I bought ages ago.
Under sausages it has various complicated meals, and the simplest one just tells you to ‘brown the sausages’ before adding them to the recipe.
I looked under the beginning of the meat section but am still slightly confused as to exactly what ‘browning’ them entails, and indeed whether that results in them cooked, or just makes them brown ready for the next process in preparing them for eating.

None the wiser, I returned to the kitchen. As I’d spent a long time screwing around with my sausages and smoking out the kitchen, my girlfriend had actually finished cooking hers some time ago and mostly eaten her dinner without me. I did some baked beans to go with my now-blackening sausages and put some toast on to go with them.

As a final thought I borrowed (I haven’t repayed her yet) two pieces of fresh bread from my girlfriend and thought I’d fry it in the leftover oil. This may be something that doesn’t work so well with olive oil, because it came out black. It was edible, kinda.