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.


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.

The ‘Cinnabun’ at Parsons Bakery

A while ago I discovered a new cake available at Parsons Bakeries around the Bristol area.

It’s called the ‘Cinnabun’ and is very very filling and probably full of calories. I couldn’t eat one every day that’s for sure.
It consists of a type of sweet cream cheese, atop a Chelsea bun, and with cinnamon in the middle.

Here’s a picture of one that I took. It didn’t travel very well between the shop and where I took the picture.

Much as I loved these, after several months they seem to have disappeared completely from all the local stores. I’ve asked in several and they’ve never even heard of them.

After Googling and finding no website for the bakery in question, using the power of Companies House, I tracked down the registered address for the bakery head office and sent them a letter.

The letter read a bit like this:

Quite nicely, they wrote back to me:

I was quite pleased with the outcome til a friend of mine suggested they haven’t answered the question of whether or not the product will be returning.

I had my fingers crossed they might send me some vouchers too or a free cake, and that didn’t materialize either. Ah well, it was nice of them to reply.

Lasagne – the dinner party

Last night I went to a friend’s house for a kind-of dinner party.

I had worried about this since I was first invited. It’s not a formal dinner or anything like that – just a dinner party consisting of me, two friends of mine, a friend of theirs I don’t know very well, and that friend’s mother.

I’m passed the point in my life where awkward silences in conversations bother me much – I was concerned because of the food aspect. 

On the phone originally, the host had seemed reluctant to decide on the food to be served. Later conversations had suggested pie and chips – there’s not an awful lot to go wrong there. Even if its a pie containing something I don’t like, you just leave the odd ingredient – it would have been a store-bought pie and oven chips. Nobody is offended really, and nobody enjoys it too much. It’s a happy bland medium.

I arrived at the party with some things I was lending the host. This was probably my only saving grace the whole night.

I’d been there, not really making much in the way of conversation with anybody for a short while. 

I haven’t really done anything in weeks. Not much to talk about (that’s why this blog hasn’t been updated in so long). 

After a while, I casually asked somebody what food we were having tonight. 


A slight panic set through me. 

If truth be told – I’ve eaten lasagne before in my life, once. It was a Tesco “Finest” one a few years ago, that I’d resorted to when I’d ran out of most other foods. I’d ate about a third of what was probably a one-person’s dish to start with, and then gone to pudding. At the time, I don’t think I’d eaten properly in a day or so, and really it could have been anything and I’d have eaten a bit because I was hungry. That said, I still didn’t eat all of it – so I can’t have enjoyed it much.

Back to the current day, lasagne was served, I tried it – wasn’t really loving it.

To make this worse, the other guests complemented the host on his culinary skills, repeatedly, while I sat there planning what I was going to say when I was eventually found out.

If it had been just me and said host, this would have been a lot less embarrassing.

I picked through the lasagne, and ate the mince.

The host mentioned several times he wasn’t rating the mince in this particular lasagne, and it had been cheap at the butchers and he didn’t know why. Is that a get-out? The truth was, the mince was the only bit I was finding alright. I decided against that particular get-out.

Eventually after it had been mentioned how slowly I eat, and people had asked if I was “struggling” with the meal, I came clean and told aforementioned host that I didn’t really like lasagne.

He apologized a lot, which made me feel rubbish – as he’d done the whole thing from scratch.

I picked out some more mince and ate that, then moved my knife and fork to the 6.30 position.

Now, at this point of my life, I’d like to think I’ve seen everything on the internet, that is ever likely to gross me out. Anything that is going to make me feel uneasy has been done on The Word, Eurotrash, Wudja Cudja, or in close up prosthetic detail on Nip/Tuck. I was wrong.

No sooner had I relocated my knife and fork, talk started from the mother at the meal, of how I couldn’t “waste” that food. 

It continued for a few minutes while I resisted the urge to sarcastically mention about starving children in Africa. I got that a lot while I was younger. “There are starving children in Africa, who’d kill for that you know”. My suggestion to post it to them was never met with much appreciation.

We rejoin the party, as the friend of a friend and his mother, agreed to portion up my leftovers on their own plates and eat it.

To coin an American phrase, “Ew”.

I’d eaten around, between, and throughout the remaining food. It’s not like eating half a burger from the other side as someone else, and leaving the “join” in the middle.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve eaten off other people’s plates before, shared spoons, etc. One night I helped out with a computer problem at a house filled with female uni students, and when a cute one (I’d consider her a long way out of my league) had offered me some apple crumble from her spoon, I’d gladly taken it.

That’s the difference. I’ve shared plates, spoons, etc.. with people I’d been sleeping with, or who wanted to sleep with. Not with friends. In the same way I wouldn’t keep their chewing gum warm in my own mouth, I wouldn’t eat off their plates.

There are some circumstances where the “fancying the original owner” rule needn’t necessarily apply. As mentioned before, if you were physically starving and needing nourishment – I’d forgive the above. If you were stranded on a desert island, and it was this or death – fair enough. This was not the case with either of the people fighting for my leftovers.

I sat incredibly uncomfortably as they finished my half-eaten dinner for me, just trying to keep my own down. 

After those two had left the party, I mentioned this to the remaining guest at the party. To my surprise, he didn’t see a problem with it!

He went as far as to say he’d trust me not to have any sort of diseases that could be picked up via saliva. To try and force my point across, I said “well how do you know I don’t have any? How do *I* know I don’t have any?”. It’s pretty unlikely really. I’d have to come in contact with other people to pick up any of those diseases, and I’ve not had so much as a kiss in months.

I never thought I’d say it – but restaurants aren’t so bad. When I was the only one who didn’t have a starter at the office Christmas party, nobody really made a big deal out of it. Nobody was fighting for the small amount of rice I left after the main course. At least you get options, and if you don’t like it, you don’t see the chef personally.

haddock and oven chips

“The plaice to be”.
I’d like to think if BBC Radio Bristol ever did something fish-related, that’s what they’d call it.
This isn’t about plaice though, it’s about haddock. Actually….wasn’t it haddock week recently on the Steve Yabsley show?

Tonight, I decided if I was going to have chips on Thursday, I should have chips tonight, so I make sure I don’t have them two nights in a row. Why that matters, I don’t know – but it helps me make a decision about something trivial, that otherwise would take me hours.
Actually it did take me hours – I didn’t put anything in the oven til 9pm.

Anyway – what to have with chips? I decided on a Birds Eye chicken pie.
Sadly, when I went to the freezer, I remembered I went shopping last night and Tesco didn’t have any.
When I was shopping last night, I also wanted to buy Birds Eye ‘simply cod’. Pieces of cod, battered and frozen. I think I couldn’t see any, so I bought haddock instead.

My memory has been worse than useless lately – I can’t remember basic things from one day to the next and I certainly can’t remember passwords for users or servers. Someone told me at work today, that they didn’t want to tell me a code for something for security reasons. I told them I’d have forgotten it in 20 minutes anyway. I think they thought I was joking.

So yes – as fish is considered brain food, it seemed like a good choice for dinner tonight, even if it was by default.

So tonight’s meal consisted of:
– Birds Eye battered haddock
– oven chips
– Heinz baked beans

Oven at 220 degrees centigrade, 30 mins for haddock, 20 mins for chips, one baking tray, not much washing up.
Theres a pan and wooden spoon for the beans too, but not bad really.

I had the beans just because it’s a bit dry on it’s own, and I couldn’t be arsed to find any sauce for it.

Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had haddock before, but I figured fish is fish.
So when it was cooked and I tasted a bit, I was quite pleasantly surprised at how different it tastes to cod. Nicer I think. Makes you wonder why we have cod with chips normally. Maybe it’s cheaper or easier to catch.
Anyway – all very edible. Will likely have it again.

Chinese Hoi Sin Chicken Wrap

I’ll apologise now for how slack I’ve been with updating this. The truth is I’ve been quite busy having a creative block, and trying to come up with features for a radio show I’m presenting. I seem to work better under pressure because I’ve known about the show for months, and a week before the first one, the ideas started and just kept coming.
Maybe I should give myself deadlines for other things that are very close. I can’t immediately think what though. Answers on a postcard please.

So anyway, a week or so ago, bored, browsing Tescos. I had an idea I’d cook something involving duck (instead of chicken) for a change. I was disappointed to see Tescos don’t sell it. Unless it’s not with the beef, pork, chicken, etc for some reason, they don’t seem to do it.

As I wandered the aisles aimlessly, I spotted something similar to the fajitas I’d done before, but described as “Chinese”. For some obvious reason, anything oriental always grabs my attention.
It was pretty much tortillas as before, but involved a few ingredients I’d never eaten before. To my knowledge, I’ve never had “Hoi Sin Sauce”.
And I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a spring onion before either.

It’s a kit of tortillas and sauce and you add your own spring onions, cucumber and chicken.
I did alright with the cucumber, but if truth be told, I couldn’t really think what spring onions looked like.
I browsed the entire vegetable and salad section hoping for something to jump out at me.

Nothing did.

So I called my sister and asked her what spring onions looked like. I believe she described them as “little onions with long stems”. I wandered a bit more, then finally gave in and asked a guy putting out apples if they had any spring onions. No.

I had something boring for tea that night. Oven chips or something most likely.

Several days later, I got the spring onions (or “salad onions” as they’re actually described in Tescos for some reason). Went home and followed the recipe on the packet.

Now, as I said I’ve been busy. I intended to write that up when I had it a week or so ago, but never did.
So – tonight I did this same meal for a second time. Partly to refresh my memory, and partly because it’s pretty quick and I didn’t go to Tescos til gone 20.30, so wasn’t cooking til gone 21:00.

So this meal’s ingredients (what it says on the Uncle Ben’s packet):
– Uncle Ben’s Wraps – Chinese Hoi Sin Meal Kit (tortillas, hoi sin sauce, and “oriental spice blend”
– Chicken – about 200g of skinless breast
– 1/4 cucumber
– 2 spring onions

I’ve cut the ingredients in (roughly) half, as it’s meant to serve 4. The first time I cooked this I bought 1/2 cucumber, and it was horrible, so I didn’t bother when I did it tonight. Other than that, I did the same tonight as a week or so ago.

So, back to my trusty wok, chicken cut into strips and fried. I’m fine at that. If anything, I overcook it a bit, but it tastes fine to me and nobody else is desperate enough to need me to cook for them.

That done, you add the “oriental spice blend”. This is a very odd looking thing. It’s a type of powder that looks like a sand and gravel mix that a tiny builder from a model village might use.
It smells bizarre. Not nice at all.
Not to be put off by this, I added it to the chicken and stirred it around.
For those of you wondering, the ingredients listed for the “spice blend” are:
anise seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, pepper, clove, chilli powder, ginger, sesame seeds, garlic powder, sugar, tamarind powder, salt, and plain caramel.

While this is finishing cooking, I set about cutting up the spring onions. The instructions on the Uncle Ben’s Wraps say: “slice the spring onion into thin sticks and place into serving bowls”. I guessed I had to wash the spring onions first, but after that I had a slight issue.

Which bit of a spring onion do you eat? The bulby/oniony bit, or the green bit?

I gave it a sniff at either end, and both ends smell like onion. I guess that’s to be expected.
I had a look on the photo on the box, but you can see a lot more cucumber than onion. I couldn’t see much white – mostly green vegetable-wise, on the box.
As it was a 50/50 shot, I decided on the green leafy bits. After all, they tell you to eat your “greens”.

That done, the instructions tell you to “remove the tortillas, cover with cling film and heat on full power for 1 minute”. Nice and easy that.

Tortillas do intrigue me, as they’re not easily breakable. After warming them, you can fold them around, scrunch them up, and then straighten them back out again.
They should make shirts and trousers out of tortillas. You wouldn’t have to iron them, just put them in the microwave to warm them through, then put them on. Hey presto – instantly to the shape you want them.

I removed them from the microwave and instantly burnt myself.
Maybe trousers made from tortillas aren’t such a good idea after all.

I opened the sauce, and turned off the heat on the chicken and “spice blend”.
It’s just a like a big sandwich from here on. Spoon in some Hoi Sin sauce, spring onion, chicken, roll up, eat.

The first mouthful was ruined the first time I did this by the awful cold cucumber.
I removed the rest from the first one and binned the rest. Tonight when I cooked this, I didn’t buy cucumber at all. Maybe if I cooked the cucumber with the rest it might be nicer.

Spring onion is quite nice though. I’m not saying I’d want to eat it on its own, but it doesn’t taste too bad with something.

The oriental spice blend tastes like nothing I’ve had before.
When it’s cooking it smells like you’ve just set fire to something.
Before it’s cooked it smells bizarrely strong.
After its been cooked and coated all over chicken though, it doesn’t seem so over-the-top. Weird.

The Hoi Sin sauce smells a bit tomato-ey, looks a bit tomato-ey, and according to the ingredients is made of mostly…tomatoes, plum juice, soya, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.

Altogether, its not bad. Unusually I don’t have to say “but I might change my mind when I have it again”, because I did have it again. Tonight. And it was still nice.
I’m really not sure if it’s good for me at all, as the only vegetables my version of it contains is a couple of small spring onions.
It’s probably healthier than oven chips and and baked beans though.

non-oriental chicken stir fry + couscous

This week, I really did start with the best intentions. I went shopping Monday, looking for new things to try.
I picked up an alternative to the fajitas I had success with before – which uses soy sauce and attempts to be more of an oriental-style affair. However, that particular “kit” called for spring onions, and after trawling Tescos up and down, and I had called my sister and asked her what spring onions looked like (I didn’t really know), and then asked a member of Tescos staff, I was informed they didn’t have any.
So I thought I’d keep with the oriental theme, and try and create something involving duck. Tescos didn’t have any of that either.

I bought the soy sauce, and some chicken breasts anyway – and assumed I’d put more effort in later in the week.

But then Tuesday my new computer arrived. It’s an iMac, and I’ve not really got a clue how to use a Mac. I work in IT support on exclusively Windows machines, fancied an upgrade to my computer at home, and I think Vista is a pile of bloated marketing BS that is harder/slower to use for no good reason. So I thought I’d see how the other side live and try a Mac instead. iThink it’s alright, but iDon’t really have a clue how to do what iWould consider basic things on a Windows machine. iGuess I’ll pick it up.

So yes – tonight iWas playing with my iMac til gone 9pm, and thought iHad better cook something for dinner. At that sort of time, the options if you want to be eating sooner rather than later are pretty slim.

I opted for a stir fry, as it would give me a chance to try a different sauce I bought in a jar the other day. And after my sister heard about me being indifferent towards rice, she had suggested I try couscous instead. So it’d give me a chance to have this.

So used tonight for this:
1. Knorr Chicken Tonight sauce – Spanish Chicken variety, with tomatoes, peppers, olive oil and thyme
2. about 250g of skinless chicken breast
3. Crazy Jack’s organic wholegrain couscous

I’m fine with heating oil then adding strips of chicken now. However, given the late night, I couldn’t really be arsed to wait for the oil to heat up, nor cook it properly. It was probably a bit badly cooked tonight.

The sauce is unusual in that it says to “stir in the sauce, cover and simmer for 20 minutes”. This seems an extremely long time considering the oriental version of the same sauce (with half the same ingredients), cooks in 10 minutes.
I gave it 3-4 mins and started on the couscous.

Now couscous seems unusual.
The instructions say “boil water in a wide bottomed pan. Remove from heat and add couscous. Cover and leave for 5 to 7 minutes. Add a knob of buter and fluff up with a fork”.
I boiled the water in the kettle cause its quicker, added it to the pan, then attempted to add couscous, which all stuck to the inside of the cup I was using for measuring, as I’d just had hot water in it. It would work better the other way around if I do it again.
A bit of rinsing the cup with boiling water to remove it from the cup, I put it all in the saucepan and put it back on the hob.
I re-read the instructions and realised this is apparently a mistake on my part.
Is that right? Boil water, add couscous and leave for 5-7minutes? It was closer 5 than 7 it has to be said. I don’t really see its doing anything apart from getting wet.

Anyway I gave the sauce about 10-12mins tops, and plated the lot.
Couscous is a different taste, but I’m not rating it so far. I could/would eat it if someone cooked it for me, but just like the rice – why I would bother on my own is beyond me.

Another point my sister had used while selling the benefits of couscous to me was that it didn’t need to get a sieve dirty, like you do with rice. While this is true, it still needs a saucepan, apparently with lid, plus a fork to “fluff” the couscous, and something to remove it from the pan. There seemed to be some water left in the bottom of the pan (probably due to me not leaving it long enough), so something with holes in it would probably have helped to remove it – maybe.. a sieve.

Overall I’m not impressed. I ate the chicken, some of the sauce, a bit of couscous and left the rest. However, I think this post shouldn’t be considered too accurate given I didn’t cook most of it properly, and I was cooking while already tired, fed up, etc, plus disappointed with myself for not eating properly this week. This evening I’m also fed up of people banging on my door or ringing my doorbell every 30 f*kin seconds trick-or-treating.
I may try this again another night with a slightly more positive pre-cooking outlook.