As a lover of early and mid-20th century British detective fiction, in particular Agatha Christie, I have often tried to imagine the food and drink referred to in my bedtime reading which normally comprises Agatha's novels. Even when I am feeling lazy or tired, I listen to her audio books.

The recipes here are my interpretations of meals, snacks and drinks that I have encountered during my reading and I am attempting to reproduce these as I imagine they were made during the decade in which the relevant novel was set. Although the majority of the posts are recipes, I will also include descriptions of those ingredients which are not in common use.

Each recipe is written for conventional cooking methods using traditional ingredients. It is also accompanied by a 21st century 'equivalent', including adaptions using more modern equipment such as the Thermomix or techniques such as sous vide. I just love my gadgets! Also I feel that food should have 'attitude' in that it must make you want to eat it again. It has to be full of flavour, which in one sense may seem to contradict the general consensus towards Brtish food at least, during the period in question. This is the challenge I have set myself - to give you traditional
recipes upon which you can build, and at the same time add a suggested modern equivalent which you might like to try anyway.

Monday, 14 December 2015


The Sous Vide Supreme is a water bath designed for domestic kitchens and holds up to 11.2 litres of water.  There is also a more compact version called a Sous Vide Supreme Demi which holds up to 8.7 litres of water.  It will keep the water at a constant temperature to within 0.5 of a degree C, ensuring even cooking of your food.  You will also need to buy a vacuum sealer and appropriate food grade plastic pouches.  The food is sealed in the pouches first, together with any herbs, spices or seasonings and then added to the pre-heated water bath.  It is then left to cook very slowly until done.  


However, the cooking times vary according to the ingredients (in the same way as conventional cooking), but you have a much wider time range in which it can be left.  An example would be chicken breasts 25mm thick, cooked at 63.5°C, which will be ready in 1 hour, but can be left for up to 4.  It will not overcook because it is kept at a constant temperature.  The food will also cook evenly throughout, so if for example, you want a medium-rare steak, it will be medium-rare all the way through and not just towards the centre.

Other models of water bath are also available and you can also but temperature controllers to convert your existing equipment such as saucepans, rice cookers, slow cookers etc. for sous vide cooking.

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