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 Thermomix is not widely seen in UK households, but in Spain, Italy and Australia it is extremely popular. You only need to look at a Spanish recipe website to see that instructions are often given for the Thermomix as well as the conventional cooking method. I have seen the Thermomix described as the 'complete kitchen in one' and is ideal if you have a small kitchen or for students.

So what exactly is a Thermomix? It is a super fast food blender and processor that also weighs, cooks, simmers and steams. It has just one bowl and a blade which:

  • Weighs - with built-in electronic scales
  • Grates –Cheese, chocolate, Parmesan
  • Mills – Rice, grains and pulses to flour
  • Purées - vegetables, fruits, baby food
  • Grinds - coffee beans, sugar to icing sugar, wet or dry spices
  • Blends - soups, smoothies, milkshakes and sauces
  • Cooks, boils & simmers - soups, sauces, preserves, pulses, complete meals
  • Steams - vegetables, meat, fish, fruits, rice, pasta
  • Crushes - ice, cocktails, ice creams, sorbet
  • Whisks - egg whites, cappuccino-style foam on soups and milk, zabaglione
  • Emulsifies - salad dressings, mayonnaise, batters, cream
  • Kneads - bread dough, pizza dough, pasta dough, pastry, scones
  • Chops & minces - nuts, herbs, vegetables, salads, meats
  • Heats baby food to 37°C
  • Holds chocolate at 37°C
  • Cleans itself

See Vorwerk Thermomix UK for further information and details of where you can go to see a demonstration of it in action.

Popular with professional chefs, the Thermomix, in the long term, will save you money on both food and fuel. However, it is not cheap at around £925 (1,015 Euros) - December 2015 - so just be nice to your loved ones and see if they will club together to get you one for your birthday or Christmas. As the current model, the TM5 only came out in September 2014, you may be able to obtain the previous one (the TM31) second hand, as some people will be selling theirs if they upgrade. Others though, including yours truly, will be hanging on to their TM31 as it is still a great machine

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