sirloin and sauce

sirloin and sauce

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It was a humid, cloudy evening at around nine o’clock, and we were starving. Hana and I, waiting where Laurie’s street met a main West End vein, stood looking at the low, dark ceiling stretching above Glasgow.

‘There he is.’ I pointed at a tall figure coming along Bank Street in a buffalo skin coat.

‘Man it’s hot in this thing,’ were Laurie’s first words, jiggling the coat. ‘I’ll maybe just jump back to the flat and drop it…’

‘Can we just go to the shops, Laurie? We need some food.’

‘Alright, I am pretty hungry too,’ he agreed. [Read more…]

tomato and rosemary stew

tomato stew

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What to cook for eight people – a big dish on a strict budget. I stood in a decent local supermarket, looking down at the items rattling around my basket. Three red peppers, a big bag of carrots. Raising my head, my eyes locked onto a row of tinned tomatoes. Plum tomatoes. A dim memory of Charley’s wise face telling me from above a cauldron of bubbling, dark red stew ‘Plum tomatoes, that’s the trick.’ That’ll do for me, I thought. Knocking a few tins into my basket I headed towards the meat aisle. [Read more…]

piney pasta squizzle


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The day had left a bitter, anxious taste in my mouth, mingling with the whisky. Despite being let go, I felt sorrier for John than myself. After a few drinks in the cluttered back room I had left him there, still drinking, and begun cycling home. It was a truly miserable night but the heavy rain felt refreshing as I sang along with Brian Wilson, weaving down the wet streets. John’s business was getting bleaker by the day, and we both knew where it was headed. Nobody wanted old cameras anymore, and I felt ashamed to be also falling into that widening digital bracket. A block or so from my flat, making an unintended swerve, my bike began to slide toward the side of the road. ‘No, no, no…’ I willed out loud. [Read more…]

The Allan Brothers Quesadillas


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On this early evening Buena Vista Social Club were playing loudly from the living room. And I was glad that our music could spill onto the street below, adding to the cocktail of the late summer air. The windows were open, but hesitantly, as this was the end of the season in Glasgow. Bright and brisk, the remnants of warmth are driven away by the night breeze. And with this breeze floats the strongest smells of the day; hot pavements, the coaly remnants of a barbeque down the street, tarmac laid out to dry. Mostly, it smelled fresh. In our flat, Hana and I were cleaning absently, awaiting Laurie with ingredients. After a full day at the shop, cleaning and testing a box of ancient cameras John had uncovered at a car boot sale (a more tiring job than you would expect), I was ready to overdose on food. And as usual Laurie was running late. Now and again my stomach would give a grumble and I would go to the window, looking out hopefully like a dog for his owner. Laurie had promised a tasty quesadilla recipe, staple for him and his brother.

Preparation, in my opinion, is always the most appetising part of a meal. Nothing seems more appealing and untouched than the inside of a vegetable, telling secrets of moisture, colour and scent. Even unpacking the ingredients is mouth-watering.

‘Anyone want a beer?’ Asked Laurie, reaching into another bag. [Read more…]