Pretentious, moi??

 We have some lovely neighbours. They will knock on the door to borrow sometimes or other; we chat over the fence; we give each other little bits and bobs.

And every weekend Man Wonderful gets a Guardian newspaper, which is a fab read.


I like to read the cooking 'bit', the supplement that comes with this newspaper.

And most weeks I almost pee myself giggling at the pretentiousness of the ingredients some of these food writers think we have to hand in our kitchens...

(Apologies if you have some of these things in your kitchen..but do leave me a comment below to correct me if you do...)

Porcini mushrooms...



Kalamansi juice..

Black garlic

Milk chunks

Gujarati paste

Kaffir lime leaves **

Panko breadcrumbs

Please forgive me if I'm wrong, but espeially during Lockdown, the recipes are stated to contain "everyday items", which in my book is baked beans, potatoes, onions, bread, spread - and in this wonderful country of ours, curry powder.

However, I have a small confession to make.

This week I actually cooked one of these posh recipes, and not once but twice!!

It featured - are you ready? - onions, cheese, egg and herbs: any that you have!!

The recipe (sorry I didn't take, my own photos last Saturday or today) is herby cheese dumplings on caramelised onions; and it's bl**dy handsome!

Today we had friends over for lunch, I made no-knead bread and a salad and we ate our cheesy dumplings and mopped up the herby oil with fresh bread.


What's the most pretentious recipe you've cooked?

Do you have many unusual ingredients in your larder??

** I confess to having Kaffir Lime Leaves on my spice and herb shelf, that I bought for a recipe but never used, and it went into my herby cheesy dumplings today.

Tracey xx


  1. I have panko breadcrumbs but that's all.
    The dumplings sound absolutely gorgeous.

  2. Great post. My husband always seeks out the pretentious recipes for us to giggle at. Confession time.... last month I bought panko breadcrumbs just to see what all the fuss was about. They reminded me of rice krispies. I added fajita seasoning to them. Coated chicken with yogurt, then added the crumb mix, and baked and they were delicious. I have even bought more! I will use my usual bread whizzed up breadcrumbs for lemon and thyme coatings but I now think panko are better for spicy stuff. I've gone over to the dark side!!

  3. I do use Panko but that's about it. However, I will say that as I restock my pantry and prepare for Winter (along with another possible lockdown), I am looking to add a few more exotic ingredients just so that I can try out some new recipes.
    Today I am cooking with Soy and Hoisin Sauce - but I don't really call them terribly pretentious.
    But you make a good point about the ingredients in the article - I'm a good cook and I'll try lots of different things but sometimes I read these recipes and think "What the heck are they talking about"!

  4. New laid eggs from our hens, scrambled in plenty of butter, with Asda smoked salmon bits, on toast.

  5. I stick to good old plain food usually, as that's what we like - roasts/salads/egg & chips etc. I admit I've never had an avocado!!

  6. I don't have any of those, but enjoy reading the recipes with 101 ingredients in the weekend papers, particularly the ones that say stuff along the lines of if you can't get the artisan-made 5-year-matured Provencal cheese you can substitute ordinary cheddar!

  7. I've had a few of those things over the years, but my most searched for phrase is probably "substitute for" plus whatever ingredient I don't have.


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