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"a small and often interesting piece of news, information, or conversation"

Cambridge dictionary

Well I hope interesting. Although today I think I seriously doubt it. It is a truly beautiful day, and yet I feel completely uninspired. So I am resorting to some little bits and pieces - snippets - from here and there.

Leftover squeezed lemons

This started from a Guardian article about what to do with leftover lemon rinds. Which didn't really tell me anything I - or you didn't know. But I went looking, and mostly found stuff about cleaning - not my big thing.

But then I found this - No cook lemon syrup - a recipe from Sarah Parks in Serious Eats. She created it by accident. It was one of those moments that might just create one of those food origin stories. One day she had so many leftover squeezed lemons that she just couldn't bring herself to throw them out, so she put them in a bowl, added some sugar, stirred it all together and just left them.

"What I didn't expect was that within a few hours, the sugar would dissolve completely, leaving me with a full pint of liquid sunshine: thick and yellow and sweet, but tempered by the natural astringency of the pith. The rinds seemed almost rehydrated, so plump with syrup that I crushed them in a potato ricer to squeeze out every last drop.

I was all but vibrating with glee as I bottled it up." Sarah Parks - Serious Eats

Hey presto glorious lemon syrup - strained and then squeezed some more in a mouli, and used for all manner of lovely stuff. So next time you have a lot of leftover half-used lemons, give it a go. It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks."

Home-made crispy chilli oil

It's the most trendy ingredient, and I was actually given a jar at Christmas. My problem is when to use it because of my chilli hating husband. But anyway The Guardian published a recipe by Michael Sun:

"There are many variations out there, but I favour a very simple recipe of just four ingredients. You will need: a good handful of chilli flakes, salt, minced garlic, and vegetable oil. Eyeball everything. Throw it all into a pot at medium heat and let it simmer until the garlic just turns brown – the result is a brilliant red condiment with crispy garlic bits.

The great thing about chilli oil is that it lends itself to experimentation: anything (and everything) goes. Add sesame, or cardamom, or grated ginger, or shallots, or Szechuan peppercorns on repeat attempts."

But there are lots of other recipes out there as well - Serious Eats for one - that's their version in the picture. Or you can just buy the original in your local supermarket. I believe that if you love chilli you should have some.

Falafel sandwiches

This one is here because I rather liked the description of this Middle-eastern street food by Itamar Srulovich in The Guardian. To him - an Israeli - it was all wrong to eat falafel any other way:

"This delicacy needs to be eaten in the street, in the sun, in a pitta stuffed to the brink of explosion with as many falafel balls as can fit and then one on top, chopped salad and cabbage salad, pickles, hot sauce – fiery red from fermented chillies or dark green from herbs – and, of course, tahini to keep it all together and to lubricate. It must drip down your arms and chin and destroy your shirt as you bite."

Junk food the Middle-eastern way surely. Yes I know it's got a lot of healthy things in it, but combined it's surely a bit much and not good for the waistline.

Potato milk

It's just hit the British supermarket shelves, from Sweden. Supposedly more environmental friendly than almond milk and more economical than oat milk - the current bestselling alternative milk. Basically it's potatoes emulsified with rapeseed oil, which doesn't sound at all tempting, and I love potatoes. I don't think it's available here as yet, but doubtless it will come. And it will be expensive. The poor will have to stick to milk.

I guess it looks pretty nice, but really? The hot dog is not a real sausage of course. Heaven knows what it's made of, - and quinoa chilli? It's not even made with ordinary hot dog rolls - no they are brioche hot dog rolls. It also looks a bit complicated to make. To me this is the sort of health food that is just too trendy for words. And also to me, if you are going to be vegetarian, then don't try to pretend what you are eating tastes like meat. Why not just make a sausage shaped pattie with some kind of legume mix - which I suppose this might be - but at least you would know what was in it if you made it yourself.

Amazon Fresh

Also not here yet but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. This is shopping with no payment. Well no of course not. What I mean is there is no payment whilst you are there - no chef-out either via a person or a machine. It's all done by an Amazon app. The shop has cameras overhead that watch everything you buy and then tots it all up. I'm not exactly sure how it works but it's the future people. Read Rachel Cooke of The Guardian for a bit of a view. When it happens here I promise I will go have a look.


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