Stewed Garden Plums

‘Tis the season of plums. Overflowing baskets come in from the orchard, too many to count and almost too many to eat. Some become jam, others a healthy treat between meals, and the rest are lightly stewed for breakfast. I usually find they are both tart and sweet enough as they are, so this simple recipe requires nothing extra. Ladle into bowls […]

Mock Fish

I have a cookbook inherited from my grandmother; Tried Favourites Cookery Book With Household Hints and Other Useful Information by Mrs W. Kirk. It was first compiled in the 1920s and illustrates how to make everything from jam preserves to haggis, take care of invalids, clean your kitchen table with sand and how to rid your cupboard of damp using a […]

Scrambled Tofu

Once upon a time I went on a vegan diet. It was a sorry state of affairs, as I had no good substitute for scrambled eggs, even if just for the colour. I’d tried making the dish with firm tofu but without much success; it always came out too dry. However, I’d never thought to […]

Tofu & Aubergine in a Tandoori Sauce

Fusing the elements of Zen-style cooking with familiar recipes is something I love to do. And curries are fun to fuse. In the UK there’s a long history of curries dating back to the 1800s, if not earlier – a legacy of the British colonials returning from India. (Let’s hope with the advent of Brexit we can keep our palates border-free.) No surprise […]

Shitake Mushroom Heaven

Whenever we have Japanese guests to cook for, a switch in my brain turns on. I suddenly remember the dishes we’ve been served in Japan, or the recipes I’ve had the occasion to make in the temples where we stayed. The odd thing is when our guests leave, the switch turns off and I can hardly remember how to make anything […]

Silk Road Lentil Soup

Tenkei just told me he almost never takes second servings in the zendo during oryoki meals, but this time he did. Apparently he wasn’t the only one either. He often says how much he loves the flavours of Middle-Eastern cuisine. This soup reminds me of one they once served in an Mediterranean restaurant in Groningen, whose menu […]