J-E-A-N-N-E spells…

Be careful when you comment on friends’ blogs. 

There I was earlier this week, reading my fellow Nabber Charlotte’s blog.  One of the posts enlightened me as to where in Germany she resides, and as it turns out it’s near Heidelberg.  Now if only I’d known this, I would have arranged to meet up with her when we stayed there for a night during our summer holiday – and without thinking, I mentioned this in a comment.  Quick as a flash, crafty Charlotte turned the whole thing around as being my fault for not visiting her!!  Not for nothing does she call herself the Princess…!  As my "punishment" she belatedly tagged me for the meme that she had just completed.  This requires me to "list one fact, word or tidbit of information that is somehow related to your life for each letter of your first or middle name" and I’ve decided to give the whole thing a foodie flavour.  So here goes…

J – is for Jamon Iberico.  The first time I tasted proper Jamon Iberico de bellota from a market in Madrid was one of those culinary eureka moments.  This is the dry cured Spanish ham made from the sought-after black Iberian native pigs who are fed a diet of acorns to give the meat a unique nutty sweetness. Up to that point I had been of the school of thought of "why should I pay twice as much for that ham than this ham? Surely the difference can’t be that big?".  It can.  I paid. I wept with joy.

E – is for Elizabeth David.  Her wonderful book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine made me want to board the first ferry for France and never come back.  It should be required reading for eveyr schoolchild as it explains and reinforces the idea that simple, excellent ingredients are more than enough for a meal to nourish the senses and the soul.  Not everything needs to be improved with a foam or a granita.

A – is for Arbutus, surely one of my favourite London restaurants for its clean, simple, yet welcoming decor, its interesting menu and it’s flawlessly executed food.  It’s a fine example of what restaurants in this town can be like but often aren’t.

N – is for my beloved Nigel Slater.  The man is a genius and I love him because he cooks the kind of unfussy but scrumptious food that I like to cook in my own kitchen.  I have yet to make one of his recipes that did not turn out well, and his Kitchen Diaries is probably the one cookbook I would save if there was a fire. 

N – is for Nigella Lawson – because everyone needs some glamour in their culinary life and she has it in spades. I like the fact that she is not stick-thin, I like the fact that she celebrates all the cultures in her family, and I like her cherry bakewell slices. Plus, let’s face it, who hasn’t wanted to describe themselves as a goddess??

E – is for eating – without a doubt one of my favourite passtimes :)

I’m required to nominate somebody for each letter of my name… so I nominate:  Niamh, Elizabeth, Stephanie, Ronell, Inge and Brilynn

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  1. says

    As you know I have a Spanish house guest – which is nice – very nice – I have just received a package from home in Madrid which contained a mass of various chorizo and jamon (not the acorn fed ones but still) which are absolutly delicious. Coupled with my new Spanish cookbook which I keep raving about across various sites I am becoming a real Spanish food lover. The fact they make a few half decent wines as well is a bonus.

  2. says

    Augh!!! Jeanne! How could you?! You do know how long my name is, don’t you??! And you also do know how hopeless I am with deadlines? :^D
    P.S. I’m wracking what’s left of my brain for something beginning with “Z”, not to mention trying to nominate NINE people to continue the meme. Maybe I could nominate people who have already completed the meme. ;^)

  3. says

    Nigel and Nigella are also my two favourite people to have in my kitchen, as you say, unfussy food that tastes great and works. I know Nigella is now too popular for her own good , which leads to backlash against her in some places, but I’m still covering her ‘How to Eat’ in sticky splashes of food, every other day when I check something out. And her pastry tips are invaluable.

  4. says

    I almost feel like my name should be Jeanne! “Robyn” only has one “N”. What’s a girl to do? How could I choose between the two? I think, though, that Nigella would win. A gracious friend gave me her Domestic Goddess as a Bridal Shower gift (as a joke to my uber-career-girl attitude of the day) and it was the catalyst to a 6 week, non-stop baking spree, which has subsequently slowed down some, but in no way halted. Oh, that Nutella Cake…

  5. says

    I have, will, and hope to again, pay dearly for some Jamon de Jabugo de Bellota. It is worth every cent…and I do not share!
    They had the whole hams for sale in Andorra at Christmas….If you have to ask you can’t afford it!

  6. says

    I love Nigel and Nigella too! They both such great food writers and so inspiring. We’ve just been given (yet another) Jamie Oliver cookbook, and you can really tell the difference between his cookbooks and theirs. He’s inspiring in his own way but not as effective with words.
    Anyway, now that I’ve got around to clearly stating where I live I look forward to a Cooksister and Herr Cooksister visit one day. We have a brilliant restaurant in the Burg that I can take you to.