Cooking, Grand Designs and Randomness…

11 10 2009

Well blogosphere… the mini meatloaves went down a storm, and made tasty leftovers AND left over enough raw mix to freeze to have nearly the same again at a later date! Three meals out of a bit of onion, carrot and beef – bargayno! Of course in true stewpot stylee I couldn’t help but tinker with the recipe a little… maybe check it out in another post!

It’s been a funny old week – in between bouts of cooking and kicking back, it’s been conference/budget/2010 preparation for work too, which has been in turns, arduous, boring, irritating and fun – in unequal and somewhat random measures. Caught up with a few field-based colleagues I’d not spoken to in a while, reminisced about the “good old days” (though nostalgia isn’t what it used to be you know), and had a drunken chat with my manager (he was drunk, me not so).

Visit to Grand Designs Birmingham on Friday – very disappointing unfortunately. More and more like a Sunday market with people trying to flog the cheese graters, mandolines, juicers and all the other gadgetry that you sometimes find in those irritating five-minute “infomercials”. I think that Grand Designs has really lost its way this year – maybe due to the financial climate, maybe due to underpolicing of the entry criteria. Sadly ironic was having the Jean-Christophe Novelli restaurant (very swish!) right next to some barker yelling “it chops, it grates, it slices – 123 and the flap comes off for easy washing. I’m not going to charge you twenty quid, I won’t charge you a tenner.. if you bought this off the telly it would cost you…. ” and so forth. Just seems a little wrong.

Also wrong was the cookery demo stand – bright shiny Gaggenau appliances (hard to imagine any more expensive and luxury brand of appliances for the UK) bang next to the “Discount Appliance Centre” replete in all its glory with tacky sticky-on letters of the type you use on wheelie bins (and all of them not quite in line with each other). Looking down the list of demos, only one name that I recognised, John Burton Race – all the rest were from various restaurants in Brum – have to say the one I watched while my colleague dipped off to the ladies’ room was uninspiring – any passion he used to have in food had clearly evaporated.

Quo vadis Grand Designs? The paramedics are working hard on the defibrilator to try and pull you round… but it seems to me you’re getting drawn to the light at the end of the dark tunnel and it could be wings and a harp for you if things don’t change. Just a hint, if you get there, don’t try and tell St Peter that a mock tudor portico would add a few grand to the value of his property if he just got rid of those démodé pearly gates.. eternity is a long time you know…




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