Shine

Ry Cooder made an album called Jazz in the late 70s. It includes the song Shine, it caused a kerfuffle at the time and Cooder has put some water between himself and that album since, but I actually like that album and have a certain fondness for that tune. It’s a bouncy piece that includes terms that would make a corporate HR person go into a tail spin because it is a coon song that was written by a black musician who went under the name of Cecil Mack. He is on the front row at the far right on …

a bag of shallots

Every christmas we had the same stuff: a massive mutant turkey, a boned ham joint, brussels sprouts cooked close to mush, each one with a little cross at it’s base, roast and boiled potatoes, stuffing, gravy, the whole nine yards. I wasn’t a fan of christmas dinner, but boxing day lunch was something that I did like because most of that stuff made a reappearance, just done over into bubble and squeak, with pickles. You can’t make an old fashioned west midlands pickle overnight so in October, my mother would get a monster string bag of shallots and spend a …