Category: Food & Drink

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PART 1Travel

Locals, mining and “jam before cream” in Cornwall

Robin Tudge

“And the rule is jam before cream!” the café owner told me as she put the scones on the table. A diktat, or enabling me to avoid a faux pas? Or a loud declaration to locals within hearing that this café owner, sans Cornish accent, knew the norms. This was in the gorgeous little port […]


Green tomato chutney

Yvonne Wancke

A friend recently very kindly gave me a whole load of green tomatoes and marrows. It was the perfect time to have a go at making green tomato chutney. Here is my recipe. Ingredients for green tomato chutney 1kg green tomatoes 1kg marrows/ big courgettes 350ml vinegar (I used white wine vinegar) 300g white sugar […]


Sweet and sour tofu (vegan)

Louise Brown

This is a quick and easy dish to make that I normally serve with tofu to make it vegan but can also be served with meat such as pork or chicken.  Use half-spoon to reduce the sugar content.   Much cheaper and healthier than going to a takeaway for it and hardly any extra effort! […]


Hangover for Wetherspoon’s boss as beer runs out!

Peter Benson

It must be the biggest disaster ever for a pub to run out of beer and suffer staff shortages all at the same time. Tim Martin, boss of the pub chain, Wetherspoon’s, cannot be getting much sleep these days as his die-hard love of Brexit costs his business trade. Wetherspoon’s is yet another high-profile business […]

Poetry Corner

What’s for dinner today?

Harry Gallagher

There are foodless holes on my regular strolls around supermarket shelves, the wheels on my trolley having come off, and the folly is we did it to ourselves. We looked back rosily at war, at Normandy and Agincourt and opted for more strife. Now the irony is endless; we sit here friendless as driverless lorries […]


“Imagine good things so the bad things don’t win” at Northern Stage

Julie Ward

Review of ‘Free School Meals’ at Northern Stage Newcastle-based ‘Unfolding Theatre’ is one of the region’s most precious cultural assets, making eclectic big-hearted performance work rooted in community participation and co-production. Their latest offering ‘Free School Meals’ is set in a restaurant called ‘The Future’ where children are in charge and grown-ups are the apprentices. […]

Sharon Hodgson Visits ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ Bus

North East Bylines

Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, recently visited the ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ programme at Rickleton Cricket Club. The ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ programme, which is funded by the Department for Education’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme, has been supporting children […]

McDonald’s: I’m no longer “lovin’ it”

Peter Benson

The food shortage crisis engulfing hospitality sector has now claimed a new high profile scalp, Mc Donald’s. The tabloids are reporting  that customers of Mc Donald’s are fuming and furious with the lack of milk shakes and bottled water. There are also multiple reports on social media that North East based Greggs is also suffering from […]

Chicken shortage: it’s peri-peri serious!

Peter Benson

Are you in a flap about the chicken shortage and worried about not getting enough of your favourite finger licking delicious chicken meal?  Well, if not you should be or perhaps you have not been in a supermarket lately. The reason for the chicken shortages in Nando’s and KFC  is an acute shortage of staff within […]

Vegan low-fat butternut squash curry

Louise Brown

You don’t need meat or dairy in this tasty vegan curry which is not only easy to make but also low in fat. The ingredients are easy to find in any supermarket, even during this time of disrupted supplies to the UK Ingredients for vegan curry (serves 4) 1 large butternut squash 1 onion 2 […]


Raspberry jam: a taste of summer

Yvonne Wancke

You can’t beat the taste of homemade jam. Shop bought jam is just not the same. One of my favourites to make is raspberry jam. It really does have that taste of summer. Ingredients for raspberry jam 1.5kg fresh or frozen raspberries (I used frozen) 1.5kg sugar 1 tblsp commercial pectin (optional) Method Place raspberries […]

Happy birthday North East Bylines!

Scott Hunter

One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.


What is the point of peas?

Peter Lathan

You may by now have reached the conclusion that I am not a fan of the pea. ‘Tis true, I’m not. A childhood in which tins of Marrowfat Peas were always to be found in the kitchen did not enamour them to me.

North East People

Getting old: the reality

Peter Lathan

Or I’m sitting and suddenly realise that for the last five, ten, fifteen or even more minutes, I haven’t been there. My lungs had continued to inflate and deflate, my heart to beat, my blood to circulate, my stomach acids to carry out their natural alchemy, but I hadn’t been there. No mental activity of any kind. A body functioning but a mind stilled.


Newcastle (veggie) sausage pie

Yvonne Wancke

I once made this recipe for a friend who came to visit (actually the non-veggie version). He had driven many miles on a motorbike from the south on a crazy wild and wet night. The food went down pretty well! I know it’s a but late for winter warmer food but hey, this is England. […]

Chimney collapse in Jesmond grates with cheese shop owner

David Hardman

On the evening of Saturday 6th February, a chimney collapsed from a student flat over the Cradlewell shops on Jesmond Road, Newcastle. The bricks fell onto the road at the front and into the yard at the back. Thankfully no one was injured. The police were informed, and they immediately evacuated the premises around the […]


Cracking the perfect poached egg?

Yvonne Wancke

I even once (or maybe even twice or more) started to do some research about the best way to poach eggs. I found myself reading all sorts of seemingly tricky stuff about creating s vortex (apparently some of the top chefs and hotels do this) and so on. There was also plenty of often conflicting advice about whether to use vinegar or not, the same with salt and whether to use a deep or shallow pan. Oh and to keep the pan boiling, or cover and switch off the heat…


Homemade yeti broth

Zac Wancke

The great thing about a recipe like this is, the more of one ingredient you have the more it will taste of that thing, and that’s never a bad thing!

Spanish grapes and Big Ben bongs

Dr Jayne Hamilton

The North East is a melting pot and no amount of British nationalism can erase that. The Big Ben Bongs at 11 pm on December 31 to herald Britain’s freedom from the EU signify nothing other than blatant English nationalism. This will be a date in which I lose part of me, detached without will; it’s not a new year heralding something new, it’s a death. The death of the future I had planned for myself, right up to retirement. It’s out of my control, a sort of prison without visible bars.


Our mam’s recipes

Julia Mazza

It was a huge steaming rectangle, not the small buns of the Godless South, that she’d cut into wedges and we’d smother in thick gravy. Only after we’d polished off the pud would come the roast.


Christmas biscotti

Robina Jacobson

Once, in a fit of Christmas enthusiasm, we experimented with three days of exclusive holiday dining on red and green meals.  Lobster, an obvious choice, was behind an unassailable paywall but good fun was had with popcorn and red and green food dye.  Of all the new combinations of ingredients we tried, this for red […]

An isolated Christmas

Peter Lathan

t’s going to be seven-ish at the earliest before I’m ready to eat again. I always find Christmas Pudding too heavy, so perhaps a classic Panettone (dried fruit rather than the chocolate variety) would make a good replacement. I had considered making a Panettone bread and butter pudding but I think I’ll have it with custard. Not very Italian, I know, but I love custard and as I’m cooking for me and me alone, custard it shall be!


How bad recipes are deflecting attention from truthful debate

Louisa Britain

All in all, I would imagine you might just about be able to cover the full cost of this for ten pounds, if Aldi does sell a small chicken for £2 at all. Not being near enough to Aldi myself to just pop in, I rely on memory, which suggests that £3-4 is more likely. There are utensils to factor in. Do you have roasting tins, a stock pot, a reasonably good knife? Come to think of it, do you even have an oven and a hob?