The Weekly Tonic is an end of week column about what we’re eating, reading, listening to, dancing to, watching and generally appreciating.
Eating – Potatoes (Maris Pipers, in particular)
If you read many English cookery books, you may have seen references to Maris Piper potatoes. They’re not widely available here in Australia, but I had always been curious to know what the deal was with this potato referred to in so many English recipes. The other week at the Farmers’ Market we were in need of a bag of potatoes for a few different purposes that week (some for roasting; some for mashing), and when we noticed a lovely generous bag of Maris Pipers for sale we couldn’t pass them up. They truly are a great all rounder; once par-cooked, they roasted up to the most perfectly crisp and crunchy roast potatoes; and, equally, they made a super tasty mash later in the week. Be sure to pick up a few if you ever see them at your market!
Watching – Stranger Things
Yep, so like pretty much everyone at the moment, we are obsessed with Stranger Things. To the point that, last Friday night we sat down to watch the first episode, out of interest … and by Sunday night we had watched the entire first series. It was that good!
Stranger Things follows the story of a group of four young friends, one of whom, Will, goes missing in the first episode. His mother, played brilliantly by Winona Ryder, is distraught, but soon comes to know there is something sinister involved with her son’s disappearance. Each of she and separately the remaining three friends are determined to find Will, and do everything they can to locate him. Add into that mix a ballsy Sheriff, a secretive agency, a bewildered young girl with special abilities, and kick ass older brothers and sisters, and you’ve got a good time right there.
The series is set in the 1980s and perfectly captures all the good things about that era. I love that it re-introduced the concept – a la The Goonies and Stand by Me – of a group of young friends who band and work together (massive squad goals).
It will have you on the edge of your seat and nostalgic at the same time. It looks like Season 2 is a sure thing, and we can’t wait!
Listening to – The Songs Of Bert Berns – Soulgroove 66 – PBS 106.7FM
A few Saturdays ago, I settled in to some cooking with one of my favourite radio shows on in the background, Soulgroove 66, hosted by the 60’s soul guru Pierre Baroni.
This particular shows theme was the short but amazing life of the brilliant songwriter and producer Bert Berns, showcasing some of his greatest hits that with every new song left me amazed how one could leave such a legacy in a mere six year music career.
Hits such as Solomon Burke’s ‘Cry To Me’, and The Isley Brother’s ‘Twist and Shout’ kicked the show off, transfixing me into such a marvelous world, where pot lids became snare drums, wooden spoons becoming microphones, I couldn’t help dance my way around the kitchen for the next two hours, and felt thoroughly refreshed by the end.
And, I’m happy to report, that you can listen to the whole episode here on PBS’s website. I urge you to find a recipe you’ve been meaning to tackle, and throw this on. It’s a guaranteed good time.