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August 7, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 4:11 pm

Goon think’s  there’s something a little scary about Delia Smith. I think it’s something to do with this picture.


I never thought I’d end up buying a Delia book. It’s just not my style of cooking. I’m much more of a Gordon Ramsey fan.  However, a few days ago, I bit the bullet and picked up her Complete Cookery Course as many people had said it was good for teaching beginners. There certainly were a lot of recipes in it, which would make it a useful tool for Goon, and I noticed a few good ideas for me to try too.

That evening, I took the book to Goon for him to have a look. Goon cowered slightly on the sofa, as the giant face on the cover bore down on him.

“It’s got very detailed instructions,” I said soothingly. “You like detailed instructions, don’t you?” Goon nodded, then whimpered slightly at Delia’s creepy half-smile and stuck his face in a cushion.  I sighed and took the dustcover bearing Delia’s portrait off the book. Goon was much happier after that. 

My plan was for Goon to cook a recipe of his choice the following night using some cod. I’d specifically chosen fish as he’d not tried cooking it before. It didn’t take Goon long at all to find the easiest recipe in the section: baked white fish with a sauce made from sour cream, capers and watercress. 

The recipe is as simple as it sounds but it needed a fair bit of alteration. For a start it called for just one teaspoon of fresh tarragon, which really wouldn’t have been enough. Ditto the quantities for capers and watercress. We doubled the values for all of these.

The main problem though, was this recipe leaves the fish a little dry. I think it is because the suggested baking time was a bit long. Next time I’d change the 20 minutes at 190C to 15 minutes at 180C.

Baked Fish with a Sour Cream, Caper and Watercress Sauce (Adapted from Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course)

Recipe to follow soon: Apologies for the delay, my home computer had a small…. umm…’accident’ with a glass of wine, which has left the keyboard a little worse for wear, which means I’ll need to copy out the recipe and bring it into the office before I can type it up.


Baked Fish with sour cream and capers

Goon found this recipe very easy to follow. If he hadn’t been so late starting it, he would probably have been able to make the accompaniments to the meal too. As it was, I took over that part of the meal as I wanted to have dinner before 11pm.

I have noticed that, even though Goon claims he needs precise instructions to cook, he doesn’t actually follow them at all. He’s just as blazé with quantities as I am. Sometimes he asks me questons which makes it obvious he hasn’t even read the recipe he’s trying to follow. Still, with me in the kitchen shouting, “Read the ****ing recipe!” he seems to be getting better. 

As for our verdict on the meal, we thought it was fine but nothing to write home about. I think the sauce could have done with a bit more flavour. Perhaps a little extra wine or the addition of a little fish stock would have helped. The main downside was the slightly overcooked fish, but I’m sure knocking a few minutes off the cooking time would sort that out.

For Goon’s next cooking experiment, I’ve picked something reasonably challenging. To give you a clue, it will involve a cheese sauce topping. I wonder how he’ll cope with that.


  1. Just shout “RTFM” at him next time and see what happens ;-)

    Comment by the_angry_angel — August 7, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

  2. You’re not going to force him to make haddock florentine are you? Now that would be cruel! The cod looks very nice, the result of another Borough trip?

    By the way, have you ever tried a dollop of sour cream in your scrambled eggs? I got the idea from The Sopranos and I’ve never looked back since. It’s also great for livening up mash potato, you end up with perfectly creamy mash but without all the excess butter and double cream

    Comment by Trig — August 7, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

  3. You’re right, there is somethng scary there - I think it’s the eyes.

    Comment by Julia — August 7, 2007 @ 10:25 pm

  4. If Delia scares you, just think of her screaming “come on!” into that microphone to the Norwich fans… I don’t know if the Complete Cookery Course has been updated - if not, you kinda have to remember that it dates from about the 1970s (I remember my Mum’s copy being in constant use - now largely replaced by St Jamie). I think back then that people would much prefer their fish overcooked than underdone - the idea of Sushi was a few years away to most of us Brits!

    Check out the recipe in this book for the squidgy chocolate log - sounds fairly obscene but then with that many calories in it…

    Comment by Richard — August 9, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

  5. Hi TAA. How should I pronounce that? Shout out the unabbreviated version, or the four letters or try and pronounce the four letters as a word (kind of difficult with no vowels). We’ll see which works best next time he cooks.

    Hi Trig. Not haddock florentine, no. I wasn’t *quite* that cruel.
    The cod is actually bog standard Sainsury’s. I rarely buy fish from Borough because I usually have to stop by the office on the way home, an I wouldn’t want it out if a fridge for that long.
    I’d never have thought of using sour cream in scrambled egg but it sounds good. I’m sure it also makes a much better mash for these warm summer days too. I’m not really in a hurry to give up the butter and cream for good though. While my metabolism will take it, I will load on the calories!

    Hi Julia. After flicking through the book a few times I’m scared too. It’s the phrases like ‘an impatient cook will be a failed cook’. I feel like she’s telling me off!

    Hi Richard. I didn’t realise the book was quite that old. I think it said it was revised in the 90s, but I’m not sure. The chocolate log sounds like a good idea. I was going to bake a cake from the book the other day but we have absolutely no equipment in the flat. Maybe when we move…

    Comment by ros — August 10, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

  6. Goon chose a great recipe!!! Luv, luv, luv this recipe. I have a similar recipe with salmon.

    Comment by Valli — August 13, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

  7. Aaah, happy memories - I made my first proper meal for my now husband from this book when I was teaching myself to cook (some creamy curry type thing)

    It looks like Goon did a good job!

    Comment by Sophie — August 15, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

  8. I have some fish in the fridge that coudl benefit from this treatment I think! I also do a baked fish recipe, topped with spinach and feta that’s easy and tasty.

    Comment by Jeanne — August 29, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

  9. Her looks made me hungry.. Just joking. I love your recipes here. I’m a fish lover especially salmon. Perhaps I will give this recipe a try for my lovely salmon this weekend. Thanks:)

    Comment by Dan The How to Cook Salmon Expert — December 16, 2007 @ 10:41 am

  10. Lovely recipe!
    I collect interesting recipes on my site (link above - unfortunally it’s in Russian). May I translate your recipe and add it to my site?

    Comment by Joan — February 10, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

  11. Joan, please do translate the recipe, although it is only fair to credit the book the original came from which is Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. I am happy for you or any other to copy or translate recipes from this sire with due credit to me or to the original recipe author.

    Comment by ros — February 12, 2009 @ 12:15 am

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