A shared love of food, wine, women and song.
Hi, Mugsie here.
How did I come into this foody lark?
Well I’ve always had creative juices, and as I now realise I’m not going to go on a world conquering tour promoting my latest album or playing for Everton and Scotland, it kind of just crept up on me.
It did start creeping up from a long time ago though, as I am a time served Butcher from an old school Butcher’s shop. It was the kind of Butchers where we made our own Boiled Hams, Roast Beefs, Tongues and Brawn. We also made our own Sausages, Burgers and supplied the local Bakery with meats for their Pies in Birkdale. I know what goooood meat is, from Grass fed Beef to Isle of Man Lamb. Although these days it’s hard to find these things at a price we can all afford.
I started cooking to basically feed myself, as my missus got fed at work and as my sporting regime, (Squash, Football), made me eat at funny times, I had to fend for myself. It started with Curries and Pasta dishes, you know, one pot stuff, which is still probably my favourite kind of stuff to eat. Then it kind of just grew from there to now, where I cook for the family, (my excuse for not hoovering etc)
And this is where I am now. An avid watcher of foodie programmes like Masterchef, wishing I had nimble fingers to make things look pretty. I will try to pull out all the stops if we entertain but on the whole food to me, means flavour. I have honed my Bolognaise to a point where I think it is probably better than Heston’s!
I have known Frank for 20 years now and I’m still wondering how we became such good friends. probably something to do with absurdity, but it became clear that we were both “foodies”. And I think the clincher was the ultimate find of cheap unknown bargains that is called Lidl. (Keep it under your hat or it will get spoiled ). Frank is a much more travelled man than I am due to his upbringing and is a serious Francophile, which in foody circles can only be a good thing. Now over to you Francis……
So, a little bit about me now… well, as Mugsie said, I’m pretty well traveled having been the son of a career soldier – we were stationed in some interesting places that had great food cultures and tasting opportunities. I know this because I have read about them in books… this is because, as a child, I had a morbid fear of ‘new’ food! Whenever the opportunity arose to eat something different and exotic I always opted for ‘Double Egg & Chips’ – seriously!
Later on in life, I did start to expand my repertoire and, because my mum had made sure that me and my brother could do all the household basics (cooking, ironing, sewing), it wasn’t to much of a stretch to start putting plates of food together.
I also followed a creative path in my life which has lead me to have some amazing experiences and meet some great people. And it was through a random sequence of events that I ended up hanging in the same scene with Mugsie. Now, we share a great love of music (both having been in bands in the past) and football so there was always something to talk about – although I actually have decent tastes in music and I support a decent football team (Liverpool!) – Let’s face it, Everton and Prog Rock are sure signs of a weakened mental state! – but late night conversations quite often ended up with food being a major topic.
Over the years we discovered that we will both try new and interesting things with food, and both watch a lot of cookery programmes – I am also an avid book collector (all types) and have an ever growing collection of recipe books that I can happily sit and read for hours. That said, I am not an avid follower of recipes. I like to absorb information and ideas from all over the place, let them simmer away in my mental stockpot, and when the time is right, serve them up with my own little twists (God, how cheesy did that sound!… Mmmh… cheese… that reminds me…)
So, much food eaten and discussed over the years led to this little venture – not because we evangelical about food, but basically because we both realise how easy ‘food’ can be as long as you’re willing to give it a go, not be afraid of cocking it up and always enjoy it!
PS I’ve added the more recent photo because my better half couldn’t take the one of Mugs and Me (above) seriously… apparently we’ve aged a bit since then… Pssfft!! What does she know!!