thebigfatnoodle “unplugged”

Food inspiration right on our doorstep

From one blogger to another

I don’t know how many of you follow the blog, Frugal Feeding. It’s written by a bloke called Nick. We regularly leave comments on each other’s blogs but his comments are different. For a start, he’s very honest and will tell me when he likes or doesn’t like something I’ve used in my recipes. I like it when people speak their mind because honesty is sometimes hard to find online.

The other thing I like about his blog is that he’s unapologetically British and male, and if you don’t know what I mean by that, then just read the first paragraph of his recent 1st birthday/anniversary post… unfussy and polite but blunt, with absolutely no fannying about as usual – 1st birthday and all that, thanks very much, here’s my walnut cake recipe. Job done.

That said, I sense a caving in of sorts recently, for he was the one who nominated me to take part in this “unplugged” series. However, in order to do so, he was required to write a more personal piece about himself, which was hugely enjoyable to read, admirable too since I sensed his reluctance the whole way through.

Thanks Nick!

The question is, will he stick to his guns and refuse to grant us further glimpses into his personal life ever again? Or is this part of a cunning ploy to stay mysterious?

I don’t want to thank him too much for the nomination for fear of appearing too sycophantic (that’s very un-British) so I’ll say this instead; to Nick:

“Resistance is futile. Come to the ‘dark side’. We have cookies.”

I LOVE that line, sadly not one of mine. It was on a poster I found online but I’m so glad I got a chance to put that into this post. LOL.

To get back to “unplugged” though, here’s my contribution – I decided to take part largely because it’s the least I can do to repay Frugal Feeding for the leap of faith it took him to write about himself. So, here goes…

Inspiration from our garden

Who or what inspired you to start your blog?

Honestly? Before I started thebigfatnoodle, I was one of those who spent hours on Facebook playing Farmville, backgammon, scrabble (still love scrabble but don’t play it very often anymore) etc. I decided that if I was going to spend that much of my personal time online, I might as well do something productive with it. Like many other new bloggers, I’ve wanted to get back into the habit of writing for a long time now, and writing about food was simply the easiest way to identify a comfortable topic to start with. I will probably move on from thebigfatnoodle at some point, and start expanding my writing into other subject matters soon… meantime, I love food so why not keep writing about it?

Who is your foodie inspiration?

Not only whom but what as well. It starts on the streets of South-east Asia, and ends wherever I may be at the time – a supermarket, a wet market, at the corner shop, walking past someone’s garden etc. I love Anthony Bourdain because he travels the world and eats both street food and in posh places too. I love Heston Blumenthal’s playful and more experimental approach to cooking, and whatever one thinks of Jamie Oliver (I fear he has become way too commercialised); his recipes have never failed me yet.

Home-grown vegetables from my brother-in-law's garden last year.

Your greasiest most batter splattered cook book is?

I have lots of recipe books but I don’t really use them a lot. I flip through the pictures for inspiration mostly but will inevitably end up buying what ingredients I want or can find, and see if they will broadly work together. Nowadays my iPad or my laptop keyboard is probably the most food splattered thing in the house. In the past though, the two most visited books would have to be Rick Stein’s Food Heroes and Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef. For all things baking, I’m only just starting to work my way through The Hummingbird Bakery’s cake recipes.

The best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it and what was it?

Pomodorino tomatoes that had been grown in the pizza maker’s garden and used in their margarita pizzas – we went back to this pizza shop almost every day when we holidayed at this tiny Italian resort called Isola di Ponza.

Sadly these weren't from Ponza. If only...

To this day, I have never tasted tomatoes as good as those grown in Italy, and doubt I ever will again unless I go back there. All other tomatoes I’ve eaten in the UK and elsewhere have been insipid and wholly lacklustre in flavour by comparison.

Anyone who comes over to our house has to share the space with our cats. This is Fatso.

Another Food Blogger’s table you would like to eat at?

Natalie Ward lives in Andalucia and I would love to eat at her table. Her blog is called Cook Eat live Vegetarian. I LOVE my meat yet her vegetarian recipes have me literally drooling every time she posts something new.

I also would love to visit The Kitchens Garden’s farm. I would offer to help Cecilia milk her cows (that sounded really wrong, didn’t it?) and think of lovely recipes to cook with all the things she is growing or rearing on her farm. She’s however very shy so I doubt it’d ever happen, plus I might accidentally eat her out of house and home.

and this is her sister, skinny.

What one kitchen gadget would you like Santa to bring you? (if money were no object)

We’re thinking about Christmas again already??? I just bought a KitchenAid and I would really love to buy the sausage and meat grinding attachment as we want to start making our own sausages. KitchenAid gadgets bloody cost a fortune though! Anyway, I have far too many gadgets in my house already and more often than not, I still prefer just using my hands…

The dumplings my mum taught me how to wrap

Who taught you how to cook?

I’m not sure. I can’t really remember and pinpoint one person. My mum taught us how to make dumplings from a very early age. We also had an amah (like a live in nanny that’s part of the family), and she let me cook my own meals when I was younger – mostly instant noodles and scrambled eggs which I’d drench in garlic powder and ketchup. When we were too old to need an amah anymore (plus she got married and started a family of her own), I used to watch my mum cook dinner when she came home from work. I personally didn’t really start cooking properly until I left for Australia and had to look after myself. I was 17 at the time and I learned a lot from my dorm mates in my first year there.

I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?

I honestly don’t really have one. I guess if I have people over that have never been to South-east Asia, I normally make my take on chicken rice, which is the gentlest introduction to one of Singapore’s signature dishes – no one has ever not loved it. I actually rarely cook Chinese for people when they visit because it’s friendlier to find a one-pot/casserole type dish so that I can focus more on socialising and spending time with friends. In truth, it’s normally my husband that does the cooking. He is the better cook in our house but he’s not really interested in food blogging unless I beg him to. He takes better pictures too.

My take on Singapore's famous chicken rice.

What is your guilty food pleasure?

Porky scratchings! So bad for you but ooooooh so good, with or without a crisp French cider in hand (sorry but I prefer the sweeter French ciders to the stronger sulphuric aftertaste of traditional English ciders).

Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?

If I could afford to, I would travel the world and go on every single roller-coaster ride I could find. I love roller coasters, the scarier the better. Then I’d get off the ride and go find something to eat, ideally whatever the local delicacy would be. I’d probably eat too much of it because it was so good, and then have to try not to hurl when I got on the next ride.

Tradition dictates that I pass the “unplugged” baton on to other bloggers I’d love to know more about. I’ve noticed that we all seem to follow the same bloggers so what I’ve done instead is to highlight some bloggers that I’ve only just recently had the pleasure of visiting.

The food I eat  This is the kind of food I really love, honest to goodness family food, good for the tummy, good for the soul.

Life in the Foothills Amazing photos of where she lives, with recipes thrown in here and there.

Two Spoons Love her recipes, love her travelogues too and she takes beautiful pictures of the food that she cooks.

The Last Piece of Cake Dimitri is a man after my own heart – anyone who loves and can make a pork pie with the most crumbly pastry gets my vote.

Pantry and Fridge I was sold the moment I saw her recipe for refrigerator eggs. Never thought purple eggs would have me salivating.

Lots of love


12 Responses to “thebigfatnoodle “unplugged””
  1. I loved these “Unplugged” things because I find out about new blogs to check out. And if you go on your worldwide roller coaster tour I want to go! I have loved coasters since I was a child: the first time I went on a small one at a shopping center with my big brother, Mom says I came out breathless, tugged her hand, and asked “Can we go again?”

  2. So awesome that you did that. You have me spot on, which is scary. I can’t see me doing anything else like for at least a year though… hmm. We have a roller coaster just like that a mere 60 miles from where I live! Was awesome to learn more about you.

  3. I got the grinder attachment for Christmas but haven’t used it yet. I’m excited to try!

  4. Tandy says:

    what a lovely post! So nice getting to learn more about you. I have the meat grinder which I use often and the sausage attachment which I have yet to use – but so worth it 🙂

  5. Pork scratchings! They are lethal, you know the scenario, you go to a pub (in my case in the old town in Hastings) and have a few drinks, then someone goes to the bar to get the snacks. And before you know it, you’ve muched through a packet of pork scratchings. My vegetarian partner just looks on in horror and amazement. 🙂
    and the photos of your cats – adorable. I miss having cats, they are so entertaining.

  6. Very cool post BFN, and I have visited Nick’s site and enjoy reading his blog. I’d like that attachment too!

  7. babso2you says:

    Thank you for including me in this blog! I am pleased that you like my photos with my recipes thrown in here and there! Hugs to you!

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