Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

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Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 29, 2006

Nicholas the cook

Nicholas's favourite recipe from The Independent


I'm much more of a gardener than a cook. When I go into the garden I become inspired to create something, but my wife looks after meals. One is so lucky these days that supermarkets have such wonderful prepared foods. If I'm on my own, doing my Edinburgh show for example, these are what I eat. I can't see any point in cooking something if you're on your own.
So when I was in the studio to appear on Ready Steady Cook, I was fascinated by the amazing skill of the chefs. I tasted all the dishes afterwards and they were all wonderful.
The one thing I am good at in the kitchen is experimenting with the fruits and vegetables that I grow. I'll give you my stewed apple recipe here, without hesitation, though perhaps with a little repetition and deviation.
Stewed apples
12 apples that you have grown yourself Some zest and all the juice of 2 lemons 2 cloves A little cinnamon A scattering of raisins A touch of pickled ginger, from a jar
Peel the apples and chop them into chunks. Put them in a pan. The key thing here is not to leave it. Watch your apples - you don't want them to turn into slush. Well, a few of them will, but the idea is that you end up with chunks of apple that have taken on all the flavours of the other ingredients. Don't let them come to the boil.
Cut some of the zest from the lemons and add it along with everything else. Keep the heat low and when it's softened, you can either ask your wife if she would be kind enough to make a crumble, and put that on top, or you can put it in cereal. I like one that's crunchy. I think it's called Jordan's Crunchy. Otherwise, you can just have it with good ice-cream.

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I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

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". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

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For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing

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