Food from a Physicist who loves to cook

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With Wills and Kate announcing their engagement St Andrews has been the focus of the media this week, with everyone wanting to know more about the place the two met and fell in love. My friend says that the BBC are camped outside of sallies ( St Salvator’s hall for those of you from outside our little bubble.) since that’s where WIlls stayed when he was here. On top of that out lovely union has decided to put on a Kate and Wills bop this friday with the tag line “Get your tweed out, don your pearls and bare your Barbours for this weeks WILLS AND KATE BOP!”

This is what they think we want?

And then of course there is the much discussed (in St Andrews at least) telegraph blog by Andrew M Brown “Kate Middleton is a typical St Andrews girl” Please feel free to read the full article here  http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewmcfbrown/100063875/kate-middleton-is-a-typical-st-andrews-girl/

Now I know so many people have already commented on the blog, but it really does need commenting on. Its portraying a stereotype as a majority. I cannot say if this is in fact what St Andrews was like when Wills was here but it’s defiantly changed now.  Here is the authors opinion of a St Andrews girl

“Kate Middleton belongs to this group. In fact you could almost say she’s a classic St Andrews girl. They are fresh-faced and wholesome and they typically wear Barbours, pashminas, tailored tweed jackets, padded bodywarmers, pearls and Tiffany hearts. They’re prosperous, obviously – they drink spirits in the bars, not beer – and they’ve probably picked up the habit of flicking back their expensively highlighted hair when it falls into their eyes. Not that they’re a bunch of squares. Underneath the demure exterior there may lie a streak of raciness: witness that university fashion show when Kate sauntered down the aisle in a see-through dress.”

This is basically a description of a yah girl, never heard the phrase, well urban dictionary it. Now walking through town you could be convinced that theses are the only girls who go to St Andrews. LOOK CLOSER, they are just the girls who make their presence known, walking in big groups, talking loudly flicking their hair in your face, and congregating at night in the lizard, or the Westport. The rest of the girls in St Andrews, well they are bundled up, it is Scotland after all, usually with their hair in a style that can’t be destroyed by the north sea wind, and are normally found in their department, or the library or at home, working. Because St Andrews is a prestigious university, it has high standards and for those of us who have come to university to get a degree and help our futures. (Instead of those who came because they thought that should or because it is what society accepts.) Those of us working, are working hard to secure a high class degree, one that will help us with future academic pursuits or career.

So yes there are Yahs in St Andrews, but not as many as you think, it’s just that the normal girls (though normal doesn’t really fit such a broad spectrum) are keeping themselves to them selves and either working or catching up with friends, or having fun, but mostly not caring about what people think of them.

Oh and Andrew M Brown if you’re going to write about a university at least do your research, the fact you got the universities name wrong says it all,  WE ARE THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS, goodnight.


So I have been struck down with freshers flu! Nooo, seriously every year I get it, I don’t think it is fair. I mean I’m not even a fresher I’m a third year, but sadly I’m not immune- there is something about coming back to university that breeds germs. All those people from different places, coming together getting packed in small bars and lecture theaters, it’s bound to happen. And I’m guessing the cold weather up here doesn’t help either.

I Can’t really remember freshers flu last year, so it must have been pretty mild, which is something, saying last year was the swine flu scare. I guess working in summer camps means you’re pretty much immune to anything by the end of it. But first year when I was actually a fresher, that was spectacular, I fell asleep constantly! I remember sitting down in a lecture and suddenly realising there was no way I was going to concentrate, sadly the lecturer arrived before I had a chance to leave. The rest of that weekend was spent sleeping and drinking JD from a hipflask. Not the best idea but awesome all the same.

So food, that is what this blog is supposed to be about isn’t it. Well this week I haven’t eaten that many interesting meals hence the lack of posts, sorry guys. Today I decided to fight the cold with fire and spice, in soup form of course because my throat is sore. I’ve been told spicy food is good for a cold and I have to agree, it definitely perks you up.

Spicy Parsnip Soup

  • Parsnips (2 makes a big bowl of soup for one –  scale up from that)
  • an onion chopped
  • Ginger (I used ginger paste but fresh works equally well)
  • chilli flakes or crushed chilli or garam masala
  • cinnamon
  • seasoning
  • stock approx  1 pint
  • a little oil
  1. Chop the onion into thin slices and fry until it starts to soften, then add the ginger and the chilli. Be generous – you want the flavour to be intense to cut through the cold. As I was using crushed ginger paste and crushed chilli paste which are both quite potent I used a teaspoon of each.
  2. Finely chop the parsnips and add to the onions, fry for a short while then add the stock. Bring this to boil then leave simmering for about 20 mins, until everything is nice and soft.
  3. This is one of those soups I like to blend, so once the veg has softened I allow it to cool a little then blend with a hand blender.
  4. Add a generous amount of cinnamon approx 2 tsp, and stir in, season to taste and consume.

The amazing Cup-Bowl full of scrummy soup

A little side note on parsnips: Parsnips are in season at the moment, so are cheap to buy, which is always a plus. They’re also so versatile, I tend to buy a bag of them at the beginning of the week, and will have used them all by the end of it. They’re great for sneaking veg into a meal try;

  • Parsnip curry
  • parsnip mash ( mix a few in with your regular mash, to give it some extra flavour, apparently great on shepherds pie)
  • Parsnip chips (great with garlic mayo)
  • Honey roasted parsnips (par boil them then liberally baste with a mix of 1 part oil to 2 parts honey, then slow roast. Great with your sunday lunch.)


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