There is a corner of Hull like no other. We call it the Avenues, and it is a very special place, a warren of streets where I can lose myself. Urban, Victorian, Bohemian. A postcode that means the world. A corner of the Land of Green Ginger that is forever Saturday morning. It is where Yorkshire meets the world, vibrant, youthful and diverse. The university fuels it with energy, and the nineteenth century tempers the air, a riot of red brick and yellow, of stone and wood. As the name hints, it is an area of grid-like avenues, an area where symmetry rules. Yet each villa is unique, grand and overly mature; hints of genteel decay, overgrown in parts, bald in others. There is a smell I associate with the area, a doughy scent from the bread factory and a mulchy tang of dampness, of freshly roasted coffee and pancakes.
I created this dish a few days ago, and it was perfect. I would like to share it with you so you can enjoy it too. This is a slow food dish. Do not rush it. Take your time. Have a glass of wine. Put on the radio to your favourite music. Pre-heat the oven to about 180 centigrade.
Travellers seldom select new towns. What attraction is to be found in the shadow of concrete boxes? It pays to make an exception, however, for it is here that people live with their stories, vitality, and living history. On a recent trip, I decided to visit Sderot, a 1950s new town that sits on the border of the Gaza strip, a town made notorious by incessant rocket attacks. It was hardly an onerous journey; a mere hour by train from Tel Aviv.