The beginning of the new season

Well I can’t tell you anything about cooking now, partly because I just wanted to start this whole thing again, and I wanted to write something quickly – so it is just a short (but hopefully interesting) opinion about the situation.

Just to make it clear and start with something easy – I can’t say that I am satisfied, not at all. To begin with, I said when the fixture list was published that United needed to be in the first four (or in the first three, rather), after five matches, so against Swansea (h), Sunderland (a), Burnley (a), QPR (h), Leicester (a).

LVG
Louis van Gaal

Not because of the good results of the summer tour – I don’t really count those matches, we were very determined, but others didn’t, so forget that. Beating Swansea and Sunderland should be done nicely but not easily, then a game against newly promoted Burnley away, which is a bit harder but can be done, QPR at home is a must, and Leicester, well there apply the same as in the case of Burnley – with an exception that one of them may be drawn, as it can be hard to play in the opening part of the season against promoted teams.

And that leaves us with 15 or 13 points, with what we would be top of the league. We could have lost even another three and would still be in the first three. And just to count those points again – it means that even with the lost match against Swansea, we could easily be there, in front of Chelsea (or at least close to them).

So that was my plan for the fist five matches – but not for later on. I expected more points lost on the way later and I expected us finishing in the first four, probably on the fourth or with a bit of luck the third by the end of the season.

And that didn’t go that well at all. We are sitting in the twelfth place, which is worse than the Moyes-year, as we all know.

Still, the future is much brighter, I think. We had a much better summer season – not talking about the matches but about the signings. To start with LVG – the difference is quite obvious to Moyes. After the latter’s five matches the air was starting to thicken around him, he was slowly loosing the team, and he was loosing the grip and his stance – somehow the more game passed the less he knew about his team and about how to turn things around.

The fifth game of the season, and that thrashing at the hands of the neighbours. He had a hard five games, Swansea (a), Chelsea (h), Liverpool (a), Crystal Palace (h), City (a), but from a year’s distance it is all too easy to see the signs. Easy with the contrast you can see if you watch LVG now.

Seems like in LVG we have a manager who has a plan prior to the match, he can change his plan during a match, and he knows what went wrong and what needs to be addressed after a match. Well, as I didn’t immediately wanted Moyes out after the first five games, I would not get carried away no, either. Five easy games (well, compared to those a year ago), and we don’t have many points, spent a hell of a money during the summer and we score enough goals, still don’t win enough – and that leads us to to main point and the fault of the summer – defence.

Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo. Both of them to the left. Minus Rio, Evra and Vidic. And Keane, who plays during the summer, leaves on loan.

And now, before the West Ham match, we are left with Rafael, Shaw and Rojo because of injuries and suspension.

Anyway, the chemistry seems much better than last year, and it is much better since the QPR game. Even that last one v Leicester was a beautiful one – most of the time if you score three away, you can win that match. Clattenburg fucked it up, yes, but still, even after a penalty like that a team like United should be able to… blah-blah-blah.

So. Defence will be a problem, though not that big than one would think. Blackett is the winner so far, Rojo will improve, Shaw will get his chance, Rafael is good, Evans can be much better, we all know, well, Smalling, he can do good things – and if Carrick comes back to form he can be used in the middle of the defence. Not to mention Phil Jones – just hope that he doesn’t get injured that often.

So, we just have to score more than we concede. Easy one?

(Picture from wikipedia)

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Tilapia with tortilla while beating Aston Villa

And once again the whole thing started similarly for both of us – I mean the team and myself.

We’ve recently decided to eat more fish and the last weekend was the weekend when I was supposed to cook something for the family from the tilapia in the freezer. I found a recipe, we had done everything prior to the match and the cooking – only to realize that the fish needed to be put to a bowl full of lime juice for something like four hours.

Well, so much for lunch – and just as I avoided the thunder of my wife’s hunger the team conceded from a free kick. As if it wasn’t hard enough.

tortilla and fish
Tortilla, fish and salad

So I really had time to rest a little bit – and had time to prepare everything else for the cooking – first the sauces as there are two different sauces to make. Continue reading

First things – steak au poivre and reflection to the beginning of the season

So, yeah, it’s gonna be a reflection to my career as a chef-at-home and David Moyes’ at Manchester United.

It’s steak au poivre this time on the plate and I really feel like it’s like playing Wigan in the Community Shield before the new season begins. I mean it is the one thing you wish for if you start your career at a team, you’ve already had a couple of tries during the summer tour, you are more or less successful, so far.

Exactly, it’s not a big deal, the one thing really important is what you have on the table (and on the pitch). And at that time Moyes could have thought that he had that bunch of players – although we all knew that there were problems in different parts of the team. Anyway, back then there everything looked quite nice, CS won, Wigan nicely beaten, easy job, still time for acquiring new faces.

ingredients
Ingredients for steak au poivre

And that’s exactly where I am now in my cooking experience – after a nice start this recipe looked quite easy to make – and there were no problems. And I am lucky to have a friend who brings the best meat to Hungary. If you want to buy good quality meat here in Hungary you really have to dig deep – and that is how I found primecuts.hu. I don’t know what I was looking for but I bumped into the website and since that time if I need beef or Irish sausage or cheddar I call Robert, the owner and he delivers. This time I ordered tenderloin from him (among other things). Continue reading

Tonight’s menu – beer & the kitchen itself

So, I’ve decided to examine our kitchen – in terms of kitchen equipment and the useful stuff in and around it.

I’d like to figure out what I have and what I need in order to run a small but effective and practical kitchen, so I am going to look at a couple of areas:

  • pots and pans
  • bowls and plastic boxes to store and cook
  • small kitchen appliances
  • other useful bits like spatulas, etc.
  • The pantry and the fridge (herbs and spices, canned things, etc.)
  • organizing the stuff above
kitchen
Our kitchen

Continue reading

Fried eggs with bread & transfer window open

(OK, this post was meant to be published some two weeks ago – sorry ’bout that, nice and hectic weeks behind…)

I bumped into this recipe on this page, vilagevo.hu, and I immediately adored it – so I decided to spice it up a little bit.

The original is very good and nice, but I had things in the fridge to use. According to the original one, first is to make a toast but not with the toaster, but on butter in a frying pan. Well, never leave this step out! When the slices of the bread are toasted, with something round make a whole into the middle of them.

eggs in bread
One without leeks – for my daughter

After that, it’s the eggs turn – take the yolks and the white apart – then put the white into the frying pan, and put the bread onto the white. Then the yolks go into the whole – then cover it and fry until it’s good for you. Continue reading

Like an egg salad – v Stoke, away, League Cup

So normally it would be an easy game, exactly like making an egg salad.

But these are different times for me and for United, as well – Moyes is learning and so am I. I thought I’d known a couple of thing around cooking – and I thought I’d known how to cook an egg. [And Young almost scored a screamer right now… Only he hit the side of the net.]¬†So normally a game against Stoke would be a hard one, but most of the time won by routine, even with the B side.

Cooked eggs
Peeling wasn’t that easy…

As I would cook some eggs by routine – or I should say “boil” some eggs. ‘Cause so far I boiled eggs, not cooked them. So this is the first time when I put the eggs in a saucepan, covered with cold water, then bring it to the boil over high heat – and as soon as ¬†possible. Then I remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs stand in the pan for about twelve minutes, as these are middle sized eggs. [So, I have time to watch I so far not that convincing United, where there’s still not much creativity.] Continue reading

Cooking, learning, football and other things

When I realized that I wanted to write a blog in English I soon found out that I need another one. This one is about chillies and cooking (it all started with the chillies, yeah) – and I have another hobby (or obsession, rather) football (soccer?) and Manchester United, and that calls for another blog.

For half a year it’s been working well, I managed to post here and there (almost) evenly, once a week on either side. But as I have a blog in Hungarian, too, and with our second daughter growing and demanding more and more attention, so there’s a lot to do, well, suddenly I had no time and I just saw that there are no fresh things – nor here, neither there.

eggs in a saucepan
Here we go – it all started with some eggs this time

Continue reading