Well, I had better introduce myself a bit: I’m Mel, and you won’t be too surprised to learn that I love food. Not in the sense of eating everything in sight, but in that I strongly value just sitting down and enjoying scrumptious food, with friends and wonderful accompanying drinks whenever possible. That’s probably my French side coming through (I’m half French, half Scottish).
I started this blog during the final year of my BSc Zoology degree at the University of St Andrews, partially out of procrastination and partially as an excuse to escape the library and its virulent mustard yellow colour scheme (I wish I was kidding). I already cooked and baked a fair bit, since they are my way of de-stressing, so blogging about my kitchen adventures (and misadventures) seemed a logical step, and turned out to be thoroughly enjoyable and a welcome break from academic writing.
I graduated from St Andrews in June 2011, moved back to Edinburgh briefly, and then hopped over to New Zealand in February to start an MSc in Marine Science at the University of Auckland, which is what I’m currently
procrastinating from studying. The kitchen adventures have continued throughout, of course!
Aside from my general food obsession, I am utterly fascinated by sharks (the photo in the header and the blog name might have given that one away slightly). Thanks to my amazing friends, I have two shark-shaped oven gloves (hence the blog name). Whilst this is primarily a culinary blog with a few bits of travel thrown in, don’t be too surprised if some shark-related posts crop up from time to time, too.
Thank you for visiting Sharky Oven Gloves – I do hope you enjoy it!
I would also like to introduce two very special people who are often mentioned in my posts. They are also both Biologists, and we all graduated together in June. It goes without saying that they both share my enthusiasm for good food, good wine and gin, and they are generally very willing taste-testers for my various culinary experiments (I know I can trust them to give me their honest opinions).
Kat gave me my second shark oven glove as a birthday gift, which automatically makes her amazing (though she’s amazing regardless). We first spoke on a field course in Wales just before the start of third year – I think we had an over-enthusiastic discussion about cookies (very apt). We bonded on a different field course, one which involved freezing cold Scottish rivers, pouring rain and a field centre which ran out of running water, and got to know each other better through the course of the year. Unexpected circumstances resulted in Kat staying with me in St Andrews over the summer of 2010, and we spent a lot of time in the kitchen and drinking wine. We also discovered that we’re actually very similar (except she’s smarter and way more organised!), and sometimes I think she knows me a little too well! If I’m not 100% sure about an idea for the blog I run it past Kat, and her enthusiasm for the blog right from the start has been absolutely brilliant (she’s actually the only person I told when I first started it)! Oh and another reason why she’s amazing? She made me a surprise Thunder Cake the other day. I love anybody who makes me cake, but one from a childhood book that apparently only we have ever read, that’s just utterly wonderful!
When I asked Craig (who blogs over The Usual Saucepans; formerly at Contemplating the Clouds) whether he minded being included in the About section, he asked me to be nice, so I was going to say something mean, but I’ve just realised I don’t actually have anything horrible to say. Fail. Anyway, I first spoke to Craig when he turned up to my flat for the World Cup final during the summer of 2010 (he was invited by Kat, he didn’t just randomly show up), which he also spent working in St Andrews. It eventually transpired that we were both fans of the James Bond films and the ‘Allo ‘Allo TV series. Kat hadn’t seen ‘Allo ‘Allo and wasn’t familiar with the older Bond films, so the three of us ended up spending a good part of the summer eating, drinking and watching films (this carried on after the summer, though we had to intersperse it with academics). Craig has become our unofficial drinks-maker and -pourer and does a rather wonderful job of it. Actually, if you’ve read any posts that mention the consumption of G&Ts in the library/Bute computer labs (shhh!), Craig was my partner in crime. Somewhat unrelated, but he also happens to make the best apple crumble I have ever tasted. Fact.