Food for Fort: Weevils, kidney soup and egg yolks | Matthew Fort

I've found pinprick-size creatures in self-raising flour, cornflour and a bag of white sugar. What are they?
It sounds as if you have an attack of mites and/or weevils. This may come as a shock, but they will be present in every bag of dry goods you buy. They're quite harmless at low density, just unsightly. The trouble starts if their breeding gets out of control. According to one set of wisdom, you have to throw out all dry goods in that cupboard and disinfect everything. That seems a bit extreme, unless you have a serious infestation, in which case, yes, you should have a purge. Conditions in the modern kitchen, which is almost airtight and has a tendency to get warm and steamy, are conducive to a vigorous breeding pattern in the mite and weevil world. Old-fashioned larders with an air vent to the outside are much better places to keep flour and sugar, but few people have one these days.

My mother used to make a spaghetti dish with tinned kidney soup, which no one seems to stock any more.
Ah, Heinz kidney soup of blessed memory. Sadly, they haven't made it for years, and neither does anyone else, it would seem, so I'm afraid you will have to make your own. Here's a splendid one from Katharine Mellish in 1901: 1lb ox kidney, 1 tsp vinegar, 3oz butter, 1½ oz flour, 1 onion, 1 shallot, 2 small sticks celery, 4 pints brown stock, 1 sprig thyme, 1 tsp peppercorns, 1 small blade mace, 1 wine glass sherry, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Wash the kidney in cold water with 1 tsp brown vinegar in it. Dry, then cut into cubes. Melt the butter in a pan. Roll the kidney pieces in flour, then fry for a few minutes. Wash and dry the veg, cut into small pieces, sprinkle over the remaining flour and add to the pan. Fry until a nice brown, add the stock and stir for a few minutes, then add thyme, spices and seasoning, stir until boiling and simmer for three to four hours. Skim during cooking. When the kidneys are tender, strain the soup into a clean pan through a fine wire sieve. Take out half the kidney pieces and put in a tureen. Skim off any fat from the kidney and veg in the sieve, then rub it into the soup. Bring almost to a boil, add the sherry and Worcestershire sauce, pour over the kidneys and serve.

Yotam Ottolenghi's blackberry and star anise friands sound delicious, but what do you do with the 10 egg yolks left over?
The yolks will be usable for about three days after being separated from their whites – just pour a little water over them and keep in a bowl covered with clingfilm. Then use them in that mayonnaise you always meant to make by hand, or hollandaise, custard, crème caramel or zabaglione. Alternatively, freeze them in batches, to be used as and when you need them. They tend to be rather thick and sticky when defrosted – a quick whisk with a little salt or sugar before freezing will help inhibit this (for eight yolks, you need ¼ tsp salt or 2 tsp sugar). Be sure to label the container.

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