Blog of the Fox


Dale's Father's Day card Greetings dear readers – I trust this blog finds you well and relaxed. Thanks as always for your comments, it's great to hear from you all and I do try to reply ASAP but obviously my comments are posted exactly the same as yours – and there may be a slight delay, depending when I post (usually around 2 or 3am) as nature lovers will know that's the Fox's prime activity time (I sense a Marian reply?)

I've attached the front of the fab Father's Day card my daughter Ali gave me – she has received quite a bit of stick from her friends who have caught my various 'Wii moves', even her dance teacher commented on my homage to Michael Jackson – she didn't realise a grown man could move quite like that.  

It also takes me back to my college days with my pastel green suit, swept-back gelled dark brown hair and busting my Travolta moves. It's funny looking back – I went through so many phases of music and the fashions that went with them – I remember the stack shoes, Ben Sherman shirts, Harrington jackets, DMs, tank tops, cheese cloth shirts (never went in for the flower power Afghan sheepskin coats – too smelly), drainpipes, crepe-soled shoes, bell bottoms, Brutus baggies, barrow boy caps, pirate shirts and this was all in the space of around 3 or 4 years, although the New Romantic look came a little later in the 80s. 

It was all about fashion and a 'look' rather than actually being a Teddy Boy, Hippie or Rock follower etc. but we at the time thought we were very cool and I suppose that's the way it should be. 

Come on girls and boys if you're reading this, what were you? Bay City Roller, glam rock, punk, New Wave, heavy metal etc. – share it with us !

I presented a kitchen show the other day with the lovely Jilly Jones and she made some amazing cheese straws, which of course I had to sample. She told me the recipe, posted below, and says it's basically the same as in the Kuhn Rikon recipe booklet, but she has spiced it up a little – so as promised here it is – Happy baking and eating!

Take care until next week,

Dale x

P.S. Special thanks to Jilly and Ali x

Jilly's Cheese Straws

8oz/225g sharp cheddar cheese, grated
6 oz/150g margarine, softened
1 egg
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
70z/200g flour, sifted
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Blend cheese, margarine, egg, and Tabasco sauce; set aside.
Sift flour, paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper together. Sift flour mixture gradually over cheese mixture; either use food processor fitted with a metal blade or work like pastry, kneading until soft and well blended.
Pack the dough into cookie press according to the instructions. Use small star-shaped cookie disk. Holding cookie press at an angle, press the trigger twice, dragging the press away to make a 3-inch long straw or press continuously to make one long straw and cut later into smaller pieces. Space the straws 1 inch apart.
Bake 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove immediately to cooling rack. Cool completely before storing.
(If you don't have a cookie press then you can roll out the dough into cheese straw shapes and bake as above).


  1. sylvia June 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale
    What a fab fathers day card!
    I used to be a Bay City Rollers fan and went to watch them at the Caird Hall in Dundee when I was a teenager.My husband still laughs at me when I mention them.I used to have posters of David Cassidy and Donny Osmond on my bedroom walls.And yes I remember having a Harrington,a Barathea(not sure of the spelling) blazer,stay press and cheese cloths etc. There was one boy I fancied at the time who used to get all his shirts especially made and I thought he was lovely(he turned out gay though,so no chance there)LOL.
    Anyway Dale weren’t they the greatest times.I still go on You Tube music sometimes and reminise and it takes my right back there.
    Take Care Dale x
    Ps My biggest crush was Billy Mackenzie from The Associates,who
    is sadly no longer with us.I wonder if you remember him?

  2. Marian Bolton June 26, 2011 at 9:52 am -  Reply

    Saturday night fever …..and Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday night since I met you Daleicious!
    What a great card and what a cool dude you must have been (still are for that matter). I was never much of a slave to fashion myself but I do recall sporting a little Ra Ra skirt in my late teens (are you with me Dale?!) I’ve always been more into fancy dress if you know what I mean!!!! A few years ago, me and my other half went as Meatloaf and Cher from the ‘Dead Ringer for Love’ video. I was Cher! Big dark curly hair (all my own!), sassy earrings, leather jacket and mini skirt, fishnets, ankle boots, (bet you’re definitely with me now Dale!!!!) I really did look a dead ringer. As you probably need cooling down now, I’ll tell you that another time, I went as Freddie Star’s Hitler complete with rolled down wellies and a little moustache (that wasn’t my own!!!)
    As for your comments about the Fox’s prime activity time, I’m not going to rise to it (for a change ….. don’t like to be too predictable!). Speaking of nature lovers though, How do you spot a blind man in a nudists colony? ……… It’s not hard! That one’s for my mate Gail. Hi Gail. xxxx

  3. Marian Bolton June 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Dale, have you run off with Gail?!!!! Or are you doing a Houdini again?! Haven’t seen you all week on QVC. You’re not requesting all the daytime shows to avoid me are you sweetie?! xx

  4. Gail July 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm -  Reply

    Marian, unfortunately my running days are over, literally, but I do a mean fast walk. The card from your daughter Dale was absolutely great; it was sooooooooooooooooooo you. I hope you’ve kept it.
    I really wanted your sausage the other night Dale. In case you didn’t see it Ma, Dale was presenting Cooks Essentials and Simon cooked some mean looking sausages, one of which Dale of course had to sample. I really fancied that sausage.
    Another item on that show Dale was the ice cream maker, which I have and use all the time. Ladies don’t hesitate in buying it, it really is very, very good and makes lovely ice cream very quickly.
    Don’t know about ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Ma; it’s more ‘Staying Alive’ these days. Love the vision of you wearing your rolled down wellies and moustache, ha ha, you are so funny. Loved the joke too, keep ‘em coming.
    I remember all the fashion outfits that you mentioned Dale. I had a two-tone suit and a two-tone keyhole dress. I loved the boys in their Stay Press trs, Ben Shermans and braces. Mustn’t forget the braces, they were a key item of ‘the look’. I loved the tasselled loafers the blokes wore too (oh dear Dale, do you think it’s safe mentioning tassels in front of Ma?).
    Were you a Brut or Hai Karate man Dale?
    Take care. Over to you Ma (lol) xx

  5. Marian Bolton July 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    There you are Gail. I’ve missed you sweetie. Dale’s sausage indeed! You certainly give me a good run for my money in the naughty stakes, lol! Here’s another joke for you:
    A couple go into a restaurant. They sit at a table and the woman can see into the kitchen. She sees the Chef put some mincemeat under his armpit and press it. The Waiter comes up and the woman says “Have you seen how your Chef is preparing the burgers”. The Waiter says, “That’s nothing, you should see how he gets the hole in the doughnuts”! x

  6. Gail July 5, 2011 at 10:02 am -  Reply

    Morning Dale and Marian. Here’s a couple of daft jokes for you both as I know you’re both as potty as me (in the nicest possible way of course xx).
    “How did you find your steak Sir?”.
    “Well, I moved the chips a little and there it was.”
    “Oh my God, what is all that screaming coming from the kitchen?”
    “Don’t worry Sir, that’s just the Chef beating the eggs.”
    Well, they made me laugh. Have a nice day. Hi Ma. xx

  7. dale franklin July 6, 2011 at 1:14 am -  Reply

    Marian and Gail – we should do a remake of “Carry on in the Kitchen” I’m sure you’d both be brilliant script writers and I’m sure Simon and I would give you plenty of inspiration! Hi Sylvia welcome back to the Fox blog – I do remember the Associates but I cannot picture Billy, your heart throb. Gail I think I did have a Hai Karate moment, one xmas as my youngest brother Adam thought it might help with the Girls – it was that or I’d have to start smoking a pipe full of St Bruno !! I think I was an “Aramis”? boy at that time. Take care all and thanks again for your comments – Dale x

  8. Marian Bolton July 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    Carrying on in the kitchen with Dale’s sausage! Think I need to go and lie down!! Loved your jokes Gail and there’s no denying that I’m potty alright! xxx

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