The subject of this weeks column is dishes, in particular casserole dishes. More specifically the sort of casserole dish that, worn with age, seems somehow to make the food you cook it in taste inexplicably better; the sort of didh that is perfectly suited to its given task.

Last year Nigel kindly listed everything that he had eaten of the previous twelve months for us, which bizarrely makes rather compelling reading.

In 2002 we were told about the glories of the grill pan and its smoky caramalised flavours.

And in 2001 the subject was potatoes. Given that Nigel claims his favourite food in all the world is a plateful of mash, it is no great surprise that this column is something of a classic. Although the recipes he offers are for potato and celeriac tart and spicy roast potatoes rathermashed spud.

Quote of the week : "Around my middle was a thick layer of fat. I shook myself and it wobbled like a blancmange at a child's birthday party. I squeezed it, prodded it, pummelled it, and kneaded it like bread dough. I lay on the bed and grasped it with both hands. I got down on all fours and watched it hang underneath me. At one point I contorted into a pretty accurate impression of a... no, you really don't want to know."