The spring equinox has whizzed by already and we’re officially in the Everything’s Burgeoning In The Garden phase of growing – and yet we’re still in the period known as the hunger gap, when there are few fresh fruits or veg ready to harvest locally.
One exception is rhubarb, either bright pink and forced in the growing sheds of the famous Rhubarb Triangle of west Yorkshire or like ours, already poking up in the veg patch. Continue reading →
This recipe originated with a remarkable and frankly formidable Frenchwoman called Marie-Solange, who I’m told was an epic cook. She held a cocktail party for 300+ people every year and made every morsel of food – canapes, petit fours, a profiterole mountain – herself. Continue reading →
Have you met Avis Crocombe? You really should. In the 1880s she was head cook to Lord and Lady Braybrooke at Audley End, a lovely old house near Saffron Walden in Essex. But 180 years after her birth she’s come roaring back to life as an internet sensation. Continue reading →
This recipe is based on one from a wonderful old cookery book called Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery. Published in 1744, it is the earliest book I’ve seen which is largely vegetarian. The first half (Adam’s) is devoted to kitchen gardening, and the second (Eve’s) to recipes. It wasn’t a feminist era. Continue reading →
I thought it was a joke when I heard that some enterprising company was selling so-called Brexit Boxes, a stock of freeze-dried meals (and a water filter and fire starter) to see householders through any food shortages following a No Deal Brexit. I laughed even harder when I realised they were charging nearly £300. Continue reading →
Well, I did warn you I’d bought an awful lot of mutton and hoggett. But this recipe works just as well for lamb chops and if you like a bit of spice in your life, I think you’ll enjoy it. Continue reading →
My friend – our friend – Matthew Locricchio was the loveliest, warmest, funniest and most generous and talented man. You’ll probably have gathered from the past tense that Matthew is no longer with us. You’d be right but in another way you couldn’t be more wrong. Continue reading →
Milk-fed lamb makes sense if you’re living in a culture where you cook on an open fire and long, slow braises are pretty much out of the question. Who wouldn’t prefer something you can chew easily after giving it a quick flash in the pan?
But for those of us with more options it makes sense, to me anyway, to opt for something that’s had time to mature and develop flavour. I love lamb, preferably one that’s had time to roam the fields and put on a bit of heft. But if I can lay my hands on some hogget or mutton, I’m a happy woman. Continue reading →