Porky Mrs Portly

No, the diet’s not going as well as I’d like, apparently the Sauvignon Blanc Plan is over-rated in weight-loss terms. But if you think I’m being hard on myself, I’m not.

The Mrs Portly I’m talking about is my porcine namesake, raised by our friends Karon and Simon at Stackyard Nursery here in Suffolk. I’ve watched her progress with interest. Continue reading

Basics: How To Lattice Pastry

Image of latticed pie

Great British Bake Off fans may recall an episode when Mary Berry ticked off a competitor for failing to interweave the lattices on his or her pastry properly, just laying the strips over each other instead.

On a scale of one to 10, whether or not one can lattice a pie is hardly up there with masterminding world peace and ending global hunger and more competent pastry cooks will probably be rolling their eyes, but I confess it’s an art that had largely eluded me, too. Continue reading

Goat’s Cheese and Red Onion Tarts

This recipe was inspired by our niece Fran, a multi-talented woman who works in the Caribbean doing everything from teaching scuba diving to being a sous chef and crew member on luxury yachts. On a recent visit back home she was telling me about a way to make easy onion and goat’s cheese tarts using red onion marmalade as the filling.

I was intrigued but felt the result might be too sweet for my taste, so I came up with these. Continue reading

Potato Stacks

I love pasta and rice but my husband is potty about potatoes. If that makes us sound like Jack Spratt and his wife, we’re not really, as I can happily fill my face with any form of carbohydrate.

Still, it’s always good to have a different way of cooking the (in our household) ubiquitous spud and these potato stacks are ridiculously easy Continue reading

Quince Conserve

Image of basket of quinces

I was watching food historian Ivan Day make an apple and quince tart on a television cookery programme the other day. Instead of fresh quinces, he used a preserve, the idea being that our ancestors would use it to add the fruit’s flavour long after its harvest season had passed.

It’s a notion that still holds good today. Continue reading