I love cooking. I love eating. I love growing food. I keep hens. I’ve got an ever-expanding cookery book collection and the waistline to go with it, a spice rack to die for and an FBI pinny (long story).
I worked in broadcasting for much of my life but these days I’m a food and features writer and recipe developer. I’m a home cook: if I want restaurant food I go to restaurants. I can’t multi-task and I have the attention span of a gnat. What I want at home are delicious dishes that don’t take a month of Sundays to prepare, but hopefully ones that are imaginative and appetising.
We enjoy a varied range of foods and cuisines, so you’ll find a magnificent jumble of recipes from Britain and from overseas, seafood and meat (including game), soups and salads, jams and pickles, cakes, pies and puddings. You will find butter, cream, sugar, flour and booze in some of my recipes (Mrs Portly, remember?). Although I eat meat, fish and dairy, I also cook and enjoy vegetarian food. Sometimes it’s even vegan, although to be honest that’s usually accidental.
We grow a lot of our own fruit and veg and I am a passionate supporter of local producers, because these often small, family-run businesses deserve all the help they can get to stay afloat. Also they rear, grow or make very fine food. I generally eat seasonally because it’s common sense but in winter when all I’ve got left in the garden are brassicas and root crops? Heck, yes, pass me those imported lemons.
What I share here is what we actually eat, not just food that’s been styled and prettied up and allowed to get cold. I try my best to make it look attractive but I’m a cook and a writer, not a photographer, so I hope you’ll make allowances.
I firmly believe that if you can read a recipe, you can cook. Not everything I make works first time because I’m an inveterate tinkerer, although I promise every recipe here has been repeatedly tried and tested. I mess up so you (hopefully) don’t have to. I see recipes as guidelines, so feel free to adapt to your personal taste, but I’ve tried to be as accurate and specific as possible for people who prefer not to go off piste.
So … this blog is a celebration of food and I hope an opportunity to share some of my culinary discoveries and passions. If you’re of a like mind, I invite you to loosen your belt, hide your bathroom scales, tuck in your bib and join me in Mrs Portly’s Kitchen … (and you can in real life, now, with the launch of my new cookery classes!)
Before I go, the ethical bit: very occasionally I’ll be given a free product to try out. If that’s the case it will be clearly stated in the post. I don’t make a habit of this because, without wishing to sound pompous, I try to retain my journalistic objectivity and because this blog is a labour of love and I don’t want to monetise it.
I do however labour for lucre elsewhere. If you’d like to commission me as a food and features writer, recipe developer or event compere, please check out the Ask Mrs Portly page for contact details. Better yet, come to a cookery class.
You can find my Facebook page here. I’m on Twitter as LindaDuffin and Instagram as linda.duffin. I’m always up for a chat, pop into one or the other and say hello.
All words and images © Linda Duffin and Mrs Portly’s Kitchen, 2012-2019 except where otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Linda Duffin and Mrs Portly’s Kitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.