Meet Mrs Portly

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, cookery teacher and recipe developer. I’m a home cook: if I want restaurant food I go to restaurants. What I want to make in my own kitchen are flavourful dishes with minimum faff, but hopefully ones that are imaginative and appetising.

I am a strong supporter of local producers, because these small, often family-run businesses deserve all the help they can get to stay afloat and they rear, grow or make some very fine food.

We generally eat seasonally because it’s common sense and it tastes better. You’ll find recipes here that include meat, fish and dairy but plenty of fruit and veg – we grow our own – and sometimes it’s even vegan. To be honest, though, that’s mostly accidental.

Image of Mrs Portly

Picture by Jamillah Knowles

What I share here is what we actually eat, not just food that’s been styled and prettified 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. I’m an inveterate tinkerer, although I promise every recipe has been tried and tested. 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.

There’s a jumble of cuisines represented here although as time goes by I find myself increasingly cooking traditional British food. That’s my heritage. You’ll find ingredients and influences from different cultures – we make harissa from our home-grown chillies, for instance – but I try not to trample over the sensibilities of others. I may not always get it right and feel free to call me out if I put my foot in it. Preferably privately rather than on Twitter, please and thank you.

To summarise, then, 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 … on these pages, or in person at one of my cookery classes. 

Image of Mrs Portly

Yes, I’m a leftie. Picture by Jamillah Knowles

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.

You can find Mrs P’s 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, 2012-2022 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.

27 thoughts on “Meet Mrs Portly

  1. Dear Mrs Portly
    I have donned my elasticated trousers and am poised with knife and fork! Also suffering from lifestyle envy – and I love the kitchen!

    • Excellent, elasticated trousers a sensible option as am currently planning a recipe for Middle Aged Spread.

      Hope to see you soon. Will wash FBI pinny in your honour.

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  3. Dear Mrs Portly, I have just found you on the ‘Huffington Post’. And I am very pleased I did. I have spent a little time today getting to know you and your friends.
    It has been fun and insteresting. I particularly enjoyed the post ‘Beef & Pigeon Pie’ you may wonder why, well I have neighbours who frequently bring me freshly shot pigeons! I will be using the recipe very soon. Darina Allen, I did know of her through foodie magazines and TV programmes, she really is inspiring. I’m very new to life style/cookery blogs (writing my own) and enjoying finding new ones to follow, to watch and learn. I’m now looking forward to receiving your future posts.
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Karen,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m really pleased you’ve enjoyed reading the posts – it’s lovely to get feedback – and I look forward to reading yours in my turn.
      And how lovely to have friends who give you game. I really recommend that Darina recipe and indeed her (very thorough) book. Let me know how you get on if you cook it!
      All the best,
      Mrs P.

  4. I´ve just discovered this blog through Marmaduke Scarlet.Some lovely original recipes I have to say.

  5. Mrs Portly, I love your kitchen and your lifestyle. I am one of your friends who would love membrillo as a birthday present as well!
    Kat xx

    • Hi, Kat, many thanks. You’re welcome to some membrillo but you’ll have to come and stay for a weekend to get it! (Membrillo as a hostage – that’s a new one.)

    • Hi Dave, I loved that dish, it sounded so good. Thanks for the kind comments, very much appreciated. Now that I’ve got some breathing space after Christmas I will return the compliment – I’m really looking forward to checking out your recipes.
      Cheers, Linda.

  6. Just saw your bit on the Public Broadcasting Station national news here in the U.S. Short but wise comment. Nicely done.

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  10. Methinks I ‘found’ you at Conor’s and if you are there I’ll follow . . . . well, the waistline may not drop as much as planned in the near future but . . . .

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