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 and recipe developer. I’m a home cook, not a professional chef: 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. I don’t have a USP … on these pages you’ll find recipes from Britain and from overseas, seafood and meat (including game), soups and salads, jams and pickles, cakes, pies and puddings.

Let me tell you what you won’t find here – fads. You won’t find me advocating clean eating … just eating. You won’t find detox diet recipes. My kidneys, lungs and liver work perfectly well, thank you, even if the liver gets a bit of a caning from time to time. You won’t find specially-tailored gluten-free recipes because the tiny percentage of the population who are genuinely gluten-intolerant (and you have my deepest sympathy) have other, better resources, and by that I mean ones backed by good science.

You will find butter, cream, sugar, flour and booze in some of my recipes. I eat meat, fish and dairy. That doesn’t mean I don’t also cook, eat 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 some extremely 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.

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 …

Image of Mrs Portly in her kitchen

Picture by Jamillah Knowles

Before I go – the ethical bit: I don’t take money for endorsements (so please don’t ask) and if I say something is good it’s because I genuinely think that it is. I don’t monetise this blog, indeed I pay extra so that you as the reader aren’t bombarded with unwanted ads. This is a labour of love.

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, or to ask me to give a talk to your group, please check out the Ask Mrs Portly page for contact details.

You can find my Facebook page here.

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.

26 thoughts on “Meet Mrs Portly

    • 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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  2. 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.

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

  4. 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 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.

  5. 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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  9. 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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