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. 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 is delicious food that doesn’t take a month of Sundays to prepare. 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 …
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.
Copyright 2013/2014/2015/2016/2017: all rights reserved (pictures and text) except where otherwise stated.