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

Not Just For Christmas

Image of free-range turkey

What do you cook for a big family birthday or – very apposite at the moment with all the university degree results coming through – a graduation party? Of course you could just take all your teens and twenties out for fish and chips or burgers or go upscale and take a select few to a posh restaurant.

But if you’re catering for the masses Continue reading

Wild About Food

Image of funghi growing in the woods

Pretty but inedible (I know now)

Like a lot of Brits I’m leery about picking wild mushrooms. Hedgerow fruit, no problem. Wild garlic, absolutely. But in spite of the fact that I often picked field mushrooms with my dad when I was a child, I’m funny about funghi. Too many Agatha Christie novels at a formative age, perhaps, along with a yawning gap of ignorance.

“Mushrooms have got a bad PR agent, that’s all,” says Carl Shillingford Continue reading

Aldeburgh 2015

Image of Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Copyright Bokeh Photographic

As I write, there are just 24 hours to go to this year’s Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival. For us festival-goers it’s a day out but the producers who man the stalls will have been slaving for weeks to make sure they’ve got enough product to sell and hoping it flies off the stands. Continue reading

Woodbridge Tide Mill

Image of Woodbridge Tide Mill

I’ve always had a fondness for water mills – it was my ambition as a child to one day live in one – but I’d never heard of a tide mill until I came to Suffolk. There’s probably a good reason for that – it is thought there are only five left anywhere in the world that are in working order and still grinding wheat to make flour. Two of them are in the UK and one of them is in Woodbridge in Suffolk. It’s a rare and lovely piece of industrial history. Continue reading

Smoking and Curing with Marsh Pig

Image of Marsh Pig productsI’d been bumping into Jackie and Sarah from Marsh Pig Salami at farmers’ markets and food fairs for a while and I’d tried their award-winning products and liked them. Then I noticed a tweet from Jackie talking about their curing and smoking course. They had a curing and smoking course? I wanted to be on it. Continue reading

Saffron – Worth its Weight in Gold

Image of Three Wise Men crib figures

It wouldn’t surprise me if yet-to-be discovered scrolls revealed that saffron was among the gifts given by the Three Wise Men that Christmas long ago. Forget frankincense and myrrh, ounce for ounce, good quality saffron actually costs more than gold. It’s the world’s most precious spice. Continue reading

Mrs Portly Goes To Aldeburgh

Image of crowds at the 2014 Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Actually Mrs Portly goes to the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival every year but this year I actually got my hands dirty (literally – egg and breadcrumbs – more on that later) and what a fantastic weekend it was. Continue reading

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Image of Snape Maltings

Image of Snape Maltings by Ashley Dace via geograph.co.uk

The highlight of the Suffolk foodie calendar for me is the annual Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival at Snape Maltings. It’s a non-profit making event designed to showcase the many excellent food and drink producers we have in this part of the world and it’s how I’ve met many of the people who’ve featured on these pages and whose food I have cooked and eaten. Continue reading