Regardless of any lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic means few of us will be enjoying an extended family Christmas this year, and opportunities to meet up with far-flung friends and relatives ahead of the holiday are getting harder to organise safely. I suspect a lot of presents will be ordered online and delivered via mail or courier and it’s entirely possible that our Christmas dinner ingredients will be arriving the same way.
What follows is pretty much what I’d love to be given as gifts if I hadn’t already cracked and bought them for myself because of my out-of-control web-based buying habit. (Many of us have explored new hobbies during lockdown and it seems this is mine.) Continue reading →
I am a gadget girl. I love kitchen stuff, with the proviso that it is actually useful and preferably also decorative. I can’t be doing with pointless bits of guff cluttering up my drawers and worktops if I already have a tool to do the job. Continue reading →
I like a good kitchen knife as much as the next person and I’m quite possessive about my favourites. I even asked Santa for a butcher’s saw the Christmas before last. But I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a knife nerd. Continue reading →
I swore blind I wouldn’t buy a spiraliser. Who needs one, I sniffed to Him Outdoors, when we’ve got perfectly good knives/vegetable peelers/a mandolin. It’ll just gather dust at the back of a shelf, I said. Knowing my weakness for kitchen gadgets, he merely raised an eyebrow. Continue reading →
“Heart of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men,” the song says. I don’t know whether our amazing builder James Pollard has a heart of oak but he’s certainly got a heart the size of a house.
He’s just crafted a custom-made chopping block for my new larder and although I can’t say it was a labour of love (his wife would kill me) it’s certainly a gesture of extreme friendship. Continue reading →
I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets and culinary bits and bobs. Like most people I have certain items that gather dust on the back of a shelf or bottom of a drawer but I have my favourites too, things I’d really miss and feel obliged to replace if (heaven forfend) the kitchen burned down. Continue reading →
Me and my Dad at the seaside, him channelling his Kirk Douglas look
Seaweedy swimming togs, sandy buckets and spades and wet towels. Your dad cleaning globs of tar off your feet with a rag dipped in petrol. Being stuck inside a gently steaming caravan with rain drumming on the roof, your siblings squabbling and your parents getting increasingly ratty, while you tried to stay between the lines in your colouring book with wax crayons that were too fat and clumsy and broke at the wrong moment.
You wouldn’t think it was possible to get that nostalgic about a family holiday on the east coast of England, where the weather was famously “bracing” when it wasn’t actually raining. Continue reading →