Sardina Pilchardus

It sounds a bit like something Harry Potter would shout, pointing his wand desperately as the minions of evil swarm towards him in the nether regions of Hogwarts. It is, however, the Latin name for the European pilchard, known for marketing reasons these days as the Cornish sardine (or as Voldemort might say, ssssardine). Continue reading

Sesame-crusted Miso Cod

Image of Mike Warner and Chris Wightman

I’m lucky to have some very good fishmongers in my part of the world, including Chris Wightman from Maximus Sustainable Fishing. That’s him on the right in the photo, with Mike Warner from East Coast Avocet, at Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival. You can’t tell from my picture but they won Best Stand, a tremendous accolade given the number and quality of producers attending. Continue reading

Venison Tagine with Squash and Prunes

People keep telling me autumn is underway, and according to the weather experts in Britain’s Met Office it started on September 1st, but they just carve the year into quarters to make their statistics easier to calculate. Clinging to summer, I prefer to stick with the old astronomical calendar and by that measure, the seasons change on the 22nd. That doesn’t stop me wanting autumnal food though.  Continue reading

Fennel, Cheese and Onion Tart

We once bought such an enormous plant at Columbia Road flower market in London that we had to stick its top out of the car sunroof and people were laughing and taking pictures on their mobiles as we drove by. I was reminded of this when my friend Lindsey from The Eating Tree gave me two fat fennel bulbs recently. I wish I’d taken a picture before I trimmed them, because they had such magnificently verdant fronds, they looked as though they were sprouting their own forest. Continue reading

Irish Times

Image of view from kitchen sink

This has been my kitchen sink for the past 10 days. The view actually belongs to an old friend, Andy, a man with a sense of humour I have always treasured. When I once got the push from a job, he gave me a clock as a leaving present. Inscribed on the back was ‘tempus fuckit’.  Continue reading

Chicken with Summer Vegetables

This is the lightest, most summery dish and very adaptable to what you have on hand. Please don’t skip the cider, mustard and tarragon though … they are what brings the other ingredients to life and makes your guests reach for hunks of bread to dunk in the delectable sauce.

What vegetables you use depend on what you have handy … as it’s a one-pot dish and the garden is bursting with all sorts of good things, I used broad beans, peas, carrots, baby new potatoes and (the second time around, not shown in the picture below) French beans.  Continue reading

Lobster Salad and the Kitchen Sink

Image of Mike Warner

Mike hauls in lobster pots aboard the Avocet

Some months ago I was having dinner with a group of food writer friends when one let slip that he went lobster fishing and in a rash moment offered to take me with him. It’s a comment he has probably regretted since. Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Cookery Classes

Hello everyone.

As regular readers will know, I’m planning cookery courses based at Mrs Portly’s Kitchen here in Suffolk. They will be friendly, relaxed and hands-on, with a maximum of four people per group so you’ll get plenty of personal attention.

There will be, I hope, something for everyone. The two day courses would incorporate visits to artisanal producers, with the option to stay at our beautiful and historic (if sometimes slightly ramshackle) Tudor house with its lovely two and a half acre garden.

I’d be really grateful if you could take the time to complete this short Facebook survey so that I can gauge the extent of interest. (Just click on the first bit – FB’s code is a bit baffling.)

Thank you so much!

Best wishes,

Linda (aka Mrs P).

https://poll.fbapp.io/embed/customer-poll-1883964?api=3.5.1https://code-rubik-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/iframeresizer/3.5.1/host.js