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 →
It’s funny what you take on holiday. I packed less for a month in India a few decades ago than I did for last week’s break in north Norfolk. Maybe it’s an age thing, maybe it was because we were taking a car and had no luggage restrictions. Continue reading →
Him Outdoors has been growing a mixture of red, yellow and stripey beetroot and for once I managed to dig them up while they were still tiny. They had heroic quantities of fresh, unblemished leaves and I hate waste, so I doubled up on the beetroot to use both tops and roots. Continue reading →
I am the most fortunate of people. I get to live and work in a beautiful (if slightly ramshackle) home with a big garden and a husband who loves growing fruit and veg, in the middle of one of England’s loveliest and most productive counties. For a cook, that’s pretty much nirvana. 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’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 →
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.
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 →