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
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.
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
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
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
I’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
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