North Norfolk

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

Glazed Beetroot Salad and Beet Leaf Frittata

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

The Waveney Valley

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

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

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