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

Smoking and Curing with Marsh Pig

Image of Marsh Pig productsI’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

Saffron – Worth its Weight in Gold

Image of Three Wise Men crib figures

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

Mrs Portly Goes To Aldeburgh

Image of crowds at the 2014 Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Actually Mrs Portly goes to the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival every year but this year I actually got my hands dirty (literally – egg and breadcrumbs – more on that later) and what a fantastic weekend it was. Continue reading

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Image of Snape Maltings

Image of Snape Maltings by Ashley Dace via geograph.co.uk

The highlight of the Suffolk foodie calendar for me is the annual Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival at Snape Maltings. It’s a non-profit making event designed to showcase the many excellent food and drink producers we have in this part of the world and it’s how I’ve met many of the people who’ve featured on these pages and whose food I have cooked and eaten. Continue reading

Salmon Three Ways

Image of archaeological site at BallingskelligsI lived in Ireland for a couple of years back in the ’90s and although it’s a country I have an abiding fondness for, it’s a long time since I’ve been back for a visit.

Then our friends Anna and Brian invited us to their house in Kerry for a few days and the memories came flooding back – the sights, yes, because Kerry is one of the most beautiful counties in the whole island of Ireland – but also the tastes. Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Top 10

It’s only been nine months since I launched Mrs Portly’s Kitchen, but as it’s traditional round about now to look back over the year, I thought it might be fun to share the 10 most popular posts so far. Continue reading