Freezer Diving

What’s in your freezer? Probably less than there was a few weeks ago, thanks to coronavirus and shortages of some foods. You perhaps only have a tiny icebox at the top of your fridge but if you live miles from the shops like I do, the chances are that you have a fairly big freezer and you are unearthing a few surprises, especially if the label’s fallen off. Continue reading

Cabin Fever and Cooking With Kids

As I lay in bed yesterday, serenely drinking my fourth cup of tea, I pondered what recipes I could share with parents struggling to cope with having the kids home 24 hours a day. The answer? I can’t. I have no clue what special hell you’re going through. Continue reading

Don’t Tell Me To Keep Calm And Carry On, I’m Liable To Thump You

Frankly, if someone gave me a “Keep Calm” mug right now I’d probably feed it them. Forcibly. And I might not be fussy about which orifice I chose. I’m so cross about the hoarding, panic buying and general stupidity, I’m done with being polite about it. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day

I’m always a bit flummoxed by Valentine’s Day. What constitutes the perfect dish for a romantic meal? It’s so subjective. It’s often assumed that women will want something chocolatey and flowery and yet at a lunch with friends recently it was one of the men who plumped for the chocolate pudding. What of those of us who prefer savoury to sweet? It’s a quandary. Continue reading

January Blues and Green Shoots

I do not love winter. While other people are out making snow angels (or failing that,  fallen leaf angels, the hussies) I am sitting indoors doing my Victor Meldrew impression. I don’t like the long, dark nights and miserable weather and I can’t bear all the pious lectures we’re subjected to after the Christmas jollities. Continue reading

Enjoying Christmas

I was going to call this Surviving Christmas but that felt too miserable and Scrooge-like. I’ve just read Jay Rayner’s account in Observer Food Monthly of his family Christmases, past and present (the story of his mother un-stuffing the turkey is priceless). He says people expect something magnificent of him, being a food writer, but in fact he has simplified the festive meal. My family goes one further. Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Kitchen Classes Are Here!

It’s official! Mrs Portly’s Kitchen Classes are up and running! Well, they’re up, in that the website has gone live. They start running in January, just in time to put a gift voucher on your Christmas list. 🙂  Continue reading

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