Have you met Avis Crocombe? You really should. In the 1880s she was head cook to Lord and Lady Braybrooke at Audley End, a lovely old house near Saffron Walden in Essex. But 180 years after her birth she’s come roaring back to life as an internet sensation. Continue reading
My friend – our friend – Matthew Locricchio was the loveliest, warmest, funniest and most generous and talented man. You’ll probably have gathered from the past tense that Matthew is no longer with us. You’d be right but in another way you couldn’t be more wrong. Continue reading
When I first started blogging, I was startled but pleased to find that a whole load of people who sold port-a-loos in the US were devoted followers. At that point, I was pleased if anyone followed me, to be honest. Continue reading
I hadn’t realised quite how much I’d come to hate my job until I lost it. Rather than plunging deep into ‘how do we pay the mortgage’ anxieties I found myself literally dancing round the garden. It took me a full week to come down from that euphoric high. Continue reading
When I was a child we were taught to chew with our mouths shut, to keep our elbows off the table and to ask permission before getting down from our chairs. There were probably more rules but those are the ones that were drummed into me. Continue reading
I’m at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery this weekend and although we’re pretty much guaranteed some delicious meals, with so many overseas delegates in attendance, it made me wonder what they really think about British food.
Our cooking lost its way after the Second World War and P.E.D. (Pre-Elizabeth David) we lived in a culinary wasteland of Brown Windsor Soup, grey meat and soggy veg. Right? Wrong! Balderdash, codswallop and poppycock. Continue reading
I was going to write about strawberries today, with a recipe (how well do you know me?) that inevitably involved fats and carbs on top of, or rather underneath, the fruit. Then I read a post by my friend Nicola Miller, who has just been diagnosed with diabetes, and who now can’t even eat a single juicy peach without doing complicated mathematics and without suffering unpleasant consequences. Continue reading
Truffles are divisive … you either love them or hate them, so if you’re looking ahead for a Valentine’s Day recipe for your beloved, it’s as well to check with them first. My husband once watched, with bemusement and possibly just a tinge of horror, as I troughed through an entire truffle-based menu at a French restaurant, from starter through to dessert. Continue reading
It can be difficult when you’re a food writer to know what it is your readers want. Some people are already expert cooks, others are still amassing knowledge, although of course there are always new techniques, ingredients and recipes to discover for even the most accomplished chef. Continue reading
As an antidote to endless Christmas recipes (guilty as charged) I offer you: Vandal and the Vampire Chickens.
This bit of doggerel arose from a long-ago Facebook photo of one of our cats, Vandal, stalking the hens. But I mis-typed the caption and said he was staking them: cue much FB hilarity and jokes about vampire chickens. One thing led to another and I wrote this. Continue reading