Irish Wheaten Bread

Image of a loaf of wheaten breadIf you’re ever pushed for time and you want a comparatively quick loaf of bread, this Irish recipe is ideal.

It’s the antithesis of sourdough … no starters lurking in the fridge waiting to be fed, no slow fermentation methods, no stretching or kneading. All you need are a few basic ingredients, a bowl, a spoon, a tin and an oven. It’s bread making at its simplest. Continue reading

Irish Times

Image of view from kitchen sink

This has been my kitchen sink for the past 10 days. The view actually belongs to an old friend, Andy, a man with a sense of humour I have always treasured. When I once got the push from a job, he gave me a clock as a leaving present. Inscribed on the back was ‘tempus fuckit’.  Continue reading

Chicken with Summer Vegetables

This is the lightest, most summery dish and very adaptable to what you have on hand. Please don’t skip the cider, mustard and tarragon though … they are what brings the other ingredients to life and makes your guests reach for hunks of bread to dunk in the delectable sauce.

What vegetables you use depend on what you have handy … as it’s a one-pot dish and the garden is bursting with all sorts of good things, I used broad beans, peas, carrots, baby new potatoes and (the second time around, not shown in the picture below) French beans.  Continue reading

Lobster Salad and the Kitchen Sink

Image of Mike Warner

Mike hauls in lobster pots aboard the Avocet

Some months ago I was having dinner with a group of food writer friends when one let slip that he went lobster fishing and in a rash moment offered to take me with him. It’s a comment he has probably regretted since. Continue reading

Broad Bean and Goat’s Cheese Salad

The end is nigh … the end of the broad bean season, anyway. This is such a simple salad I thought twice about posting it (‘am I insulting the skills of my readers?’) but hey, it’s delicious. It’s as good as a barbecue side dish as it is packed into a lunchbox for work, so here it is as a sort of bonus recipe. Continue reading

In Defence of British Cooking

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

Strawberry Tart

Image of a bowl of strawberries

Cor, look! We’ve had a bumper crop of strawberries this year and it’s been way too hot to make jam, so with friends coming for supper I made a strawberry tart. Few things look more lusciously edible but I have to say I’m not a huge fan of crème pât, Great British Bake Off notwithstanding. The contestants seem to bathe in the stuff. This tart has a much quicker and easier filling and one that I think is nicer to eat.  Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Cookery Classes

Hello everyone.

As regular readers will know, I’m planning cookery courses based at Mrs Portly’s Kitchen here in Suffolk. They will be friendly, relaxed and hands-on, with a maximum of four people per group so you’ll get plenty of personal attention.

There will be, I hope, something for everyone. The two day courses would incorporate visits to artisanal producers, with the option to stay at our beautiful and historic (if sometimes slightly ramshackle) Tudor house with its lovely two and a half acre garden.

I’d be really grateful if you could take the time to complete this short Facebook survey so that I can gauge the extent of interest. (Just click on the first bit – FB’s code is a bit baffling.)

Thank you so much!

Best wishes,

Linda (aka Mrs P).

https://poll.fbapp.io/embed/customer-poll-1883964?api=3.5.1https://code-rubik-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/iframeresizer/3.5.1/host.js