Lock-down

My get-up-and-go has got up and gone. The irritating thing is that I can’t go with it. Lock-down affects us all in different ways. I don’t actually mind staying at home but I do miss the creative kick in the pants that cooking for friends gives me. It’s all too easy to default to beans on toast when there’s only two of you. Continue reading

Cheese Plea(se)

If you’re at all interested in food, you’d have to have buried your head in a bucket of sand to have missed the news that there’s a high profile campaign going on to save the UK’s artisan cheese makers. Continue reading

Cultural Collisions in the Kitchen

I try to avoid treading on anyone’s toes when it comes to fiercely guarded cultural and culinary traditions, but when you’re trying not to waste food during lock-down, some strange combinations can result. If I was a famous chef there’d be people with pitchforks and firebrands at my door, or writing angry letters to newspapers, at least. Continue reading

Savoury Granola

I don’t know about you but in spite of my good intentions (mastering the art of watercolour painting, getting to grips with my abysmal French and Spanish language skills, reading improving books), the Coronavirus lock-down has led to me gorging on trashy novels, trashier TV programmes and an awful lot of snack food. Continue reading

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

Hot Cross Buns

An Easter treat, these spicy, fruity yeasted buns are usually in the shops from oh, just after Christmas, but as usual home-made are better if you can spare the time. As so many of us are self-isolating thanks to coronavirus, making them is a pleasant way of whiling away an afternoon, and probably the only way to get your mitts on them with the supermarket shelves being so empty. Continue reading

Home-made Crumpets

Shop-bought crumpets can, as Elizabeth David said with characteristic disdain in English Bread and Yeast Cookery, be “terrible travesties…perhaps…delivered direct from a plastics factory”. Though I’ve eaten my fair share of those, toasted and slathered in butter, home-made are in a class of their own. However, they are tricky to get right. Continue reading