Chicken with Tomatoes, Fennel & Moroccan Spices

British Summer Time ended today, the clocks went back an hour so we all had an extra hour in bed (except of course if you have small children who don’t understand these things) and autumn arrived with a vengeance. Heavy rain and blustery winds raged through the night and into the morning; it was definitely […]

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A Simple French Apple tart

I like apple-based desserts more than any other kind, from a homely apple crumble or pie (which always has to be served with Bird’s custard in my house or there are complaints!) to fancier tarts and cakes. I’ve made little tartlets on flaky pastry, deep-filled tartlets. I’ve made tarts with apple purée on the bottom […]

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Lasagna al forno

  Given my love of Italian food and because I’ve been writing this blog for over nine years now, it’s a bit surprising that I haven’t given a recipe for a traditional Lasagna al Forno before. I’ve given a vegetable version and have talked about making – and eating! – lasagna, but have not given an […]

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A New Look

We all know it’s a time of change and it seems that blogs are not immune. WordPress have discontinued their old classic editor as a way of writing the blog and so I’m having to adapt to a new way. That may not sound like a big deal … but believe me it is. I […]

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Soothing Soups

The long hot summer, which thankfully relieved some of the stress of living through the pandemic as we all learnt to meet in gardens, whether private or public, has fast moved into a wet and windy autumn. If the sun was a comfort in the summer, soup steps in to warm us up and comfort […]

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TV Review: The Great British Bake Off 2020

What a joy to see the return of The Great British Bake Off last night. In the 10 years of its life I’ve moved from liking it in its first incarnation on BBC1, to feeling a bit bored by it and almost giving up watching, to then loving it after its move to Channel 4. […]

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Fresh Pasta with Sausage & Broccoli Sauce

My son Jonathan has been a keen cook since he was small enough to need to stand on a stool to chop and mix ingredients and his sons Freddie (5½) and Benjamin (2¾) are fast following in his footsteps. Thus they were very excited yesterday by Daddy’s new ‘toy’: a super-grade KitchenAid mixer with a […]

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Quiet Kew Gardens

I’ve been a Friend of Kew Gardens for about 30 years. I live only a couple of miles away so these famous – indeed, UNESCO World Heritage Site – Gardens are local to me and where I most often go for a walk. Usually, I can just turn up when the fancy takes me and […]

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Pasta with Cauliflower, Saffron, Chilli, Pine Nuts & Raisins

This is an adaptation of a Rick Stein recipe in his Long Weekends book. I’m particularly attached to this book (and the accompanying DVD of the TV series) at the moment, not only for its great and reliable recipes, but its subject: Long Weekends. Pre-Lockdown I’d become well practised at making the most of a […]

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Four Hens and Some Very Special Eggs

Meet (left to right) Gwen, Mildred, Maud and Gerty. My daughter and her wife recently got four hens. They live in a 16th century farmhouse in Worcestershire, at the end of a long unmade-up road surrounded by farmland. They’re not farmers themselves, but at their home they’ve created a wonderful bucolic living space where they […]

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