Kitchen garden update

This is supposed to be a blog about making things easy, and gardening in the UK has not been easy for anyone this year.


Coconut milk granita

The ice cream van never stops here. It whizzes past, breaking my heart by singing its siren song to the houses behind us.

Gazpacho for cheats

When it’s as hot as it’s been recently, I crave gazpacho. This means confronting a few problems.

We want pockets!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you say “Nice dress!” to a woman wearing a dress with pockets, she must put her hands in them and swing the dress about saying, “Thank you! Look – pockets!” This is the Pocket Frock Law.

Almost instant mackerel pate

I had complaints that my recipe for chicken pie wasn’t easy enough. So here’s one no-one can complain about, and no boring preamble either.

Chicken pie wars

In our house, chicken pie is not just a tasty dinner. It is the site of a complex culinary war over the supremacy of childhood memories.

Glorious Great Dixter

We turned off the road before the sign for Great Dixter for years. But today, we took the other road and found a place of garden magic…

Necessity pesto

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. Never is this more the case than when you have succumbed to those beautiful, scented, (and crucially) HUGE bunches of herbs in the Asian grocers.

Cheese, Reading and the twitterati

I decided that this year I’d make more of an effort to see people in real life, not just on social media. Apparently that’s easier said than done.

Unexpected strawberry jam

First I discovered we’d run out of strawberry jam, two months before peak strawberry season. Then Tesco mysteriously started selling large jam-making-sized boxes of strawberries. Jam-making it is, then.

Meatballs with polenta

Apparently Raymond Blanc once said that cooking food in a microwave for your children is “an act of hate”. Now I bow to no woman (except possibly my sister) in my love for Papa Blanc, but in this case we must disagree. It’s well-established in my household that I express love through food, and my kids were frequently well-fed from the microwave.