Saved by the conservatory

For all sorts of reasons, I’m pretty sure 2019 will not be number one top year ever for most people. For us it’s been extremely difficult for a number of mostly health-related reasons (our own and other relatives), and continues to be as we deal with the consequences of these. We haven’t been able to…

Four-ingredient banoffee pie ice cream

You know that nursery rhyme about Jack Sprat? He could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean. In this house we’re both pretty keen on a bit of properly rendered, flavour-hogging fat, but we do have a problem with bananas. He prefers to eat them green, I only like them almost over-ripe. Consequently…

Sugar roses: a quick tutorial

When I was about 10, I urged my nan to let me make a birthday cake for her best friend, our neighbour Mrs Larcombe. The cake was a Victoria sponge, sandwiched with my nan’s homemade jam, and decorated to look like a straw boater hat with butter icing marked with a fork for a woven…

Iced green tea with apple

Here’s a super-quick recipe for sunny days. Last summer I posted the recipe for my new favourite drink, with was iced tea with lemon. This year I’ve got a variation on that which is just as good, if not better. I’m a big fan of Turkish apple tea but it can be toothache-ingly sweet. This…

Going out for home cooking

One of the most interesting things about Reading’s recent rise as a location for excellent independent eating opportunities is the number of places that have women in a leading role: running, cooking and/or front of house. On the excellent Explore Reading, Claire Slobodian wrote about some of these women in a piece published for International…

Project Sourdough: the first loaves

I wrote earlier about my first steps into sourdough baking: making a starter (named Igor by my husband). I was planning to wait till it had had a week of growth before I tried baking with it – but I just couldn’t hold out any longer. So on Day 6, I mixed up my first…

Rhubarb and ginger shrub

A mild obsession with rhubarb and ginger gin and tonics + discovering a stash of frozen rhubarb in the freezer from last year led me to a little light Googling for a recipe for rhubarb shrub. The resulting delicious cordial is an adaptation of Newton and Potts’ recipe in a Guardian article on Christmas gifts….

Golden bloomer loaf

As my previous post explained, I’ve started the long and patient process of creating my own sourdough starter, dubbed Igor by my husband. It’s a thrilling process, rather like growing plants from seed but at an accelerated pace. And the comparison is not that fanciful; after all, both are living things. The bit I’m not…

Project Sourdough: getting started

I recently had a big life change which has (at least temporarily) meant I’m at home a lot more. Making sourdough bread from scratch is one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do but kept putting off on the grounds that I needed more time to focus on it. So this week I…

Roasted vegetables with bulghur wheat

Sometimes I forget that things I’ve been cooking for so long that I do them on auto-pilot are not necessarily things that other people cook all the time. It is so with this dish which a friend asked for the recipe for. I also suspect that roasted vegetables are a bit out-of-fashion at the moment….

Savoury flapjacks

The last recipe I posted for Fruity Flapjack Squares was instantly popular, but one friend noted that she preferred savoury to sweet…

Fruity flapjack squares

It’s always good to have a super-quick standby recipe for unexpected visitors and this is a good ‘un: ten minutes to put together, then half an hour in the oven. These flapjack squares are highly adaptable to what you have available to put in them. In the past I’ve used a variety of jams, stewed…