Mincemeat almond slices

No mince pies before December! Once it’s December though, BRING THEM ON. I blummin’ love ’em. This is a Lazybones twist on the mince pie…

Lamb hotpot

I haven’t made hotpot for years but it seemed a perfect project for an autumn afternoon: a quick bit of prep, then several hours of long slow cooking and a house full of savoury smells. Two things in my fridge suggested this dinner: half a bunch of mint (still about twice the size of those…

Ugly delicious: lentils with sausage

Some meals do not lend themselves easily to Instagramming, and this is one of them. Admittedly I could have used a more photo-friendly plate; maybe garnished with some fresh greenery; sliced the sausages at an alluring angle. But I’m not making art, I’m making dinner. It tasted great, cut washing-up to a minimum, and was…

Quince jam

There is one good thing about driving in Reading’s appalling rush-hour traffic: the long stationary periods on my way to work give me plenty of time to check out what’s new in the shops I pass. This week it was the fact that the Turkish grocers had beautiful, knobbly, yellow, new season quinces in. I…

Boiled fruit cake

In our house, there is a ritual that happens around Christmas, when my daughters come home, go through the cupboards, and accusingly wave bars of chocolate at me with one square eaten.

Hedgehog cake

Something which turned up fairly regularly on our childhood tea table was what my nan called Hedgehog…

Holiday cooking and eating

I suspect whoever first said that all you need to cook well on holiday is a good sharp knife was thinking of the kind of holiday let that does not site the sink, cooker and fridge in three different rooms.

Backstage at the Festival

We’re a week away from the start of this year’s Reading Festival. I would say Reading is conflicted rather than divided over the festival. Of course, there are people who just hate it. But most I suspect are like me: it’s a toss-up between the excitement of seeing our town transform for a few days,…

Three fat owls

Meet Blinky, Snowy and Sunshine – three fat crochet owls. Easy to make, ideal beginner project, free pattern.