• Perfect Picnics

    Picnics should be one of the simplest of pleasures, needing no more than a rug and a sandwich, the latter enhanced to gourmet standard by the open air, surroundings, company and the novelty of eating with sand or grass between one’s toes. But somehow these days they often seem to turn into altogether more elaborate affairs which are less about the picnic itself and more about the event they are taken to. Whether it’s at the races or school sports days there are always sights to be seen in the carpark at lunchtime. Out come the tables and chairs, table cloths, vases of flowers, wine buckets and even, I kid you not, candelabra.

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  • Elderflower

    Having spent a happy May afternoon picking elderflowers and turning them into a gorgeous cordial, I can now reap the benefits and start using it in all manner of ways. My children would be quite content to save the whole batch for drinking over the summer; one likes it with very cold still water and the other definitely with fizzy. Either way an ice cube and sprig of mint turns it into an incredibly refreshing cooler. But it would be a shame to limit its use to this when it is such a fantastic and versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in so many different guises.

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  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

    A couple of weeks ago my father went to a restaurant for lunch and ordered a prawn and chorizo linguine. He loved it so much he asked the waitress if it might be possible to have the recipe. The chef wasn’t quite prepared to give everything about the dish away but was generous enough to pass on a list of the ingredients which had gone into it. And then my father phoned me! Please, he asked, would I come up with a set of instructions so that he could recreate that delicious plate at home?

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  • Glorious gazpacho

    Summer is most definitely here and the last two days have been positively scorching. After the relief of the rain last week it's a shame that the ground is drying out again and everything in the garden is beginning to look a bit parched. But every cloud (or lack of) has a silver lining and today's blistering sun made me yearn for a deliciously chilling Gazpacho.

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  • Easter Entertaining

    At Easter, when you’re likely to have a house full of family for at least some if not all of the long weekend, there is inevitably going to be a lot going on in the kitchen. Having made it through lean lent, it is an opportunity for indulgence; a chance to enjoy those treats which we might have denied ourselves for the preceding 40 days, and many other delicacies besides. The festival atmosphere is enhanced by the arrival of Spring, the longer days and budding gardens, and in our house the mood of celebration is inevitably articulated in the kitchen where the table groans under the resulting fare.

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Welcome to my blog

I'll be blogging regularly to keep everyone up to date with how things are going with the cookery demos and including lots of tempting recipes. Let me know what you think!

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