Tag Archives: cooking

Brutti ma Buoni — ‘ugly but good’ cookies (or, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose)

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Four ingredients and ten minutes later, you’ve got cookies!

One thing that has become apparent in lockdown, especially now that the Twins are doing their schoolwork at home, is that everyone needs a computer nowadays. It’s surprising how much I use mine when I think I’m actually doing something else, like cooking, or gardening, or even just reading; I need to look things up, or write things down, constantly, obviously. After forcing our children to basically live the life of Luddites (no phones until you’re 12 years old, no electronic games until you buy them yourselves, very little TV, and definitely no computers when you don’t need them for school, which up until now they didn’t), we are now seeing the following: Continue reading

Chicken Noodle Soup (or, Notes from the Pandemic)

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Chicken Noodle Soup is always good for whatever ails you.

I recently learned that the Beaford Archive, in North Devon, is asking for help to document the day-to-day life of people’s experiences during the pandemic. They are looking for photographs which answer the question:  “What are you experiencing right now?”

Everyone’s setting will be different. You may be at home with children, or with your parents, or caring for someone. You may be a key worker, or helping the  neighbourhood, or working the land. All our lives are changing in ways great and small, and whatever you’re experiencing is worth saving and sharing with future generations.

I’m so pleased that they are doing this. The quotidian life is the one that we rarely see in history, but to me it is what makes history come alive. How people manage their day-to-day existence can be fascinating when you realise just how different it can be from town to town, country to country, century to century. Or in this case, month to month.

In our little corner of South Devon, we are more or less into our fourth week of lockdown (the kids, The Author, and I all started on different days), and we have been able to stay isolated and safe very easily. We are very lucky to be living in this beautiful, rural area, but the enforced seclusion has taken its toll on all of us in various ways. Noteworthy events from last week include:

Continue reading

Turkish Bulgur Salad (or, Necessity is the Mother of Invention)

Turkish Bulgur Salad with Poached Eggs

It’s been about two weeks now that my family have been in lock-down. We are hardly social at the best of times, so the enforced distancing, in our very rural neck of the woods, has meant very little to us. In fact, considering what is going on around the entire world, our lives here are embarassingly pleasant and trouble-free.

Oh don’t get me wrong, there have been some problems: the shops are out of the gin that The Author and I prefer, and we have resorted to a gin with fewer juniper notes. (I know!) And the lack of school for the kids (now actually all teenagers in various degrees of hormonal angst) means that The Author and I have to force them to go outside in the sunshine, otherwise I think they would moulder away with their phones in their withered hands.  Continue reading

Chargrilled Cabbage with Sweet & Sour Dressing (or, How to love January)

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January is the no-man’s-land of the year. It has nothing to recommend it, being – at least here in the northern hemisphere – drab, cold and devoid of holidays. It takes forever to
get to February, when we can start to complain about and/or look forward to Valentine’s Day.

The first of January, on the other hand, comes around way too fast, especially if Continue reading

My 10 Top Tips on How to Make Things Taste Better

There are a few things going on to make these carrot cupcakes delicious, most notably the addition of air.

The Author was teaching The Poppet how to play guitar. His instructions? “Just pick it up and play along with a song you like. That’s how you’ll learn.”

Well, I think I might have a thing to say about that. First of all, if you don’t know how to do something, how can you start doing it? Secondly, how do you get the confidence?

I was thinking about this because it’s similar to telling someone how to cook something. When you’ve done it for a while, it seems pretty easy. “Cook till done.” “Bake till the loaf sounds hollow.” But what does “hollow” mean with a loaf of bread? Continue reading