Unlimited time at home has had me making lists of projects to start (and hopefully finish) around the house. I’ve got plans for the utility room, the kitchen, the living room, the twins’ room, the garden… I also have ideas for how all five of us can productively spend our time, and you can imagine how thrilled the other four people in my family were to hear this.
But, as the saying goes, water seeks its own level, and I find we are mostly just pottering about doing what we always did: a little gardening, a little reading, a little binge-watching, some social media, some dog-walking, and – in my case – a whole lot of cooking. I can’t help myself; it’s what I love and what I do given enough time and a set of ingredients.
In this case the ingredients were 500g grams of delicious salad greens from Sarah at the Walled Garden that were reaching their last usable day, some bits of mozzarella that I had squirreled away in the freezer, and basic pantry ingredients that I always have on hand. Continue reading →
A few years ago, I was tinkering around with a recipe for a gluten-free cake for work. I wanted to make something that didn’t have a gritty rice flour feel or a dense texture and crumb, something that everyone (not just gluten-free people) would really enjoy. I thought I’d hit the jackpot with a recipe for a quinoa chocolate cake, so I made it, and I presented the deep chocolate confection to my waiting family.
You know how sometimes – maybe all the time – you come home at the end of the day and the last thing you want to do is cook? And you know how, sometimes, if you make that little bit of effort with a dish you’ve been wanting to make, it’s all worth it?
Well, this might not be that dish.
First of all, perhaps I should tell you what this dish is: a combination of light and flavourful crespelle (aka crêpes or pancakes) rolled with three types of cheese and whatever garden green you have going at the moment. Then the whole thing is baked together, which doesn’t seem like it should be as good as it is, but it is.
The five of us recently spent 9 days in Rome. Highlights included gelato (as many as four times a day, some days); poking around the Forum trying to find artefacts; the energy of our neighbourhood, Monti, where on the first night we were bemused by the presence of a klezmer band marching up and down the street playing Hava Negelia, and the buzz continued from there; the Colosseum, both in the day and at night, when – as The Son wrote in his journal – “It is a marvel, lit up like a golden monument”; and the constant and abundant supply of good food and wine. The Author also had the opportunity to meet a couple of fellow writers, which is not an easy thing to do when you work from home and have a solitary craft. And I managed to cook for a morning at a restaurant in Eataly.
Leaving one kitchen in one country to go work in another kitchen in another country might not be everyone’s idea of a holiday, but that’s just the kind of gal I am. Anyway, it wasn’t intentional. Continue reading →
Since the first day of spring, we have been waiting for the weather to change and become, well, more spring-like. Yesterday, that happened.
The temperature went as high as 19C (or 66F, as I still think of it), and we all went a little giddy with the relative heat. The kids and their visiting cousins thought it was hot enough to swim and play in the river, never mind that the water comes from pools and springs in the heart of the moor and is a less-than-welcoming temperature even on the hottest days of summer. Continue reading →
Every now and then I succumb and make the family what I think of as “kid-friendly” food, by which I mean things like nachos, individual pizzas, and chicken wings. Bizarrely, now that I think of it, these foods are often thought of as “bar food”. What this says about bar food, or about me, or about what I think of kids’ food, or about anything, I have no idea. We may not want to delve into that right now…
One thing I do know is that small versions of things are charming for us adults, and children absolutely love scaled-down renditions of things from real life. Chicken wings are a perfect example. They are darling miniatures, cute and tidy versions of chicken legs. But as far as I’m concerned, there is one key difference: the small size means that proportionally, there’s more surface area than interior, which means that there’s more sauce per bite. And that translates to a big hit of flavour. Who wouldn’t like that? Continue reading →
One of the things I love best about where we live is the abundance of great local food, and nothing is more local than moorland bacon from our neighbour Sean and organic free-range eggs from our friends 1/4 mile down the lane.
Our little spot in the world. There’s good food to be had in those hills!
But my kids are weird about eggs. They’ll eat them in omelettes, but hate them in quiche. They’ll eat them in Salade Niçoise, but detest them in egg salad. Poached eggs are deemed “disgusting”, but I suppose it goes without saying that the kids don’t mind eggs in custard, or in cakes and in cookies. Continue reading →