Ten years ago, we lived in an old wooden farmhouse in Vermont. It sat at the top of a slope that rolled down to a lazy river, and in the middle of the slope was a huge and ancient apple tree, the variety of which we were never able to establish. Long before we had kids, on one of The Author’s birthdays, friends of ours shimmied up the tree and installed a swing for us to play on. The ropes of the swing were about 20 feet long, and because the tree was on a hill, when you swung even a little bit, you all of a sudden were about 8 feet in the air. If you pumped your legs vigorously, enough to get the swing so high that your toes could touch the dangling apples on the branches above, well, you were very high up indeed. It was thrilling, if not a bit terrifying. Continue reading →
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.
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 →
Winter is the time for lemons. That makes me very happy, because that is the time that I crave them most. I don’t know if it’s because I need the vitamin C, or if the lack of sunlight makes me appreciate the lemon’s visibly sunny character, or if it’s just that after a few months of heavy food, my palate is craving a vacation.
I have a lot of recipes for things with lemon, but in terms of making dinner, Caesar Salad ticks all the boxes: Continue reading →
According to some sources, like me, these count as part of a balanced diet.
When I was about 7 or 8 years old, my mother read an article that stated almonds had all sorts of health benefits. (My mom was very keen on healthy food, and later went on to cook up all sorts of things for us from Adelle Davis‘ “Let’s Eat Right To Keep Fit” and “Let’s Cook it Right”. Which meant that we had to have wheat germ on everything, powdered milk became a commonplace ingredient [why? WHY?], and we for some godforsaken reason had to have Brewer’s Yeast in our orange juice. The Author reports that his own mother went through a similar healthy food tyranny and says that every day before school he was fed a spoonful of malt extract with cod liver oil. Now that I think of it, I got off easy.) But back to the golden years… 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 →