Over the years, friends have sought advice about relationships. I’m not an overly qualified – or interfering – agony aunt kind of a person, I just mean those conversations that come up over morning coffees and late night cocktails as people wonder if a particular love interest is working out, are they worth the extra effort and ‘is he or she THE ONE’? One friend, while drawing up a list of pros and cons about their partner, asked how they’d truly know if this was the love of their life and my answer – the fact they were writing that list and even questioning the relationship – was simply, you’ll just know. Yes there will be ups and downs and reasons to feel frustrated with, or maybe even momentarily hate, the most important person in your life, but beyond all shadow of a doubt, that underlying love and need to be together will win out. True love is unconditional, all consuming and inescapable. Continue reading
Candied citrus has never been top of my list of things to make. Maybe it’s being a summer-born baby, but I’ve always been drawn to fresh and ripe over fruit which has been candied, preserved or stewed. I even, shamefully, used to pick the pieces of peel from hot cross buns: it just didn’t do anything for me. Until, that is, I visited Skye Gyngell’s new restaurant Spring and tried her candied blood orange and cardamom ice cream. Continue reading
When was the last time you tried to recreate a restaurant dessert at home?
One of the joys of eating out is the complexity of the dishes on offer. I love to cook and bake but it’s not often I’ll take the time to make the numerous reductions, drizzles and sprinkles that often adorn a single plate. Continue reading
Beautiful, bright oranges bursting with blood red juice
What’s the first thing you look at when you land on a blog post? Do you start at the beginning, slowly savouring each sentence as the author intended, do you skim read the recipe before deciding whether to bother reading the rest of the article, or you more of a pictures person, enjoying and assessing each image as it unfolds?
When I’m writing a post, I always try to keep all three types of reader (though these are pretty broad categories, I’m sure you could break them down into many more) in mind. Words are what come easily to me, but I also make sure to check my recipes, instructions and ingredient lists carefully, and, although I’m still very much a novice in this department, try to take as pretty and as representative photos of my food as possible. Continue reading
Sweet, sharp rhubarb & orange ice compote stirred through a cool, creamy custard
One of the books I’ll turn to time and again when in need of some recipe inspiration is A Year in My Kitchen by Skye Gingell. Inspired by the seasons and full of interesting yet accessible flavour combinations, it manages to be both sumptuous and simple at the same time, and with dozens of beautiful recipes based on a ‘tool box’ of core basics – stocks, spice mixes, flavoured oils, custards etc – it’s something I can’t imagine ever getting bored of. Skye’s enthusiasm for food and avoidance of any overtly cheffy pretension are what really make this book, and my regular use of it is evident in the well-thumbed, slightly spattered pages and rapidly weakening spine.
Surprising, then, that until last weekend I’d not made a single dessert from this book. Looking at my blog you’d likely assume that something sweet would be the first thing I’d want to road test, and while this is often the case – my natural inclination is to scour the index of a new book for sections on sweets and baking – with A Year in My Kitchen I just haven’t felt the inclination. Perhaps it’s the fruity nature of the desserts on offer – I have a somewhat unhealthy in-built radar for anything of a chocolate, caramel or sticky-sweet persuasion – but it could well be that the other recipes have been simply too distractingly good to allow me time to pause and consider pudding. Continue reading