Few things make you appreciate the passage of time like a baby. This time last year I was five months pregnant, just starting to feel the movement and weight of his little life inside me. Now that (not so) little is careering round our kitchen, shrieking with delight as he masters each new trick. Nino’s lived in the outside world almost as long as he spent in my tummy and October has well and truly arrived with its crisp, bright mornings and chill in the air. We’ve started putting on the heating in the nursery again, our families are discussing Christmas and as the nights draw in I’m seeking comfort in autumnal offerings of squash, spice and all things nice. Continue reading
In a couple of weeks I’ll be half way through my maternity leave. While I appreciate that I’m extremely lucky to be able to take a whole year working on the project that is our delicious baby boy, I also can’t quite imagine the time when I’ll spend a whole day apart from him. The longest I’ve gone so far is four hours at the hairdresser, most of which were spent texting his babysitting Nonna (my Mum) for updates and photos and missing him madly. Six months from now he’ll be sitting, talking, possibly walking, eating real food and showing even more of that fabulous personality we’re seeing more glimpses of every day. Reflecting on how quickly things are changing truly makes me savour every second of these precious days. Continue reading
On Friday, much sooner than anyone had expected, we returned home from hospital. I want to share some thoughts on those crazy ten days (plus the preceding weeks at home, in fact the months since we first found out about Nino’s condition) but my brain is still processing it all. Suffice to say that my faith in human nature has grown with every wonderful nurse, doctor and member of staff that we met and every friend or family member who has supported us so far, and that our tiny twelve week old boy is stronger and more resilient than I could ever have begun to imagine he could be. Continue reading
‘If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.’ – Gail Sheehy
The past few months have been marked by rapid change. My growing belly and the increasingly present little person inside it are testament to the physical, we’re doing up the nursery and spending inordinate amounts of time in John Lewis and on Pinterest, but beyond that there’s a change in attitude too. In eight short weeks – give or take, I’m aware most babies have a habit of arriving on their own terms – we’ll be parents to this living, breathing being. Life, as we know it, will never be the same again. Continue reading
This Thursday just gone we jumped on a plane and spent the long weekend in Seville for some much needed r&r. After a detour to Malaga due to thick mist on the runway, our weather prospects didn’t look great, but two hours later we arrived to a city bathed in autumn sunshine. Having filled our bellies with tapas we decided to skip on cultural activities for the afternoon (if you know us well, it didn’t take much persuasion) and spent the rest of the day sunbathing beside our hotel’s rooftop pool. Continue reading
If you enjoy cooking (and eating), feeding others is a very special thing. Sara wrote a beautiful post about it here; her feelings about how sharing food and nourishing the people around us is an unspoken act of love are so much in line with my own. But for all I love to choose ingredients, spend time in the kitchen and finally sit down at the table to share the spoils with the people I love, sometimes I also need to be fed.
When I was little I loved helping my Mum out with drinks parties. It felt exciting and somehow glamorous to be staying up late, dressing up smart and pushing trays of canapés round a room of grown-ups, eavesdropping on their conversations and sipping soft drinks from my very own champagne glass. And then there was the food – making it in advance with my Mum, arranging salamis and cheese straws on plates or punching cocktail sticks into a melon (this was the ’80s, after all), offering plates of treats to guests and seeing the smiles on their faces with that very first bite. Continue reading
After last week’s cookbook announcement, I wasn’t sure what to post today. Saturday morning was spent perfecting a recipe for fruit pastilles and eating one too many scones (for quality control purposes, of course), so come lunchtime all I wanted was something really simple and savoury. As I sat down to avocado on toast, I realised I’d never posted my version of it in on this blog. A few minutes of photos later and this post was ready to roll. Job done. Continue reading
A whole week has passed since we arrived back from our honeymoon in Bali and I’m slowly coming back to reality. Some might suggest it’s a time for the post-wedding blues but sitting at a desk, daily commute and grizzly grey weather aside (granted, that’s a fairly large aside), reality is pretty damn good when you find yourself married to your best friend and favourite person in the whole wide world.
So much has happened in the last couple of weeks that I’m never going to fit it into one post. There’s the wedding day itself, the food, my thoughts and photos (which we’ll be getting at the beginning of October, I promise to share a few). There’s also two weeks’ worth of adventure on an island thousands of miles away, more photos and a catalogue of delicious meals consumed and new flavour combinations to experiment with. Continue reading
Homemade sausage rolls with fennel seeds & paprika
This week I finally made it down to da Polpo, the latest outpost in Russell Norman’s ever-expanding fleet of New York-inspired, Venetian-style bàcari. I had a great time, and the food was good, but I’m not planning to post a review as I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it all before; thanks to the owner’s prolific presence on Twitter (@polpo), the opening of da Polpo a couple of months ago was one of the most talked about, tweeted and trending topics in the online foodie world.
What I am going to post is a recipe. It’s not for meatballs or pizzette (if that’s what you’re craving, see my earlier post here) but it does involve pork. Salty, spicy, perfectly piggy pork. This recipe is a combination of flavours influenced by two of the highlights of our meal – golf-ball sized pork and fennel meatballs, doused in ever-so-slightly sweet tomato sauce, and pork shoulder pizza, rich and salty with the slight sharpness of pickled peppers. It’s a British interpretation of the Venetian tradition of little snacks or cicchetti; bite-sized mouthfuls of salty goodness to enjoy with a crisp, cold drink. Slightly less glamorous, perhaps, but every bit as delicious.