Just over two weeks with our littlest loaf and we’re slowly starting to find our feet as a family of four. In some ways, not much has changed – it’s funny how life with a toddler simply goes on with mealtimes and outings, stories to tell and bottoms to wipe – and in others, nothing will ever be the same again. We have a whole new person to care for and play with, get to know and fall in love with.
When I have a spare moment to think (mostly nursing in the middle of the night, there’s currently not a lot of daytime peace), I’ve been thinking a lot about these two humans who grew inside me. I’ve marvelled before at the capacity of the human heart to expand and continue to do so: this love I feel for my family is infinite and ever-growing. But my time? My ability to devote undivided attention to each child? It’s compromised. I don’t mean that to sound depressing or defeatist but the other night I had a little weep. On days when Luke isn’t around, my little shadow and I have grown into a gang of three which is wonderful and perfect and something I wouldn’t change for the world, but definitely different. Nino has been so incredibly brilliant with his little sister – and I know it’s all part of life, and good for him to learn to share – but on occasion I’ll catch his eye when I’m changing yet another nappy or latched into another cluster feed and I know there’s a part of me he misses. Nobody said this parenting gig was easy. Continue reading →
It feels like a lot of the food I’ve made over the last few weeks is something of a metaphor for the life we’re currently living. I hadn’t planned to post the recipe for this no bake banoffee pie – surely anyone can throw together the basic combination of biscuits, bananas, toffee and cream – but your enthusiastic response to this photo on Instagram got me thinking about what we all appreciate on a day-to-day basis. Not fancy tiered cakes and complicated techniques but the joy of simplicity – the recipe equivalent of slow days snuggling on the sofa rather than a glamorous evening out. Continue reading →
Time both flies and stands still when you have a newborn. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been home from hospital for over a month, that Nino will be six weeks old on Friday and while I feel like we’re really beginning to get to know this little personality, at the same time he changes on a daily basis. Life is sweet, if more than a little sleep deprived, and I know I’ll look back on these weeks in the months to come and wonder where they went. Continue reading →
No new recipe today, we’ve had our hands more than full with this little tyke. But before he emerged into the world, I made a short film with the brilliant guys at Copper Productions which I wanted to share. Now that Nino is here, it’s hard to imagine life before our baby boy but there he was, snoozing inside my eight month bump and providing an excuse for second (ok, third) servings of the pear and pecan treacle tart featured at the end of the video. 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.
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‘There are a million and one directions in my waking hours, but I find there’s a welcome habit in cooking, in the routines of the kitchen around which our lives revolve. It’s what gets us going in the morning and brings us back together each night.’
This is the closing paragraph of the introduction to food blogger Tara O’Brady’s beautiful debut cookbook, Seven Spoons. It’s a sentence that seems to sum up her approach and the way this book will work its way into your kitchen. If you’re into cooking, I suspect that Tara’s is the kind of food you’re already making, but a new improved version, introduced with passion and such elegant prose, peppered with little surprises and tips along the way. Continue reading →
After spending my first year of university in catered halls of residence, I lived in a house with seven of my very best friends for the remaining two. A single oven, fridge and hob between seven meant certain limitations on our culinary exploits and sharing took on a whole new meaning. I’ll never forget the exchange between one friend who discovered that the lasagne she’d lovingly made to share with her boyfriend had mouse-like nibbles taken out of it and the other who – more night owl than mouse – had drunkenly dug into it the night before and then promptly forgot. Continue reading →
When I was a little girl, before the house move I mentioned last week and over twenty years ago, I begged my Mum to paint my bedroom pink.
I can’t remember my exact age at the time (I’m sure I’ll get a fact-confirming phone call or email from my Mum as soon as this post goes live) but I do remember pink being the talk of the playground, my absolute favourite and the go-to colour of choice for everything from pencil cases to t-shirts to bedrooms (and everything in between). Continue reading →
The first time I saw a frangipane mince pie, I fell a little bit in love.
To put this in context, I’m not much of a mince pie eater. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that I’d take chocolate, caramel or creamy desserts over boozy dried fruit any day of the week: an indifference to festive desserts that extends to both Christmas pudding and cake. If a mince pie is all that’s on offer, I’ll probably end up eating it (top removed, filled with copious amounts of brandy butter then replaced) and I do enjoy the ritual of baking them at this time of year, but getting excited about a recipe? It doesn’t tend to happen. Continue reading →