I’m often asked if I’m a vegetarian when invited to dinner, something to do with the pale skin, pet rabbits and slender frame. This sends me into endless offal rants, (my favourite being an evening at St John’s) aimed at shocking and horrifying the perpetrator. It normally works.
My brothers used to call me ‘the gut’ when I was younger, proving therefore that body size has little to do with diet in this instance. From cooking cakes obsessively throughout adolescence (it was far less painful than being a teenager) to living in Sicily for three years where I ate spleen, lungs in a bun and intestines twisted delicately around a spring onion, I have lived to eat.
My mother is my biggest influence and I have much to thank her for: no-nonsense farm food, a seemingly innate knowledge of plucking, jointing, roasting, pasty making and jam boiling. She lived in a time when a whole pig would sit in a ‘bath’ of salt in the outbuildings for winter and when families scalded their own milk to make clotted cream. For me it’s fascinating, for her, it was hard physical labour.
I love food. Count on me to celebrate the best, the little known, the local, the small and the big. I may sound like a fluffy bunny covered in a scattering of bright yellow spice but I have the energy of a horse running with the wind and the tenacity of a buzzard with an eye on a vole. I look forward to sharing my food stories and the stories of others with you.
From Anna del Conte to Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David to Nigel Slater and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, but most importantly my mother, the most influential food figure in my life, I have gathered together a few recipes that link to the blog. Some of the best recipes I have are like a diary of my life, garnered from different parts of the world and different friends who are still scattered across the globe. Eating good food with those that matter the most, preferably outside as the sun is going down with the smell of damp grass and a blanket wrapped around your shoulders, is one of life’s greatest little pleasures. A collection of these follows below: