A office Christmas party without alcohol is basically an after hours meeting. One without an agenda, obvious end time or biscuits. It’s a prospect too horrible to consider. So when our department do hoved into view, I made sure to kick start it with some miracle gin.

“Miracle gin?” you ask, possibly unable to comprehend how much […]

Continue Reading

Back in September a PR got in touch about a campaign Aspall Vinegar were going to run called Pickle With Pride. Simple idea: they send out some pickling kits, everyone pickles things, hashtags it #PickleWithPride and society at large realises how brilliant pickling is and buys more […]

Continue Reading

The run-up to Christmas is better than the day itself. Christmas Day is mostly waiting. As a child, it’s waiting for the clock to tick round to the magic hour when you can run into your parents’ room, screaming “PRESENTS!” and jumping on their heads.

In our house, that was 5.30am. Now my sisters and […]

Continue Reading

During one of my occasional back sweeps through the blog, I realised this recipe had vanished into the sinkhole that opened up when I moved the site from its original home to this shiny new palace. So I’ve rescued it in time for Stir Up Sunday.

This is a Christmas cake […]

Continue Reading

I know what you’re thinking: Bonfire Night is over. You don’t need Bonfire Night recipes any more. What you need are recipes for aspirational homemade gifts, chutney and festive spirits. Then you can file them away till a week before Christmas, when you’ll remember your good intentions, panic and sweep round the shops buying novelty socks, […]

Continue Reading

The infection finally settled in my chest on the same day the fog covered London. I’d been sick for a week by then. Dripping nose, wheezing cough, a throat like hot gravel. A typical cold, in other words. But something had prompted the virus to make a leap for greatness. So it crept into my lungs […]

Continue Reading

Very clearly a breakfast drink

I’ll begin this post with a disclaimer: I know Emma Stokes, aka GinMonkey, the author of The Periodic Table of COCKTAILS. We have drunk more than a little gin together, so the chances of this review being unbiased are very […]

Continue Reading

Great British Bake Off is over, but with my usual tremendous sense of timing, I still have some baking to go if I am going to bake along with the show. Or with the memory of the show, which is what is happening now.

I’m not doing two of the signature bakes. Firstly, […]

Continue Reading

We had a regular roster of meals when I was growing up. If there was roast chicken on Sundays, then there was always chicken soup on Mondays, with fat cloudy dumplings bobbing in the stock. One night would be shepherd’s pie night. A triple layer affair, with a pool of mince and gravy topped with […]

Continue Reading

I have a lot of cookbooks. A lot. And my favourite kind are the ones published in the 1960s and 70s, with a mahogany sideboard, crystal decanter of red wine and horn of plenty spilling grapes everywhere on the cover. They are the absolute best.

The recipes in those books are a glorious mix of […]

Continue Reading