Years of Practice



Big family, small budget

This blog has been taking shape in my mind for many years but I’ve struggled to find the right angle. Should I be positioning myself as a frugal cook, a fusion cook, a busy working mother or a scavenger trying to balance time, health and money? Eventually I homed in on what defines my adult identity: I am a wife, a mother of four and a teacher. The title ‘Years of Practice’ has been my typical response when asked by one of you ‘How do you know how to…?’

So here is a distillation of years of practice in the kitchen, drawing together what I want to pass on to my sons and daughters about the stories and methods behind the food you have eaten as you have grown up. You are all adept cooks yourselves who already have many of these recipes in your repertoire, and you haven’t relished everything I’ve served up to you. Some of my more unpalatable offerings have been banished to the dustbin of family legend, never to be repeated (whisky risotto, the ‘lean’ venison that turned out to be lamb’s liver, caramel salmon). The guiding principle behind my selection has been to record meals which have been enjoyed more than twice by at least two members of our family of six.

I’ll be sharing 100+ recipes, posting weekly over the next two years.

January 2020

Colcannon potatoes

Your father’s recently-confirmed Irish heritage justifies the special place this dish touches in our collective stomachs. We’ve been eating it, typically with sausages and a tomato salad, since 1995, when Delia Smith published her Winter Cookbook, and it has reappeared regularly since we signed up for Oddbox deliveries and found ourselves obliged to experiment withContinue reading “Colcannon potatoes”

Frangipane

This is a really useful recipe to have up your sleeve. The basic almond filling is simple to make and all kinds of fruits combine well with it. Depending on the fruit you use you can play around with complementary flavours (orange zest would go well with figs, for example) and the alcoholic spirit –Continue reading “Frangipane”


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