Years of Practice



Big family, small budget

This blog has been percolating 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

Lentil rissoles

During my flirtation with vegetarianism in the early 1990s I learned to make these by experimenting with a recipe from a cookbook in Granny’s impressive collection (I think it was in the Sainsbury’s vegetarian food paperback). The Hungarian paprika flavouring has crept in because we’re often faced with a glut of piros arany, which BabúContinue reading “Lentil rissoles”

Grilled pepper salad

This is very much a family invention and therefore open to as much variation as you like. It’s a colourful accompaniment to a summer barbecue and can be made well in advance. Just save the addition of the basil until just before serving. Red and yellow peppers are easier to peel than green ones (whichContinue reading “Grilled pepper salad”


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