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

Fish cakes

This is a useful recipe to have up your sleeve. Fish cakes are a versatile dish: they can be made with leftovers but also from scratch, and can be seasoned with whatever herbs you have. They can also be padded out with spring onions or vegetables (peas or leeks, for example). Salmon looks pretty butContinue reading “Fish cakes”

Lemon Chicken

A cornerstone of the weekly menu, this dish is based on a recipe in Nigel Slater’s book Real Food, published in 1998. It has undergone a number of modifications over the years – we use only the leg pieces, for example, rather than a whole chicken cut into portions. Allow at least two pieces ofContinue reading “Lemon Chicken”


Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.