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

Tiramisu

Like our British trifle, the Italian tiramisu has many variations and no-one can agree on a definitive recipe. Claudia Roden’s version, which I learned to make as a teenager, uses eggs, rum, a single layer of sponge and chocolate sprinkled on the top only. This decadent espresso martini tiramisu recipe from Olive magazine (see theirContinue reading “Tiramisu”

Chicken Laksa

About eight years ago, Oxford Brookes university enlisted our friend Allegra McEvedy (see her Treacle Tart recipe here) to upgrade their student catering. This was one of the delicious dishes she put on the menu – lucky students! It’s a great use for chicken stock if you fancy something other than the usual soup orContinue reading “Chicken Laksa”


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