Simple Guide to Planning a Wedding

Just six weeks until the big day. I thought I’d share my thoughts on how to plan a wedding. Find a spouse. The choice is entirely up to you. The one important thing to remember is: they should not be married to anyone else. Choose a venue. Go to venue and choose a date. They…

How to Make Sausages : Beginner Recipe

Why on earth would anyone want to make their own sausages? Mostly, I think, because we can. For me it falls with bread into the category of the things that we could make easily ourselves at home, but are quite happy to let a factory take the strain for us, to the detriment of the…

Honest Recipes: Exploding Rhubarb Soda

  Cookery writers want you to believe they were born knowing how to cook, that making mayonnaise from scratch was something they picked up in the womb, and they learned hollandaise roughly around the time they learned to walk. Some things took longer, like boning a duck, but they had still mastered cooking to a…

How to Make Soft Pretzels (Bier Brezeln)

One of the best things about summer in Austria is spending lazy afternoons in the beer gardens. In Graz, we have some particularly fine ones, but my favourite is on the Schlossberg, the old castle hill. The hill dominates the city, and gives Graz its name, which comes from the old Serbian word Gradec, which…

Rhubarb and Fig Chutney

I love this chutney. So simple to make, and yet such a beautiful combination of tart and mellow, spicy and sweet. A couple of years ago I would never have believed anything this delicious could be made from rhubarb. It is easy to look down on rhubarb, to associate it with sad, soggy puddings, or…

On Old Cookbooks

My Grandmother-in-law’s attic is a fascinating place to spend an hour or two. My mother-in-law is trying, slowly, to empty it of the amassed detritus of a long life, but when I go up to help, it seems I can even less bear to throw anything away than her mother. We found old carved beds,…

Urban Foraging: Wild Hop Shoot Risotto

Elizabeth David wrote about a visit to Italy when she came across an unusual vegetable sold in the markets there. The woman selling it told her that it was called bruscandoli, which is the Venetian dialect word for wild hop shots, known as luppoli in standard Italian. Elizabeth David is a bit of a guru…

Potted Pork Belly with Pistachios

My mother in-law is French, and what’s  more than that, she’s a French cook. So when they come to stay I feel duty-bound to prove to them I’m not making my husband subsist on a diet of boiled lamb and microwaved pizza, the staple diet of the Brit, apparently. The problem is, that when they…

How to Make Soft Cheese (Labna)

I’ve seen many recipes for cheese, and fancied trying my hand at some of them, but then I’ve read the ingredients list; Seventeen Litres of milk and rennet for one small cheese does not seem worth the effort or expense. Then there is the equipment and time involved: thermometers to measure the milk at a…