Monthly Archives: August 2013

A sort of McChicken sandwich

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Sort of” because it’s made of turkey, which isn’t even breadcrumbed, but it is remarkably reminiscent of a McDonald’s chicken burger. I think it’s the oregano that does it. These are of my other half’s devising as something to do with those flat turkey steaks you get in the supermarket but a chicken breast, opened up and bashed to flatten it out, will work just as well. It’s simplicity itself but heartily satisfying for a late summer’s evening (as you can tell from the terrible photo – I wanted to eat it, not take photos of it!). Continue reading


Bramble tart


I don’t appreciate paying for blackberries. At this time of year, when they’re to be had in parks and by railway lines for only the price of a few scratches, paying £3 for a couple of boxes seems perverse. And the berries you get are always oddly large and eerily identical. I am easily swayed though and one look at the recipe for this gloriously purple tart (from Olive magazine again) was enough to make me forget my principles and send me straight to Sainsburys. Continue reading



The Summer after my A-levels, as a young, green, Venture Scout, I headed off to Thiérache in the wild borderlands of Belgium and France. We had to survive on a budget, walk ten miles a day and, amongst other things, try local food. We used to walk into cafes and bakeries in our neckerchiefs and demand whatever the local speciality was, a tactic which was surprisingly effective. We had croissants, black and white pudding (a challenge for my vegetarian partner), chocolates and cider but the best thing of all was a tart made with the local cheese – Maroilles.
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That’s Provence!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou know those smug people who swan off to the south of France in the summer and find delightful little family run places with authentic regional cooking? I am now one of these people. A villa in France has long been one of my dream holidays and I jumped at the chance of a week of cheese, boules and rosé in Provence. Continue reading

Don’t mind being a gooseberry crumble

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve come into some gooseberries. You rarely see these hairy little fruits in the shops and if you do they come in piddly plastic tubs so it’s worth either having a bush yourself or making friends with someone who does. They’ve a short season which is coming to its end so when I heard my husband’s colleague had some going spare, I declared an interest and was rewarded with a carrier bag full of them. Continue reading

Suika no Sherbet: watermelon sorbet


While the weather’s been warm all we’ve been eating is watermelon. Our green grocers sells giant wedges of the stuff and there’s nothing more refreshing than a slice to nibble at. I’ve ruined several T-shirts in the process. This is my second attempt at this recipe; the first met in failure when our freezer gave up the ghost and just left us with some very cold watermelon. Continue reading

Grilled mackerel and sumac


Mackerel, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Fresh, tinned, smoked, raw in sushi; this tasty fish is cheap and relatively sustainable (it’s back on the “fish to eat” list after a brief hiatus). Not only that but since it’s an oily fish it’s healthy too. This simple recipe, with a nod to the Middle East, can be grilled, fried or barbecued and emphasises the mackerel’s natural charms. Continue reading