And the winner is…


Well, what a delight it has been to read all of your replies to my Canteen: Great British Food competition. A real British banquet. Roasts featured heavily – beef, pork and chicken. There were puddings of all kinds – from Yorkshire (with and without ‘toad’) to shepherds’, bread and butter, sticky toffee and summer ones, pasties, fish and chips and Cromer crab, Anglesey eggs and omelette Arnold Bennett. A real yah boo sucks to those who say we have no real food culture.

I loved Kath’s thrifty description of a roast beef feast which transformed itself into dripping on toast, bubble and squeak, stock then doggy treats. So Kath, I have a nice runner up prize for you, a lucky dip from my cookbook collection.

But then Alex T  stormed in with his trippyfabulous banquet of egg and cress sandwiches, sausage rolls and Texan bars and a fondly remembered family lunch of steak and kidney pie, peas and Jersey Royals followed by strawberries with condensed milk and sugar. Any man who, in a delirious state, imagines himself to be a sausage sandwich, deserves a treat. So Alex T, this one’s for you.

Help Haiti

Since Wednesday, I have been thinking about what I could write about the earthquake that doesn’t sound woefully trite. I don’t have the words. I know that the pictures in the newspaper and on television pull my heart right out of my chest. I am making a donation to Action Against Hunger’s Haiti appeal . Ninety percent of their donations go directly to their field programmes. There are many other charities desperate for anything you can spare. The Times has an excellent list of reputable charities working in the region, including the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

Thank you…


This morning, I woke to a wonderful surprise. Lady P, châtelaine of , has given me a Lovely Blog award. Do go and visit her in her delightful, thoughtful world of colour, cupcakes and whimsy.

I hardly imagined, when I began my blog a couple of months ago, how much fun it would be sharing my recipes. It still amazes me that I can cook something, shoot it, post it and – while it’s still cooling on the counter – I might get a comment about it from places as far away from my North London kitchen as Australia or America. For an instant gratification kid like me, it’s thrilling.

I’m supposed to pass the love around and nominate favourite blogs of my own. I’ll do that in a few days but for now, I was trying to think of a way to say thank you to Lady P. She lives near Seattle so I thought a cup of coffee might be appropriate. This isn’t just any cup of coffee, but the best cup of coffee in London, possibly the world. I’m not kidding. It was made by Gwilym Davies who sells coffee from a cart in our local flower market every Sunday morning and in April he was crowned World Barista Champion in Atlanta. It seems like a suitable gift for a Lady.