Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Do you ever get those days when you are working so hard that you forget how hungry you. Incidentally I get this with needing the loo too. But back to the hunger: all of a sudden you are so famished that you feel you might keel over. These are the times for instant food. What I mean by this is food that this instantly delicious and fulfilling (and Oreos for pudding, why not). Today I had just one of these light headed hunger strikes. To remedy the situation, and given that I had practically nothing in my kitchen, I made a wicked hash with fried potatoes, strips of red pepper, lots of garlic and a few eggs. With a little brown sauce on the side, this was just the ticket.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Pancake day always arrives earlier than I think. But then, I forget whether it's summer or Christmas most of the time. So there it was, sprung upon us, but without spring. To make a change, we made savoury ones stuffed with Spinach, B├ęchamel sauce and three cheeses (Feta, Pecorino and Lancashire for a worldly combination).

We popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes, and ate with a plain cos salad.
Needless to say, pudding was also pancakes, but the more traditional ones that really make the heart sing - just plain old lemon and sugar. It takes you right back doesn't it?

Monday, February 15, 2010


It's strange having published a book. You hand in this piece of work that has taken years to formulate, as if it's set in stone. And then those recipes are cooked exactly as you have described by complete strangers. The pleasure is meeting the people that have bought Spooning with Rosie, and talking to them about what they have cooked, which recipes are their favourites and which ones work best.

I continue to cook the recipes in the book, but like all recipes, both before and after publication, they continue to evolve. I've recently started baking a lot of Marmalade Muffins, but have added to the original recipe, adding pumpkin seeds to the top, that gradually roast during the baking. I wish I'd thought of this at the time! But here they are, just so you know.

And I have got a new hot tip for you too. Today I made a French Lentil Soup. The left over celery leaves were difficult to think what to do with. But I put them in a tart with blue cheese, St Agur, and they were pungent and fantastic and totally waste-not-want-not.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


Failing a holiday far far away, we went to Deal the other weekend. It certainly wasn't sweltering but it certainly was lovely. This is a town I feel much fondness for - it's run-down-ness and that it has lots of junk and charity shops. And it doesn't boast shops selling made to look old tat either, which is a great relief. I suspect that the pebble beach puts a lot of Londoners off which is fine by me.

This sort of a break prompted foods that are hearty and wholesome and require long cooking (we had nothing to do but read and cook for 4 days which was bliss). The first munch was a very British snack of sour cheddar on bread with chutney.

But what I really had my heart set on was a deep red fish soup of the European variety. We made a stock with scraps from the fish monger and bought flakey white fish to add later on. It was delicious.

Of course a seaside trip would not be complete without fish and chips. These were from the sea front and were 'banging', as Raf would say.

I was determined to visit Deal's lovely Black Douglas cafe also. A favourite pursuit of mine is to nip off early and get coffee and treats. It's always a solo delight, and I usually do some writing while I'm at it, savoring someone else's food for once. Having been single for most of my life, these solitary pleasures remain important and private and as much a delight as ever. I had a cardamon cake and a really good coffee and worked away on ideas in my little note book, staring out to sea. It was grey and blustery and was as good as any foreign trip.