Wakes Cakes

Wakes Cakes

Wakes cakes are a specialty of northern England and in particular the mill towns that where at the heart of the cotton industry. The odd thing is they're biscuits, not ‘cakes’. Biscuits with a very unusual but pleasant hit of liquorice flavour from the caraway seeds. In some places they would also … [Read more...]

Plum Chutney

Opal Plums

Noisy, chaotic, scruffy and yet irresistible. I love street markets. Rows of stalls selling everything from herrings to hummus. I can't help but come away with a bulging shopping bag and a head full of recipes. Thursday is market day on the 'Wilhelminaplantsoen' in the centre of Bussum. I've just … [Read more...]

For the love of pie

Apple and Blackberry pie

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, especially when it comes to pie. Just like Dennis's pal Pie Face from the British comic the 'Beano', I'm mad about pie, and in particular meat pie. There are few things I enjoy more than tucking into a freshly baked steak pie. My mouth is watering just … [Read more...]

Learning to love Beetroot…

Beetroots

I don't like beetroot. I've been telling myself this for years. The thing is I couldn't say what I dislike about them. Apart from a tentative nibble, I'm not sure I've ever eaten one. "How do you know until you've tried them?" Sofia asks. My fatherly advice coming back to bite me in the butt. … [Read more...]

A taste of summer: Elderflower Cordial

featured_image_Elderflower_cordial

The elder flowers are in bloom, it took a while but the large creamy-white blossoms are ripe for the picking. For the past few weeks I've been passing by, looking in anticipation at the large bushes near my home, waiting for the right moment. The moment when I could harvest these wonderfully … [Read more...]

Fabulous potato dishes: ‘Tartiflette’

Reblochon cheese

For the last week I've been holidaying at my parent's house in Cascastel, amongst the rolling hills of the Corbières. This southern part of France and the Languedoc in particular boasts some truly wonderful dishes. Local specialities such as 'Bourride' (fish stew with aïoli); 'Confit de Canard' … [Read more...]

Off topic and off to France…

Cascastel-des-Corbières

"Where's the food?" I hear you say, "isn't this blog about cooking?". And you'd be quite right. This post, I'm afraid to say, is somewhat off topic. Not a recipe to be found. Instead I'd like to share with you a little corner of France that is my home for the next week or so.  I've been coming to … [Read more...]

The thing about pancakes…

Scottish Pancakes

Until quite recently I was useless at making pancakes. Admittedly, I obstinately refused to follow a recipe. Surely I could knock-out a simple griddle cake without the need for instructions? How hard could it be? Apparently you can't just whisk-up eggs, flour and milk and pour the resulting batter … [Read more...]

The “tastiest” museum in Holland

featured_image_bakers_museum

Last weekend, on a bright but cold spring afternoon, my family and I visited the historic town of Medemblik. A forty minute drive from Amsterdam, this mediaeval harbour town is situated on the IJsselmeer, originally part of the North Sea. Medemblik is home to, amongst other attractions, the baker's … [Read more...]

Shortcrust pastry: a taste of home

Shortcrust pastry

Nothing quite reminds me of home as much as the taste of shortcrust pastry. The crumbly, melt in the mouth texture never fails to make me nostalgic: memories of brightly colored jam tarts and pies filled with home grown fruit. Childhood favourites, baked by my Mother and on occasions my Grandmother. … [Read more...]

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