Silver not Grey

Yesterday, my daughter pointed out the grey in my hair. She thought she was being helpful. It’s not the only thing I’ve been reminded about this week. For example, the ‘lockdown-logue’ that I’ve forgotten to write. It started last Monday with a tight scrawl. Tuesday saw a looser enthusiasm which tailed off around mid-week, and … More Silver not Grey

Illegible but not Inedible

Yesterday’s fun freezer find was a decade old. The label was a little smudged but read: “Rhubarb and [something illegible] Crumble, 2010.” I asked some friends the question: “Should we?“ There came a mixed response from “Glad it’s not just me!” and “Definitely!” and “Must. Not. Waste. Crumble.” to “2010????????” (which I took to be … More Illegible but not Inedible

Finca Food

El Huerto “Others say it is organic, permaculture, and a lot of other complicated words; for us it is just good food grown with common sense.” Mediterranean vegetables, fruits and legumes grow alongside traditional Flemish ones at the Finca, allowing for a year round production of an enviable list: Gwen and Bart love tomatoes so … More Finca Food

Pilchards

“Hello … hello? Is that you, Becky?” My elderly neighbour is on the line. Her voice is strong and resonant but carries a chord of concern. “I just don’t know how everyone will cope,” she says, “How long is this going to last, do you think?”  Mary is worried, of course, about the coronavirus crisis … More Pilchards

MilkMate

Down the road from where we are staying sits an unassuming (but pretty) ‘shed’ at the side of a driveway belonging to Ottinge Court Farm. Inside the shed are some eggs and an honesty box, a freezer and two huge vending machines. One is named the MilkMate, and dispenses the day’s milk. A brilliant innovation … More MilkMate

Messages from Malawi

“We are eating mangoes now. The picture I have sent is one of our own trees outside our house.“ I wake to messages like this often. They arrive on my phone all the way from Malawi in the middle of the night, at the latest by 5 o’clock, when most Malawians have been up and … More Messages from Malawi

Margret’s Kitchen

Jon chops onions, I take photos, and Margret is sensational in yellow. We are in Margret’s kitchen, to the rear of the house she shares with Kenneth, her husband, and their son, Jonathan, in rural Malawi. It’s the end of a fascinating trip (more of which later). Clean pots and pans wait as fires hot … More Margret’s Kitchen

The Shop

Right next to the bar is the shop. It sells all the usual staples, like daily bread and cheap local wine, hunks of cheese and carefully cured meats. Great wedges of watermelon are piled high in the fridge, dwarfing imperfect red tomatoes of all shapes and sizes. In charge of it all is a super … More The Shop

A bit about Makis

Nelly tells me that Nikos (her son, who fishes) caught them. They drape over a high metal bar (like the top of an old-fashioned swing) under the burning sun. Yiannis (Nelly’s other son) elaborates: they must hang to dry for about 30 hours before they are ready to grill. Nikos will do it simply with … More A bit about Makis