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

Incredible Edible

Today I was intrigued to see veg and herbs growing outside my local town’s council offices. What a brilliant way to use up space often inhabited (as Pam Warhurst says with comedic disdain) by unproductive “prickly plants”.  Incredible Edible is a movement that’s growing (globally), and it’s inclusive: “If you eat, you’re in.” The premise is … More Incredible Edible

The Butcher of Bologna

Our meal is a disappointment. Beautifully presented pasta and delicious melanzane parmigiana, yes, but the atmosphere is lacking and the prices are steep. Our waitress rushes around the sleek surroundings in a joyless and harried fashion, which is something of a surprise in foodcentric Bologna. It’s almost a relief to be out on the street, … More The Butcher of Bologna

Ristorante da Enzo

I’m watered as I examine the restaurant menu hanging at street level. I take it to be an invitation of a sort. Ristorante da Enzo in Modena (a first floor establishment) has windows back and front, dressed by a variety of healthy plants. Responsibility for their welfare falls upon a green-fingered older woman who is … More Ristorante da Enzo

Le Sfogline

Le Sfogline – sisters of pasta. More accurately, it means: those who make sheets of pasta by hand in the traditional way by using a rolling pin (mattarello). Rick Stein met them once (these particular sfogline, who are indeed sisters) and they reminded him that never in Bologna – or Italy for that matter – … More Le Sfogline

Cornish pasty

I’ve known I was a Cornish Pasty ever since I can remember. It’s a family thing, a bit silly, but consider that my parents’ audience (many years ago) was a delighted group of three small kids. We loved that my biggest brother was a Cockney Sparrer, and that my other brother and I were great … More Cornish pasty

Labels, chorizo and falling off the wagon.

Not long ago, my husband and I were discussing food, thinking through weekend meals. I suggested a chickeny something for the Saturday night. My husband agreed that this was a safe bet for the whole family, before remembering that I rarely eat meat nowadays. He said, “You’ve become a vegetarian really, haven’t you?”. Except for … More Labels, chorizo and falling off the wagon.

Israel and his Peaches

I don’t expect Israel to notice me. But his head turns my way while I am still taking pictures, and he stops. Smiling all the way from across the empty road, he leans with nonchalance against his tractor and readjusts his straw hat, happy to strike a pose. Then he beckons – come, cross the … More Israel and his Peaches