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 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

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

Tortilla de Patatas

I want to do what Elena did in her pink frying pan. Tortilla de Patatas. I try to follow her hand-written recipe to the letter, but her careful Spanish script gives directions so succinct they seem too simple for something that tastes of sunshine and salt and melting-soft potatoes. It is a quintessentially Spanish tapa. I dig … More Tortilla de Patatas

Sugar Quotes

In Spain, taking a coffee can be an enlightening half-hour. Especially if you’re going through a rough patch. “Confía en el tiempo, que suele dar dulces salidas a muchas amargas dificultades.” (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra) “Trust in time; it usually gives sweet endings to many bitter challenges” Usually. Thanks, Miguel. Words of wisdom from the great … More Sugar Quotes

Ana Luna

This is Ana Luna. Her character is as warm as the bread she bakes, and her heart is as full as the moon will be tonight (27th July). She sells her pan from behind a small counter at number 37, but photos of her bakery at the back are offered for free. Ana lives two doors … More Ana Luna

The humble potato story

A humble potato – not much to look at – meets a cupful of thyme. The pair realises that times are changing, and so they are. (Scissors, a peeler and a knife are introduced, in a very respectful way). Butter is melted and brought on board, and garlic has a small say too. Sliced, stacked … More The humble potato story