Chicken Sandwich Challenge

Putting my new-found sourdough bread-making skills to use recently (see An Interview with Vanessa Kimbell), I knocked up a quick chicken and mayo sandwich one Saturday lunchtime and was struck – really struck – by how good it tasted, given that it contained so few ingredients. Counter-intuitively, this prompted me to […]


Dining in the dark

DINING IN THE DARK Serving food in complete darkness is a fairly recent public dining concept that has a few adherents and a few restaurants dotted around the globe. Friends went to Dans le Noir in London and reported that the experience was interesting, at […]

a pumpkin destined for the table, not just the gatepost

Not just for Halloween

Flamboyant pumpkins and winter squash come in numerous shapes and sizes, from the cute to the spectacular. Our weather in the UK – lacking reliable late season sunshine – limits how many varieties will successfully grow outdoors, so spare a thought for the famers who […]

vanessa kimbell d -680

An Interview with… Vanessa Kimbell

An interview with Vanessa Kimbell, of We are meeting in Vanessa’s Northamptonshire kitchen, where she takes small weekly classes in the art of bread making. What is your job title, Vanessa? I guess I’d call myself a sourdough and wild yeast specialist. How would […]

Chocolate and hazelnut tart

Chocolate and hazelnut tart

This is easier than it looks and needs to be made one day ahead, which is good for those of us who like to be prepared. Make a chocolate tart case, using a sweet shortcrust pastry recipe with 2 level tablespoons of sieved cocoa in […]

baked figs with goats cheese and bacon

Baked figs

No need to reinvent the wheel, at least for everyday meals. Baked figs with goats cheese and bacon are easy, lush and suitably autumnal.

Yellow plum tomatoes from the garden put to good use

Heritage tomatoes

It’s all about the tomatoes. Yellow plum tomatoes, grown outside and picked this month, just sliced and layered on puff pastry with a scattering of thyme leaves, also from the garden. Plum varieties have fewer seeds and more flesh, which means less chance of soggy […]

360 degree views from the helter skelter

Henley Show: a country snapshot

Henley Show is held in the gently lovely valley of Hambleden; rolling fields and ancient woodland cupped like relaxed hands around a clutch of traditional Chilterns brick and flint cottages, the river Thames dawdling through at its own sweet pace. On this picture perfect September […]

Leave a comment