All posts filed under: Sweet things

Crêpes

We used to have pancakes once a year at home, on Shrove Tuesday, when the squeezy Jif would appear at the table and my mum would stand at the stove, grumbling about what a fuss they were to cook. English pancakes were never a breakfast thing. I only remember them with the backdrop of a cold February evening, rolled up tight with lemon and sugar, a little damp, a little thick. A couple of Saturdays ago I broke tradition and cooked them for brunch. It was all because of Tiphaine really, my lovely French coworker, who gave me a hand-written recipe for crêpes – the English pancake’s superior cousin.  I’d asked her what her favourite childhood meal was, and like a good Breton she told me it was crêpes. More so now that she’s been in London for sometime, because they remind her of home and weekend breakfasts. It’s funny how moving away from a place draws us closer to the simple foods we grew up with, and more often than not, to one of our national or regional Read More

Banana Bread

It was in a cold greengrocers that Jane Grigson first taught me about fruit. Every Saturday morning I would take her book down from a shelf and learn about the the history of the quince or how best to cook medlars. Jane helped me fall in love with ingredients. She also made working in an unheated greengrocers slightly more bearable for a fifteen-year-old with a hot water bottle permanently shoved up her jumper. As I read more and more in my breaks between serving customers, I came to look forward to new seasons in the fruit and vegetable calendar. September was my favourite month, when customers would bring in baskets of apples for us to sell. It was the Discovery first -a small, sweet apple with a deep crimson flush, and then the Worcester. By the end of the month we had dozens of varieties, piled high next to punnets of foraged blackberries and trays of patty pan squash. I always took the over-ripe fruit home with me. With Jane Grigson’s guidance I made apricot Read More

Carrot Cake

We’re veering dangerously close to March and I’m not at all happy about it. I don’t want to write my dissertation (on conceptions of sufferance in the 12th century – What fun!), whilst also juggling a couple of essays and keeping half an eye on my ever looming exams. I don’t really want to shuffle from tube station to the library and back again when London is heavy with damp. And heck, I don’t want to be trapped in a reading room where the temperature never strays from twenty degrees and the biggest irritant is the persistent sniffer sitting opposite. No. I really, really don’t want to do any of this. Yesterday I was dangerously close to taking temporary leave from blogging until the summer, to ‘work on other projects’ (i.e. sulking over how much work third year entails). A sad thought. After all, at least it can distract me from sniffing students and 12th century practices of flagellation. So I’m still here, but for the next few months I’m taking a purist approach to food blogging. Read More