All posts filed under: Sweet things

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

Mint cream chocolate biscuits

  Bloody hell, it really is Christmas. I have a repeated nightmare that’s based around Christmas. The big day suddenly comes into being without any prior warning. Everybody has shopped and planned without me and I sit down to lunch, faced with boiled carrots because I wasn’t there to patronise everybody on the fact that roasted carrots are far superior. Oh, and the brussels sprouts – always overcooked, and where are the chestnuts and pancetta – what the hell would Nigella say?! Then I wake up in a cold sweat because there’s nothing more traumatic than losing control over vegetable cooking times. It is odd, how we all clamour for the perfect Christmas, or more precisely, our arrival at that highly anticipated state of festive nirvana: when one feels, officially, “Christmassy”. The road to this sacred place is traditionally marked by dried fruit, mulled liquids and low-level lighting. But like many forced attempts at emotion, sometimes it just doesn’t go to plan. Much like Christmas 2011’s failed roast potatoes – despite meticulous research on the preferable fat (thanks a Read More