In ecstasy and the certainty of fulfilment

It has been a matter of pure joy to me, a very serious woman, to find that the property planned and prepared food brings acolytes into my life who are unimpressed by my abilities either as a novelist or as a femme fatale….I write as an introvert, attempting to turn an intangible loveliness into a tangible conception. But I cook as an extrovert, singing at the top of my lungs, in ecstasy and the certainty of fulfilment.

I’m charmed by Marjorie Rawlings’ discovery that different activities can unlock another side of you. This is from “I sing as I cook”, an American Vogue article from the 30s and another selection in the Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs collection named a few days ago.

Blog of the week


I should probably have known I’d end up booking a holiday in the Deep South when reading about this lemonade led me to


check out the whole For the Love of the South blog


(and then to buying the Charleston edition of Fare magazine and stalking a whole load of Charleston bloggers, but anyway.)


Do go and check out Amber’s blog as its full of tempting recipes (I dare you to read a few posts and not want to preserve your own peaches) or even buy the For the Love of the South cookbook…

Good things to eat and plenty of them

There were little new potatoes for dinner, creamed with green peas, and there were string beans and green onions.  And by every plate was a saucer full of sliced ripe tomatoes, to be eaten with sugar and cream.

”Well, we’ve got good things to eat, and plenty of them,” said Pa, taking a second helping of potatoes and peas…

He cut into the pie’s crust with a big spoon, and turned over a big chunk of it onto a plate. The underside was steamed and fluffy. Over it he poured spoonfuls of thin brown gravy, and beside it he laid half a blackbird…The scent of that opened pie was making all their mouths water…As long as the blackbirds lasted, and the garden was green, they could eat like this every day.

Little Town on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder


Food, glorious food


The Honey & Co food talks are my latest favourite podcast for listening on days when reading in the morning is just too much. Their interviews have covered Fuschia Dunlop on how she got to know Chinese cuisine, the regional delicacies she fell in love with and how Wi-chat revolutionised the research process, Olia Hercules on Ukraine’s eastern identity and summer houses, and several of the guests including Nazrin Rooghani on the relationship between identity and food.

If you’re still hungry after this, then head over to Castaway Buffet for what will become your new quiz with friends of what foods you can take to a desert island (and for the seriously hardcore, what five kitchen tools). Expect much laughter, firm views on the temperature of tea and Harry Potter fanfic.

Hitting the road


Fare is a magazine that’s published twice a year about cities and their food culture. I thought I’d waited too long to buy their first edition about Istanbul, but the Aberdeen shop “Curated Stories” still had copies and posted me one so quickly that I got it the next day. Having read it and also some of the Charleston edition I’m now quite intrigued by their choice of Helsinki as a second destination.

Are you tempted too?



There was a strange rumour in Highbury of all the little Perry’s being seen with a slice of Mrs Weston’s wedding-cake in their hands: but Mr Woodhouse would never believe it. – “Emma”, Jane Austen

Not at all like Mr Woodhouse as I go to celebrate a friend’s wedding today, partly with a lot of cake.

The top picture is the wonderfully-titled “The Tempting Cake” by Albert Roosenboom.




Having just learned how to make iced tea (not sure it’s something that should need to be learned, but it is a bit more complicated than it sounds), I’m keen to try a jug of lemonade now. This Cup of Jo post on canteloupe melon lemonade came at the right time, and now I’m quite intrigued by the cookbook it comes from too.


I like how a simple twist (reversing the raspberries) has turned these traditional patisseries into something that look quite different.


Photo by pastry chef of the moment, Cedric Grolet

Time for cake


I don’t care if it’s January and we’re all meant to be eating mild broth and celery – if it’s cold and dark also, we still need cake. I like the look of this banana bread by Jasmine Helmsley, and can vouch for the cranberry and marzipan recipe by Magda’s Cauldron, after it provided comfort with mulled wine after a very icy, wet walk the afternoon before New Year’s Eve.