Monthly Archives: June 2012

The home stuff

What can I say?  I had the best of intentions…to write and write and write on this holiday.  But I think the thing I always forget is that coming home is not a holiday.  It is a time to be surrounded, to feel the thing I rarely feel, surrounded.  And when you are surrounded by people it is not conducive to writing.  I am far too preoccupied with cuddling my beautiful newly arrived niece and helping my sister.  Writing is lurking in the back of my mind, that thing I’m supposed to be doing.

I have been cooking a lot, nurturing the people I love by doing the thing I adore.  For me, it is about taking a load off, helping out with someone’s day and sometimes it is just about showing off.  Last week I made something special for my Daddy, we went down to the local market and picked up some fantastic local produce.  There were fresh peas and broad beans and samphire with fresh fish and basil hollandaise, it was lovely.  Cooking on my Dad’s crazy Aga like stovetop was definitely a challenge but nothing Little Chef couldn’t handle.  Here’s a picture of the lovely greenery I bought at the market.

This week has been about cooking substantial meals for my family, nourishing them for the challenges of parenthood.  In between we have been sneaking out for coffees and lunches in London.  Tonight I am cooking some Asian style duck legs, if something good comes of it, I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.

So, there it is, I’ve been neglecting you all due to the high proportion of hugs I have been administering to my niece.  I will do my very best to keep you all entertained over my last few days in London.  Cake baking tomorrow and Borough Market on Saturday, can’t wait.  I will keep you posted…


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Green with envy

For once, we decided to take the scenic route.  It seems like life is frequently about dashing from place to place and taking the most direct route.  When you’re stuck on a motorway behind a giant lorry, you’re not really drinking in the sweet nectar of life.  And so, we found ourselves today, heading towards Chester on the scenic route, soaking in the views of the rolling hills.  A land made lush and green by dangerous amounts of rainfall was a beautiful backdrop for our journey.  To match our lazy trip we decided to have a lazy lunch in Ludlow.  Ludlow is notorious for it’s foodie leanings and is therefore a natural home for Little Chef.

I had obviously ‘googled’ potential lunch options before we left home and settled upon The Green Cafe.  Without realising it, I had actually been here before, I had only stood outside and admired the view of the river.  But now it was time to commit to lunch.  Being number 1 on the Trip Advisor website I had high hopes and we were not disappointed.  As it was raining, the patrons were all squished inside with tables virtually touching and waitresses constantly bashing into my chair.  Clearly it was a popular place.  And we were soon to find out why…

The specials menu hinted to good things in our future.  Hot chocolate spiked with Brandy, a steaming hot mug of strawberry and rhubarb cordial and chewy meringues with gooseberry compote.  As I watched the food come out to the surrounding tables I was wracked with envy.  I wanted everything on the menu!  I finally settled on an Asparagus, broad bean and mint salad, sounds run of the mill but tasted extraordinary.  The fresh green leaves were dotted with beautiful pungent herbs and the asparagus was quite the tastiest I’ve eaten.  The young stems were rich with butter and just the right amount of seasoning.  Mummy B had chicken liver pate with fig chutney and it was very good, up there with the best I have eaten and it cost a mere £5.50.  I love how cheap this country is…

And so, feeling very satisfied after a delicious salad and a glass of prosecco, we headed North to Chester.  The food journey continues, watch this space.

The Green Cafe, Ludlow, reviewed on 15th June 2012.


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Wonderful wedding cake for wonderful people


There are some people in your life who you just love, no matter what, no matter how far apart you are or how often you speak.  Mr G is one of those people.  I have grown up with him, I have laughed with him, I have cried with him.  He is like a brother to me.  And last weekend, my little brother from another mother did something terribly grown up and got married to a beautiful, perfect bride.  There was so much love in the air on Saturday, I feared I might explode.  Everywhere I turned there were smiles and laughter on the faces of the guests.

It was a perfect English wedding, beautiful wild flowers filled the church and adorned the tables and there was a gin fizz cocktail on arrival.  The sun even made a rare appearance for the special day.  I, as usual offered to make the cake.  It was an epic four tiers of rich fruit cake and simnel cake.  The vintage look ribbons were the perfect accompaniment to the tiny hand piped polka dots.  When it was finally assembled, I took a big sigh of relief and went home to share some pre-wedding champagne with my family.

What a treat to know that I made a tiny contribution to the wedding of two truly fabulous friends.  Good luck with what I know will be a wonderful marriage, congratulations again Mr and Mrs G!


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