Brenda’s plum cake

It definitely feels like harvest season here: the swallows and housemartins have departed, we are curing our bumper onion crop for the winter, and the trees on the steading are full of fruit. Our neighbour, Brenda, has several beautiful plum trees, which have been very productive this year. So productive, in fact, that Tom has…

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Desmond’s mince pies

For many years, I’ve had a quiet obsession with riciarelli, which I first came across, flavoured with orange flower water, in Betty’s tea rooms in York. Betty’s only seem to sell these wee macaroon-y treats in Spring for some reason, so I had to persuade Tom (who does not need much persuading where baking is…

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Bunnets!

Friday is pattern release day, and today I have for you a pair of bunnets. Bunnet is a colloquial Scots term for a hat. The word bunnet is etymologically related to the English bonnet, and the French bonnet, but while the English term has predominantly feminine associations, the word bunnet is most often used in…

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Whernside, cheese, and wool

We spent a couple of days in North Yorkshire, and took a walk up Whernside – one of the county’s ‘three peaks’. With its limestone pavement, familiar moorland flora and Victorian infrastructure, this is a landscape of which I’m very fond, and in which I love to walk. The Ribblehead Viaduct is such a spectacular…

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you say “potato” . . .

Hiya! It is I, Bruce. Today I am here to tell you about a delicious and intriguing object: the POTATO. Also known as “tattie” or “spud”, and, often (for some mystifying reason) prefixed with the adjective “humble”, the POTATO is one of my all-time favourite foods. Together with other wondrous food-objects (for example, CHICKEN, SAUSAGES…

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thyme and taleggio scones

Neither Tom or I are fond of food shopping, yet for some unknown reason we have never ordered our supplies online using one of the many delivery services now available. I finally tried this the other day, and of course made the mistake of failing to adjust the default units under which some items are…

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a few days in Cartmel

A pretty Cumbrian village . . . . . . festive windows . . . . . . and doors. Ben, the friendly cat . . . A fine local food market . . . And a wonderful birthday meal. In case you are wondering, the food at L’Enclume was just as amazing as you…

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experiment

Like me, my friends in Ireland like their TEA. The two most popular Irish brands are Lyons and Barry’s – and loyalties are hotly divided over the two brands. Certainly, everyone in Ireland I’ve spoken to about tea knows which they prefer. I am a person of strong opinion where tea is concerned, so Eimear…

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nutz

There is no getting away from the fact that I’ve had a rough few days. Please try not to have a stroke, people: the long term health implications of it are really bloody annoying. Sometimes the process of recovery itself can add further problems to the myriad medical issues that follow a brain injury, and…

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friday

I’ve been out for a nice long ramble with Bruce. It was raining. As long as I have a) a good waterproof and b) non-leaky boots, I rather like walking in the rain. There is nobody around. The world looks different. Everything smells good. Bruce got to splash about in all sorts of wet stuff…

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thought for the day

I was after a needlecase, and found a nice old one on ebay. I always like it when these things contain their original threads and notions. But what really drew me to this particular case was its prim little maxim: These lines are conventional, and may appear elsewhere, but I know them from William King’s…

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domestic incidents

Tom was out cycling. However many mysterious gels and powders he consumes, he is always ravenous when he gets back. So I decided to “surprise” him with some tasty home baking. I don’t bake very often. Tom poetically described them as “little piles of cat sick”. At least my peppers are doing well.

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