12 Days of Christmas

Sourdough bread loaves

Day 6: The Staff of Life Daily Bread According to the traditional song, the sixth day should involve geese. At this time of year there can be anywhere between 6 and 150 or so Greylag Geese loafing around on the croft. We have plenty of grass, so I'm quite happy sharing as they do their… Continue reading 12 Days of Christmas

Relish with Ravel or Scones with Schubert

Baking with Bach, Beethoven or Brubeck is the perfect way to spend a bleak January afternoon. The croft kitchen is a refuge from a raw westerly wind and I'm wrapped in warmth, light and music, drenched by the aroma of spices, dark molasses sugar and ginger. However, let us not get carried away by too… Continue reading Relish with Ravel or Scones with Schubert

A Sunday for Reflection and a Cake for Christmas

Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them - Marcel Proust This morning I watched the rain run down the window as the wind drove sheets of rain across waves of grass and beyond out over a turbulent grey sea. A metaphor for the poignant memories which turn my… Continue reading A Sunday for Reflection and a Cake for Christmas

Opening the spice cupboard and lighting the Advent candles

I love this time of year: the vibrant cocktail of Hebridean weather, woolly socks and snuggly snoods, candles and a glowing stove on dark afternoons, the gutsy flavours of Northern European peasant food, the indulgent aromas of spices and intense sweetness of dried fruit. I particularly enjoy Advent, I like the concept of looking forwards,… Continue reading Opening the spice cupboard and lighting the Advent candles

Time for Tea

There is nothing more glorious than June - roses, cricket, lawn tennis, the evening glass of chilled white wine on the terrace........... You can smell and taste the nostalgia, the idyll only disturbed by the sound of hay fever snuffling and sneezing, and a summer storm! Oh well it must be time for tea. Assam… Continue reading Time for Tea