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

Garden of Plenty

There are a series of landmarks in my gardening year and, however intemperate the weather, by late July, the croft vegetable garden has been transformed into a garden of abundance. The empty trugs of the hungry gap months become horns of plenty and we are sated with green comestibles. A pretentious little literary allegory which… Continue reading Garden of Plenty

Let them eat cake

We are now well into the hungry gap. The last knobbly celeriac helped stretch some frozen cauliflower purée into soup, the final half bucket of potatoes are beginning to sprout  and I am left with a few small bags of broad beans lurking in the bottom of the freezer. In the absence of anything green… Continue reading Let them eat cake