Slow roast lamb with mint, garlic and sumac

Lamb shoulder is a relatively cheap but delicious cut, and it benefits from a good long, slow roast to allow the sinews to render down into meaty succulence.

Four hours in a low oven on a bed of rosemary, seasoned with garlic, sumac and fresh mint and you have a kitchen filled with wonderful, savoury smells that are enough to have both the dog and your husband salivating!

Stir a glass of red wine into the cooking juices and bubble on the hob until just thickened in place of a gravy . Serve with a creamy mashed potatoes and fresh greens and a hearty appetite. Perfect Sunday food for a lazy day.


Baked vanilla honey pears 

Pears are in season right now, and I’m making the most of them. I love them fresh and sliced for eating alongside a piece of salty sheeps milk cheese, the aromatic sweetness melding perfectly with the tang of the cheese. 

I also bake them. Peeled, cored, and split in half, baked with vanilla seeds, honey and sweet Marsala wine. Thirty minutes in the oven until they’re meltingly soft, slightly charred and stickily delicious.

So simple, but so delectable. Serve with a scoop of cream, creme fraiche or ice cream for a decadent treat. 

Skye Pie Cafe

On the Isle of Skye there is a wonderful, unique and lovely place. It’s called the Skye Pie Cafe. Here, magic is made in the form of the most delicious pies I’ve ever tasted.

Eating at this place is unique. Gloriously vintage mismatched tables fill the old croft house rooms. The tables are set with chairs covered in hand-knitted seat cushions, and quirky art covers the walls. You’re surrounded by pots of knitting needles and half completed craft projects, embraced by the warm, creative and informal environment that Kirsty builds.

Coming in from the cold and rain, a warm, savoury, fragrant pie is just what the body and soul needs.

Today’s special was wild boar, apple and thyme. Served on old, flowery china plates, the whole experience is simply wonderful. Simon the pieman is a master baker: his pie crusts are delicious, and the fillings are generous, moist and beautifully crafted.

This is a special place. I’d move in if I could. 😊

Apple and blackberry pie with sweet almond crust pastry

Autumn is definitely apple pie time.

Crisp, sweet Scrumptious, Braeburn and Bramleys, peeled, chopped into chunks and dotted with fat, juicy blackberries. Maybe scattered with some nutmeg and brown sugar before being encased in sweet almond pastry, crumbly and fragrant.

All baked until golden brown and crispy.

It’s all I can do to not eat this straight from the pie tin. I eventually manage to allow it to cool for twenty minutes before slicing, and serve it still warm with a dollop of creme fraiche.

The whole kitchen smells of baked apples and nutmeg now. Gorgeous autumn smells!

A child of autumn

As the season swings gently into autumn I find myself breathing and reflecting deeply upon life. I have always loved autumn.

September, with its misty mornings and slowly darkening days always seems a time for slowing down, for gathering in and nurturing the spirit in preparation for winter.

A time of slow cooked stews and aromatic, warmly spiced bakes. Of long walks in the crisp mornings and curling up on the sofa with a book and a favourite soft blanket.

In terms of food, my thoughts are already turning to more substantial, comforting meals. Rich bean and lamb casseroles, lentils, soups, and soft, slightly charred roasted vegetables.

I’m most definitely a child of autumn.