In Cooks Companion Club

Newsletter 92 – Busy doing rather than writing

This opening image commemorates an important moment for me – the unveiling of a portrait commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and painted by the very talented Tsering Hannaford. I am very pleased with the portrait and found the experience of sitting for this work stimulating and fascinating. Such concentration before every brushstroke…

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Newsletter 91 – and on we go

My family’s Christmas gathering was successful. Food was festive. Three generations all helped. Crunchy croque monsieur for breakfast before the presents. Lunch highlights were crayfish salad, bought cooked but never frozen from a Victorian fishery, my roast chicken with spiced peaches, and Harriet’s superb trifle and my friend John’s traditional pudding flamed with brandy to the surprise of my granddaughter…

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Newsletter 90 – Jasmine, jasmine everywhere and Christmas is coming!

Jasminium Trachelospermum is such a great plant. It covers walls and fences, is evergreen and in spring it bursts with sweetly-scented flowers.  At breakfast this morning I found this visitor on the balcony rail. We all find that this tail end of the year speeds up and fills up. This will be the final newsletter for 2023. A special thank you to those you have let me know that you have enjoyed reading it…

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Newsletter 89 – Spring stories

I woke today with absolutely no obligations to anyone. Extraordinary and rare. A perfect day weather-wise. Cloudless blue sky, temperature mid-twenties; light, warm breeze, magpies carolling, flowering sage and Rouzette geraniums offering cooling purple backdrop against silver leaves, and my smoke bush and Forest Pansy flaunting their springtime stained glass hues. The smoke bush has shapely glorious rust and verdigris leaves that miraculously become the colour of beaten copper when the morning spring sunshine lights the leaves. And alongside, in its first season, are the rich ruby leaves of my Forest Pansy, even more spectacular than I had hoped for. I am finding that these illuminated spring colours are at least as enchanting as autumn colours…

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Newsletter 88 – Bursting with thoughts.

What a month! Holiday planning. A cruise that was interrupted by Covid, a few days in France, and then the launch of a new book, Fresh, my 18th if counting new material not re-packaging…

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