The Easter Hatchery

So there we were, surveying the garden and trying to decide where to locate the various bits of hideous plastic play equipment we’ve acquired since H was born, when I decided to seize the moment. ‘Where are we going to put the chicken run?’ I asked, casually, when my husband appeared to be distracted and only half-listening.  Immediately he sprung to attention and fixed me with a steady stare; ‘Chickens???’.  Sigh.  I have long …
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Pasta la Vista, baby!

Carbs are big in our household, as anyone who knows us will attest. Given that my husband declares the potato to be his favourite vegetable, and I would request a toasting fork and crusty loaf if given notice of being stranded on a desert island, it was inevitable that Harry was going to feel a strong gravitational pull towards all things starchy. Whilst I’m secretly proud of the fact that he freely eats vegetables …
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A Moment in Time…

At 2 and a quarter, Harry finds it utterly incomprehensible that he was once a baby. ‘You soooooo funny, Mummy!’ he chortles, with patronising affection,when I venture to suggest that he was once small enough to fit in a Moses basket and slept for 20hrs a day.  The notion that he once came from inside my tummy is met with stunned incredulity.  I pretend that this is because my stomach is so flat it …
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Champagne on Ice, Dinner at 8…

Some friends you just know are going to be in your lives for the long run, and our former neighbours fall firmly into that category. In the space of just a couple of years we’ve camped out in each others’ kitchens, set the world to rights more times than I care to remember,  celebrated some of life’s great milestones and donned a myriad of fancy dress costumes whilst sinking an inordinate number of bottles …
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Channeling Martha with a spot of dip ‘n dye

I was lying on the sofa the other day, idly trying to choose which of the few remaining chocolate Mini Eggs to eat first; should it be the pastel pink one, or the soft purpley-blue one? (Note the deliberate use of ‘first’ here; it was clearly never going to be a trade-off).  It reminded me that Easter is just around the corner and that Martha Stewart is no doubt at this very moment engaged …
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Spiders, leaky roofs and that cheese obsession again…

This week’s project: a slate cheese board made from one of the ancient roof tiles which I found tucked away in the shed at the bottom of the garden.  This shed, which looks as if it would fall down if someone so much as coughed loudly in its presence, contains a myriad of dusty and (to me) beautiful abandoned garden bits and bobs left by previous owners.  A mountain of tiny, hand-formed terracotta plant …
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The life-shortening joy of Churros Y Chocolate

Whilst the rest of the world was celebrating St Paddy’s day this weekend we – contrary as usual – were having a bit of a Spanish moment and cooking churros for the very first time.  I’d often looked longingly at churros recipes (doughnut mix ? rolled in cinnamon sugar? That you are then actually required to dunk in hot, melty chocolate? Can it even be legal..?), but never before attempted to conquer them at …
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Unnatural Passions…

So there I was in the new kitchen, sniggering at a story in the news about a lady in the US who was experiencing a distinctly unrequited passion for the Statue of Liberty, whom she intended to marry at the earliest opportunity.  ’A rare disorder’, mused the gravely serious experts, which meant that she was ‘irrevocably attracted to inanimate objects’, causing the same pulse-racing, obsessional behaviour that might occur in a normal woman were …
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Spring Fever

After a couple of stuttering false starts, it’s clear that Spring is just around the corner and Harry and I are alternating between indoors and outdoors at the drop of a hat.  Thank heaven for wipe-clean wood flooring. When the sap is rising and the buds are bursting into colour, it makes me come over all green-fingered, so this week we’ve been experimenting with growing cress, the ultimate in instant-gratification gardening.  There’s something so …
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Audrey Hepburn Cookies

Harry is an ardent admirer of the older woman. At the tender age of two, he is having his own Mrs Robinson moment and is far more enthralled by my often chic and stylish, rather more mature girlfriends than those of a similar height to him.

This weekend we will be seeing a number of them, so have embarked on a spot of decorative baking in an attempt to turn their heads.  Even projects like …
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Lepidoptery for the Lily-Livered

As a child on holiday in Cornwall, I remember scuffing my way along the hedgerows in Summer and finding seemingly hundreds of butterflies which had quietly met their last and were now decoratively, if a little sombrely, adding a flash of colour amidst the green.  We’d gather them up and head home, carefully cupping our deceased quarry as if it might still fly away.  But here the nostalgic reminisces grind to a halt because …
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