Go, Higgidy, Go

It must be a testament to my mother’s cooking that two of her children have found themselves involved in the food world. I’ve joined the alluring food styling & writing end but it’s my brother that’s doing the hard work: making better British pies. 

It is this family connection that means my regular Sainsbury’s trips include one duty that isn’t on the shopping list. On the chilled isle, next to the ready made mash and the picnic quiches, I arrange boxes of Higgidy pies making sure each one is facing twelve o’clock and the various varieties are all aligned – you never know what can entice a sale. 

A ridiculous career move saw James and his wife Camilla pack in their day jobs and, fuelled by Camilla’s fervour for food, switch to the world of food. Having sacrificed their careers, their house and their life in London they worked hard to create the Higgidy empire which now boasts a range of pies, skinny pies, tarts and quiches all of which are handmade in nearby Shoreham-by-Sea.  

The pies are spectacular; though you wouldn't expect anything less when you see the love that creates them.  Take the Beef and Ale – the stew is cooked for three hours to allow the meat to become tender and then left for a further day to develop flavour, no rushing allowed.  I’m not sure Ginsters could say the same.

After gentle persuasion Camilla decided she would be brave (and generous) and throw all her beloved recipes & cooking know-how in a book. It's really fun! Chapters on simple suppers, ideas to cook for big celebrations, quirky pastry tips all muddled with adorable Higgidy speak. 

I saw from the inside the energy and spirit that has been poured into the pages; the late nights, the testing, the re-testing, the cups of coffee and the laughter. The result is brilliant, charming and incredibly useful. I really do think you might like it just as much as I do. 


Three Ways With Aubergine

Aubergines were on a BOGOF at the supermarket over the weekend and, not one to look a bargain in the face, I bought more than a normal person might. With no rotting time allowed, I decided to create my own 3 ways with - my considerate family will be graciously eating the results though out the week.

May I present... Tahini & Aubergine dip; Mung bean, Tamarind & Aubergine salad and Sweet Potato & Aubergine Parcels. I will write up the recipes, just not immediately. 


Honey and Co.

I've wanted to visit Honey & Co. for a while; the reviews I'd read and look of the place were right up my street and a sweet friend offered lunch in payment for one of my paintings.

Summer lingered for a few hours longer which made our Tuesday all the more special. The floor was tiled in a sea blue and ivory mosaic. There was a huge bowl of felt peaches sitting by the counter and jars of rhubarb jam for sale.

The waitress picked our food, saying they were the dishes she like to eat. A salad of goat's cheese, pink figs, salted pistachio, mint and eucalyptus was beautiful and delicate. Cured tuna on toast with a tiny hard boiled egg and crunchy sesame falafel saw our appetites satisfied. 

A few steps from Warren St tube wasn't the easiest location for me but I'm so glad to have made the effort. Honey and Co. is a delight; it's open for lunch and dinner and can be booked ahead. 


Baking Bagels

It turns out baking bagels isn't that tricky. It's just bread that is dunked in water and then baked. They were delicious and Jasper had one warm, buttered and covered in Grandpa's grape jelly. 


Naked Wines

I fell a little bit in love with these antique wine glasses yesterday and ended up adding to my collection. Still, I have a reason. I've just joined 'Naked Wines' - a company that supports small scale wine farmers and sells wine on their behalf. 

They are quite clever; they take your money every month so you don't feel like it leaves your account (and award you with angel status) and then hurrah, a box of wine is delivered to your house. All the bottles look super origional and, as far as I can say, all the wine has been really interesting and, with only one exception, delicious.

The bottles work out at about £6-8 each which ain't too far off those supermarket purchases we all do?! But those supermarket purchases aren't half as interesting and certainly don't call their customers angels.

You can see their work at www.nakedwines.com


A little food photography...

A glorious day spent taking pictures of glorious ice cream - I'm a little bit in love with Judes Ice Cream. 


The Anchor & Hope

A few years back, I was working by day as a food editor and by night a chef (of the lowest order). Removing any trace of corporate dress; I would throw on unisex chef whites and arrive at the Anchor & Hope for a night of being bossed. The premise was I'd work for free, doing anything they needed (ranged from peeling broad beans to on my the most momentous of evenings, plating desserts)and the chefs would teach me how it's done. 

Today I arrived back into the familiar bugundy dining room with some familiar faces behind the bar. Sunday lunch here must still be the best in London; it's no nonense, nothing compromised, just socking great flavours cooked beautifully.