A Potted History as opposed to Potted Stilton………
I was born in South Africa and on moving back to England I was brought up in rural Northumberland, in an old stone cottage; my earliest memories are of picking hazelnuts and foraging for wild herbs and garlic with my grandmother for her famous stew pot. The milk was delivered by the farmer and was decanted into a billy can directly from the milk churns. All of the fruit and vegetables were home-grown, and we always had fresh eggs from our hens. Although I later moved abroad several times, and lived in Hong Kong, USA, Cyprus and Germany, due to my father’s job, and laterally in South West France, I have also lived in Cornwall, Berkshire, Lincolnshire, Hampshire, Scotland, Herefordshire and North Yorkshire, on the edge of the North York Moors. I am now living in an old converted School House at the head of the Llyn Peninsular in North Wales, on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park.
My interest in food started from a very early age; I was greatly influenced by my grandmother and mother. I clearly remember tables groaning under the weight of home-baked pies, cakes, scones, tarts, preserves, jams, pickles and bread. Nobody ever left the table empty. Cooking was seasonal and I remember looking forward to the new season’s produce with anticipation and pleasure – the seasons marked the year and its feasts and celebrations. I have always been passionate about seasonal food and local produce and I feel sad that so many of our traditional British feasts and festivals are being marginalised and forgotten, something that I am attempting to highlight and remedy with my writing, photography, recipes and food articles.
I have just published my first cookbook, “Lavender and Lovage” – A Culinary Notebook of Memories and Recipes from Home and Abroad, based on a lifetime of travel, food, recipes, customs and traditions. All the recipes are my own original recipes, along with several recipes that have been shared by the people I have met over the years, and many are based on local, ancient and old recipes/texts. All of the recipes have been triple tested by myself in my Cookery school in the South West of France and now in North Wales. The book was published in November 2018.
I call North Yorkshire my home county, but I lived in South West France for 17 years, and I am now living in an old converted School House in North Wales, where I devote most of my time to food writing, food styling and photography, as well as taking time off to travel. I also hold regular Cooking Workshops in a specially designed annex, which sits in an acre of tree lined land, with raised beds, an orchard, small wood and a pond, where I grow most of my own vegetables and all of my own herbs – specialising in old-fashioned herbs, many that are seldom used nowadays. I am married with one daughter. I have a BA in Graphic Design and Advertising and a MA in English Literature. On leaving university, I worked in printing and publishing for several years before moving into my dream professions of cooking, writing, travel, photography and food.
Thanks for stopping by and please do contact me if you would like to discuss commissioned work or some of my recipes.