Sauerkraut rice with pork and paprika (plus recipe for sauerkraut)

Sauerkraut rice with pork and paprikaHomemade fresh sauerkraut (below) meets old sauerkraut

Food falls into all kinds of categories. Next month it’ll be glistening and colourful, done in big quantities, no holds barred, the best we can muster. But for now, in the quiet backwaters of November, I’m slipping in a dish that is really the opposite: not beautiful to look at, humble, personal, and so delicious. Continue reading Sauerkraut rice with pork and paprika (plus recipe for sauerkraut)

Pâté, Spanish pickled vegetables

Homemade olives in brine in jarsChicken liver pate, Spanish pickled vegetables

Lots of things converging here: the homemade olives we are tickle pink with; a Spanish-inspired quick pickle featuring said olives and other puckering bits (and delicious vinagery carrot!); my friend’s mother’s pâté recipe, which is as much a celebration of onion and nutmeg as it is chicken livers. I’ve made these two dishes multiple times through December and January – peasant food that is fit for a Christmas table, or for get togethers and celebrations of any kind. Continue reading Pâté, Spanish pickled vegetables

Apricot chicken with chickpea pilaf

Apricot chicken close upCountry Cookery

Apricots suck me in every time. Fragrant, nectary, juicy, hand-picked from a tree – well of course – but even those not completely ripe, less than fragrant apricots that you get from most greengrocers. I buy them even when my gut feeling tells me they’re not fantastic. (I don’t usually do this with other things!) A suggestion of an apricot is still worth it for me. I am an apricot nutter. Continue reading Apricot chicken with chickpea pilaf

Sticky pork ribs

Sticky pork ribsStar anise, illustration by Katherine Bird

Ten weeks ago I had my second baby. The days are flashing by so fast; the only thing that seems to differentiate one week from the next is that we notice our boy has grown a little bit bigger. During the late-night feeds I can’t tuck his feet into my cardigan any more – he’s too long. And his squinty newborn eyes have become round, clear and full of adoration for his big sister, dad and mum. He gives us gorgeous open-mouthed grins, and I love holding his face next to mine, all soft cheeks and milky breath. Continue reading Sticky pork ribs