Food inspired by literature. The Little Library Cookbook out NOW. Novel recipes for the Guardian. Catering @foodbyfeast. Podcast @castawaybuffet.

How to Broil Grapefruit

My Recipes
Gravlax On Rye
I will be eternally grateful to JRR Tolkien/Peter Jackson for introducing me to the phrase 'second breakfast'. It's my favourite thing to do when on holidays - an early fruit and yoghurt and then a second breakfast late in the morning, often in lieu of lunch. This morning's is leftover gravlax, a poached egg and a quick cucumber pickle (with juniper and dill) on rye toast.
When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods, in the brambles nobody owns, I spend all day among the high branches, reaching my ripped arms, thinking of nothing, cramming the black honey of summer into my mouth... Mary Oliver ~ I've been working all day today - staring jealously out the window at the beautiful weather at various points. Happily, yesterday, I was out and about: swimming, lunching, and enjoying a tea, cocktail, and coconut cake with tarragon cream and blackberries at @lrbcakeshop with @eatingwithmyfingers. A perfect box of late summer joy.
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ~ Back in London this morning, with harissa soldiers, barely boiled eggs, tea, and two kids eager to tell me stories of their trip to the States. We're off to play mini golf in the park, and eat sausage rolls by the lake. Thank goodness for the sun.
When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED. Dr. Seuss ~ My dear friend @ahalfbakedidea and I have been cooking together for about eighteen months now. At first for each other, then for an event, last summer for my book, and just before Christmas at our first supperclub. This year, we've added weddings, hen nights and private dinners to our repertoire. Today, we launched our website: I'm consistently thrilled that I get to spend big chunks of my time in Liv's kitchen, working out new menus, and trialling recipes. And that we have regular excuses to sit down at her table, with a big pan full of mussels. If you have an event coming up, or you fancy joining us for a supperclub in the coming months, do get in touch through the new site!
I love borders. August is the border between summer and autumn; it is the most beautiful month I know. Tove Jansson ~ A very Swedish lunch today (though, after two pots of coffee already this morning, we opted for a pot of English tea). Knäckebröd, spread thickly with Kalles caviar, and topped with sliced boiled eggs and picked cucumbers.
Summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colours in a parched landscape... To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee ~ It's cool and grey today - it feels as if autumn is already on its way. But I'm planning menus for summer events: plenty of tomatoes, and aubergines, and bright, refreshing drinks. I'll be having a double summer this year - one here and then an Australian one too. I can't pretend it's my favourite season, but I'm definitely getting excited about the food. Ps. Would you like me to cater an event for you in Australia in January or February next year? A wedding? A dinner? I'll be all over the place - let me know!
They sowed the duller vegetables first, and a pleasant feeling of righteous fatigue stole over them as they addressed themselves to the peas. E.M. Forster ~ My life has been taken over by these tarts lately. @ahalfbakedidea and I made nine last weekend, with more to come in a couple of weeks, and I'm starting work on fifty- five of them tonight, for a catering gig this weekend. The shortest possible shortcrust, caramelised onion, goats' cheese, courgette, fresh sugar snap peas, radish, pea shoots and micro greens. Summery, fresh, and by Saturday night I'll be assembling them with my eyes closed (a little neater than this chap too!).
Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself. George Bernard Shaw ~ An outtake from last year's shoot - teaching Evie how to shape Cornish pasties in 30 degree heat. @leantimms reaching up to capture the moment, and the pastry almost melting away in our hands.
That meant the cream puffs had come. Godber’s were famous for their cream puffs. Nobody ever thought of making them at home The Garden Party Katherine Mansfield ~ Pastries for eating in the garden (either in New Zealand, or wherever you happen to be). Sweet choux pastry filled with lemon verbena scented cream. Summery, sweet, and delicious. Recipe on the blog and @guardian now.
When the writing fit came on, she gave herself up to it with entire abandon. And led a blissful life, unconscious of want, care, or bad weather. Louisa May Alcott ~ I saw my book today. I held a copy of it in my hands. In a few short months, you can pick it up too. But, today, I celebrated with my editor over kofte in pita, plenty of hummus, and rosemary lemonade. And then took the book to the pub for a pint (and a whiskey).