Buying Herbs in Pots

By 8 a.m, there’s already a queue at the plant stall in my local street market. Boxes of seedling lettuces and pencil-slim leeks, hand-high plants of aubergines and sweet peppers are disappearing fast while pots of young tomatoes, cucumbers and artichokes are carried away by keen gardeners to be planted out in potagers and vegetable…

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Writing a Recipe

Soon after my first book was published, the editor of my local Devon newspaper invited me to write a weekly food column. “But with no recipes,” was his only condition. So I sent in half a dozen pieces and he rang to say “Carry on, we enjoy reading them.” But what about the one that…

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Springtime Shoots

Only rarely do I arrive in Saint Montan in time to find the almond tree in the herb garden still in bloom with primroses and wild violets flowering at is foot. Normally, almond trees in Saint Montan flower in January, each porcelain white blossom turning to palest pink after a few days with a centre…

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Adapting a Cake Recipe

A reader asks how she could bake one of my cake recipes in a different size tin from that I’d specified. I replied by explaining how to work out the capacity of a round, square or oblong cake tin mathematically so that the mixture would still turn out well. But then I realised that there…

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