Horticultural Catalogues

I spend a fortune when the catalogue from Burncoose Nursery arrives. An hour passes as I’m lost in the bewitching pages of growing requirements, different varieties and photographs of hundreds of plants, shrubs and trees. Then reality breaks in. For I don’t have the funds or the space for such luxurious choices in my small…

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Shortbread Biscuits

A reader has asked for my recipe for Shortbread Biscuits. These are the slim buttery discs that are perfect for serving with espresso coffee or afternoon tea. And although I always enjoy them in their classic version the recipe is capable of endless variation depending on the time of year. When I baked for my…

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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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