Tag: rhubarb

Technically a vegetable rather than a fruit, rhubarb has kept its legendary status even as its sales continue to fall, left behind in favour of more exotic imported fruits. We’re missing out, really, since it pairs up nicely with a variety of foods, including black pudding, lamb, and saffron.

In Season: February (Keeping Cosy edition)

In one of the most ridiculous middle-class struggles, I have a cookbook problem. A lot of us –and by “us”, I mean the people who hang out in the food section of book stores, stroking spines and sighing with longing – have cookbook problems. Too many books, not enough shelf space, and a disinclination to actually look through them when the internet is right there. They’re there as a safety blanket, for proper baking days or, god forbid, when the internet dies.

My questions is this – how can we make cookbooks more user friendly, more likely to be cooked from? What will encourage me to follow a recipe instead of whipping out my dinnertime classic, “Stuff in a Pan”? I’d love to hear what makes you use yours, whether that’s apps, making room for the books in your actual kitchen, or an elaborate treasure hunt that encourages you to explore your many, many volumes of Jamie.

The recipe search is harder at this time of year. There’s only so much you can do with a cabbage, and I don’t know about you, but basically all I want to eat is stew…and so, this year’s February round up is all about keeping cosy when it’s snowing outside. Read More

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I’m that person who doesn’t let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door.

I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

Rhubarb, strawberry & almond crumble

There are two topics when it comes to desserts that I’ve found will split people: the ideal dessert menu (up to two chocolate options, at least one lemon option, and a soft choice for brace/denture wearers – anything after that is inconsequential) and the perfect crumble.

Rhubarb, strawberry & almond crumble // The Dinner BellIt’s a surprisingly divisive dessert, when you get down to it: you can’t deviate much when it comes to a pie, but when it comes to this particularly British pudding, “crumble” can be both its name and what happens to your relationship with your best friend when you realise they’re devoted to some white sugar based sandy monstrosity. Don’t even get me started on a mushy apple filling.

Why yes, I do have strong feelings on this. How could you tell?

Any crumble is a marriage of flavours. The fruit layer, the one that diminishes any (badly placed) feeling of guilt over the butter, will inform the nuances of the crumble itself: the sugars; the spices; the nuts. 

That layer of virtuousness, for me, is a vehicle – an excuse – for a thick layer of lightly spiced topping, made up equally of crumbs, oats, and little balls of what is essentially shortbread. Read More

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I’m that person who doesn’t let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door.

I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

In Season: February

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he internet is strange, strange place when it comes to diet policing. We think print magazines are odd – all those celebrity diets and green juice and hundreds of “detoxes” that are just starving yourself under a different name – but the end of this year’s Veganuary, and the backlash against it, have shown the world wide web to be much more bizarre when it comes to shaming people for their food choices. Read More

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I’m that person who doesn’t let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door.

I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

In Season: May & June

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inally, finally, finally, we’re out of the cold. As I type this, I’m looking out on grey skies (oh, England), but there’s solace in the fact that the streets are increasingly lined with the bright colours of summer fruits with “British” on the sticker.

Related to all this, you can now browse recipes by ingredient (up….^^^ there) on this little ol’ blog. There’s even a dedicated salted caramel section, along with the less indulgent fruit and veg bits.

Read More

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I’m that person who doesn’t let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door.

I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

In Season: April

Silence seems to be the order of the day here, at the moment. So far, 2014 has been unrelenting in pace, throwing us all forward quicker than we’d perhaps like, hurling challenges to clamber back up from like we’re playing the Takeshi’s Castle of Life. My tiredness levels have reached the point where last night I even dreamed about sleeping, and when asked what my plans for the week are, said, “I’m cooking two of my friends for dinner tomorrow.” Sorry guys, looks like you’ll be on the table, not at the table.

I’ll get back to cooking properly soon, but for now it’s all a little uninspiring. The latest vegetable obsession – I’m a latecomer to this non-beige food party – has seen me wielding a julienne peeler at every courgette I can find. Honestly, courgettes are a revelation, but as much as I’d love to pretend that’s all I’ve been eating to fuel these long days, the chocolate smudges on my jeans tell a different story. A couple of nights ago I definitely gave life to the Frankentoastie, the gooey marriage of brie and Easter egg chocolate – the best kind, and we all know it – between two seeded slices. No regrets. Read More

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I’m that person who doesn’t let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door.

I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.