Smoked haddock rarebit and spinach

Smoked haddock with spinach and tomatoes

The view from Orford Quay at dusk is very special.   I am on a low carb diet at the moment so Pinneys‘ shop just down the road comes in very handy. I have had their smoked salmon with cream cheese for breakfast, smoked salmon bits in scrambled egg for lunch, andsmoked haddock rarebit for supper. Not all in the same day, though.   Pinneys smoked haddock is so good because it’s not that luminous yellow colour but instead a pale gold. This is because it has no artificial colouring or preservatives.  The rarebit gives a contrasting strong punchy flavour. If I hadn’t been low carbing, I may have made…

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Landguard Peninsula photograph course, Felixstowe

Post on the Landguard Peninsula

Shape, colour, texture and pattern; these were the formal elements that our tutor James Fletcher was promising would transform our photography at a course last summer on the Landguard Peninsula. I was sitting, cup of coffee in hand in  a study room next to the warden’s house, watching his short presentation. He explained that the aim of the course was not to take a traditional landscape photograph of beach, sea and boat but to take a series of pictures that captured the essence of the place by using the elements. Then for the rest of the morning, James led on a guided walk around the Peninsula, stopping to take photos wherever we…

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Buttermilk pancakes and berries

Pancakes ready to turn

  Shrove Tuesday means that Spring is a whisper away; there are snowdrops in the lane, tulips for sale in the shops and surprisingly the odd clump of primroses peeping through in the garden.   A sunny day like today has already lifted my spirits and this buttermilk pancake recipe by Liberty London Girl, Sasha Wilkins, from her book, Friends, Food Family raised them still further. I managed to make eighteen from the recipe, and we ate them, as in the book, with Greek yoghurt, maple syrup and fresh berries for a taste of the summer to come. I used full fat milk and lemon juice to make them instead of…

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Shepherd and Dog, Forward Green, Stowmarket

Smoked mackerel pate with creme fraiche

A lunch at the Shepherd and Dog at Forward Green near Stowmarket is the first of my posts venturing further afield.  Appearances are deceptive as the square brick building doesn’t look so exciting from the outside but inside it’s comfortable and welcoming. There’s a bar area with scrubbed wooden tables, a more formal restaurant called the ‘eaterie’ but we chose to sit in the lounge area where food is also served. It’s a relaxing room, soft grey walls and a darker gunmetal grey painted bar, with mustard and pink soft chairs, and grey and maroon herringbone cushions dotted around. The grazing menu is full of tempting dishes with the food coming…

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Christmas cake

Christmas tree and fire

It may be cold outside   but it has been warm and cosy and Christmassy inside the cottage.   Thanks to a post on Twitter by “foodjournalist’, my Christmas cake this year was decreed my best ever by family and friends.   He recommended this recipe by James Martin in Good Food magazine for a ‘make and mature Christmas cake’. It was so easy. No soaking the fruit overnight, just measure it all out,   boil up half the ingredients in a pan and then leave for half an hour. I used a mixture of sultanas, raisins, apricots, peel and just a few currants. Add the dry ingredients, put in a…

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RSPB Havergate Island Photography Day

Havergate Island

Eighteen months ago, I went on a Photography Day to Havergate island and I was delighted to find out that these special days are going to be repeated again in 2015 . Monika Koch, is offering the events in a brand new cooperation with the RSPB under her own flag of ‘Wild Adventures under Suffolk’s Skies’. Kevin Sawford, Jeremy Hennell James and Celia Bartlett are joining her for the new venture. They will start in March and after a breeding season gap, offer events from July right through the year up to December. I remember the day well, both for the island’s tranquil beauty and  the helpful and friendly photography tuition….

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Smoked trout and celeriac, apple and fennel salad.

Laden with apples

It’s October 12 and we had our lunch in the garden today. Long may this Indian summer continue. It’s apple season and it’s tempting to just fill the blog with recipes using apples from the apple trees in the garden.  I am trying to use apples in savoury ways and this crunchy celeriac, fennel and apple salad goes really well with smoked trout from Pinneys . I went shopping in a T shirt this morning and the shadows in the picture are from the sun shining on the table. I’ve also made blackberry and apple jam and apple chutney and we’ve have had  blackberry and apple crumbles,  baked apples, an almond…

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Blackberry sorbet


After a successful summer’s lettings, it felt wonderful to be back in the cottage for just one night before more lettings through September. The apple trees are laden with fruit and we picked blackberries from the garden. Everything had grown a lot but we had time to weed and deadhead and pick apples before the next guests arrived. There are so many blackberries around this year and they are earlier than ever. Maybe it’s global warming or simply the effect of a mild winter and warm summer. Blackberry sorbet is fresh and low fat and doesn’t actually have that much sugar in it for each portion or scoop so it…

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What I did with my gooseberries. Part 2

Nigel Slater pork with gooseberries

For the sake of completeness, I did promise I would say what I did with the rest of my gooseberries. I made this brilliant Nigel Slater recipe of pork with gooseberries which made a change from pork chops with apple sauce. Then I stewed the last few in the microwave and put them on top of my Bircher muesli with some orange slices and a few chopped walnuts to make yet a different variation for my breakfast one day.