Metamorphosis (temporary)

Dear Faithful Followers of this blog, I will not be continuing this blog as such for the time being. As some of you may be aware, I have embarked on a 6-month odyssey around the Italian islands. I have created another blog,, in which to record the course of this splendid adventure, its high […]

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A Sort of Zucchini Frittata

Things are winding down in the Fort kitchen garden, after a pretty good growing season. The climbing beans (Signora della Campagna) are still up and running, and the autumn/winter salads are looking good. Best of all, this has been a happy year for tomatoes, about which more anon when I have collated my tasting notes. […]

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National Gallery Offal Dinner

Oliver Peyton caught me at a weak moment. It was during a long day’s filming of the latest series of the Great British Menu. He said. ‘Why don’t you do one of our Friday Night Socials?’ ‘What would I have to do?’ ‘Just cook anything you like?’ ‘Offal?’ ‘Fantastic’. And then I forgot all about […]

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Partridge baked in bread

This recipe is based on one which I found, believe it or not, in Francesco’s Kitchen by the disarmingly charming Francesco da Mosto. It’s full of pretty picture of Venice, but, to my surprise, it turns out to be an extremely good cook book, with a great deal of intriguing information. He says the recipe […]

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Notes on Roasting Turkey

I have provided various alternatives . My preferred option is the 9-hour version,. This may seem perverse to some, but it always produces a magnificently succulent and juicy result, and is as easy as pie once you’ve grasped the principle of bringing the bird to the critical temperature between 62-65C throughout. This keeps all the […]

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Christmas Day

Obviously, the timing for some of this will depend on when you plan to eat. I have assumed a 1.30 call to the table. If you want eat later, just adjust the times accordingly. I have put the timings, temperatures etc for roasting turkey into a separate blog. 7.35 Send children packing. Haul self out […]

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Christmas Eve Checklist

Make sure you’ve got a pan big enough to hold the turkey Make sure you can get the turkey into the oven Have you got enough foil to cover it? Check timings for cooking turkey ( see below) Check you have enough plates. Check you have enough serving dishes (for brussel sprouts, roast potatoes, roast […]

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Clarifying stock

When you want to clarify stock, there’s no need to go through all that palaver with egg whites, minced beef and herbs stirring and skimming, skimming and stirring.Just freeze your stock. When you need it, take it out of the freezer the night before and place it in one of those coffee filters lined with […]

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Testicles with carrots

There I was pottering around the Clitheroe Food Festival in bright sunshine. There were lots of good things on show – several cheese makers, beers, sausages, chutneys, hog roasts, cakes, potted shrimps from Morecambe, some terrific breads, including one made with Thwaites beer and so on and so on. It was difficult not to get […]

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