Starting a food blog was never my plan but, really, now I’ve begun one, the only question I have is why I didn’t do so years ago. Food is what I do. It is my ‘creative displacement’ activity of choice. There are days when I don’t seem to have left the kitchen and, honestly, I don’t mind – particularly since all other areas of domestic competence I lack. I simply don’t feel any emotional satisfaction at ensuring a lemony-fresh toilet (though I quite like it if someone else brings it to fruition).
As a home cook, I know I’m lucky – I don’t have to consider profit margins or feed people I don’t care about. I cook what I love, for the people I love. It’s how I nurture.
In 2000, my husband was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. Incurable and inoperable, it’s a cancer which has to be managed. The future stretches only as far as the next scan and that’s tough for all of us. I make it a daily decision to try and focus on things beyond what I can’t control. Cooking for my family is a big part of that.
I’d already started to put together our ‘family favourites’, ready for my five children when they leave home – and in the hope there’d be a moment when my boys would think there’s more to do in the kitchen than pour a bowl of cereal. The idea of creating a blog, though, was born when an author friend persuaded me to join Facebook.
I’d just returned to writing after some difficult ‘chemo’ filled years and couldn’t think what was worth sharing since I was spending the better part of my day sat at a computer struggling with a recalcitrant hero and the rest of it in the kitchen. My solution was to post pictures of what I’d cooked that day. When that friend suggested a blog it sounded like a fun idea to share my cooking lifestyle online. That was until I started to wrestle with platforms and templates…!
But, here I am. I still think it sounds like a fun idea. I don’t pretend mine is the only way to do ‘it’, or even the best way, but it is my way – and it’s what you’d see if you were sitting on one of my kitchen chairs putting the world to rights.
‘The Cherry Plum Kitchen’ has its name because, at its conception, I was elbow deep in foraged cherry plums which I’m still hopeful of turning into wine. Honestly, it’s looking unlikely … but if I’m successful it’ll be ready to raise a glass to toast the first anniversary of this blog. We’ll see.
As an English cook I weigh everything and am, largely, metric – but since my novels are sold worldwide and you might have wandered here via them I’m going to try and put in a conversion page the minute I work out how to do ‘columns’ . You have no idea how difficult it is!
In the meantime, you should know an English pint is not the same volume as a NA one. An English tablespoon is smaller than an Australian one. I’m working on it.
This, then, is my recipe scrapbook and my children’s foodie inheritance. These are the recipes from the heart of my home.