the mission statement

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Pertelote is learning to be an Eastender - watch this space for jellied eels, pie and mash - which is quite a contrast to her previous life as an alumna Cantabrigiensis. She was born in Hertfordshire ("Where?" "Yes.") and has four parents, three brothers and innumerable aunts. The following details may tell you a little more about her; the fact that she listed them may tell you rather a lot more.

cooking style

Fresh ingredients, loud flavours, large portions (and bad photos: bear with me).

currently reading

Bareback, Kit Whitfield

ten favourite books

Aged 0-2 Each Peach Pear Plum, Janet & Allan Ahlberg
Aged 2.5-5 Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Aged 5-7 The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
Aged 7.5-10 Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf, Catherine Storr
Aged 10-12 The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
Aged 12.5-15 The Colour Purple, Alice Walker
Aged 15-17 The Secret History, Donna Tart
Aged 17.5-20 The Aeneid, Virgil
Aged 20-22 Attic Term, Antonia Forest
Aged 22.5-25 How to Eat, Nigella Lawson
Aged 25-27 Mariana, Monica Dickens (pub. Persephone Books)
Aged 27.5-present Greenery Street, Denis Mackail

things I will learn to make one day

nostalgia food from my childhood

fresh pastaspaghetti shapes
sushitoast and marmite
profiteroles and then a croquemboucheomelettes
beautifully smooth white saucemince and potatoes
jamcereal bars after swimming lessons
pancakespink mousse
roast sunday lunch with all the trimmings and without panic roast sunday lunch with all the trimmings and without panic
millefeuillefrench bread and camembert for Saturday lunch
duck confitcottage pie
spring rollschicken and mushroom risotto
briochecroissants before Church on Sundays

food metaphors I love - a gradual collection

[on the texture of honey] 'velvety but slightly grainy, like an embroidered drapery' Clothilde of Chocolate and Zucchini
[on a tarte tatin] 'the apples rest coyly atop their thousand-layered blanket like Ingres's Grande Odalisque on her chaise' Molly at Saucy
[on ricotta] 'soft, evanescent, slightly eggy, like the breath of a baby who's just been fed' Matthew Fort in Eating Up Italy
[on cornmeal cake] 'it is to cornbread as a silk nightgown is to cotton pajamas' Molly again, at Orangette
[on family life] 'the love that moves the sun and other stars is also the love that makes the toast and other snacks' Simon Barnes, in The Times, November 2006

ways I know I'm me when I'm at work

  • the zips on my boots jingling when I run up the stairs
  • the snap of C and me in full graduation rig outside the Old Schools, clutching one very well-deserved degree (his) and one blimey-that's-a-bonus one (mine), and grinning like loons
  • the wind-up penguin on my computer
  • the long, long list of food blogs in my favourites
  • and the constant grocery lists scribbled on post-its
  • the St Germain des Pres street sign on my keyring when I lock the office door

final thought

Next to eating good dinners, a healthy man with a benevolent turn of mind, must like, I think, to read about them - William Makepeace Thackeray