I'm a cheese/chocolate/red wine kind of girl. I'm the person who won't leave the kitchen whether it's a party or a telly supper. I love fiddling around in it. I even love cleaning it. I don't know where it comes from particularly but all I can say is that having lived in New York for a couple of years without one (truly, kitchen-free apartments exist there), you practically have to attach a ring to my nose and drag me away from mind since I moved back. There is nothing I love so much as gathering friends around my table for food and wine and an evening that slips away without your noticing it. In fact, love it so much, I wrote my first book about it, called How to Feed Your Friends with Relish.
But that was in my early 30s. Soon after, without really noticing it, life grew up around me. Friends got married, bought homes, settled down. And so did I. Dinner out became rare, cocktail hour, extinct. I moved across town with my new husband to a more buggy friendly place and bought a kitchen table big enough to fit our new, messy life onto. I no longer have much time to rifle through cookery books looking for something to inspire me for supper. Instead of looking through my cupboards in search of the perfect pair of shoes to get me through a night out, I'm seeking out ways to make storecupboard staples become more than just a way to end the day. This bit of life has become my second book, Cooking For Real Life.
I write about cooking, mostly in the Times, where my column "Fast Food' contains lots of friendly ideas for quick and delicious food. I live in Somerset with my husband Ed, our two small children, May and Billy, an Aga and a vegetable patch, by which I am equally excited and horribly daunted.