In defence of cauliflower cheese.

On two occasions now I have drafted posts about cauliflower cheese while working through the exercises in Will Write for Food. The first was to compose a paragraph about a passion for a certain food. The second was for a post about a dish that I didn't like as a child, but have since come to love. Each time has involved a search for articles discussing the dish, and about cauliflower in general. But these have left me with only a saddening realisation. Cauliflower cheese seems to have become a dirty option for an increasingly trendy, fashionable vegetable. The cauliflower seems determined to leave its cheese-covered days behind. If you had asked me five years ago, I would not have cared at all about the fate of this dish. But before it gets lost to bad memories and cauliflower-fatigue, I think we need to remember why it is so great. A dish I hated as a child Cauliflower cheese is something that suddenly blossomed...
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Food Writing Exercises: Limiting Adjectives

I continue to work through 'Will Write for Food' as a way to improve my food writing, although progress has been halted slightly due to work (got to pay the bills!), travel (for work) and Magic of Christmas commitments (oh crikey Christmas is coming, fast!). Returning to where I had gotten to, I found that I had left myself halfway through writing two paragraphs about a favourite dish without using any adjectives. (Note: I will probably never say "my favourite dish", instead using "a favourite". I like too many things for too many different reasons to ever label one such dish as an all time favourite.) What was the favourite dish of choice for this exercise? Chicago deep dish pizza! A thing of legend in my mind until I realised a few years ago that I was heading to Chicago and there was a whole intriguing history behind it. The exercise itself, from Chapter 2 of the book, tasked me with writing...
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A Second Path: Getting into Food Writing and Blogging

Alongside my day job, and the writing of a few novels (The Magic of Christmas is progressing well, and a few other things are in the pipeline), one of my big interests has always been food. Writing about food has been a dream that has lurked within the deep corners of my mind for years now. It bubbles up each time the start of autumn brings with it the tempting thought of warmer, comforting meals. Food writing is something I have dabbled in previously, but I have always hit some form of mental barrier whenever I've begun to go anywhere with it. The original purpose of this website and blog was to change my own mindset, to make me think of myself not as 'an aspiring writer', but as 'a writer'. To not think of writing as something I would like to do, but something I actually do. And amazingly, it has worked. I now think of myself as much an author as I do...
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Anticipating Autumn: Is It Pie-Time Yet?

Anticipating Autumn: Is It Pie-Time Yet?

They are the days of fading summer, when grey clouds blanket the sky and bring with them the persistent drizzle and gloom of autumn. When the lights are needed by mid-afternoon. They’re the days that stir in me a dormant, almost primal, desire to bake pie. To savour the richer, more comforting foods that my mouth has forgotten about over the warmer months. In some ways, this is a tragedy; they're feelings that I am ashamed to feel so soon. The British summer is a fleetingly rare phenomenon that can trick us all into thinking that it has passed for another year. It will mess with our heads, throwing us one utterly horrible grey day that makes us think of autumn, before lurching back into long days of sunshine and clear blue skies. So it is always a conundrum when, late in August, I suddenly feel the urge to embrace the changing season and make very autumnal recipes while simultaneously willing summer...
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Chocolate Wine: A Drink Fit For a King

Chocolate Wine: A Drink Fit For a King

In week 3 of the royal food and feasting MOOC, I have made my first genuinely amazing discovery. I do not know how I have not come across this before, as it needs to become a regular thing. Well, not too regular. But on a cold, winter's night, it should be an option. As a Christmas Eve nightcap, it would be perfect. And it wasn't too bad on a mild July evening, either. The discovery? Chocolate wine. Except, there wasn't any wine in it. Chocolate wine. Chocolate wine! The drink, coming from Georgian times, consists of port, high-cocoa content chocolate, sugar and a small amount of flour for thickening. Port, and chocolate. Yes, port and chocolate. I'll give you a moment for that to sink in. Everything is heated up together until the chocolate has melted into the port and it has thickened into a rich, luxuriously dark liquid. The smell of it cooking is so inviting, you just know that the result is going to...
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