Even when I was well loved-up, we’d usually spend Saturday evenings at home. Love of my life and I worked hard and often in different cities so after traveling on a Friday we’d go out in either London or Munich. Saturday mornings were lovely languid affairs followed by a gallery and a bit of shopping…usually for food. Then a leisurely cooking session meandered into evening, eating at a table with candles, a movie and bed. Bliss.

These days Saturday nights are mostly at home too but I try to make my days as busy as possible. Today I made a Victoria Sponge to take to my friend Henrietta Lovell of the Rare Tea Company for a tea tasting. I haven’t know Henrietta for long but she has turned tea from something prosaic into something positively poetic. The compounds and scents in the tea she gave me have the ability to evoke memories in a way I don’t think anything else has in my life. Maybe I’ll write more about that another time…I really should have been taking notes today.

I’m not a great baker. The cake was OK. Oven was probably a gnats hot so it had a crispy edge. Henrietta very graciously said she liked the crunch. But while I’ll leave the baking to Mary Berry, I’d take her in A Great British Soup Off any day. Soup was a daily part of my life in Scotland. My mum (or dad on a Sunday) would make a pot of soup every day. I never understand people who say they don’t know how to make it. It’s so quick and easy and ideal for small quantity cooking. Here’s tonight’s effort. 10 minutes start to finish…I swear. All stuff I had in the fridge in preparation for uncooked meal of seduction…see earlier posting.



Serves 1

  • 75g white crab meat
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 50g finely sliced leek or garlic scapes if you can get them
  • 1/2 a red chili
  • small nubbin of ginger
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1-2 cups of chicken or veg stock
  • 30g frozen peas
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • bunch of chervil
  • a little cream (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and throw in the leek (or scapes) and chili. Saute gently for a couple of minutes then add the crab.
  2. Grate in a little ginger and let it sizzle until you smell all the aromas rise to meet you.
  3. Cover with the stock and bring to a gently simmer.
  4. After 3-4 minutes add the peas and chervil.
  5. Taste and season then squeeze in the lemon juice so that everything stays fresh and green.


Just a thought buttThis might be nice with a few rice noodles added…would make it more of a meal. OK, now what’s on the telly….