Ahhhhhhhh, how I perceive myself having a cocktail may not necessarily translate to how I actually look having one; but nevertheless, I like cocktails, and so I shall endeavour to carry on drinking them, whether I can emulate Betty Draper or not.
There are some great cocktail bars in Northants (here’s a blog post we did last year with some Muddy faves), but they’re often a destination venue on a night out, rather than just a quick drink after work, or somewhere you can enjoy a cocktail while the kids have their tea.
Not sure you want reminding but Pancake Day has crept up on us – it’s tomorrow, Tue 28 Feb – the one day of the year when it’s totally acceptable to throw food round the kitchen. For 24 hours us amateur chefs will be stocking up on eggs, flour, Nutella, bananas and lemons to entertain our friends and family. I’m no masterchef – don’t take my advice for gawd’s sake unless you’re after a gloopy mess – but Muddy Cambs enlisted the help of crepe chef connoisseur John Fenton from Cambridge Crepes to share his flippin’ good recipe plus a few tips on how and when…
- 250 grams plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 250 mls semi-skimmed milk
- 230 mls water
- half teaspoon salt
- 4 tbsp of melted butter
Whisk together the eggs and plain flour.
Since the festivities are rolling towards us quicker than I can say ‘Jesus, who is gonna cook all these exotic menus I have planned;’ I thought I’d revisit the sexiest kitchen utensil ever!
I’ve always dreamed about being that woman at the dinner party who swans around with a Dirty Martini frolicking with the guests because all of the cooking has been done by a private chef. And I really did think it was just a dream, because how could I afford someone to come round and cook roast chicken & rice for my guests (and Yotam Ottolenghi’s chicken yah, not just any foodie fair here)? Well that was before The Kitchen Secret, brainchild of the scrumptious Tash Perkins, who comes to your kitchen, chops, dices, steams, stirs, whisks, frys and roasts you up a storm with only the freshest ingredients.
Is there a food festival in such glorious surroundings as Althorp House (trust me I’ve been, and I wanted to move in, not sure Lord Spencer was up for the clickety clack of the Muddy Stilettos though)..? Even if there is a slim chance there is one somewhere as stunning, it’s not on our doorstep, laid out on rolling green hills, miles from the madding ‘Northamptonshire’ crowd (24-25 Sep).
We live in an age where there are festivals ago-go; an age in which we are somewhat spoiled.
I discovered two things in quick succession a few days ago:
1) That it is officially National Afternoon Tea Week (yes there’s an actual week, and also a tea website that gives you recommendations for your area AND a to top it off, Muddy has a feature of five lovely tea shops in Northants…)
2) That teatime is cocktail time – because all the best artisan teas work brilliantly in a cocktail blend (to which my reaction was a bit, YEH..!)
This piece of insider information came to me courtesy of Muddy Kent who had been speaking to Francesca Booth, an irrepressible New Yorker (who has a bit of Italian heritage thrown into the mix for extra pizzazz) and trained patisserie chef.
“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald (author of The Great Gatsby and a lil’ hero of mine). The writer’s liquor of choice was gin, which he reportedly believed could not be detected on the breath. “Mother’s ruin”, as it is often known, has undergone something of a renaissance in the UK, reinvented as a premium product over the last few years.
Brilliant Birds quiz trail, Sywell Country Park, Sun 28 May – Sun 5 Jun
Bird themed half term quiz trail for your little ones (of the winged variety of course)! Pick up a trail pack from the Pump House Café to win small prizes and follow the trail map, answering the questions. A lovely day out for all the family (unless it’s pouring down, in which case, you can all camp up for hot choccie in the caff)!
One of the best bits about being a Muddy Stilettos editor is rolling around the county reviewing pubs and restaurants, meeting chefs and of course, nobbling them into providing us with a fail safe recipe cheat or two.
This time I actually nobbled one off Muddy Cornwall, from chef Emily Scott who needs no introduction around those parts – she’s a total Muddy food hero. For us Northants bods not familiar, she’s the chef-owner of St Tudy Inn – a gorgeous busy pub with a strong sense of seasonality on the edge of the moor.
All photographs by Kate Hutchings
I love food that is easy to prepare and cook, with an end result that gives the impression of great levels of skill and time spent. I admit it, I’m a fraud when it comes to cooking. And cutting corners is probably what I do best.
It’s not surprising then, that I love the spice blends created by Sarah Lazell of Little Spice.