About Me

Hello. My name is Francesca, I live in London and here are some facts about me.

  • I’m 4ft10. I have a special kitchen stool I stand on.
  • If it’s on the menu, I will always choose the moules mariniere.
  • I am fluent in British Sign Language.
  • The cookbook I use the most is Leith’s Cookery Bible.
  • I am in my late twenties.
  • My two A* results at school were in Latin and Ancient Greek. I have a degree in Philosophy. I’m all for unpractical knowledge.
  • I only started cooking six years ago. I grew up on fish fingers and pot noodles.
  • I have never successfully made a hollandaise sauce.
  • But I am quite good at pastry.
  • I dream of organising the first annual London Pie Festival.
  • I am curious who you are.

54 Responses to “About Me”

  1. kilburn Says:

    *I’m 5ft 11 – so I don’t need a special kitchen stool/
    * I always choose Fegato Alla Veneziana if its on the menu. When I cook it myself, I like to add crushed juniper berries but these are quite hard to find in London. Last time, I got them from Tokyo.
    * I enjoy Elizabeth David, refer to Mrs. Beeton, browse Larousse, but don’t really use any of them.
    * I am just late
    * I studied Latin but got a degree in Chemistry.
    * I grew up on Lancashire Hot Pot, and enjoyed fish ‘n chips when they were wrapped in the Liverpool Echo.
    * I have never made a successful hollandaise sauce
    * but I’m OK with pastry, from Waitrose or Tesco
    * I enjoy cooking with spices and often add different teas as an ingredient. Have you tried marinading beef in Lapsang Souchong or poaching Sole in a delicate jasmine tea?
    * I am curious what you will cook at the pie festival and when it will take place.

    • Keefieboy Says:

      I am not Keefieboy. I am merely Mrs Keefieboy. I am 5ft 2, and therefore also need a kitchen stool (WHO do they design kitchens FOR?!?! I don’t know the first thing about British Sign Language, and am careful to ignore what almost-FIL teaches small grandson in Meet the Fockers (though I wouldn’t mind going to one of Mrs Focker’s yoga sessions) so American Sign Language is also a complete mystery. I did Latin for a year at school, and am therefore familiar with handsome urns and miserable Trojans. In addition to my little Latin, I have less Greek – though I can tell you that all Spanish words ending in ‘ma’ and derived from Greek are feminine, whereas all the other ‘mas’ are masculine…… sigh.

      Howsoever, I digress. (Digression is one of my special skills.) Cooking is also a bit of a mystery to me, but, as I mentioned before, I am married to Keefieboy, to whom cooking is a way of life. As eating is to me. So, when you start your London Pie Festival, whatever you produce pour encourager les autres (Skate and Squiggly, Chicken and …… oh, anything that makes chicken more interesting than – CHICKEN – or summats with beautiful coloured vegetables falling out of a translucent sauce, or seafood in some creamy vegetably saffrony lemony …….. oh – er – sorry – or short, rich, flaky, puff, millefeuille, suet crust……. nyaarghhh!) …. um, yeah, whatever you produce, if it’s as downright irresistible as the moules marinieres which my beloved made from your recipe tonight…………… then I want to know about it! I’ll even wash up………. Cor!

  2. pavlovdog Says:

    Pavlov- Alabama, USA
    *6 ft. sans stool.
    *A sucker for osso buco.
    *fluent in pig latin and some dog latin “Gustatus similis pullus.”
    *cookbook used most is not really a cookbook “On Food and Cooking” Harold McGee.
    *I’m not in my late 20’s for about a decade now.
    * You got A’s in School?! what’s an A?
    *I’ve been cooking since I was 6.
    *I have never made Borscht.
    *I dream of bells ringing.

  3. wanderluck Says:

    Hi, my name is K, I live in the States and this is my response. 🙂

    – I’m 5’6″-5’8″ depending on which measurement you use.
    – I adore tom kha gai.
    – (Mexican) Spanish was my first language. Now I have that, English and Mandarin Chinese under the belt.
    – Most used cookbook is likely “Joy of Cooking,” ’cause it was always laid out on Ma’s kitchen counter.
    – I haven’t gotten an A since my sophomore year in college and I still haven’t graduated after five years.
    – I’ve been cooking off and on since I could (actually) help. There were dry spells, of course.
    – I have never been able to make anything with seafood taste like it was supposed to.
    – But I’m good with real meats.
    – I dream of many things.
    – I’m curious as to what you think of my verbosity.

  4. Wendy Says:

    Thanks for the blog!
    I’m 5ft5.5 and my special kitchen tool is my wooden spoon
    I always pick the fresh steamed mussels if they are in season
    I am fluent in German and doing my best at understanding Swiss Dialect whilst learning Italian at the local community college – English is my mother tongue
    I pilfer ideas from many resources, but rarely stick completely to the recipe
    I am in my late thirties
    I don’t put much weight on grades since you have to be in the demographic the instruction was designed for to do well but I was lucky to be in that demographic
    I’ve been cooking most of my life but have become more proficient at it recently due to the astronomical cost of eating out as well as lack of good restaurants
    Hollandaise – I prefer to save the calorie bomb for dessert
    I am quite good at preparing tasty broth based soups
    I dream of travel
    I have no idea how I came upon your blog, but I have included it in my Mozilla Firefox Daily Coffee

  5. Tiffany Says:

    Hello, my name is Tiffany.
    I live in Singapore, and I’m fifteen.
    I am fluent in English, and so far I am only bilingual with Mandarin as my second language.
    My grades in school are average.
    So far I cannot cook much, but my mother is a talented cook, and I usually stand beside her and observe her cooking.
    I came across this website while trying to find recipes for my mother, and my mother is a big fan of red meat. I bookmarked this page.
    Although I cannot cook much as I am not skilled enough yet, I do well for Food & Nutrition theory, and someday I might be able to cook as well as my mother.
    I love the sound and smell of sauteed butter, garlic and onions.
    I dream of having a football team of children.
    I will continue to read this wordpress as my mother is equally amazed by all the dishes you can cook up.
    Thank you.

  6. Jodie Says:

    Hello, my name is Jodie. I currently live in Melbourne Australia but am about to come to the UK for a year.
    *I am 5’4 so on the stool cusp especially when sharing a kitchen with 6’4 partner.
    *The food I obsess about is Ipoh Noodles (Hor Fun I think)
    *Am currently trying (not too hard) to learn Mandarin but so far can only say “Please I do not want any MSG”
    *I don’t use cook books much but the website I cook a lot of recipes from is an Australian cooking program called The cook and the chef http://www.abc.net.au/tv/cookandchef/
    *I have a degree in Philosophy also and other sundry useless things
    *I would definitely come to a London pie festival!

  7. Jonathan Says:

    My name is Jonathan, I live near London Bridge and I am an academic who has branched out into all things web.
    I used to be 5.8 until I got measured for a medical and was told that I had never been taller than 5.7
    I love good food and wine and moved to live near Borough Market
    I enjoy cooking and my signature dish at the moment is Loin of Pork stuffed with Rosemary and Sage
    I got to know lots of the stall holders there and ended up running http://www.marketquarter.com
    I would also come to a London pie festival!

  8. Tim Says:

    My name’s Tim and I left school 40 years ago!
    I’m 5’10” so I don’t need a stool either. I’m a private investigator. (That’s actually true – and it’s mostly boring).
    I love cooking and came across this site because I just bought a chicken brick and I’m learning how to use it.
    I do a mean stifado, with garlic and rosemary roast potatoes. Also a pretty good lamb tagine.
    London Pie Festival? Good idea!

  9. Charles Says:

    *5ft 7.5 (when you’re five seven you gotta start counting the half inches
    *I always order the steak or the summer rolls.
    *I can speak a bit of French
    * I have / do never use cookbooks, I use the internet for help though sometimes.
    *I’m also in my late twenties
    *I got an E at GCSE Art and dropped out of university when I was studying law.
    * I’ve been feeding myself healthily for the past 10 years but I reckon I’ve only been ‘cooking’ for the past couple of years.
    *I’d like to organise a big Chilli fest ike they have in the States

  10. Sydney Says:

    I am 5’1″ and while I don’t need a stool to stand on while cooking, I need one to access almost everything else in the kitchen.

    I started cooking less than three years ago, even though both my parents are fantastic cooks AND my dad owns a restaurant.

    I work at the university and I am currently in the midst of organizing a week-long conference that will take place in 2010.

    I am also in my late twenties.

    I live with my boyfriend and our dog.

    I’ve never been to London but I’m hoping to make a trip there in 2012 for the Olympics (my cousin is trying for a spot on the gymnastics team).

  11. Morandir Armson Says:

    My name is Morandir. I live in Sydney, though I’m quite fond of London.
    I’m 6′ 4″ in my shoes. But I’m partly paralysed, so I sit on my kitchen stool, quite a lot of the time.
    I would always eat braised lamb shanks or oxtail, if it were on the menu. (It almost never is).
    I’m only fluent in Standard English, South-West Sydney English and Inner-Western Sydney English.
    I use Ken Lo’s “Chinese Food” and the “Commonsense Book of Sauces”.
    It’s been a few years since I was in my late 20s.
    I didn’t do much at school, but I have a BA in Studies in Religion and Mediaeval Studies, a Honours degree in Studies in Religion and about a quarter of a PhD in Studies in Religion. (Is that impractical enough for you?).
    I learned to cook when I was 12 or 13, because my mother couldn’t cook to save her life. It was self preservation!
    I make Sauce Hollandaise fairly often. (It’s VERY impressive).
    I’m pretty OK at pastry, but my partner is better.
    I’d come to the London Pie Festival. I am Australian after all.

  12. david Says:

    My name is David, and I live is Lee in sarf east London.
    I’m 5’5″ so I sometimes need a stool.
    Put me in a kitchen, with a glass of wine and some Broadway show CD, and I’m a pig in sh+t..!
    Big sea food fan, whenever I visit my second home, Seattle, I always head for Elliots Oyster House. They always have at least 10- 12 different kinds of oyster, but my fav is Halibut cheeks…..yes….yummm.
    Useless at pastry.
    Doing Lobster Newberg for New Years Eve….with Australian Rock lobster tails.
    And I plan on using your recipe for Ham/lentil soup….with the ham stock.
    My 3 dogs lurv doing the pre-wash…what dog doesnt..?

  13. Ann Woodhouse Says:

    Hello there, I am Ann and I live in the North Riding of Yorkshire.
    It`s been a long while since I was in my twenties (do they still exist!)
    Am 5`4“ and sometimes use a stool.
    My favourite dish steak and kidney pie and chips, with peas of course and plenty of good gravy.
    I love the recipes of Margueritte Patten and enjoy the Australian Womens Weekly cook books.
    Learnt to cook from an early age standing next to the cooker and asking questions.
    Do a mean fish pie that has a combination of fish, onion, cheese, parsley, soy sauce, mustard in a white sauce topped with mashed potato – delicious.
    Brilliant site, am trying the boulangere potatoes today, thanks.

  14. Roberto Granelli Says:

    What a charming and interesting bunch of foodies you are.(what is the collective noun for foodies,a bake,a cobbler,a cuddle?)
    You might be interested in my (mamma,s!) version of Pesto.
    Buon appetito!

    • Hugh Trousdale Says:

      Hello Roberto,

      I would certainly be interested if your parents were Maria and Luigino Granelli who once lived in Kirkconnel, Dumfries, Scotland. My wife Margaret, nee Lindsay, often sampled your mamma’s cooking and has fond memories of her former next door neighbour. I have posted a message for you on your “Granelli in Santa Maria del Taro page.”
      Hugh Trousdale

  15. Sasha Says:

    I am from Ukraine and now live in New York. I never use cookbooks and taught myself to cook by watching the FoodNetwork (not sure if you guys have it over there, probably not : /)
    I am charmed by your blog and will certainly try out your recipes.

    Lots of love,

  16. Hulda Says:

    Hello There
    Just bumped into your wonderful website and love your “about me” so I will share aswell
    -I am 5’3 but never use a stool just wear high heels while cooking.
    – My choise used to always be a fine rare fillet stake but have not eaten meat for a year now due to stomach ulser so now its the seafood.
    – I am Icelandic but fluent in English as I live in the UK also speak Swedish and Norwegian
    – I’m addictied to cookbooks and spend lazy Sunday mornings studying them for inspiration. Rick Stein is in favorite now.
    – I currently work as a manager for a shipping line whilst studying for my MBA but I love everything about food and cooking.
    – I’m in my mid-thirties
    – I’ve been cooking from a young age but only grew so enthusiatic a few years ago.
    – I promised my hubby eggs Benedict for breakfast one morning but bought the Hollandaise ready in a jar as it was on offer (still have not cooked this yet 🙂 )
    – I’ve never made pastry but plan to one day.
    – Love London, Love pies, I’ll be there.

  17. Sandra Says:

    What special stool do you use to stand on?

    I am barely 5′ and I need one too but it seems dangerous to be standing on a stool while cooking.

  18. Ananda Says:

    Ciao tutti,

    I am from the UK but now live in Italy.
    I am quite tall for my height so don’t need a stool.

    I love cooking and believe its the way to feed the soul.

    For many reasons the microwave should be banished.

    Every time I make a roux sauce I still think of my cookery teacher and her words echo in my head “stir in a figure of 8 girls” that mantra has been going on for more than 25 years. So yes a bit older than my 20’s
    I found your website whilst doing a search for chocolate profiteroles. I used to make regularly for dinner parties but not for several years so needed a re-fresh.
    I now have an Italian boyfriend who is a fab cook and he does all the cooking but this week we have friends for dinner (about 15 people) and I said I would make the ‘dolce’ For him 15 people is nothing, he is a Napolitan.

    We just came back from seeing his family, one night we went to his brothers for dinner, there were 35 of us! I said “why didn’t you tell me it was a party?” ” “That’s not a party, that was just my family having dinner!” Tonino replied.

    Here in Italy, food is about bringing people together. It doesn’t have to be complicated, most dishes are quite simple. Fresh good quality indredients are paramount, always with what is in season. Staying with the rhythm of nature I believe is a valuable lesson for us all.

    The only problem with Italian food is that 5 days later you are hungry again!

    Buon appetito tutti!

  19. Terry Says:

    What a terrific bunch of people! I was just looking for a butter recipe!
    I am from San Pedro, California, a beach town south west of LA. I have a masters degree in clinical psych, masters in renaissance architecture and art history, and I’m a Phd candidate in clinical psych. I work as a family therapist, but primarily as a school psychologist. Cooking is my creative stress release.
    Love the blog and all the comments…will continue to visit!

  20. Barnaby Says:

    I live in Cornwall.
    I am 5′ 8″ so I don’t need a stool though I sometimes wish I had one as my kitchen floor gets very slippery … probably because I am a messy cook…
    I’m in my mid 50’s. (sob)
    I have an Hons Degree in Art History.
    I found this site because I was looking for some inspiration for cooking sausages. I live near a farm shop and have bought have some very nice fresh ones from the shop that taste great when cooked on their own. Wanting to broaden my horizons I typed ‘things to do with sausges’ in to my search engine. Some of the listings had nothing to with sausages! Then this site came up which looks interesting.
    I have only been cooking for about one year now. I lived on unmentionables before that.
    My daughter started complaining after I became a single parent. In sympathy I bought Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver which is absolutely brilliant and has inspired me to look further afield.
    I love simple recipes with good quality ingredients. I am lucky as I live near a farm that sells home grown vegetables.
    I have never cooked soups before and I cooked Leak and Potatoe soup the other day and it was wonderful. So easy.
    I avoid supermarkets whenever possible and I am becoming interested in fresh fish. I have Cornish Devon Ray Wings in
    the fridge which are making me nervous as i am not sure what to do with them.
    Keep up the good work. In sympathy with ‘Terry’ above cooking is a great stress buster, and good for the soul.
    Pies … mmm … sounds good.

  21. 2heelersinmykitchen Says:

    * I’m 5’6″ and I can reach all my shelves in my kitchen, minus the top of the cupboards (I get my boyfriend to jump up and get the roaster pan!)
    * I used to order the beef dip when out for lunch,… unless there is a good oyster poor boy on the menu… if no seafood,… then a reuben sandwich…
    * I speak english
    * The cookbooks I use the most is Joy, Betty Crocker, Katzen’s assorted vegetarians, Nigella, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, James Beard, Mark Bittman ((all at once!!))
    * I am in my late 30’s!!! WHOA!
    * I did A’s in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, English, and Calculus in highschool. I have a BSc in Animal Biology and a MSc in Forest Ecology. I dropped out of PhD school.
    * I cooked in highschool… dinners, lunches for my aunt, and lots of special coffees…
    * I have successfully made a hollandaise sauce.
    * I am still learning pastry. Lard is our friend. I never do vegetable shortening. Yeeuck! A food processor is my friend. Whizz whizz.
    * I dream of cooking all day long in a restaurant. Cutting, prepping, cooking, cleaning,…

  22. 2heelersinmykitchen Says:

    Dear Barnaby,
    what are Cornish Devon Ray Wings?

    • Barnaby Says:

      Hi. I’m not really sure what they are. Which is why they are still in the freezer, along with the a “what-do-you-call-it” I caught in the local estuary in the summer which I feel sorry for … hence it is still in the fridge … along with the “I am not really sure what it is”. I can tell you it is flat and fishy looking. I could send you a photo if you are really interested!

  23. urchin Says:

    * I’m 5ft4. and only need a stool to reach the top of my kitchen cupboards where the jam kettle lives.
    * If it’s on the menu, I will always choose lamb
    * I am fluent in English only.
    * I very rarely use cookbooks, i’m a throw it in the pan kinda cook …. that said, I do use my Bero book a fair amount
    * I am 40
    * I have no A levels, but I do have an MA in textiles design
    * I have cooked since I was old enough to hold a wooden spoon – and have been able to cook a full meal since I was about 10
    * I am fantastic at hollandaise sauce.
    * But I am also very good at pastry.
    * I dream of owning 10 acres where I could grow my own veg and raise rare breeds
    * I am curious.

  24. Darcy Says:

    Hi, I’m Darcy and I’m from the United States. I found this site while looking for recipes for pasties, which I have never tried, and I’ll admit I only recently learned of them while reading Harry Potter. 🙂 I’m 5’6″ so I almost never use a stool. My husband swears I make a mean chili, and a fabulous roast chicken, but baked goods sometimes give me trouble. I love the recipe I found here for pasties, and I adore the way you write, Francesca! You are very entertaining. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art, so I share your love of unpractical knowledge. I am rapidly aprroaching my late thirties. I use a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook a great deal, as well as one titled “It Was On Fire When I Last Checked On It”.

  25. Dougy Says:

    First entry for 2010 – cool!
    So I’m a 6’2″ Aussie guy living with my family in New York. Love cooking as it releases the stresses of work – especially kneeding bread. I make the bread and yoghurt we eat becsue the most or the food in the US is so full of High Fructose Corn syrup that its too sweet for us. Not to mention that HFCS is seriously bad for you and makes you really fat and hyper. Favourate foods are curries from, well, everywhere. I have a few degrees in HR and work for the UN. Favourate cook book is Asia the Beautiful. Cheers,

  26. oldannofthekitchen Says:

    Hello to you all, I am 65 and have been cooking for many years, started by standing by the oven and watching my Mam then cooking supper for Dad when Mam was at work, probably about 14 then. Love being in the kitchen and `doing` more than anything else. I fancy having a bash at `Ranchos Huevos` any suggestions! Love the site. I live in North Yorkshire at a place called Leeming Bar and love goind down to London and vistiting the Wallace Collection, amazing!

  27. Natalya Says:

    Hello. My name is Natalya, I live in Rugby and here are some facts about me.

    •I’m 5’3&3/4 inches – and yes the 3/4 is VERY important – grin!
    •If it’s on the menu, I will always choose the sticky toffee pudding and then decide on a main.
    •I am fluent in toddler and teenager and sulky 7-9 year old, quite an achievement and I believe under-recognised as a language 😉
    •The cookbook I use the most is Domino’s take-away menu, failing that I resort to Nigella Express or Meals in moments – are you getting my lack of foreplanning yet?
    •I am in my late twenties – ish, well it is ish until you actually hit 40!
    •My GCSE’s were fine, I dropped out of A levels but then managed to obatin a diploma from the institute of management – still think that they got my results muddled with someone else!
    •I only cook when I have to, fortunately school dinners and my husband’s work canteen mean I can usually restrict this occurrence to a couple of times a week but in the holidays I can while away hours while searching for recipes online which is how I found your site!
    •I have never successfully made a hollandaise sauce.
    •But I am quite good at making mayonnaise – yes, actual home-made proper mayonnaise – you’re surprised – I was gobsmacked and my mother nearly fell over!
    •I dream of being chief taster at the first annual London Pie Festival.
    •I am curious to know what your favourite dessert is

  28. plan-bstudio Says:

    Loving the blog. I started taking pictures of all my food a few years ago, only just started posting them, but I love it. You’ve shown me yours, I’ll show you mine:


    Keep it up! x Steve

    p.s your Hasselback potatoes are an excellent idea. I find cooking for my kid a constant challenge; trying new stuff. Will definitely use this.

  29. duncan Says:

    * i’m 5’7, which makes me a giant in glasgow, where i recently moved to, from australia. funnily enough, a stool could come in quite handy – all of these tenements have terribly high ceilings. and my lovely new (scottish) flatmate could definitely use a stool…
    * if it’s on the menu, i would always choose… jeez, do people really answer this question honestly?
    * i am fluent in verbal prestidigitation.
    * the cookbook i use most is The Australian Hostess Cookbook. not for cooking, just for the entertainment value. stephanie alexander, on the other hand, has taught me much of what i know about food. and kylie kwong. and margaret hamilton. and, god bless his soul, bernard king. i mean, roulade moutard a la bernard, anyone?
    * i am in my tempestuous mid-30’s.
    * my marks in all things are all over the place.
    * i’ve always had a peripheral interest in food, and despite floating through my late adolescence, have vivid memories of my mother’s culinary excursions [which were for the most part fantastic, despite the odd recipe that looked distinctly as though it had come from the Women’s Weekly Australian Hostess Cookbook.) and as an adult i’ve come to absolutely love food (without having the patience to master the making of it, which doesn’t mean that i don’t enjoy turning my hand to it regularly.)
    * hollandaise? not so much into butter.
    * but i am into capers, and anchovies, and verjus, and arabic pickled turnip (which is gorgeous and surprisingly easy to make.) and as a famous personage once said, lemon with everything.
    * i dream of being invited to the london pie festival as a professional taster and all-round enjoyer of the good life.


  30. Carla Says:

    Cool blog Francesca – Thank you for sharing!

    Im Carla from Malta.
    Im in my late 20’s.
    I recently started my own food related site called drdietright.com based on ‘eating well’
    I love food and Ill try anything once
    My family run an organic farm
    I experiment daily with different ingredients.
    Ohhh and I love pies 🙂

  31. Stuart. Says:

    @I’m 5’8″ and haven’t a clue in metres…
    @If its strange looking on the menu I will try it.
    @I am fluent in a broad Bradfordian accent!
    @The cook book folks will use most is the ‘Easy cooking for easy folks’ I am writing-erm, slowly.
    @I am 46 but look a very young 36!?
    @I left school at 15. Later got my HNC Tech and Man, but dont use it.
    @I started microwave meals 8 years ago and have been cooking good stuff since August 2010.
    @I have succeeded in all my meals to date-check them on my site under cooking.
    @But i’m rubbish at trying to market my website A million hits nearly-your good!
    @I dream of marketing my cooking skills that easy going folks will enjoy.
    @I am curious to see if you a genuine and view my site with comments!

    Maybe other folks on here do also say Hi…


  32. Samantha Says:

    This blog is fabulous, why are there no recent posts, are you still cooking?


  33. Rachel Says:

    *5’8 and scared of wearing heels. My kitchen is the perfect height for me
    *mid-twenties and I take great pleasure in reminding my 30 something partner about that
    *I got an A* in how to avoid school
    *I got into cooking by way of Baking. I make killer chocolate brownies
    *Several cook books float about my kitchen nearly all are written by Rachel Allen. I find Rachel’s favourite food a good go to book
    * I tend to order fish or red meat in restaurants
    * I am too terrified to cook fresh fish at home despite several people assuring me how easy it is.
    *I adore a good cooking blog 😉

    • Pauline Says:

      If you’re scared of cooking fresh fish coz you may overcook it, then try monkfish. There are some great recipes out there and, because it’s a meaty fish, it will take a bit of abuse. I think if you can bake you can cook anything – I can only bake cakes that look like pizzas so any idiot proof tips?

  34. Linda Says:

    I was born and still live in Scotland.
    I’m 5’7” and can reach the top shelf in my kitchen at a stretch. I don’t dust the tops of my cupboards enough.
    If it’s on the menu, I’ll always order pizza.
    I’m fluent in the music and lyrics of Fleetwood Mac.
    I started proper cooking last year and have been taking some classes and reading books.
    I’ve just turned 30 but inside I feel 21.
    I have a degree in Medicinal Chemistry but retrained as a Quantity Surveyor. It was an accident.
    I’ve never tried to make hollandaise sauce but I don’t think I’d like it.
    I’m very good at making chilli con carne.
    I dream of being a florist and having a workshop.
    London needs a pie festival. It’s a winner, go for it!

  35. Pauline Says:

    Just found your blog while looking for a low fat liver recipe. I love the way you write, I shall feel like I have a friend in the kitchen with me!

    My name is Pauline & I live in Scotland though I’m English – what a brave woman I am. What I miss most from England are proper markets. We have a small overpriced community market once a month here but I miss the hustle & bustle of a proper market and turning up at closing time to get all the last minute bargains.
    I’m 5’2″, never use stools as I’m scared of heights, but can usually persuade taller family members to reach top cupboards!
    I used to always stick with what I know on a menu and would quiz poor waiting staff for ingredients – but now I’ve started choosing things I wouldn’t normally look at. The only think I won’t touch is baked beans – urggh – can’t even watch anyone else eating them!
    I speak English fluently, French & German passably (my 3 A-levels were in French, German & Maths), and a smattering of Spanish & Italian but not enough to get by!
    I was in my late twenties about twenty years ago. Now I’m knocking on the door of 50 – this Thursday in fact! I’ve only been cooking properly for a short while. My favourite cookery books are the BBC Good Food ones. They’re so easy to follow and so small they don’t take up too much worktop space.
    I’ve not been brave enough to try hollandaise sauce, which is crazy since I live near an asparagus farm. Nor have I tried mayonnaise despite saying I’m going to…..
    I also don’t really cook pastry. But that’s because I’m several stone overweight now so pastry and cakes are big no-no’s. I have 3 daughters. One can’t cook at all, one is a throw the fridge contents into a pan & it tastes divine girl & one makes amazing cakes & macaroni cheese! And none of them learnt from me!
    If you decide to export the London Pie Festival around the country, I’d be happy to be your Scottish pie taster but, sorry, I left the south east of England for very good reasons (too hot & too busy) & I’m in no hurry to return – even for a pie festival.

  36. Louise Says:


    Love the blog – also came across it when searching for a chicken brick recipe.
    I live in Bermondsey South East London and frequent borough Market often for cuisinary delights 🙂 don’t require a stool in the kitchen as 5 ft 7. I am 27 and newly engaged – my quest is to improve my housewifery skills, top of the list is cooking which i am not bad at but striving to add more dishes to my repetoire. From yorkshire originally so brought up on traditional english food as well as Scouse with having parents from liverpool. Plan to work through all your recipes Francesca!

    Peace out


    Ps: Keen for a pie fest!

  37. pingmat Says:

    Did someone say PIE-FEST?

  38. Jennifet Cusack Says:

    Hi Francesca

    My name is Jennifer and I am from Cavan, Ireland. I am in a competition called ‘Chef Factor’ and I need thousands of votes.. can you and your friends vote for me .. just click the link.. thanks a mill.. It’s a lifetime dream for me to win the prize of a 12 week cookery course!!!

    PS: Love your blog!!! Hope to one day have my own!! 


    Sent from my iPhone

  39. jo mull Says:

    i love this blog…made me laugh when i really needed it!

  40. jo mull Says:

    sorry…meant that in a good way : )

  41. Sharon Daniels Says:

    Hi I’m Sharon, I love your blog. This is me…..

    I’m 46, which is only just a bit closer to 50 than 40.
    Lived in West Midlands all my life so only Black Country dialect required.
    At 5’4″ I can reach my top shelves if I use a potato masher to hook things to the edge and grab them. Also, my kitchen floor slopes meaning the worktop on the left hand side is about 3″ lower than the one on the right hand side… an unexpected benefit of living in an old house!
    I studied Stage 1 BSL 16 years ago. I haven’t used it since and remember only a few random signs but I still have a certificate that says I can do it.
    I read cookery books, any cookery books, food websites too. I spend so long reading recipes we usually have to eat something quick and simple as there is no time left to cook.
    I’ve amassed an array of cook books, kitchen machinery and gadgets and I love them all. I occasionally use some of them too!
    My mum also loves to cook, she encouraged me from an early age to help out in the kitchen.
    I left school at 16 with 6 ‘O’ levels then about 6 years ago did a certificate and then diploma in management by distance learning. With £6k more I may have got an MBA, but I’ll never know.
    I’m proud of having 2 daughters, 1 grandson and just 1 husband.
    I’m pretty good at baking, making pastry and bread, I over-flavour and over-season everything so i’m not great at things that need a delicate touch.
    Hollandaise sauce? I don’t think i’ve ever tried.
    I’m a regular pie maker. I also have high cholesterol and a weight problem. Who ate all the pies? That’ll be me then!
    Sign me up for your Pie Festival.

  42. Barbara Says:

    Hi Francesca, Just stumbled upon this little gem. Am doing your Hasselbach (I think ) potatoes for my daughter, who’s the fussiest eater ever. Will report back, love the site,

  43. Sonia Says:

    Hi Francesca! I have no idea how I ended up here, but i love it already! Here it goes:
    My name is Sonia and I live in London for 9 years now (originally from Portugal)
    I have no idea how tall I am in feet and don’t care to know how tall I am in such obsolete measurement! I’m 1.65m and that gets me going!
    If it’s on the menu, fresh fish. And a good tiramisu completes me.
    I speak Portuguese, Spanish and English Fluently. I am limited in Africans and French.
    My favourite cook-helper is my mum. and frankly, she really is the best cook in the entire world!
    (This hurts to say) but I am in my late twenties as well.
    I am a Scientist. Graduated in Forensics initially and spend the last few years completing a PhD in Medical Genetics. I love my job and I secretly think that it has a lot in common with my obsession with food. I love inventing things, new recopies, new techniques, new experiments, new ideas. I get by with a new idea and an old wine everyday!
    I cooked all my life, but it was only 9 years ago, when I moved to England, that I discover it to be a passion.

  44. Paul Says:

    Hi. I’m Paul and I live in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. I am ancient and retired, Socrates was my debating partner! I use ‘Joy of Cooking’ which just has to be the definitive cook’s bible. I’m 6’1″ and my bloody kitchen is a hole in the wall which I hate with a passion usually reserved for politicians. Four years ago a heart attack awoke me as to what I had been doing to myself. Reluctantly, the essentials in life like pizza, ribs, burgers and sausages are now a mere tasty memory. So I cook. Just got to. The diversification of ethnic eats here in Vancouver is staggering, and competition keeps quality up and prices relatively low, but unfortunately as we all know, restaurant food is tasty because it’s usually loaded with sugar, salt and fat. Our government is cynically manipulated by the food manufacturing industry and allows them to lie to us on a grand scale, so again, I cook. Just got to. A pie festival sounds great fun, but London? No thanks. Twenty years ago I was unemployed in Tooting Bec. It gave me a bit of a jaundiced view, you might say, and I swear I can still taste the diesel fumes and visualize the litter! Born in Beeston, Nottingham, my trade was welding and metal fabrication. I’m a music-nut and I love wine. (a very early Sunday Times Wine Club member) My previous passion for football (here called ‘soccer’) has now been overtaken by ice hockey, The Vancouver Canucks being the object of my fan worship. I came to this site after looking up ‘curry’, and I’m sure glad that I did. Looks great and I’m pushed for a decision as to which recipe I will use first – a sweet dilemma. Thanks for your efforts, got to go now – I have a huge appetite and a very, very small kitchen…………..

    • Paul Says:

      And now it’s complaint time. Six hours have gone by, and I only finished up making a sandwich! For why? Because I found that I couldn’t tear myself away from your site for more than a few minutes, that’s why! Now it’s past 11:00pm my time, and it’s about time for sleep. So to summarize: I came here to get inspiration to cook, but got so absorbed that I have no time to cook anything! There’s summat wrong with that, by jove!

  45. Car dealers in Mauritius Says:

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  46. Bradly Says:

    Useful info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident, and I am stunned why this accident did
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  47. Elaine Says:

    Love this site! I always go to recipes.com but stumbled into here. This will now be my go to site for recipes and tips. I’m 60 today and make killer French soup I’m told. We live in Baltimore, Maryland

  48. Judith Says:

    Hi there!
    I’m Judith from Barcelona, Catalonia! Lovely blog!
    – 1’70m, just the right height for almost everything
    – I’m 40 and I’m fabulous. I’ll marrying my boyfriend in 3 months!
    – I am fluent in Spanish, Catalan, English and make my attempts at Italian
    – Good student, got a degree in Advertising, quit after 15 years of suffering bad mannered clients, studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, about to start the practice with real patients… wish me luck!
    – I cook since I was 15 (a natural tendence) but never thought of being a chef. I just love cooking, eating and feeding my loved ones. And singing!
    – Bought some cook books centuries ago but nowadays just browse the internet for inspiration. Got a fatty “Gastro” folder in my bookmarks
    – I love pasta, roasts, sushi and all kind of Japanese food
    – I almost never succeed in baking a nice loaf of bread… sob, sob
    – I dream of going to the Oyster Festival in… Galway, is it? I lived in Ireland (Co Kerry) for some time but was too young and poor by then. Not that I’m rich now but enough to pay for the ticket!
    * I am thankful for the ones who posted before me

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