Category Archives: Fruit


Fresh from San Sebastian
Fresh from San Sebastian


Louise and her family come over from San Sebastian Easter, August and Christmas – during the school and college holidays. They always come bearing goodies – this time they brought this delicious box of strawberries and jars of my favourite pickled peppers.

Basque Pickled Peppers
Pickled Peppers from the Basque country

We’ve tried buying picked peppers in London but have only been able to find the fatter tough peppers that are best used for cooking. I like to have a pickled pepper in my home-made cream cheese sandwiches.


I might try  this tongue twister on my Basque grandchildren.

‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter picked?’

I wonder who remembers how much a ‘peck’ is – 9.0923 litres or ¼ bushel. A bushel is a measure of volume (1.2445 cubic feet or 8 gallons) used originally for quantities of grain, fruit or other produce, so the actual weight would vary depending on the contents.
As a children in pre-WW2 London we had to learn all these old measures like rods,  poles, perches and  chains as measurements of length.  Acres (4840 square yards) are still used as measures of area, particularly in farmland.

Seeded Muffins – another delicious treat

Tea- or coffee-time treat
Lovely for coffee or tea time

There are so many healthy things in these little muffins that surely they must be good for you  – pecan nuts, carrots, mixed seeds. porage oats, dried apricots – especially if you forget the calories and don’t eat too many.

The recipe sounds complicated but once you’ve assembled the ingredients it’s a doddle and they always work out well

Recipe Continue reading Seeded Muffins – another delicious treat

Supermarkets to make your mouth water

Vegetables in our local Tesco
Vegetables in our local Tesco

There’s no doubt that our local Tesco is going upmarket. Its produce is better and I have now started to buy meat there but unlike the big Spanish supermarkets I need a shopping list, rather wandering around and getting inspired

Pick your own
Pick your own

I think the big difference, for example in this Basque supermarket Eroski,  is that except for potatoes and oranges all the produce is laid out for you to choose.  Doesn’t matter if it’s been handled by someone else – you’re going to wash it anyhow. Everything is so much more tempting. When we go to visit Louise I often wish I was the cook – but I don’t cook in her flat and she doesn’t cook when she comes to us.

Best of all are the big covered markets like the one in Valencia, where we had a long weekend with our daughter Jane and stayed in a hotel. There was every kind of delicious looking food on sale  and I regretted that we hadn’t taken an apartment instead where I could cook our dinner.  You wouldn’t have to plan the next meal and take a shopping list – just wander around and be tempted.

Delicious Fruit and Oat Scones

There were originally 14!!
There were originally 14!!

I don’t always have breakfast – often just a cafetière of coffee – but when I decided to have some porage last Tuesday I noticed a recipe for Fruit and Oat Scones on the back of the Scott’s Porage Oats packet.
They are delicious. I found the baking temperature 220°C a bit to hot – the scones browned before they were fully cooked – so I modified it to 200°C. Also I prefer my scones round – not wedge shaped as their recipe suggests. I know using fluted cutters is supposed to stop your scones rising as well as when you use smooth cutters but I like the fluted shape and I like my scones glazed.
Continue reading Delicious Fruit and Oat Scones