Allspice Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

All Spice Chicken FG2

Melanie, my sister, wails with annoyance when yet another reminiscence of our rambunctious adventures in childhood draws a clear, straight forward blank in my mind. I sit, blinking dumbly at her, trying to rattle the chest of memories; nowt, nada. It’s an unfortunate quirk, for lack of a better word, that seems to have followed me through life. I am infamous for my lack of memory, at once a blessing and a curse. The hard parts stay, the difficult fades, the good remain on the fringes but I consider it fortunate that she is the gatekeeper of our good times. The older you get, the more you need to be with those who knew you when you were young.


Clementine & Cranberry Marmalade

Clementine & Cranberry Marmalade - The Patterned Plate

It’s that time of year again. Like pumpkins for autumn, it’s cranberries for Christmas. It’s a relatively new berry for me, an introduction to a new ingredient via marriage. I have come to love it’s acidic tang and love the way it enhances any meat it’s paired up with. And let’s be honest, turkey needs all the help it can get! I think my favourite turkey based christmas time meal is the obligatory boxing day sandwich – a pile of thin slices of turkey, with fatter slices of stuffing, topped with a generous dollop of cranberry sauce, all squashed between two thick, fluffy slices of white bread.


Everyday Chicken Curry

Everyday Chicken Curry 1

It hit me.

Moved country, emptied boxes, bought furniture, planted the garden. Uniforms ready, school bags packed, shoes polished and lunchboxes made. School timetable is on the fridge, cupboards stocked. Laundry is getting easier, navigating a new city is still a work in progress. Pantry organised, toys arranged and clothes are labelled. Met old friends, made new ones, trying to bridge the distance with those I left behind. Fridge is full, freezer is cramped, wine is chilling on the rack – regular life is all set to start again.


And Hello, from The U.A.E


Almost eight months in the works and it’s happened. We’ve moved, lock, stock and barrel. We left Doha, Qatar with 207 cardboard boxes stuffed into a 40 foot container. After a two week pause in Scotland, we flew back to the Middle East to unload its contents into a house in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I’m back home. Before there was even a mattress set on the guest bed, my Abu Dhabi based family came to stay over the Eid holidays.


Kids & Cutlets

Beef Cutlets_0082

Young kids have absolutely no filter, they are born food critics. If it sucks, they will let you know in no uncertain terms. It’s even more potent in non-verbal format – the nose wrinkling, the suspicious sniffing, flared nostrils, the corners of their sweet, puckered lips twisting downwards. Each reaction is a stab to my pride. All that effort!


Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam05

My first summer in Aberdeen was much like a first love. I experienced what a strawberry really, really tasted like, simply couldn’t get enough and wanted it with me all the time. Three punnets were on the go at a shot, freshly plucked from a local farm and sold in the farm shop along a winding country road. The kind where daffodils lined the edges and seem to nod daftly at everything that passed them.