It’s that time of year again when pumpkins are in season. We only get a short window in the UK to which to use the bright orange fruit from the squash family. However, unlike little brother, butternut squash, pumpkin is often seen as a gimmick for carving into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. When I lived in New Zealand, they were nuts about pumpkin soup and they even sell it by the tin like we do with tomato soup. With us Brits jumping on the bandwagon of picking our own pumpkin at pumpkin patches (check out Arnprior Farm, famous for being Scotland’s first premier pumpkin farm) like the Americans, there’s really every excuse to get cooking with our favourite October seasonal fruit. This autumn, I’m here to tell you how to turn your pumpkin purchase into a delicious pumpkin soup.
As a Home Economics Teacher I have a vested interest in food education, teaching the next generation practical food skills, about healthy but tasty food choices, sustainability and seasonality, preventing food waste, food sovereignty, supporting local food businesses and Fairtrade suppliers, the benefits of growing your own food and ethical and environmental food choices. That’s why I am a big fan of the ‘Eat Better Feel Better’ website funded by the Scottish Government and I want to tell you why you should be too. Continue reading →
I find it rare that I have a day where I get to totally please myself, without having to think about work, household tasks or pre-arranged plans. I used to be the kind of person up until about a year and a half ago where I’d have weekends planned in advance for weeks on end. I’ve come to loathe being too busy and instead I’d rather have more space to be spontaneous. I believe it’s really important to nurture and take care of myself by resting and allowing myself to get a little bit bored instead of running at a 100 mile an hour pace all the time.
Edinburgh’s south side is fast becoming a foodie haven and there’s a new and improved kid on the block. The Salisbury Arms is a recently renovated Georgian Gastropub with beautifully finished features inside and out. On entry to the main restaurant you are greeted with a cosy yet open dining area and your eyes are immediately drawn to the roaring fire which is the centre piece of the room.
I am gushing over how good my Sunday has been. I received a very thoughtful Christmas present from my other half to attend a 3 hour cooking experience at Nick Nairn’s Cook School. Now as you all well know, I am a massive foodie and it felt great to be on the other side for a change – being the student instead of the teacher. However I don’t know much about Nick Nairn himself! So here’s what I’ve found out….
You could describe The Jolly Botanist as my local, as it is a mere 200 metres from where I live and a stones throw from Haymarket train station and tram stop. With a classy but quirky Victorian-aged style, it is the perfect place for a gin and tonic with it being a gin bar stocking over 72 gins, so plenty to sample! However it stocks all of your other spirits you would expect from any other bar, as well as lagers, craft beers, wine, cocktails and prosecco. Great for a few weekend drinks or a couple of gin and tonics midweek, it also boasts a bit of space out front which is great on a sunny day for catching some rays compete with gin in hand. Continue reading →