Victoria Holt's Mistress of Mellyn

Imagine you are of two minds: Mind 1: I should totally read Jane Eyre again. I’m in the mood for a gothic governess book. Mind 2: But I’ve read Jane Eyre so many times. I want something different and familiar. Enter Victoria Holt’s Mistress of Mellyn. Martha Leigh, a genteel woman who’s still young but has failed thus far to find a husband and has no money of her own, must head off to []


Taunton Toasts

[raw] I have a cold. I haven’t had one in three or four years and I am being a huge baby about it. The only “powering through” I’ve done is working on this post, which I’m prefacing with the cold comment so you’ll excuse it being a bit short. I am no martyr. Anyway, Taunton Toasts are the perfect comfort food, especially if your husband is capable of making them []


Fish and Chips

When I reviewed Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden, I promised you a fish and chips recipe. You can read the book review here. I felt another happy moment of nostalgia, sitting on the whitewashed harbor wall enjoying fish and chips that had been wrapped in newspaper, the old way I remembered it. The rest was well remembered too: the biting tang of vinegar, the sharpness of the salt, the sound []


Feasts and Festivals: Raspberry Cream for Midsummer

Before we get to the Raspberry Cream recipe, here’s what you need to know about the festival of Midsummer (24 June). Traditionally, it’s a time of divination and a time to gather flowers and herbs while they’re at their most potent evil-bashing capability. There are several Midsummer activities you can try–wear a floral crown to ward off mischievous spirits and put a garland around your cow’s neck for the same []


Susanna Kearsley's The Rose Garden

You might have noticed I’ve been on a Cornwall kick lately. I will admit that I’ve been ordering books from the library merely because they’re listed as being set in Cornwall at Good Reads; Ross Poldark is the next book on my to-read list even though I’ve already watched the miniseries. So to the point–I just finished Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden, which is (surprise!) set in Cornwall. I hadn’t read []


Lamb Steaks with Redcurrant Sauce

[raw] I have to say that I’m really picky about lamb. Sometimes I really love it (like in this lamb steak recipe) but other times it just tastes like hair grease. I think it all has to do with what else is in the recipe. I find that if there’s an astringent taste to counteract the lamb grease, I’m all good. This recipe coats the lamb steaks in rosemary (astringent), []


#1day12pics June 2014

This Saturday was my second #1day12pics, a monthly instagram photo get-together where we each take twelve photos over the course of a single day (you could probably have figure that out for yourself). Anyway, here’s another Saturday-in-the-life of Lauren Hairston, food blogger. Peeling back the curtain… Naturally, there’s going to be food. On the left I’m making a cup of tea with Taylors of Harrogate Scottish Breakfast and my Old []


Chocolate Almond Cake

Chocolate Almond Cake

[raw] I know we estrogen-fueled ladies are supposed to be helpless chocoholics, but I certainly don’t fall into that category. I do like the occasional chocolate treat, though, and this light and moist Chocolate Almond Cake fits the bill nicely. Plus, it’s baked in a loaf tin and merely decorated with some strewn almonds, so it’s nice and easy. No slaving for hours on this recipe! You’ll notice that I’ve []


Boneless Pork Loin Chops: Dorset Lemon Pork

[raw] Boneless pork loin chops are one of the easiest humanely-raised dinner components I can get my hands on that require no defrosting and thus, no planning in advance. The butcher shop has boneless pork loin chops, the farmers’ market has them, and even one of my local hippie stores has them. Dorset Lemon Pork is a delicious way to fix boneless pork loin chops (which can sometimes be a []


The Best Rhubarb Tart Ever

[raw] I am serious about this, folks. This is the best rhubarb tart ever. Ever ever. It’s so delicious I’m getting hungry just telling you how amazing it is. When Paul and I finally got to sit down (after all the photographing) with our slices of rhubarb tart, all we could say to each other was “Oh my god. Ohmigod. This is amazing.” I know, rhubarb can be nasty. Don’t []