I love making magazines and hate writing about myself. I'm an uneven cook, I play with my food too much, yet I handle Cottage Life's recipe features. I believe every cook should occasionally try making, from scratch, the food that once came from home kitchens, not factories. My friends rib me because I've given them homemade marshmallows, crackers, ricotta, and dog biscuits.
My curiosity sometimes gets me in trouble, but when my food experiments fail, they go down spectacularly: Baking soda (it was in the recipe, I swear) should have made the meatloaf light and tender, not inflate it into a pink, salty sponge. I seem to follow Catherine Aird's advice, "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.'
Travelling makes me happy. We have an amazing and tasty planet with so many foods I want to try. Though I've always disliked raw onions, there isn't much else I won't eat, if only once. Armadillo is delicious, pickled pig skin is just OK, and river snails in Borneo are disgusting. But none of them are cottagey. To me, cottage food is whatever gives the cook and the eaters the most pleasure. It could be a simple pasta dish that's thrown together in 15 minutes, or it could be a celebration feast that takes many hours and much love to prepare.
Cottage cooking means taking on the challenge of small kitchens, missing ingredients, and limited equipment. In the end, it's really just eating well with family and friends on the deck or dock, around the picnic table, the card table, or the campfire.
Recent Articles and Blog Posts
5 smoker options for the cottage
Invest in a smoker because you want better temperature control and a tighter smoke-retaining chamber than your grill offers. And because a steampunk-style contraption looks exceptionally cool among your toys.
Bullet, or water,...
Top 3 tips for doing it yourself
Sad, isn't it? No one's ever around when you need to fix up the place. If you're puttering solo, pay extra attention to safety, never work tired and preoccupied, and try these tips to get by without a little help from your...
How to fix springy floors
A bounce in your step may be a good thing, but not if the dishes rattle and the gramophone skips as you tiptoe across the cottage floor. Too much bounce (“deflection” in engineer-speak) almost always means floor joists are...
Global shortage of bacon
First Canada's Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve was plundered, now this.
Britain's National Pig Association, which represents pork producers, is predicting a global bacon shortage and a big jump in prices, by as much as a third, in...
8 Crank-’em-up cottage music videos
Remember that amazing party you had at the cottage? You know, the one that's legendary. Everyone still talks about it to this day, especially the neighbours (you really should have invited them).
Here are eight music videos...
Stuff we like: Mice block
A warm draft escaping the cottage is a reverse Pied Piper, luring heat-seeking mice inside. Block entry routes with something rodents won’t chew, plus caulk if the gaps could allow water in. Xcluder is a mat of polyester and...
Feeling lazy? Make raita, an easy summer side dish
All you need is yogurt, a vegetable, and a few spices.
Not quite a sauce and not quite a salad, a raita is an easy and versatile yogurt-based side dish. In the heat of summer, when you're feeling lazy, this traditional Indian...
How to spiral cut your hot dogs
Here's a cool tip from Chowhound. How to cut wieners in a spiral, so they pick up extra barbecue flavour:
Shuck corn the easy way
Here's a fun way to cook and shuck corn quickly and easily. In one, two, maybe three shakes: