Mothers and Sons

She insisted on his having a small currant tart, because he liked sweets.
‘I don’t want it, mother,’ he pleaded.
‘Yes,’ she insisted, ‘you’ll have it.’                         (D.H.Lawrence, Sons and Lovers)

It seems rather obvious to state that our relationship with food is shaped by our upbringing, particularly by our parents and other family members. What they give us to eat and the way they think and talk about food provide ideas and impulses that we either conform to – or in some cases rebel against.   Continue reading “Mothers and Sons”

A Greedy Villain

The Count … plaintively devoured the greater part of a fruit tart, submerged under a whole jugful of cream – and explained the full merit of the achievement to us, as soon as he had done. ‘A taste for sweets’, he said in his softest tones and his tenderest manner, ‘is the innocent taste of women and children. I love to share it with them – it is another bond, dear ladies, between you and me.’ Continue reading “A Greedy Villain”


For this post I am going to break my rule of literary chronology, leaving the early 18th century novel for the time being in order to revisit the late 16th century and an author who has featured frequently in this blog, namely Mr William Shakespeare. And the cause of this literary rewind is the quince, the strange, knobbly pear-like fruit which, as the Observer food writer Nigel Slater says, “can’t be eaten raw” and is “a devil to peel”. We have a quince tree in the garden and about a month ago my landlady challenged me to find some literary/culinary uses for the plethora of fruit that ripen and rot very quickly if not picked and made good use of; I like a challenge, so the research began.

Continue reading “Quinces”