As the mum of five fabulous children, cooking was always going to be a big thing in my life. The advent of online shopping probably saved my life as it meant I could have three huge deliveries brought to my door every week without having to wake a baby, or having to traipse up and down aisles with bored toddlers. As it turns out, now that they’re older, my children enjoy supermarket shopping – not exactly sure what that proves, but I’m sure there’s a psychological explanation!
Not having to go out to the shops was brilliant, but I still had to cook. Another revolutionary idea for my children is the take-away. I can honestly say I have never ordered one and never intend to. I don’t like spending a long time cooking, but I do enjoy making healthy meals for my family, especially when we can all eat together.
For more than 30 years I have adapted hundreds of recipes to make them quicker, simpler and, quite frankly, better. I always thought I should print them out for my children because at present the instructions are randomly handwritten in three scruffy note books.
As an author, every opportunity to market my book has to be explored, and I thought, why not share my recipes with the world? So that’s what I’m going to do. Every week I will send out a new recipe, it will usually be a main course, but there are a few starters, desserts, cakes and other delicious and appetising eatables.
Now here is the marketing bit. Every recipe is going to be allocated to one of the characters in my books. There will be a little bit of back story for each of them which I hope you will read as all my characters are very special to me - even Mr Molchalin (especially Mr Molchalin, I've just written a short story about why he's such a strange man - no wonder - he had a terrible childhood! I'll be sending that out soon).
My ethos when it comes to cooking is to chuck it all in. No messing about, just get the job done – that’s what saves time and the results are just as good, if not better because the chef remains cheerful!
I hope you enjoy the very first recipe, Mary’s trip-trapping Mango and Apricot Chicken (click to go to the large-sized recipe and the character profile)
To watch a video of me making Mary's dish click here