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Why Recipes?

As the mum of five fabulous children, cooking was always going to be a big thing in my life, and 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.

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 next recipe,

 Mrs Molchalin's Mushroom Risotto.

Mushroom Risotto (1).png

I had the idea for Mrs Molchalin when I was researching family life in Russia for It's Raining in Moscow and I Forgot My Umbrella.

I discovered that women are awarded a special medal of honour if they give birth to more than 12 children! (Lucky I'm not Russian, I might have been tempted!)

As a young girl, Mrs Molchalin had 12 dolls and treated them as real children. It became an obsession and by the time she was eighteen she was married and expecting her first child who was supposed to be a boy called Ivan.

Unfortunately things didn't turn out as planned and the already slightly unhinged Mrs Molchalin ... well you'll just have to read the book if you want to find out what happened! 

I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Recipe - Manya's Lemon 'Dribble' Cake.png

Manya didn't even exist in the very first version of It's Raining in Moscow and I Forgot my Umbrella, which is odd when she is now an equal protagonist with Billy.

Manya has to undergo a series of challenges, but she always remembers Babushka, the only person who really cared about her. It was Babushka who taught her to bake, one of her signature dishes being "Lemon Dribble Cake".

But I've given away too much already - Manya's secrets are far too deep and wide. Revelations continue to appear throughout the series, which I hope you will enjoy whilst eating a slice of this delicious cake.

To watch the video of me making the dish click here 

Mary is based on three lovely ladies I met when visiting my mother-in-law in hospital and in the care homes. Two of them were Irish and very funny, especially the one who was really called Mary, and always trying to escape. She'd sit by the entrance to the home with her coat, ready to grab the door if some unsuspecting visitor should open it wide enough. 

In the book, Mary does something rather heroic when the school bully comes to visit: On Jude’s third circuit around the room he came face to face with Mary. He stopped abruptly and stared at Mary. I could clearly make out Mary’s angry words, “Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?”

To watch the video of me making the dish click here

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