I've been wanting to write this post for a while, I just wasn't sure when the right time was or quite how to write it. But now is the time to write a little something about a woman who inspired me, and still does. Of course, many people inspire me, from my family and friends, to those running the marathon today and raising so much money for good causes, to people who are successful in what they are doing. But this is a post about my Granny.

My beautiful maternal granny passed away unexpectedly at the end of last year. Just the day before, she had been with my parents and she was talking about my latest blog post to them. We had recently got her an iPad and she'd saved my blog on her favourites to read whenever I posted something new. And for that reason I kept writing my blog, I knew she was reading it and that inspired me to keep going, even when it may have felt like no one else was reading it!

My Granny always treated me like a princess. She encouraged and helped me do the things I wanted to do when I was growing up, and I although I never really got to cook for her (apart from helping my mum out when she came to eat at theirs) I do have funny and fond memories of food and her, and my Grandpa, who was a very keen and successful vegetable grower. I'll never forget the time my younger brother and I were having lunch with Granny - we were presented with various salads to help ourselves to, and then she put something on the table I'd never seen before. It was a clear moulded jelly with a curled pink thing inside. I nervously asked what it was, and Granny said "tongue" like it was as normal as saying bacon.... When Ned turned to me and stuck his tongue out I lost my appetite for that meal!! We also used to giggle about the slightly past their best tins of food in the back of the larder at Granny's house, always trying to find something even older! But really Granny was a good cook - she believed in cooking from scratch and using produce sourced locally and ethically, including cooking (a lot) with pheasant from their farm's shoot during the season. And I'll always remember the mulberry birthday cake made with mulberries from Granny and Grandpa's mulberry trees for one of my birthdays when I was younger. The day that my Granny died she had ripped out the recipes from that day's Times newspaper, and was cooking one of the chicken dishes when she sat down and never stood up again. I've managed to track down the recipes - they printed 6 chicken recipes that day, so we are not entirely sure which one it was she was cooking, but I think it was this one - John Torode's coq au vin, so I thought it would be nice to share it with you. I've made it too, and it's a really nice dish.

Serves 4

1 chicken, jointed
50g butter
12 small shallots
100g pancetta cubes
2 garlic cloves
40ml red wine
100g button mushrooms
Handful parsley
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Season the chicken pieces generously. Melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan (that has a lid). Add half the pancetta and half the shallots, and fry for a few minutes over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and fry until browned. When everything is browned add the garlic, fry for 1 minute then add the red wine. Bring to the boil, then cover with the lid and put in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.

After the chicken has been in for an hour, heat a knob of butter and add the rest of the shallots with a little water. Cook off the water, then add the remaining pancetta and all of the button mushrooms. Fry until golden, then add to the coq au vin.

Serve scattered with parsley, with mashed potato.

And lastly, I couldn't write this blog without including these wonderful photos I found of Granny recently - seems she's always been good with a knife!!



  1. That's a really sweet and touching post :) She was a lovely lady xx

    1. Thanks babe, she was a wonderful woman - I miss her ;(

      R xx

  2. She sounds like she was a lovely lady. That is a great photo too! It's amazing how much our Nana's inspire us. I have similar memories of my Nana and I sometimes wish I could show her how well I can do the things now that she taught me :) x

    1. Thanks Laura - she was so lovely!! I found those photos recently, it was so nice to see colour photos of her at that age, as previously I'd only really seen black and white very formal piccies!

      Rosie xx


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