Once again, a very warm welcome to my new-look website; Thank you for taking the time to come in and browse.

If you like good old-fashioned home cooking with a fresh perspective, fruit and vegetables and plenty of baking then you’ve come to the right place.

Here are easy to follow recipes: often with links to the past, that have been given a bit of a makeover to suit modern tastes and kitchens.

Cooking for yourself and those you care about sets you free: free to control what you eat, free to make what you really like and free to mix things up a little and create new recipes. Food wise, you are independent and not reliant on anyone else or what the supermarkets and takeaways decide. Cooking can be calming and therapeutic; it’s a life skill, a joy and a pleasure.

When I was about six, after several miserable months’ worth of school dinners at primary school, I began to make the connection between eating well and cooking for yourself. The meals, with the exception of a few nice puddings, were unfortunately, completely horrible and disgusting and not at all like the food at home. After quite a long time I realized, for example, the dry leathery stuff with silvery lines of gristle running through it was actually roast beef and the thin brown liquid with the peculiar dusty smell was in fact gravy. We didn’t have beef at home very often but when we did, it was the most lovely Sunday treat. Mum’s gravy was a rich and smooth and Dad’s creamy, fluffy mashed potato absolutely never had scary little grey lumps in it.

Gradually, it dawned on me, to eat good food, you had to cook it yourself!

I started paying particular attention to my Mum and Dad in the kitchen, and asking questions, especially on Sundays (my Dad cooked as well, if fact he taught my Mum, who literally couldn’t boil an egg when she married). The first tasks I was given were stirring the flour and water ‘thickening’ for the gravy in a cup, mixing the Yorkshire pudding batter and making the top for crumbles.

From Mum I learnt the importance of method and clearing up as you go: from Dad how to experiment with combining flavours. Thanks Mum! Thanks Dad! And, incidentally, although I’m a fair hand at both, my crumbles and Yorkshire puddings never taste quite as good as my mum’s. Think I’ve cracked gravy and smooth mashed potatoes though.

With Miss Windsor

I collaborate from time to time with my dear friend and co-blogger, Miss Windsor. We originally met on twitter and have such fun working together. Miss Windsor is very traditional and hugely knowledgeable about Mrs Beeton and her American counterpart Fannie Merritt-Farmer, whose recipes she often updates. You can see our recipes here and Miss Windor’s own site here Her recipes are always beautifully styled with vintage china and she is a skilled baker and pastry cook.

Chicken and Garden Blogs

See also my chicken and garden blogs,both could do with a few more recent posts, but I’m working on it.

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or email me with any queries or comments


Who is Mrs Simkins?

Mrs Simkins works as a recipe developer and writer and magazine contributor, she appears regularly in: the Blackmore Vale Magazine, Countryman, Dalesman, Down Your Way, Cumbria, Country Smallholding and Your Chickens. She specialises in traditional home cooking with a modern edge, fresh produce and regional British recipes and is also a Great Taste judge for The Guild of Fine Food. An enthusiastic gardener, she lives with her family in Dorset.

Mrs Simkins Books

Cooking with Mrs Simkins, Tea with Mrs Simkins, Cakes from the Tooth Fairy, Fresh Bread and Bakes from your Bread Machine, Making the Most of Your Food Processor, Afternoon Tea, Sugar Free Baking and Traditional Yorkshire Cooking with Mrs Simkins