Welcome to HillyWillys Kitchen
Since the spring of 2008 my kitchen has been located in a tiny village in rural west France. When we moved into the house the ‘ kitchen’ was little more than an alcove with a sink but thanks to the creative nature of my hubby, and a strategically placed washing machine and fridge, a worktop and shelves were soon put in place and the heart of the home began to beat.
Moving from a busy English town square, where we lived above a mini mart, to being 10 miles from the nearest supermarket was a steep learning curve in all aspects of our lives, not least of which was mealtimes. Gone were the days of nipping downstairs if you ran out of milk, and once familiar items on our household shopping list became the stuff of dreams and severe longing. ( if you see the way the family devoured a bacon sandwich at Heathrow or Dover on the occasional visits home you would probably be terrified).
But more relevant than the things we missed was the fact that I had to learn to work with what we could now get and, by virtue of living in a small village with kindly horticulturally gifted neighbours, what had been left on my doorstep. When you have no freezer and 10 kg of fresh peaches turn up with the morning post you have to get your thinking cap on.
It started with jam, lots of jam. it seemed to be the best thing to do at the time, but I was soon sinking under the weight of jam jars and in all honesty I don’t really like jam that much, so I graduated onto pickles and chutney which are a great way to use up all those seasonal bits and pieces of things that are hanging around ( one thing you will learn about me is that I hate throwing anything away ). As my confidence in the kitchen grew I began to experiment with different flavors and textures and my kitchen experiments have become infamous amongst my family and friends. Most of them turn out ok.
My food is simple (mostly) and delicious (hopefully) and whilst presentation is not always my strong point it is my firm belief that it’s what’s inside that counts.
It was hubby who finally persuaded me to start up this Blog and open up HillyWillys kitchen for all to see ( so you can blame him ), and I hope you enjoy my recipes as much as I’ve enjoyed making them up.