The idea of this blog is to share ideas for using hand-made pots to serve good food.

Eating with friends and family is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I hope to show how the warmth and character of hand made ceramics can really enhance the pleasure of cooking, serving and eating food.

This blog will include pots from other potters as well as my own and recipes for the food which I enjoy, hoping that you will like it too.

Friday, 20 January 2012

My cake plate

I just remembered that I have a photo of the Rustic Plum Tart which I made from a recipe given in The Popina Book of Baking, which I mentioned in my previous post.  It also shows off my cake plate.  I am about to make some more plates like this with a high foot ring - thrown separately and joined when plate and foot are 'leather hard'.  It is interesting how different a plate is when given that bit of height - being 'put on a pedestal' somehow makes the food presented on it more special.

Monday, 16 January 2012

A visit to Adrienne Baba

Last weekend I stayed with potter and chef, Adrienne Baba, at her house in Bloxham, near Oxford.  I helped her make some bread, which was fun and her delicious walnut shortbreads looked very elegant on this black dish.

She recently served the same thing to the famous pastry chef from the Japanese restaurant, Zuma, when he came to discuss a commission.  The recipe comes from The Popina book of Baking by Isodora Popovic (Ryland, Peters and Small 2010) which I use a lot for tarts, biscuits and cakes.

It is great to hear about a potter being commissioned to  make pots for a restaurant.  This is a huge part of a potter's income in Japan, but is almost unheard of here in England.  Adrienne has worked with Japanese restaurants in London -  Zuma, Roka and Soho Japan to produce a range of pots for particular dishes.  These include platters, boat-shaped dishes and rectangular slab dishes.  Her pots are simple and elegant and show food to great advantage.  We also visited Whichford Pottery and saw her pots on display in the gallery there.

They have a good choice of pots in the gallery, many of them good for serving food, as well as an extensive display of garden pots outside.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Winter Fruit Platter

I tried out the winter fruit platter which I had suggested in the previous post, using prunes and apricots, cooked and steeped in a little Grand Marnier liqueur, which I happened to have.  Being an orange based liqueur, it was just right, though brandy or a sweet sherry would also be good.  I drizzled a bit of maple syrup over the oranges to add some sweetness, and it all worked together pretty well.

The platter is made by Japanese potter, Masahiro Kumagae, who exhibited in England last summer.  I first met him at the Tokyo Dome Tableware Festival and loved his pots.  He is very inventive with slab dishes of many shapes and sizes.  They are wonderful to use for food.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Recipe for Celery and Lemon Soup


1 small onion
1 clove garlic
2 tbsps olive oil
6-8 sticks of celery
One or two sprigs of thyme
1 medium sized potato
1/3 to 1/2 a preserved lemon
vegetable or chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
parsley to garnish

  • Chop the onion and garlic and fry gently in the olive oil for a few minutes in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Remember not to add salt, as the preserved lemon is very salty.
  • Chop the celery into small pieces and add to the onion and garlic mix.
  • Strip the leaves from the thyme stem and add to the pot. Keep frying over a low heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the potato - peeled and chopped into small cubes, the finely chopped lemon and enough stock to cover the vegetables generously.
  • Season with the pepper to taste.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft, then liquidize until smooth.  I passed the soup through a sieve to ensure that there were no stringy bits from the celery, but you may not feel this to be necessary.
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can be added to give it an extra tang, if you like.                                                                                                          
  • Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Celery and Lemon Soup

Today I made celery and lemon soup.
Last summer I met another potter/cook, Linda Dangoor, at the Art in Action show.  I bought her book, Flavours of Babylon, which describes how to make delicious preserved lemons.  I was looking for ways of  using them and came up with this soup.

It is actually quite light and summery, but was good as a starter, even in this season.

I served the soup in some bowls by Nigel Lambert which I bought last summer and have enjoyed using very much.

The recipe is very simple and I will post it soon.  I am hoping to create a separate recipe page on the blog for easy reference.

The ceramic lemon squeezer is one I made recently, having learned the design from German potter, Gordon Gran.  It has a lip for pouring and a series of holes under the rim to strain out the pips. Nice to use.