I couldn’t live without...
‘First and Foremost, my dog! also good books, good wine, the company of Friends and Family, plus sunshine’
each day, then it’s on with product launches, posts for my blog, and photographing and publishing recipes.
DESCRIBE THE SECRET TO GOOD FLOUR.
We make our stone-ground flours using millstones made from French burr, a heavy marble from northern France’s Marne Valley, used by millers for centuries. It’s now hard to come by as many of the quarries have closed, so our remaining stock is a prized possession for Dad. The Mill also uses 1940s machinery, reclaimed from disused mills. Overseen by our miller, John Compton, this has lasted well to this day. You get a different quality of flour following old ways – more of the goodness and texture is left in.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR COOKBOOK?
I wanted to share the specialist knowledge about flour built up here over the years. Understanding this critical ingredient can really make a difference to your baking.
The book is as much reference tool as recipe collection, with an index by flour type. It also gives a peek into life behind the scenes here.
HOW DO YOU DREAM UP RECIPES?
Our cottage garden, where we grow biodynamically, is a source of inspiration. I also work closely with our head baker, Salah Bouremmane. My best ideas come simply from happy times. A meal made for friends might evolve and end up in my book or on the blog. I like how the recipes serve as a reminder of good occasions.
WHICH FOODS EVOKE CHILDHOOD FOR YOU?
I remember eating outside at the table under the big ash tree as a child. Joe and I would help harvest vegetables from the garden, shelling mounds of broad beans. The smell of the pods always takes me back. Mum was – and still is! – always cooking. Her go-to dessert for dinner parties was a giant lemon polenta cake baked in a vast ceramic dish. My lemon and passion fruit tart is a homage.
My favourite is a coldfermentation sourdough made to Salah’s recipe, which makes excellent toast. I also like my own Khorasan and corn quick bread.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE SEASON WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD?
They all have something to offer, but I do love early autumn, when the first frosty mornings appear and the fields are sparkling white. Our orchard is laden and the hedgerows come alive with good things to forage for. Last year, we were lucky to have chef Daphne Lambert create a succession of feasts inspired by seasonal eating. There is so much you can harvest from the wild, year round. When autumn arrives, rosehips and elderberries are top of the list.
TOP TIPS FOR VISITING TETBURY?
The Highgrove Shop is a must – its fudge is the best I have tasted. I always like a good rummage around the antique shops, often in search of vintage crockery and cutlery as props for recipe shoots for my blog. French Grey in Tetbury has pretty knick-knacks for the home. Artique is great for homewares, jewellery and fabrics from India.
WHERE IS FINE TO DINE?
Trouble House has a beautiful, fuss-free setting. Cafe 53 is fun, as is the dog-friendly Royal Oak.
Then there is the wonderful Hobbs House Bakery, run by family friends the Herberts (aka on TV). The Fabulous Baker Brothers
COOKING ASIDE, HOW DO YOU LIKE TO UNWIND?
I love to get immersed in a good book. Exploring new footpaths and forests with the dog is another pleasure. And I play tennis. Around this time, I down racquets though as there’s a nip in the air!
SHIPTON MILL, SHIPTON-MILL.COM; THEMILLERSDAUGHTER.CO.UK.
Each day starts with a walk for Tess and Dusty.
All produce at Shipton Mill is grown biodynamically.
Working with her father John Lister keeps it in the family.
Blackberry cobbler is a favourite pudding.