Middle Aged Gardening

I never thought I'd become this guy. But something about making the back garden thrive with greenery and life just makes me smile. It has taken some time to get the garden to a state where I feel it's ok to show somebody, mainly due to it being a new build house. We basically got a square of grass and a few basic slabs leading to the back gate. Much time, a patio, shed and a few raised beds later I've finally been ready to plant something! Whilst I'd love to go off-grid like Tom and Barbara Good, to not end up with a garden that looks like an allotment, I think we have to temper the amount of edible produce. However, a starter-for-ten were the eighteen strawberry plants I stuck in in March. It has been a success! They are delicious. I'm fairly sure they're only about 20% better than can be bought from the supermarket. But they're all shapes and sizes, I took care of them, and they're just better. Like having chips out of the paper. It wasn't even a g

Best Ever Brownies

Everybody has their "amazing" brownie recipe, but a friend's baking session recently almost caused me to get diabetes. So in the interests of recording this achievement...

For the purist out there, these brownies are simply unadulterated chocolate heaven!


  • 185g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 185g unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 50g white chocolate, chopped
  • 50g milk chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan oven. Butter and base-line a 20cm/8” square cake tin that is 5cm/2” deep.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate with the butter. Cool. Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy and double their original volume. Pour over the cooled chocolate and fold together. Sift over the flour and cocoa and fold in. Now stir in the chopped chocolate.
  3. Pour into the tin, spread into the corners, and bake for 25 minutes. If it wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny papery crust and the sides begin to come away from the tin. 
  4. Remove from the tin when completely cold. Cut into quarters, then into four squares and finally into triangles.