My parents thought the apocalypse was coming and we’d need to be self-sufficient, so they had The Whole Earth Catalog, The Tassajara Bread Book, The Marijuana Cookbook and every fricking freak hippy bible you can name.
I remember, around age three, peas growing in the back garden. Pinching them from their pods and popping them in the mouth was my first realisation that food came from somewhere other than a shelf. By the time I was four or five, siblings were arriving fast and my parents also decided to breed German Shepherds. So my peas were trampled and shat all over.
From 11 onwards I was home-schooled. Apart from reading pretty much every book in the local library, there was little to do except cook, which I loved. Often I’d make food for the 10 of us, which they’d eat very fast, and even spit into, to make sure no one could steal it.
I got great at making birthday cakes. My sister Col wanted a castle for her eighth and I put cake mix in dog food tins in the oven, to make the towers, but everyone suffered metal poisoning from the baked Chum tins.
My husband grew up in a chip shop. When he’d first told me this, I couldn’t think of anything more wonderful, as far as blokes go. But – as his father spent 25 minutes explaining at our wedding – he’d never once helped him with a fry-up.
When I learned that flour pound for pound has as many calories as sugar, and that when eating pasta you’re basically eating cake, I was size 23, and my neck was restricting my breathing, and so I got on a microbiotic diet and got myself an exercise bike.
The biggest argument – of only three – we’ve had in our marriage was over an oven mitten which I’d thrown out of the window, because I believe in using a folded-up towel like normal people. Pete came home and said: “Where’s my checkered Le Creuset oven glove?”, then got very upset.
I live and work in my kitchen, but there’s no full shagging, because it’s extended with a glass roof which the neighbours can see through. Oral sex is OK, because I can make it look like I’m sewing a button on his trousers.
I’d like to think that one time in my life a bike will collect truffles from a private jet on the first day of truffle season and speed them round to me in Crouch End.