I’m new to the cold smoking process, I’ve been hot smoking for a number of years now in my mini smoker unit, but now I’m in new territory. I’ve smoked two trout and having mixed results, as you would expect with a process that people take a life time to perfect. I missed a crucial step – the brine dunk – but will definitely remember it for the next batch of fish, along with my first smoked bacon attempt. Even if it fails I will tell you. It’s all part of the learning process.

This time of year the broccoli is going gangbusters. Dear friends of mine over at Daylesford have a kitchen garden in full winter swing, and they have endless broccoli which I’m quite envious of. But I planted some green sprouting broccoli back in the cottage garden months ago and as it has now flowered there have been plenty of meals from this power veg. Unlike commercial broccoli the sprouting variety is ideal for the yard farmer as you can snip off the ‘florets’ as you need and the plant will continue to sprout new florets for you to cut in a few weeks time. It’s delicious raw in salad or lightly blanched, and this winter’s new favourite way to devour them is in parmesan and broccoli fritters that Kate’s been perfecting. With a hot chilli dipping sauce it’s perfect winter food. Oh and you can eat the flowers too, they’re sometimes sweet like nectar with the broccoli flavour when crunched. Delish real life food.


This meal was a celebration of the current season broccoli from the garden and my cold smoked trout that I caught using that magic American ‘Egg Sucking Leech’ fly pattern at Jack’s dam. Plenty of white wine, peccorino, cream, lemon rind/juice and a few toasted pine nuts for good measure. In summer I’d add dill or basil, but it’s winter, and I currently have zero of these wonderful herbs.