Mr and Mrs, what's in a name?

I listened to radio 4 on the way to work. This is always a bad idea and always annoys me, but like a car crash I seem draw to it..moth to a flame etc

This morning' topic was that in France they plan to stop using a married woman's husband's surname by default on official correspondence, using instead her 'maiden name' as this is more in keeping with equality.

The rationale behind this is that she does not become her husband's property, she is still a woman in her own right, marriage doesn't change that. All sounds perfectly logical ...

Except .. your 'maiden name' is so called due to your remaining a 'maid' (ie virgin) until marriage. A concept rarely kept nowadays. Your 'maiden name' is your father's name. It is not 'your' name any more than your husband's is. As a woman you do not have a name of your own!

So while initially this all sounds very proper and politically correct it serves no purpose at all. In fact, as one guest said, it detracts for the new unit you have formed with your husband and maybe your children, a new team where you all share a name.

Apparently the French have no title of Ms. and I have no idea if they plan to use Madame or Mademoiselle with the 'maiden name' .. either would surely confuse.

When I got married I was proud to become #teamCanelloni (not my real name though it is Italian!) But if I hadn't wanted to take my husband's name I guess I could have ask him to take mine, or we could have chosen a new one entirely, I certainly wouldn't want us all to have different names.

What do you think? Storm in a tea cup? Much ado about nothing? Or an important rung on the feminist ladder?

Father's name, Husband's name...does it make a difference? Should we all consider a new name for a new (married) life or is marriage itself outdated? Do you like people to know your marital status or is it secret? (I made a public declaration when I got married so I'm happy to keep it very public that I am married!)

Love to read your thoughts.

Image credit: isaxar / 123RF Stock Photo


Musketeers drinking game

A drinking game to play while watching The Musketeers, for a teetotal version use marshmallows instead of shots

Take a drink when ...

  • A Musketeer leaps through a window - 2 drinks, (one if it's anyone else that leaps)
  • A musketeer is running through a market and a stall is upset - 2 drinks (one if it's anyone else)
  • Someone is threatening someone with a musket but not shooting - 1 drink
  • There is a Man hug - I drink
  • There is a Heaving bosom - 1 drink
  • A musketeer denies being hurt or down plays a wound that is obvious to everyone - 1 drink
  • A Musketeer kisses a woman - 1 drink
  • A musketeer fights with a sword in each hand - 2 drinks (one for each sword)
  • A musketeer gets topless - 2 drinks
  • Anyone is surprised in their underwear or other state of undress - one drink
  • A musketeer stands brooding in the rain - 1 drink
  • A woman banadages a mans wounds - 1 drink
  • A woman folds linen - 1 drink
  • Anyone swirls a cape - 1 drink
  • A musketeer takes a drink....match them drink for drink
  • A musketeer thinks about, or moons over, a lost/past love - 1 drink

Anyone still sober?


Tattooed Mummy's Alternative Blog Awards 2014


Once upon a time I held some alternative blog awards.

It was almost exactly a year ago and that time has come around again. And so with out further ado I am going to request nominations for blogs in the following categories.

  • Blogger with the Snuggliest Boobs
  • Best Bearded Blogger
  • Blogger with the Hottest Arse
  • Most Boring Post on a Blog
  • Blogger you'd most like to Take Home
  • Blogger That made you Cry laughing in 2013
  • Angriest Blogger
  • Most Positive Blog/Feel Good Blog 
  • Blog with the best life advice
  • Blog that doesn't fit into a category but it's a Blog and I like it

A blog must have 2 or more nominations to be entered in the final but you can nominate (or second a nomination) for your own blog.

To nominate just leave a comment here with the Blog name and url (comments are moderated so don't panic if you don't see it right away.) Nominations will remain open for ONE WEEK (probably). Closing some time next weekend, when I can be arsed.

There are amazing prizes..amazing in that there are NONE! No prizes at all for any winning blogs, except..a fabulous badge which I'm going to spend upwards of ten minutes making RIGHT NOW! So get nominating, who are the bloggers that deserve your scorn adulation? Let me know, we must tell the world!

And remember, it's not the size of the blog, it's what you do with it!


Valentine's Day, It's all about you!

Be my Valentine? Will you? Will you really?

I have been saying for a while that I like giving things away on the blog almost more than I like winning things on other peoples blogs (not quite, but almost!)

I also love to tell you about fabulous things I find online. So I have the perfect combo here with my discovery of Cherry Diva. A UK based (Birmingham) online store that sells amazingly good value jewellery and accessories. Honestly I adore the quirky little gems they have in stock. And free postage! Whats not to like!.

So far on my 'I must find an excuse to buy this for myself' list are the following...

Meow Ring

Scottie Bangle
Scottie Bangle

Love Skeleton Bracelet 
Love Skeleton Bracelet

So if you will be my Valentine the lovely people at Cherry Diva will send you a gorgeous Valentine's gift!

Just for you! (or your Valentine? even if that Valentine isn't me 'sniff sniff') A rabbit that will never be late for a hot date, he'll be right there, on your wrist!

This Wonderland Charm Bracelet could be yours!

This competition has ended

Good luck.

Spectacularly Missing the Point - Gendering in Toys

This is how Let Toys Be Toys described an article online by James Delingpole in The Express. I'm not going to link, I'm sure you will be able to find it, though if, like me, you have Kitten Block installed you may find you can't. Lucky you. They were spot on. He missed the point.

The gist he was ranting about was 'if you stop marketing toys at either boys or girls then you are depriving children of their gender identity and their choice of toys' or some such crap

He seems to miss the main issue which is that it's OK for girls to like dolls, it's OK for boys to like tool kits...but it is also OK for boys to like dolls and for girls to like tool kits. 

If we tell girls that 'tool kits are for boys' and we tell boys that 'dolls are for girls' we are not only restricting their choice of play things but we are telling them a life lesson. 'Girls can do some things, boys can do some things, boys and girls are different and can't do the same things'. Which is blatantly silly and wrong.

Leaving alone the issue that a boy may one day be a dad and thus learning to change a dolls nappy or how a buggy works might be a vital man skill in his future, leaving aside that girls might on day drive and knowing cars can need fixing may be teaching you a vital woman skill, leaving all that aside, the cynical idea that a tool kit becomes a girls one if it's pink and sparkly, that a camera has a boy and a girl version, are horrible marketing tools, designed to grab more money form us as parents...two children? well you'll need one pink and one blue ball then! and one blue and one pink scooter..etc Toys should just be toys. Girls might want dolls more often than boys and boys might want science kits more often that girls do. But a pink 'make a bath bomb' kit for science girls, and a 'slime kit' for boys is restrictive and ridiculous. (DD has a slime kit btw)

DD making a construction brick space craft
Can we just go back to the days when toys were just that, we bought what our children wanted, blue, red, green, purple, colour was just a colour, gender was irrelevant.

Un-gendering toys does not restrict choice or deprive children of their gender, boys can know they are 'a boy that likes hairdressing' and a girl can know she is a 'girl that likes super heroes'. Your gender and your taste is toys are two very different things, after all as someone cleverly pointed out


If you think it doesn't matter why not read a study where the way we bombard children with this message is shown to change the way they think about gender roles in adult life. (here is a good start on the Let Toys Be Toys website)

No one is suggesting banning girls from playing with dolls, or forcing them to play with cars. We are hoping one day that children will be free to play with what they like, without being told 'but that's for the other gender, not you'.


Bacon, Maple Syrup and Whisky Cupcakes. Oh the humanity!

Remember the blog post about poke cake, where I thought about baking an American dream cupcake?

Well I made them. DD and I cycled out to the supermarket and bought the shameful ingredients (well not the whisky, or the maple syrup, no shame in that!) we had to substitute vanilla cake mix as that was all that was on offer! and we set to work like the Bad Bakers we are.

bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcake ingredients
We followed the recipe we found on Pinterest,

bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcake mixture

though I added whisky to the cake mix not more maple syrup as by the time it was being mixed it smelled horribly horribly sweet!

bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcake batter
and it was revoltingly gloopy by now too, no wonder Americans refer to cake 'batter' *barf* it looked and smelled vile, but we thought of Kylie's hopeful face, her Poke Cake face.....and we bravely added the bacon
bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcakes
neither of us wanted to lick the bowl. The sloppy, sweet smelling, lumpy horror we had created terrified us.
We shared the mixture into cupcake cases, ready for the oven...
bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcakes ready for the oven
Time passed (we made whisky and maple syrup icing as we waited)

bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcakes
They emerged looking surprisingly OK. So we let them cool, and then iced them, added a tiny slice of crispy dead pig for decoration. At this point my DH asked what the hell we were doing, why we were making something so disgusting and why on earth we were taking such trouble for something so obviously nasty!
bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcakes iced
They were ready....

I was nominated the first taster.

bacon maple syrup and whisky cupcake

And a truly surprising thing happened. They tasted lovely, really really nice, sweet with maple syrup, a bitter tang of whisky a surprise salty crunch of bacon!

I ate several. Would I make them again? Not using the vile packet mix which is full of horrible chemical sounding stuff and was stupidly expensive. But yes, I will add maple syrup, whisky and bacon to my usual cup cake mix on occasion because ....well because BACON!

Don't forget you can join the Bad Food Bake Off here  - the linky is still open


Benefit Street

I haven't watched Benefit Street. I do not intend to watch Benefit Street. This does not stop me having an opinion on Benefit Street.

One would have to be blind, deaf, living in another country and have no access to any news, to not know about the Channel 4 show Benefit Street.

I have not watched it because the title tells me all I care to know. It cries 'let us be disparaging of those scroungers that lay around all day living on benefits'.

And it seems from the discussions on Radio 4 and elsewhere that I'm not far wrong. Sold to those that 'star' in it as a 'show about community spirit', it appears to be far from that.

I feel sad that the people in the show were so used and so naive to let it happen.

Why did they not guess that a TV show would have an agenda? Why did they not realise that it is negativity that the world loves? Why did they not think to get something in writing as to what would be the tone of the show? Why was the street identified so that now people (and children!) that live there are being bullied?

I'm disgusted that while thousands condemn the show, a huge number of people watch and believe what they see. Disgusted that many who don't believe it, watch it anyway, (adding to the viewing figures) and then mutter their disgust after each episode.

I don't suggest for one moment that all people everywhere are saints. But I do suggest that skewing results is an unkind and deeply cynical thing to do.

I await with some glee a "Politician Street" looking into the lives of a more upper class of 'benefit' claimant. But I'm not holding my breath.


Sworn Secret - Book Review

Remember those freaks and weirdos  authors I went to the pub with on Saturday?

Well, I know this will be a surprise, what with them being authors and all, but they have written some books! And I have read some of them, so I am going to review some of them! All set?

Then let us begin.  

Book, the first.

Amanda looking worridly at a banana
I have been chatting to Amanda Jennings on twitter for a while. I don't recall exactly how we met but I do remember we got into terrible trouble, and fits of the giggles when we accidentally trolled a well known blogger. The more we apologised and tried to explain the worse it became. While we cried laughing I think he blocked us both. We are still very contrite amused by it all.

Any way - Amanda wrote a book, she sent me a copy and so it felt churlish not to read it. Just kidding! I was desperatly keen!

The book is called Sworn Secret. It's a YA (Young Adult) novel, suitable for that awkward stage between childrens books and grown up books - and lets be honest, that's about where I am. I am not yet 50 and far from grown up.

The book starts with a death, and there is a lot of descriptive writing about how the mother copes with the loss of her teenage daughter. I cried. I didn't just cry a bit, I sobbed, each thing that hit the mother in the story, hit me. I have a teen daughter. It hurts to even think about losing her. Each crazy thing the mother does, each bitter family row...well you get the idea, I sobbed and sobbed, my eyes looked like the provebial 'piss holes in snow'. I threatened Amanda that if things didn't cheer up I would do bad things to her (possibly with a banana).

Luckily for her by the second half of the book things were looking up, now I could identify with the young love, relive my teens, sex in sheds, stolen kisses and quiet hand holding.

I can't tell you the secret, you'll need to read the book for yourself. But it's a moving book. Bring tissues.

Readability score 4.5/5
Kelly Kettle Rating (assumed, as I didn't actually test it) 3

Sworn Secret is currently £5.75 on Amazon Uk and £6.39 at Waterstones

Posted for a linky ....


The one where I went to the pub with some authors and a banana

Last night was a blast.

Back in November inspirational authors started an auction to raise money for the Philippines. For those that had lost everything, or almost everything in a terrible natural disaster.I bid on one of these lots. The whole hilarious bidding war can be seen here.

And so last night, I claimed my winnings. I was not disappointed.

I travelled from the South Coast to London. Others involved travelled further. Emily and I mysteriously met on the tube, by chance, with my flamboyant Banana Splits T shirt giving me away.

Hayley was waiting nervously, alone, outside the pub. We gathered her up and sallied forth into the drunken throng. We found Andy Stanton (who gives great hugs and is a perfectly lovely chap) and Anthony McGowan (more of him later) ordering drinks, hoorah, we sneaked our orders in and retired to the table to await the others. Soon we were all there.

"I expect you are wondering why I gathered you all here tonight" Andy intoned in an ominous clichéd author stylie..

No one ask about the banana...
And thus the fun began. Conversation ranged from literature, to whether you could make money from writing children's books, to travel, to twitter, to cats, and often strayed into the bizarre.

No! I said don't ask about the banana!

 The pub we met in was heaving, noisy and difficult to have a proper chat in, so we moved on to a (slightly) quieter location. Briefly mistaken for a book club, we were given goodie bags by Tony (some fab books, which led to much book signing), gifts from Andy(more signing). Then we were treated to some male rivalry

(I mentioned Andy won as an author as he was bearded, what Tony replied cannot be published here but suffice to say Andy challenged him to a duel, of sorts, in the gentlemen's toilets)

and took photos of each other, we chatted and laughed, laughed andchatted and generally got on like old friends. What a wonderful thing twitter is to help us meet people, and how super that while doing some amazing things for charity (the auction has raised over £50000 for the Philippines) we could have such a fabulous time.

Yes that's me, and Andy Stanton.....and the banana

Sadly I had to leave at 9.30pm to catch my train, leaving the others to drink, chat and misbehave until? well I don't know! I hope they will comment here on what happened next...for me it was a simple tale of missing my train home, finding one that got me most of the way there, and finding a taxi...rolling in at 12.30 ish.

PS yes there was a toy banana, yes it looked and felt like a sex toy, yes it was inappropriate and we laughed about it anyway. It is Tony's fault. Click here to see why
Wow Tony, what a large banana you have....
The lovely authors I met were Andy Stanton Anthony McGowan Amanda Jennings Emily Diamand Jane Hardstaff Sally Nicholls Hayley Long
Do check out their books, some really nice, and talented, folk.


Poke Cake

You know Kylie? no not the one about the start judging The Voice UK, the other one, the mischievous one, the one from twitter here THIS ONE. Well she's forever getting me to agree to do stuff, she's that naughty girl at school that eggs every one else on to do stuff and then nips off when the teacher comes, the good little one with the naughty friends and I, I am today the naughty one.

Kylie and I do that Pinterest thing. And once we discovered you can send a pin privately to another pinner, with comment! Well, we were gossip ahoy. But not about saucy stuff, not semi naked men and beards (yes yes ok we did send those too) but about the odd thing that is the American RECIPE. It's often not a recipe you see, not as we know it, it's more...well it's more a sort of combining of some packet mixes in ways they were never designed. And so ladies and gentlemen I present

The Poke Cake

A cake made primarily of cake mix and pudding mix. With holes poked down into it for the pudding to seep in all the better... Sounds disgusting, sounds so sweet my teeth ache even looking at it, sounds like a calorie-fest, a cringe inducing horror of a recipe if I'm honest and based on this horror we sent more and more ridiculous 'recipes' to each other.

And then started pinning them. on a shared board. We also discovered hilarious blogs (not linked to spare the author's blushes) where these awful recipes were posted daily with the idea that they were quick, easy fun and (often) healthy. (One used 7-Up to make the cake lighter! yum!)

Time passed.

And they Kylie said (and yes it was her this is not my fault and I'm not staying in for detention) we should have a Bad Food Bake Off and I should host it and do a linky thingy.

So here it is. Find a hideous recipe (it needn't be from Pinterest - the world is your poke cake!) where the majority of the 'ingredients' are mass produced rubbish, and have a bake, take pictures, tell all. Good? Bad? we need to know. Blog and link up below. Enjoy.

I'm planning on trying to make this ...

Link up here! Thanks


California Driving Tunes

I'll be meeting up with Mimi, a friend I've known online (and met once in person) for years. I have hired a convertible car and DD and I are planning Thelma and Louise style adventure (with less death hopefully) and so I need some songs to drive to.

Image of me, mimi and DD

I'm planning on popping a few onto my generic mp3 playing thingy (probably my phone actually) and also doing a CD or 4. I plan to take the unabridged Audio Book (on CD) of To Kill a Mocking Bird too, we have a lot of driving to do.

So I'm asking you for some help, some input, some reader participation. So far the tracks I have lined up are

and some Beach Boys of course, California Girls....obviously

San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) - of course.

But what other must have driving tunes do two English girls in an open top car cruising the West Coast need?

Suggestions in the comments please!


Bloggers seem to talk about cookies a lot and yet on Blogger I have no real control over the cookies that Blogger collects. (I do have control of the hobnobs though, do have one, would you like tea?) With this in mind I was pleased to read This Blog and see their summary

and also the frankly brilliant info graphic. Shared here with permission.


Desert Island Books

Image credit: vicnt / 123RF Stock Photo
Many people listen to music a lot and use it as a form of comfort, escape or cheer. Maybe some use it as a memory device, a wallowing in a mood thing or just an entertainment thing. I like music, but I don't love it and the words are always the important bit for me. Going onto a desert island I would be hard pressed to think of music that means that much to me, maybe I'd pick the latest albulm I'm enjoying (would be something by Stornoway as they have the most amazing lyrics and great tunes)

Books on the other hand...books. They are full of words, awesome, awesome stories, poems, memories, worlds..things strange or normal. I love books.

So I picked books rather than tracks for my desert island, here are my desert island books.

  1. The Life of Pi - many people don't like it, but it changed the way I think about things, it is beautiful writing, a strange tale and a curious finale. Well worth a read but you must read to the final page, none of this 'it was too long' lark. If you start it, finish it. I could reread it forever on an island.
  2. To Kill a Mocking Bird - a true classic, set in middle class, middle town, middle America, a story of growing up and discovering both the horror and the joy the world can contain.
  3. Night Watch - a comedy, and a fantasy and there is religion and time travel, good and evil, love and truth, it's all therein this frankly amazing book by Terry Pratchett. A detailed take on the history of one of my favourite discword characters, Sam Vimes.
  4. Rebecca's World, Journey to the Forbidden Planet - now out of print although maybe available on CD. A children's story, with a young girl as the lead, telling the story of travel through a weird land, meeting unusual people, discovering friendship, and often very very funny. A great read for young and old, I'd take it to read alound to my goats.
  5. The River World Series - a whole series of science fiction books, dealing with the themes of life after death, but also alternative lands and human nature. With some famous historical figures thrown in. I love these books and plan to reread them soon.
  6. The Neverending Story - Another children's book that has a mystical feel. Lose yourself in this book (hopefully not as literally as Bastian does) the original printing was in two colours, one for this world and one for Fantasia. Explores the themes of bullying and friendship.
  7. The White Dragon - I've always wanted a dragon, by reading any of the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey you can have one, if only for a book's length. This is my favourite of all the stories. her dragons are marvelous.
  8. Anything (possibly Everything) by Oscar Wilde - proper clever wit, some horror, some poetry. Perfect to read and reread.
  9. 1984 - we were forced to read this at school for A level but oddly it didn't put me off. A brillaint political horror/satire and a terrible view, not so much into the future as into the here and now. Nice to read it on a desert island where I would be the one in power...
  10. Guess How Much I love you - a silly picture book is my last choice. I used to read this to DD when she was small and it would remind me of family, home and love. I would read it through tears to keep me connected to my daughter. I love her...to the moon....and back.


Found: a fab recipe for no spread cookies

Amongst all the laughter at terrible recipes that can be found on line (see this post) , I stumbled across a rather fabulous recipe for sugar cookies at bakeat350.co.uk I was after a "no spread" cookie recipe as often when I try to make cookies (UK translation - biscuits) they lose their shapes and spread all over the place!

DD and I tried this recipe this afternoon, we divided the mixture and made some plain and some with chocolate chips, some plain chocolate and some colour chocolate beans! W experimented with thickness of the cookies too, making some thinner and crispy and some fatter and softer. Both types were nice!

DD was keen to try the new cookie cutter that Father Christmas had given her and the cookies turned out really well! It's a recipe I will be printing out and sticking in my recipe book.

Nice Apron there DD

Some plain

some choc chip

some coloured chocolate beans!

UK Recipe Translation
375g unbleached, plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
200g sugar
225g butter, cold & cut into chunks
1 egg
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract


Preheat oven to 180c, gas mark 4

Mix the flour and baking powder. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and almond extracts (if required) mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined.

The dough is crumbly, knead it together with your hands until it's in one lump for rolling.

Roll on a floured surface to about 1/4" to 3/8" thick, and use you cutters to cut it into shapes, knead left over bits back into a ball and re-roll until it's all used up, places the biscuit shapes on baking trays (use parchment to prevent sticking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Decorate as required.


Is there a limit to how much I should care about offending you? Do you care if you offend me? What is offense?

Stephen Fry said this

'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?'

this week and I'm starting to agree with him. Being offended seems to be what social media does best. Use a word incorrectly and it's requests for your sacking, your head on a plate and pitchforks at dawn.

It used to be that there were a few 'offensive' swear words like (&*^^& and *&*"@(# and of course £*&~~@% and we knew what they were and we didn't use them until we dropped a hammer on our foot. There were laws in place for obvious threats and hate crime. But now, every day new words are deemed offensive, just using them can get you threatened with physical violence!

It feels like we are drifting into George Orwell's vision of NewSpeak from 1984. Soon we may lose the ability to articulate clearly what we mean as there will be few words left we can use.

Do you agree or do you think it's appropriate to be told what to say based on what may be offensive?

Take care in your comments, people that are easily offended offend me.

Updated to add a link to this excellent piece on the culture of outrage http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-daum-column-rivers-levenson-20140911-column.html

Recipes, Pinterest and learning. In which I am a snob...

I'm sure I've ranted about this before, but what the heck, it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to. (Hands up if you are now singing)

Recipes. I was looking at some recipes on Pinterest because I fancied some new ideas for the new year. And Pinterest is full of attractive pictures of delicious food.

But it soon became clear that many pinners had a different view to what constituted a recipe than me. I sort of felt there should be a minimum of 'made' ingredients, and that something needed to be done to the ingredients besides opening a pack and heating them. Seems not, at least on Pinterest. After my shock that there are people in the world that think a pack of ravioli covered in tomato soup and heated is a recipe (add grated cheese to ring the changes!) I was confronted by recipes where the main ingredient was "cake mix", "pancake mix" or even "butterscotch pudding mix".

Examples on this board ...

I don't expect people to be making their own cheese, whipping up their own mayonnaise, or hand baking bread every day (though it's nice to try it and maybe do it sometimes) but to me a recipe involves more than just some "food combining" "compiling" or "warming". It involves doing stuff to some basics.

I'm not such a snob (I am a snob just not so much of one...) that I shun any pre-made foods, or avoid any shortcut. I use tinned beans, bought pasta, tomato purée in a tube and a myriad of other handy things but I don't call beans on toast a "recipe"...even if I add some Worcester sauce (which is yum by the way) I don't start a recipe with "buy some ready made ..."  (Though of course the option is always there to use some ready made bits as a shortcut, eh Nigella?) but I don't add it to the recipe.

So. Things I have learned from Pinterest: not everyone can cook, there are people who think packet mix is a recipe, you can fry everything, and I'm a judgey judgey person.

Do not get me started on what things Pinterest thinks you can fry...pasta is just the beginning, pizza? Yep, Oreos? Apparently...and so it goes on.

I have discovered that i need to add the term "from scratch" to any recipe search on Pinterest. And in doing so I have discovered a great blog http://www.tastesbetterfromscratch.com/ where there are some great recipes.

Some basics that I try and keep in the cupboard all the time include (but are not restricted to); cheese, butter, milk, eggs, flour, pasta (dried, yes I know), lentils, raisins, sugar, honey, oil, ...

took to twitter with my rant and I'm not alone. Where do you draw the line? What is a basic to you? Is pancake mix a lazy mix too far or a pantry staple? Can you fry cake? What's your favourite recipe? I genuinely want to know, I still need ideas.

Bacon, leek and pasta in cheese sauce.