‘Writing a book is for me an act of faith and folly’, wrote the immortal Jane Grigson in the last year of her life. I would never presume to improve upon the observations of one of my food writing heroes, but if you’ll allow me to tweak them slightly, I might add that ‘writing a book is for me an act of faith and folly, and the reason I haven’t posted on this blog in many months’. That’s right: after many years of thinking it would never happen, I am finally writing my first cookbook. The Botanical Kitchen, an in-depth survey of our passion for all parts of the plant - from rose petals to raspberries, blackcurrants to bergamot, and lavender to lime leaves - will be published by Absolute Press next spring. It combines my love of literature, food culture and history with my passion for experimenting with herbs, spices, fruit and tea, and I hope it will have a place in the heart - and the kitchen - of many a keen cook. Furthermore, last night it was my honour to win (jointly with the fantastic Dan Saladino) the Jane Grigson Trust award for a first book in food/cookery, which has given me a renewed passion for bringing all things botanical to a wider readership. So, I hope you’ll excuse the lack of activity on this blog while I work away at something I’ve been desperate to bring to fruition (pun absolutely intended) for many years now. I’ll be sharing updates occasionally on instagram, if you want to keep track of my recipe testing!