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In The Kitchen With… Felicity Cloake

The author and food writer shares  her foodie favourites and hates!
Loves
TOAST 
If I had to eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be buttered toast with slightly too much Marmite – just the smell is enough to take me back to childhood. Good bread is the basis of so many quick meals; I stick just about anything on toast, from tinned tomatoes to leftover stew.
BITTER GREENS 
I’m particularly keen on black  kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and turnip tops. They pair really well  with rich, creamy sauces, and  flavours like garlic which would overpower milder vegetables.
DINNER PARTIES 
I can’t think of a nicer way to spend an evening than eating and drinking with friends without having to worry about what to order, or whether the restaurant need the table back at 9pm. I love to host and try recipes out on people… but if I’m a guest, I don’t really mind what we eat, it’s just nice to be cooked for!
CUSTARD 
In any form – but my favourite kind  has to be thick, yellow Birds… and yes, I’m the person who likes the skin on top too! It’s the best thing to pour over crumbles and fruity suet puddings, and makes a great top for a trifle. But to be honest, I’m happy with a bowl of  banana and custard!
Hates
PLASTIC-WRAPPED VEG
Supermarket vegetable aisles drive me mad – not only is all of the plastic wrapping incredibly wasteful, but it robs me of choice as a shopper. I rarely want 1kg of potatoes, and often find half the onions in the bag are the rotten ones I would never have picked for myself.
PARSLEY 
Embarrassing to admit, but I really don’t like the flavour of parsley! It’s tolerable in small amounts – but dishes where it’s the dominant flavour, like cod in parsley sauce or many Middle Eastern salads are not for me. I hate not liking any food, especially as I write recipes for a living, but hard as I try, I just can’t warm to it!
‘SMALL PLATES’ RESTAURANTS 
This isn’t just greed, though that definitely plays a part! It’s so awkward sharing tiny dishes between a group, and I always get nervous that I’ve taken too much of the mackerel, or someone will finish all of the sauce before it gets round to me. I’d rather have three decent courses to myself – and then ask for a forkful of everyone else’s, obviously.
PRETENTIOUS PUBS
The great British pub is one of the things I love most about this country, and I hate pubs that think they’re restaurants. I have a local that takes food very seriously, but it’s also the kind of place where you can just pop in for a pint and a sandwich by the fire, too. That, for me, is a proper pub.
Completely Perfect: 120 Essential Recipes For Every Cook by Felicity Cloake is on sale now (£9.35, Amazon)
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