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❙ star chat ❙ By alison James ashing around the Saturday Morning kitchen, working against the clock, it’s hard to imagine Yours favourite James Martin ever slowing down. But that’s what he’s encouraging us to do in his latest book entitled Slow Cooking, a collection of recipes, which, as the title suggests, take some time to cook. “I’m not against fast food or quick meals, but I think everyone’s favourite food is something that takes a long time to cook – a stew, a soup, or a slow roast,” he says. “Slow food tends to be comfort food and we all like some of that, don’t we? Slow food is also often about cooking cheaper cuts of meat like a shoulder of lamb. “The secret of slow cooking is a minimal amount of preparation and a maximum cooking time. You just take a shoulder of lamb, for instance, put it on a tray and stick it in the oven for five hours. That’s it! So simple and because you’ve cooked it slowly, it tastes even better. There are also slowcooked puddings in the book like baked egg custard tart and steamed ginger sponge pudding. “I was brought up on a farm in Yorkshire and this is the kind of food I grew up with. It’s also the kind of food that more and more restaurants are serving. It’s about food with timeless values.” And it was these timeless values that got a young James hooked on cooking. “It’s because of my mum and my grandma that I started cooking in the first place. When I was seven, I said I wanted to be a head chef by the age of 30, drive a Ferrari by the time I was 35 and own my own restaurant by 40,” he recalls. “Actually, I was made head chef when I was 21, bought a Ferrari three years later and opened my own bistro on a cruise ship when I was 26!” But still his favourite meal is his mum’s roast dinner. “Her roast


why our

James is

slowing Down! He’s a self-confessed workaholic and loves fast cars, but there’s one area where tv chef James martin is taking his foot off the accelerator…




‘i love my job and the versatility and variety i get. to me, it’s the best job in the world’ doubt it will fill up, so I probably won’t take it. “It’s very busy, but that’s the way I like it. I love my job and the versatility and variety I get. To me, it’s the best job in the world. I’m able to work with the world’s best chefs – people who are my idols. They come onto Saturday Kitchen and I get to cook with them. I’m fortunate enough to now count these idols of mine as friends, but it’s terrifying when you get to cook for them on a social level. The legend who is Pierre Koffman, a chef with three Michelin stars, came to my house a while back and I was scared stiff! I cooked a classic French

dish called a blanquette, a stew thickened with eggs and cream, and he was standing next to me the whole time! I was nervous, but fortunately the dish went down very well with him. I’ve seen him since and he’s still alive!” But it works both ways! James admits that he hasn’t been invited to eat at the home of any non-chef friends for more than 14 years – because they’re scared of cooking for him! “It’s like that for a lot of chefs,” he says. “People are scared of cooking for us, I guess. The last time I was invited by someone who wasn’t a chef was a bit like Come Dine With Me. All the best crockery was out and the hosts weren’t at all relaxed. But what chefs want is simplicity. On that occasion I just wanted steak and chips or something. I kind of understand why people react in this way. It must be a bit like having a Formula One driver teaching you how to drive.” So away from the food front how does James relax? He’s a bit of a boy racer with a passion for fast motorcycles and classic cars. He has quite a collection, but has worked extremely hard with a steely determination to get them. On the rare occasions he’s not working, he just likes to chill at home. “I am beginning to settle down,” he laughs. “It must be my age. I’m happy with my girlfriend and then there are my dogs. I have a cracking nine-year-old Clumber Spaniel called Fudge and by the time this is out, my new Burmese puppy should have arrived. For me, there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in front of the fire with my dog beside me while I watch Coronation Street. Bliss.”

Yours we have three copies of the


new book to give away. To enter send a postcard marked James martin competition to the Yours address on p3. If you do not wish to be contacted by Yours in the future please mark no further contact on the postcard.

James’ favourite ‘slow Cooking’ reCipe roast leg of lamb in Hay “there’s a lot of flavour in hay, and this style of cooking can work with chicken and venison as well as lamb. using the hay is all about adding flavour, and you could even include a bit of lavender if you like. You need to get your fresh hay from a pet shop, not from the local farmer who sells it as bedding for horses,” says James. serves 6-8 B 1 whole garlic bulb B 1 x 2.7kg (6lb) whole leg of lamb B 3 tbsp rapeseed oil B about ½ bag eating hay B Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas mark 4. Separate, peel and slice the garlic cloves lengthways. 2 Using a sharp knife, prick the leg of lamb about 20 times all over, about 2cm (1in) deep, then place a slice of garlic into each hole. Drizzle with the oil, season well with salt and pepper and set aside. 3 Place a large roasting tin or flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat, and when it’s hot, place the hay in the bottom. When the hay starts to smoke a little, place the lamb leg in the middle. The hay should come halfway up the lamb. Cover it with a lid or foil. 4 Transfer straight to the oven and cook for 2 hours, then remove the lid or foil, increase the temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. 5 Carefully lift it out of the tin and brush off the hay. Slice and serve with mint jelly. YOURS




potatoes are out of this world and you get proper gravy at my mum’s, not fancy ‘jus’ or anything like that. I can’t compete with mum – no one can.” While his latest book, his 12th, carries the slow down message James (40) is still very much living life in the fast lane, working as hard as ever. In addition to his cookery books and TV work, there’s also The Leeds Kitchen, his restaurant in the Yorkshire city where he regularly cooks, plus he’s overseeing a change in catering at a Birmingham hospital. “I don’t have much time off,” he admits. “I work 24 hours a day, basically. I don’t take holidays. I have a week off in January but no

Style notes

✤ Kathy wears: Dusky pink cardigan

✤ Batwing cardigan



8-18, George at Asda; Dress, £50,10-22, Next

12-24, Bonmarché

Yours says: Add warmth and style to your look with a flattering cropped knit.

Up to size 24

✤ Poncho style stripe knit

£60 8-18, Laura Ashley


Nice KNITS 16 gorgeous winter knits for every occasion By Jo Winch

STOCKISTS: Bhs 0845 196 0000; Bonmarché 01924 700100; Bon Prix 0844 556 5400 www.bonprix.; Curvissa 0871 987 0600; Evans 0845 121 4516; Fashion World 0871 231 4000 www.; Fat Face 0870 600 0090; George at Asda 0500 100055; Laura Ashley 0871 983 5999; M&S 0845 609 0200; Next 0844 844 8939; Wallis 0845 121 4520 Details correct at time of going to press




✤ Belted cardigan

£69 14-32, Curvissa

Wear as a light coat


✤ Long-line waistcoat


✤ Stripe knit long line jumper


s-l, Fat Face

Yours says: Layer over a thinner knit or a light-weight blouse, layering is a great way to stay warm.

✤ Lace overlay cardigan

Bargain buy!

£22.99 s-xl, Bon Prix

8-20, Bhs

£35 8-20, M&S Limited Collection

8-18, George at Asda

✤ Metallic jumper


✤ Pocket detail knit

✤ Zebra print cardigan

£35 8-18, Wallis

On trend print

✤ Pearl trim jumper from

£42 12-34, Claire Sweeney at Fashion World

✤ Fair Isle mix jumper

✤ Jacket style knit



8-20, M&S

8-22 Next

Yours says: The knit that thinks it’s a jacket – perfect combination of smart and cosy.

Wear as a dress

✤ Cardigan

£24.99 s-xl, Bon Prix

Yours says: This longline knit is a great alternative to a winter coat.


✤ Embellished wool knit



14-28, Clements Ribeiro at Evans

Now turn to page 55 for great advice on caring for your woollens

✤ Leopard print cardigan 14-32, Curvissa


Next issue: Flattering and stylish party dresses with sleeves YOURS



Meet the reader tester Linda Sherwood, 61, from Chatham “I’m a skincare addict! I never leave the house without make-up on, even to go to the gym. These days I look for anti-ageing claims on the pack if I’m trying something new. When testing the products for Yours I was surprised at how good some of the cheaper brands were.”




Barbara Hinde, 62, from Sheffield “I’m a big fan of hot cloth cleansers and use one every day. I love serums – they make such a difference to my skin as I’ve got older. I wear make-up most days and love trying new brands. I really like nice packaging and look for anti-ageing promises, too. Testing the products I found that if you can ignore the packaging, the cheaper brands have some amazing products.”

Maureen Calvey, 61, from Romford, Essex “I’m a cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day girl, and use a mix of supermarket and mass-market brands. I check prices, but I’m also swayed by good reviews I’ve read in magazines. I love trying new make-up colours – anything that helps me look and feel younger is great! I like products that are easy to dispense – there’s nothing worse than fiddly packs.”

T e winner


CLARINS Daily Energizer day cream (£20/30ml) “My skin was softer from first application and my lines seemed less noticeable. My skin is definitely much brighter and firmer.” – Maureen


GARNIER Ultralift anti-wrinkle firming night cream (£9.99/50ml) “Didn’t leave skin greasy and it felt much softer next morning. I thought this cream was good value and did what it promised to do.” – Barbara


ALDI Q10 anti-wrinkle night cream (£1.99/50ml) “I was surprised how good this is for an inexpensive product. It plumped up my skin, absorbed easily and gave me a healthy glow.” – Jane



M&S Formula Skin Care Age Replenish day cream (£12/50ml) “It absorbed quickly, my skin was lovely and soft and my lines seemed reduced. Friends said my complexion looked radiant after just a few days.” – Jane 38



NO7 Lift & Luminate eye cream (£16/15ml) “After a week my eye area appeared smoother and less lined. It absorbed quickly and was easy to use.”– Linda


NIVEA Q10 Plus anti-wrinkle refreshing eye roll-on (£9.99/10ml) “I loved how this just glides onto my skin. It made my eyes look less tired and puffy. My husband liked using this one, too!” – Barbara

Diana O’Neill, 56, from Sutton Coldfield “I love trying new products and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with things I haven’t used before, like cream blusher – I’m a total convert now. I like pretty packaging but I also scan the labels closely and I’ll look out for extra anti-ageing benefits before I buy.”

Jane Woodage, 56, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire “I have fibromyalgia and find that looking after my skin and wearing make-up helps lift my spirits – if you look good, you do feel better. I watch what I spend, though I’ve found that the most expensive products aren’t always the best. Some of the cheaper brands I’ve tried are just as good, or better.”


BOTANICS All Bright gentle cleansing cream (£3.99/250ml)


DR DARREN MCKEOWN AHA Active Radiance cleanser (£5.99/200ml)


BIOTHERM Biosource toner (£15.32/200ml)


L’ORÉAL Age Perfect smoothing toner (£5.69/200ml)


NIP + FAB No Needle Fix plumping & volumising serum (£19.95/50ml) “You only need a small amount so it’s good value. It seemed to lift my skin and make it look fresher, it felt really well hydrated.” – Diana


VICHY LiftActiv Dermasource Youth Enhancing Serum 10


SANCTUARY Skin Warming Microbrasion polish (£12/75ml) HIGHLY COMMENDED

SUPERDRUG Vitamin E face scrub (£2.99/100ml)


(£29.50/ 30ml) “This is velvety smooth, the texture of my skin improved after just a week. A little pricey but a great product.” – Linda YOURS



5 warming

fruit puddings


Colder weather means lovely warm fruit – try these different ideas this autumn

Blackberry and Coconut Steamed Pudding These individual steamed puddings take just 30 minutes so not long to wait for ‘afters’! Serves:


Per serving: 569 cals Fat: 31.6g Sat fat: 7.1g

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30-35 minutes ✢ a knob of butter ✢ 200g (7oz) blackberries ✢ 50g (13/4oz) caster sugar ✢ 1 tbsp cornflour ✢ 2 tbsp water For the sponge: ✢ 100g (31/2oz) butter ✢ 100g (31/2oz) caster sugar ✢ 100g (31/2oz) self-raising flour ✢ 50g (13/4oz) desiccated coconut ✢ 2 eggs 84



1 Lightly butter four 250ml (8floz) metal pudding moulds, and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. 2 Add half the blackberries to a small saucepan, then add the sugar, cornflour and water. Cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes, until the berries are soft and sauce thickens. Add the remaining blackberries. Leave to cool. 3 Put all the sponge ingredients into a bowl and beat together until smooth. 4 Spoon the blackberry mixture into the pudding moulds, then the sponge,

and level the surfaces. 5 Loosely cover each mould with a square of buttered foil, then cook in the top of a covered steamer for 30-35 minutes. 6 Loosen the edges of each pudding with a round-bladed knife, turn onto plates, remove lining and serve immediately with custard or cream. ToP TiP cooked sponges should rise well and spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.



Winter Fruit Compote Treat yourself to this simple but comforting dish Serves:


Per serving: 150 cals Fat: 0.5g Sat fat: 0.2g

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes ✢ 200ml (7fl oz) water ✢ 150ml (51/4 floz) clear apple juice ✢ 5 tbsp runny honey ✢ 1 cinnamon stick ✢ 1 vanilla pod, split ✢ 4 cloves ✢ Zest of 1 lemon ✢ Zest of 1 orange ✢ 4 sweet eating apples, peeled and quartered ✢ 4 ripe pears, peeled and quartered ✢ 2 x handfuls dried fruit (eg apricots, prunes) ✢ 6 tsbp low-fat plain yogurt 1 Place the water, apple juice, honey, cinnamon, vanilla pod, cloves, lemon and orange zest in a large pan. 2 Place the apples and pears in a single layer. 3 Cover loosely with some baking parchment and gently heat for about 10 minutes until the fruit is just cooked. 4 Transfer the fruit from the pan to a large bowl. 5 Marinate your dried fruit of

Top Tip If left to marinate for a few days, the flavours really come to life!

choice in the still-hot liquid but don’t put back on the heat. 6 Once cool, spoon the dried fruits over the apples and pears, pour over some of the cooking juice, and serve with yogurt. ©

Top Tip Use wholemeal flour for a healthier option

oat and Pecan Apple Bakes Try this if you love apple crumble! Serves: 4 Per serving: 593 cals Fat: 32g Sat fat: 14g

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes ✢ 4 small/medium cooking apples ✢ 100g (31/2oz) butter ✢ 100g (31/2oz) flour ✢ 50g (13/4oz) light brown sugar ✢ 100g (31/2oz) regular or jumbo rolled oats ✢ 50g (13/4oz) currants ✢ 50g (13/4oz) pecan nuts, chopped 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. 2 Halve the apples and scoop out the core, place cut side up in a roasting tray. 3 Rub the butter into the flour, sugar and oats until it resembles breadcrumbs, stir in the currants and pecans. 4 Press mixture into and on top of the apples and bake for 25-30 minutes until tender. ©




Recharge your




DRESS SIZEhristmas for C

Trim down and tone up ready for the party season in just six weeks! Just follow our diet and exercise plan‌




ith the festive season just around the corner, it’s time to dust off your favourite little party dress – or even treat yourself to a new one! If you’ve gained a few pounds since last Christmas, don’t despair. These ‘drop-a-dress-size’ tips from Yours Diet Club nutritionist, Catherine Matthews, will have you slipping into that little party number just in time for the festivities. “If you follow a healthy-eating plan that is caloriecontrolled, you can expect to lose up to 5kg (12lb) in six weeks,” says Catherine. “Slow and steady weight loss is the key.”


Start the day with protein Eating breakfast revs up your metabolism for the day. And eating a protein-rich breakfast, such as beans or egg on toast, or nuts and yogurt, will reduce cravings and keep you feeling full until lunch. A highcarb breakfast, such as toast or cereal will not fill you up for as long.

Choose lower sugar desserts Pledge to skip desserts today and by tomorrow you won’t be able to get sugary treats out of your mind. If you enjoy an after-dinner treat, have it, but try to choose a healthier alternative. Apple pie with ice cream, for example, can be swapped for stewed apples with low-fat natural yogurt.

Keep a food diary...

... and you are twice as likely to lose weight. Somehow, writing down what you eat encourages you to stay on course.

Time for tea…

Drink more water and try green tea – it has numerous health benefits and appears to increase the amount of calories the body burns.

✁ Healthy hunger busters Cut out this list of healthy snacks and stick them on the fridge for when you’re having a ‘weak moment’. Rice cakes with hummus Top 2 rice cakes with a thin layer of low-fat houmous Calories: 138 Natural yogurt with honey and cinnamon Mix a dollop of honey with 1 small pot of low-fat yogurt and add a sprinkle of cinnamon Calories: 113 Rye crispbread with cottage cheese Top 1 rye crispbread with cottage cheese and cucumber Calories: 154 Fromage frais with blueberries 1 small pot of low-fat fromage frais and 1½oz (40g) blueberries Calories: 86

Turn over for ideas to get you moving… YOURS


Instant trail mix Handful of nuts and dried fruit Calories: 138


GARDEN clippings Geoff Stebbings explains how to find lots of new plants for free...


Cyclamen hederifolium thrives even in shady areas

tubers, where they germinate, but eventually die, being too crowded and swamped by their parents. I carefully pushed my trowel under the seedlings and lifted them, each with one or two small, heart-shaped leaves and a fleshy, pink tuber attached by a slender stem. I transplanted more than a hundred to a shady spot under a young tulip tree, about 10cm (4in) apart, where they should flower in about two years’ time and make a wonderful carpet of silver leaves from October to June. As young plants in pots cost around £3 each, my patience will be rewarded with a display I could never afford to buy. To find hellebore seedlings, you will have to wait until the spring when they usually appear from seeds dropped the previous summer. The seeds are shed under the edge of the leaves. I found a good haul under several plants so these were transplanted

Five other plants for dry shade

✤ Liriope (pictured) Purple flowers in autumn ✤ Pachysandra terminalis Evergreen foliage and tiny white flowers: prefers acid soil ✤ Geranium nodosum Glossy leaves and small mauve flowers: can be invasive ✤ Helleborus foetidus Green flowers in spring ✤ Epimedium warleyense Ground cover with evergreen leaves and orange flowers in spring

Geoff has been gardening since the age of seven and has three allotments and a small garden, crammed with plants.

This week I’ll be...

✤ Planting more bulbs, especially in the last daffodils around hostas and grass ✤ Lightly cutting back lavatera and buddleias to prevent damage in autumn gales ✤ Harvesting leeks and sprouts and lifting carrots and the last potatoes

to a shady spot, too. Alternatively, they can be potted on for a year in 9cm (3in) pots. The only problem is discarding any of the seedlings when you know that every one will be different and all will be attractive. My autumn seedling haul also included hardy geraniums, aquilegias and masses of pansies, some of which I potted up to plant out in spring. ✤ Geoff Stebbings is Editor at Large at Garden Answers and Garden News. For tips and advice, don’t miss your copy.


Next issue: Ringing the changes in your YOURS garden EVERY FORTNIGHT



ou don’t get much for free these days, but while doing an autumn tidy-up, I have been enjoying the benefits of plants that have self-seeded. Among the most rewarding were some hardy Cyclamen hederifolium. I’m always extolling the virtues of this remarkable plant, with its beautifully marbled green and grey leaves and delicate pink or white flowers. I first learned its value many years ago when looking after a garden that had been neglected. Despite being swamped by weeds, the cyclamen had survived decades in the shade of huge conifers and had formed tubers the size of saucers. My own plants are much younger than that. Two special ones have pure silver foliage and pink blooms and another has silver foliage with white blooms. Where it is happy, this cyclamen self-seeds but the coiled stems on the seed pods mean the seeds tend to be deposited among the leaves on top of the old

yours 153  

yours magazine 153

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