Category: Lifestyle

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Our mam’s recipes

Julia Mazza

It was a huge steaming rectangle, not the small buns of the Godless South, that she’d cut into wedges and we’d smother in thick gravy. Only after we’d polished off the pud would come the roast.


Our mam’s recipe: when it’s scone it’s scone

Julia Mazza

After a hike through a biting north wind, eat your scone hot and soaked in butter and topped with raspberry jam. Wash it down with a few cups of your favourite tea, as you watch a winter afternoon fade into dark.


Christmas biscotti

Robina Jacobson

Once, in a fit of Christmas enthusiasm, we experimented with three days of exclusive holiday dining on red and green meals.  Lobster, an obvious choice, was behind an unassailable paywall but good fun was had with popcorn and red and green food dye.  Of all the new combinations of ingredients we tried, this for red […]


Cranberry and orange cake

Robina Jacobson
Orange and cranberry cake

Orange and cranberry cake is something gorgeous to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. And it smells heavenly! Ingredients 250g SR flour 175g caster sugar 50g butter ½ teasp. Salt 1 egg, well-beaten 160ml fresh orange juice grated rind of two large oranges 200g fresh cranberries, roughly chopped Method Pre-heat oven to 180 […]

Hairy Bikers dish up best Northern Christmas dinner ever

North East Bylines

The Hairy Bikers have set their sights on dishing up the ultimate Christmas dinner, inspired by Northern producers who are revolutionising the British food scene. From Turkey Doner Kebab starters and gourmet marshmallows to award-winning Christmas Puddings and frangipane mince pies, this one-off special promises a fabulous three-course festive feast with a twist. Dave Myers […]

We all have a role in fighting climate change

Giuseppe Bignardi

Can a former climate change sceptic lead the UK towards zero emissions? I am referring to our Prime Minister who, even in 2015, was writing articles denying climate change. This was the time when more serious politicians gathered in Paris to reach what became known as the Paris Climate Agreement. Progress, after the Paris Agreement, […]

Fast fashion: do you know what you’re wearing?

Robina Jacobson

Neil Taylor’ s excellent article ‘Climate change: let’s get practical’ (NE Bylines 6 November 2021) offers helpful advice on making decisions about lowering our carbon footprints on this planet, our only home. Among other things he suggests we ask ourselves: “Am I thinking laterally about how I can reduce my … consumption?” The carbon cost […]

PART 1Travel

Locals, mining and “jam before cream” in Cornwall

Robin Tudge

“And the rule is jam before cream!” the café owner told me as she put the scones on the table. A diktat, or enabling me to avoid a faux pas? Or a loud declaration to locals within hearing that this café owner, sans Cornish accent, knew the norms. This was in the gorgeous little port […]


Green tomato chutney

Yvonne Wancke

A friend recently very kindly gave me a whole load of green tomatoes and marrows. It was the perfect time to have a go at making green tomato chutney. Here is my recipe. Ingredients for green tomato chutney 1kg green tomatoes 1kg marrows/ big courgettes 350ml vinegar (I used white wine vinegar) 300g white sugar […]


Sweet and sour tofu (vegan)

Louise Brown

This is a quick and easy dish to make that I normally serve with tofu to make it vegan but can also be served with meat such as pork or chicken.  Use half-spoon to reduce the sugar content.   Much cheaper and healthier than going to a takeaway for it and hardly any extra effort! […]


Hangover for Wetherspoon’s boss as beer runs out!

Peter Benson

It must be the biggest disaster ever for a pub to run out of beer and suffer staff shortages all at the same time. Tim Martin, boss of the pub chain, Wetherspoon’s, cannot be getting much sleep these days as his die-hard love of Brexit costs his business trade. Wetherspoon’s is yet another high-profile business […]

Poetry Corner

What’s for dinner today?

Harry Gallagher

There are foodless holes on my regular strolls around supermarket shelves, the wheels on my trolley having come off, and the folly is we did it to ourselves. We looked back rosily at war, at Normandy and Agincourt and opted for more strife. Now the irony is endless; we sit here friendless as driverless lorries […]


“Imagine good things so the bad things don’t win” at Northern Stage

Julie Ward

Review of ‘Free School Meals’ at Northern Stage Newcastle-based ‘Unfolding Theatre’ is one of the region’s most precious cultural assets, making eclectic big-hearted performance work rooted in community participation and co-production. Their latest offering ‘Free School Meals’ is set in a restaurant called ‘The Future’ where children are in charge and grown-ups are the apprentices. […]

Sharon Hodgson Visits ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ Bus

North East Bylines

Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, recently visited the ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ programme at Rickleton Cricket Club. The ‘Wear Here 4 Summer’ programme, which is funded by the Department for Education’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme, has been supporting children […]

McDonald’s: I’m no longer “lovin’ it”

Peter Benson

The food shortage crisis engulfing hospitality sector has now claimed a new high profile scalp, Mc Donald’s. The tabloids are reporting  that customers of Mc Donald’s are fuming and furious with the lack of milk shakes and bottled water. There are also multiple reports on social media that North East based Greggs is also suffering from […]

Chicken shortage: it’s peri-peri serious!

Peter Benson

Are you in a flap about the chicken shortage and worried about not getting enough of your favourite finger licking delicious chicken meal?  Well, if not you should be or perhaps you have not been in a supermarket lately. The reason for the chicken shortages in Nando’s and KFC  is an acute shortage of staff within […]

Vegan low-fat butternut squash curry

Louise Brown

You don’t need meat or dairy in this tasty vegan curry which is not only easy to make but also low in fat. The ingredients are easy to find in any supermarket, even during this time of disrupted supplies to the UK Ingredients for vegan curry (serves 4) 1 large butternut squash 1 onion 2 […]


Raspberry jam: a taste of summer

Yvonne Wancke

You can’t beat the taste of homemade jam. Shop bought jam is just not the same. One of my favourites to make is raspberry jam. It really does have that taste of summer. Ingredients for raspberry jam 1.5kg fresh or frozen raspberries (I used frozen) 1.5kg sugar 1 tblsp commercial pectin (optional) Method Place raspberries […]

Happy birthday North East Bylines!

Scott Hunter

One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.


What is the point of peas?

Peter Lathan

You may by now have reached the conclusion that I am not a fan of the pea. ‘Tis true, I’m not. A childhood in which tins of Marrowfat Peas were always to be found in the kitchen did not enamour them to me.