gooseberries and elderflower in the pan

Don’t forget the humble gooseberry – recipe

I’m going to start by coming clean – I absolutely love gooseberries. Every summer I get excited about seeing them on the supermarket shelves and can’t wait to grab the small crop from my local pick your own.

But it appears that I’m alone in my devotion to the prickly berry from even pricklier bushes. It’s true that they can’t be eaten raw and require some level of cooking. But the process doesn’t have to be complicated, and the reward is more than worth it.

With just a little sugar and half an hour of your time, the tart gooseberry develops a floral, nostalgic flavour that can’t be found elsewhere. They make a beautiful amethyst coloured jam that is delicious atop a plain scone. There’s something about their flavour and aroma that conjures up notions of Victorian ladies in white cotton gloves, gossiping about the comings and goings of Ms Simmons over a cream tea. Indeed, we have been eating them since at least the medieval era.

I picked up my first box of gooseberries yesterday, just in time to pair them with another old-fashioned favourite, elderflower. So before you decide that enough is enough of this gooseberry nonsense, try this quick and simple recipe for fridge jam. If you try it and you’re still not convinced, I’ll take my gooseberry crusade elsewhere.

Gooseberry and Elderflower Spoon Jam


300g of green gooseberries

40ml of boiled water

35g of caster sugar

One head of elderflower – freshly picked and checked for crawlies


Top and tail the gooseberries with a sharp knife. Place in a saucepan with the hot water and sugar. Stir well and put on a low heat.

Hold the elderflower head over the pan and snip off the tiny flowers with a pair of scissors. Simmer gently for around 20 -30 minutes until the gooseberries have burst and the mixture is starting to thicken slightly.

Place the fridge jam into an airtight container and leave to cool. The low level of sugar means that it will not keep in the same way as regular jam, so it must be kept in the fridge and consumed within the week – hence the name.

Put a spoonful on top of a fresh scone, dollop it on natural yoghurt for a virtuous breakfast, or swirl through whipped cream and make gooseberry fool.  

Looking for unique recipes to use in your content marketing? Call 07928122079 or email to find how I can help.

Sweet cicely waffle at Herbs Unlimited open day

Do you need to hit the refresh button?

I’m back to the keyboard after visiting the Herbs Unlimited team on their open day yesterday. Lots of delicious food from the ever brilliant Stephanie Moon, and a fascinating look at the care and hard work that goes into putting these beautiful herbs on our plates.

The sweet cicely waffle with bacon and maple syrup will not be forgotten easily.

I love the way that freelancing enables me to meet others doing fascinating work right on my doorstep. (Particularly when I get to indulge in my favourite pastime – eating!) With the day-to-day pressures that come from meeting client deadlines, paying the bills, business development (pile of business books anyone?) it’s easy to forget that self-employment is about so much more than increasing our bottom line. Many of us chose to go down this route because we yearned for more than the 9-5 treadmill had to offer, and felt sure that doing it for ourselves would allow us to experience life in a totally different way.

If we lose track of those early aspirations we can end up trapped on a treadmill of our own making. As much I love writing, I have been feeling far too busy recently, (for busy, read working like a headless chicken) and when the invitation to attend yesterday’s event came I also turned it down. The chance to eat, drink and meet other people who love business and food – and I almost didn’t go. It’s crackers.

I am so glad that I did attend. I find taking time out with others both inspiring and energising. As a writer I need to get out there and live, otherwise, I run the risk of having nothing interesting to say. As well as finding out more about the excellent work that goes on behind the scenes at Herbs Unlimited, yesterday reminded me of the reasons why I got into this game in the first place.

I have come back to a long to-do list. But I approach it with a totally different mindset to the one that I had on Monday. That has to be good for everyone, including my valuable clients.

Are you trying to do everything but feel like you are achieving nothing? Struggling to find the right words to promote your business? Need a copywriter to take the strain? Get in touch for coffee and a chat via or call 07928122079.

Blog post styles Claire Davies copywriter

Questions to answer in your marketing copy – B2B.

Writing copy for a business audience

The principles behind good copy apply whatever your audience. People are just people after all, with a number of emotional and illogical impulses that influence their buying habits. However. If your client is a business owner, there are practical questions that will need answering before they make a purchase. Here are a few pointers to help you write copy that sells.

Read More

brand stories

Three ways that stories and spoken word have an impact on your brand

The 27th of January to the 3rd of February marks National Storytelling Week. Established in 2000 by The Society for Storytelling, this annual event seeks to promote the oral tradition of storytelling, celebrating this powerful way of “communicating life experiences and the creative imagination.”

We engage with stories every day. A good story grabs attention and takes the listener on a journey, engaging people on an emotional level. They help us understand our place in the world with common themes such as heartbreak, frustration, joy and humility. Communities are built as we bond over shared experiences. From the time we embarrassed ourselves in front of a crowd of people, to hard-won childhood scars – everyone has a story to tell.

Read More

Zingy Lime, Chilli and Yorkshire Rhubarb Salsa

I’m always impatient for the arrival of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb. The bright pink stems act as a colourful, sharp antidote to a winter full of earthy root vegetables and irony kale. Grown as a medicinal plant by ancient Chinese cultures, this tart vegetable didn’t become popular in Britain until the 1800’s. By the early 20th century, the forced rhubarb industry was thriving. The Yorkshire Triangle sat at the centre of all things rhubarb.

Rhubarb makes a simple and healthy pudding when poached with orange juice and honey,  but this savoury alternative is a great way of using up a few leftover stems. Team the salsa with pork chops or griddled halloumi as part of the main meal, or serve alongside salty nachos for a group of friends.

Read More

copywriter york

Three things your freelance copywriter needs you to know

Over the Christmas break, a post on Twitter highlighted the strange conversations creatives have with their clients, many of them hilarious. Judging by the stream of reactions that followed, these scenarios are being encountered every day by freelancers all over the world. Common topics included late payment, last minute changes to the brief and requests for free work in exchange for exposure.

When I asked my community of freelancers about the issues they faced in their work a number of themes popped up. Here are just three of the things that every copywriter needs you to know.

Read More

scottish shortbread

National Shortbread Day

I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but I can never resist a good homebaked shortbread. So much better than shop bought and so incredibly easy to make. The moreish nature of the Scottish biscuit is achieved through a mix of three parts flour, two parts butter and one part sugar. How simple is that? To celebrate National Shortbread Day let’s take a look at one of the nation’s favourite sweet treats, starting from the very beginning. 

Read More

business writing by hand

Three ways to improve your business writing

You love what you do. At some point, you took the final step into self-employment.  Your work is your passion and you love sharing it with others. Working for yourself is easy right?

Not quite. We both know that running a small business is bloody hard. We might be good at what we do, but we don’t always have the skills to handle technology issues, complete admin tasks and market the business in the way it deserves.

Read More

writing podcasts

Three great podcasts to improve your writing in 2018

I am an obsessive book owner. Cookery books, writing books, marketing books – the collection outgrew our home years ago and is now slowly taking over the office. As a food writer and small business owner, I am constantly on a journey to increase my knowledge and improve the service that I offer my clients.

As much as I love the printed word, there are some fantastic development tools available online. From professional blogs to a downloadable pdf, the opportunities for learning are limitless. For me, 2017 was the year of the podcast. I love the flexibility of listening as and when it suits me, they certainly make the washing up a more interesting task!

Read More