Some poaching of rhubarb aside ( with apricots, orange zest, juice, fresh ginger, sugar and cinnamon) its been an unusually light Proper Cooking few days. And I don't think poaching up a dish of rhubarb can make a compelling case for Proper Cooking really. Food has either been delivered ( those promising brown bags with the handles again, always with a grease spot the size of a 50p coin) or we've eaten out. My default meal when busy with other kitchen projects ( baking for orders) is pretty much always a baked potato. Nigel Slater describes a baked potato as the culinary equivalent of a hug, and I don't think that notion can be bettered. I like my hugs with butter and cheese, cornish sea salt ( get me) and pepper. Sour cream and spring onions too if no-ones looking. Its a meal to capsize into, and generally leaves me with a kind of post hot bath happy simpleton glow. I'd like to say said potato ( and rhubarb) were organic, in mitigation of the lack of wholesome eating thats coloured this week, but they weren't. They were from t'Co-op so I doubt it. By dint of the fact that t'Co-op is a stones throw from me and that I pass it most days, I'm frequently in there either stalking up and down the baking ailse ( looking for items I know fine well they don't stock, but hope springs eternal) or making a smash and grab, amongst commuters, for something for tea. With t'Co-op being fairly handy for me, its sort of my big corner shop. No, they don't always have everything I want ( but they've started stocking halloumi a bit more regular ! 3 Cheese Cheers !) but their fair trade range is great,(and growing) and their recently gussied up cafe part is also all fair tradey , fairly priced and very well placed for skulking in when a train is late or cancelled. Remember the snow at the beginning of this year ? Well, the train service, shall we say, was not unaffected and I spent many a thwarted foray into Manchester in t'C-op cafe , riding an emotional rollercoaster following train time updates and eating toasted teacakes. But there's about to be a new kid in town ! I see on the high street, next door to a bakery, that a new coffee and pancake shop is set to open ! During my late teens, we'd go to the Dutch Pancake House in Manchester, see a film at the Cornerhouse and would thill to our metropolitan sophistication. So I shall let you know, this place has a big plate to fill. In the meantime, heres a pic of something thats been occupying me much of this week - sugarcraft. I've 3 large orders this week, for a wedding, a christening, and a new thing for me, a supply to a local coffee shop, so I've been busy handcrafting sugar paste roses and butterflies. And eating baked potatoes.