A bad night with Arthur

foodmenu:trav-bostonclamsTRAVELLING chef Philippa Davis from Shaftesbury has crossed the Atlantic for her latest project – and has had some uncomfortable company at night …

But she is “happy as a clam,” she says.

Arthur kept me up for most of the night, boisterously crashing around and showing off and with repeated spectacular flashes I began to wonder if he would ever let me get to sleep. I must confess I was slightly relieved that he was not quite on the scale that was first rumoured but impressive none the less…

I think I may have forgotten to mention that :

I have headed across the pond for a few weeks and am now as happy as a jumping bean in Boston, Massachusetts – and Arthur is a Tropical Storm that has been tormenting the east coast of the US.

On a recent trip to France I was chatting to the lady in the bakers about cooking and she asked me what kind of food I made. I said Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/British and some American influence.

“American?” she said, raising her eyebrow so much so I thought she may have been practising a Roger Moore impersonation. “Ha ! Americans don’t have real food.”

Well, I have to say that French bread lady has been proved very wrong. In and around Boston there are some amazing produce and dishes. There are some of the best lobsters you will ever eat, clams that are super-sweet and that come in a number of varieties (the happy looking steamer clam below is a new favourite that get steamed in beer then dipped in butter for serving), some fantastic farmers markets, corn that is definitely some of the tastiest in the world and it’s the home of the Boston Cream Pie.


To celebrate the 4th July I thought I would make my first Boston Cream Pie. I had never made one so started looking up recipes. I promise you at least 70 per cent of the ones I found started with “Take one packet of cake mix and a box of ready made custard,” which wasn’t quite what I was looking for. When I did find one that was more from scratch I had to read it several times over to get the various steps and although it only takes 18 minutes to cook it takes 30 mins to wash up all the pans you use to make it.

Was it worth it? I can’t say it will become a regular baking choice for me but with a light airy sponge, thick cold custard and a chocolaty rich topping it is delicious. So just in case you fancied a washing up extravaganza that comes with a glorious celebration cake this postcard recipe gives you the Boston Cream Pie (see note below).

This month also brings the start of my new commission as the cookery writer for The Field Magazine. a great publication for anyone interested in shooting, stalking, gun dogs, fishing and other rural pursuits.

You can find Philippa’s Boston Cream Pie and her other post card recipes at www.philippadavis.com