The spring equinox has whizzed by already and we’re officially in the Everything’s Burgeoning In The Garden phase of growing – and yet we’re still in the period known as the hunger gap, when there are few fresh fruits or veg ready to harvest locally.
One exception is rhubarb, either bright pink and forced in the growing sheds of the famous Rhubarb Triangle of west Yorkshire or like ours, already poking up in the veg patch. Continue reading →
“Take medlars that are rotten, strain them, and set them on a chaffing dish of coals, season them with sugar, cinamon, and ginger, put some yolks of eggs to them, let it boil a little, and lay it in a cut tart. Being baked, scrape on sugar.” The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, 1660/1665. Continue reading →
We have masses of damsons this year, one of my favourite stoned fruits. Rather than endless pots of jam, I decided to make a damson cheese, which we love to eat with actual cheese.
A fruit cheese is denser than a jam, softer than a fruit leather. If you’re familiar with membrillo, or quince cheese, you’ll get the idea. Damsons are easier than quince to source and I reckon the result is just as good. Continue reading →
It’s approaching that time of year when if you have a garden, everything comes at once and you have a glut of something or another (usually courgettes) and if you don’t, reasonably priced fruit and veg are available in bushel loads at farmers’ markets and you find yourself perhaps buying more than you can eat straight away.
I’m a recent convert to beetroot. I’d always hated them after being force-fed pickled beets at infants’ school, but a recipe in Olia Hercules lovely book Kaukasis taught me that they are a root to be savoured, not spat out (sorry, I was only four and a half). Continue reading →
I dithered a bit about sharing this, to be honest, because even by my easy-going standards it is a very simple recipe. But the lemony dressing lifts it and prevents that clagginess you sometimes get from a potato salad made just with mayo, so I’ve included it as a sort of bonus post. Continue reading →
This is an odd time of the year in the vegetable garden – spring is here but many of the veg we associate with the season (apart from heavenly asparagus) haven’t put in an appearance yet. Well, they have in the shops, just not on our patch. Continue reading →
My kitchen is full of green tomatoes, rescued from the greenhouse just ahead of an attack of blight. Sadly, we’re not very creative with the way we use them in this country. My mother’s chutney recipe is the best I’ve eaten but there are only so many cheese and chutney sarnies and cold cuts you can eat in a year. So I’ve been looking further afield for inspiration. Continue reading →
It’s one of my favourite times of the year in the vegetable garden. The peas and asparagus may be over for another year but the French beans, the first tomatoes and cucumbers and above all, the sweetcorn are ready for picking. Continue reading →
The first time I made this the rhubarb sank without trace and the flaked almonds slid inexorably sideways as the topping rose. Then I glanced at Instagram to see a five year old had knocked up a perfect rhubarb frangipane tart after she got home from school. Her mum Jess says she’s hoping for a three course meal by the time the prodigy hits 10. Continue reading →