It’s been a phenomenal year for plums here in our part of Suffolk and we’ve been in a race with the wasps to see who can get there first. Luckily, we have so much fruit, there’s plenty left for wildlife of all sorts.
The last to ripen have been the black bullace and damsons. The bullace tree in particular is so laden, the plums are hanging like bunches of grapes. As the jam cupboard is already full, we opted for a chutney and I honestly think it’s one of the best we’ve ever made. Continue reading →
Him Outdoors has been growing a mixture of red, yellow and stripey beetroot and for once I managed to dig them up while they were still tiny. They had heroic quantities of fresh, unblemished leaves and I hate waste, so I doubled up on the beetroot to use both tops and roots. Continue reading →
I’ve been experimenting with strawberry ice cream but then realised I wanted the pure, clean taste of the fruit to shine through, so decided on a sorbet instead. Modesty forbids me to tell you just how good it is. Continue reading →
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 →