I was watching food historian Ivan Day make an apple and quince tart on a television cookery programme the other day. Instead of fresh quinces, he used a preserve, the idea being that our ancestors would use it to add the fruit’s flavour long after its harvest season had passed.
A well-made mango chutney is a thing of beauty. It must have chunks of mango to qualify and not be a sickly orange slurry (I could rant on about this for ages). It’s easy enough to make your own, but mangoes are expensive, unless you are lucky enough to stumble across a corner shop selling boxes of them dirt cheap. This never happens to me.
Think of drinking wine under a vine-covered trellis and you’ll probably be transported back to the heady romance of a holiday in Greece or Italy. I don’t have so far to travel. I just go to Tufnell Park. Continue reading →
I’ve been drowning in fruit this month, with baskets of pears and crab apples all over the kitchen. It’s a lovely position to be in in many ways but the sheer volume can be a bit daunting, especially when you haven’t actually eaten all of last year’s bounty. I still have bottled pears and jars and jam and jelly in the store cupboard, in spite of giving quantities away to friends and family.
Luckily a friend came and did a bit of scrumping in the orchard but that still left me with more than four kilos of crab apples. As we have already made herb jellies of every description, as well as industrial amounts of chilli jelly, I wanted to do something slightly different. Continue reading →
I’ve been meaning to write a post about books for gluts, the best cookery books to have on hand if you have a lot of garden produce and are running out of creative ways to use it up. But I never get any further than these two essential volumes. Continue reading →
It’s odd how a recipe can vanish almost completely from the culinary repertoire of one country yet continue to be eaten and enjoyed in another. Sometimes it will even get re-imported as an exotic foreign delicacy. Membrillo, the Spanish version of quince cheese, is the perfect example. Continue reading →
The woodshed is full for the winter and with the hours of daylight shortening, we’ve been clearing the last of the summer fruit and veg from the greenhouse and garden. It’s chutney time. Continue reading →
It was a bit of a wrench picking the hips from the wild roses because they looked so beautiful glowing in the autumn sun, but I consoled myself with the thought that they’d shrivel and drop off soon anyway and I’d be conserving their flavour through the winter, suspended in an amber jelly. Continue reading →
Harvesting the last of the wild plums from the hedgerow and being short on time, the thought of picking the stones out of bullace jam didn’t appeal. But it’s one of the family’s favourites so I wanted to keep the bullaces’ gorgeous greengage flavour while cutting the workload. Continue reading →
This is my creative-driven food and recipe blog. I have recipes for sweet and savoury mixed in with a little science, historic references or maths. Many of my sweet bakes are illustrated and have makes and decorative elements you can try. I particularly love any hot, spicy food; making pasta from scratch; bread and sourdough baking and technically difficult and tricky patisserie, preserves and confectionary - although no food is off-limits!