Grama’s Rosemary and Garlic Crab Apple Jelly

Image of apple treeWe have a small tree on the edge of our driveway, half buried in an overgrown laurel hedge. We barely noticed it until one year it started raining little green apples.

It turned out to be a sort of crab apple, or perhaps more correctly, a domesticated variety that had reverted to its wild state. Maybe someone dropped an apple core there many years ago.

The fruits are small and quite sour so I used them to make this jelly, which arrived in Suffolk from the United States via Northern Ireland.

I should explain. Continue reading

Gammon with Spiced Pears

Image of Fruit Book and Big Red Book of Tomatoes

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

Quince Jelly and Membrillo

Image of quinces growing on a tree

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

Rosehip Jelly

Image of rosehips growingIt 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

Positively The Last Bullace Post Of The Season

Image of a wild plum tree

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

Hedgerow Jelly

Image of elderberries growingThere’s something enormously satisfying about getting food for free – if you ignore the personal cost of the bramble scratches, nettle stings and midge bites.

You can make this jelly with a wide variety of hedgerow fruits in addition to the crab apples – try blackberries, wild plums (bullaces), sloes and elderberries. If you can’t source crabapples, cooking apples will do.  Continue reading

How America Won The War (On Tomatillos)

Say what you like about social media, it can be a great way of getting back in touch with old friends and making new ones.

Take my US friend Karen. We’ve never met – she’s a friend of a friend – but I know if I ever turned up in Texas she’d make me welcome and we’d get on like a house on fire. The same goes for her mum, Sheila, who lives in California. Continue reading