National Vegetarian Week

Image of the Portly veg plot

The UK Vegetarian Society has declared May 19-24 to be National Vegetarian Week.

Regular readers will know I’m a confirmed carnivore but I do cook quite a lot of veggie recipes, partly for non-meat-eating friends, partly because they make a pleasant and healthy change and partly because Him Outdoors is a demon gardener and we have a lot of home-grown fresh veg. A keen eye will spot the baby broad beans behind the chives.

So to save you from trawling through a year’s worth of recipes, here are my edited vegetarian highlights. Continue reading

Seville Orange Marmalade

Image of Seville oranges

We hear a lot about seasonal eating but globalisation and supermarket shopping means you can get most fruit and veg year round – even if by the time they hit your plate they don’t taste of much.

One thing that is still truly seasonal is the Seville orange. Blink and you’ve missed it, along with your chances of making enough marmalade to get you through the next 12 months. Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Top 10

It’s only been nine months since I launched Mrs Portly’s Kitchen, but as it’s traditional round about now to look back over the year, I thought it might be fun to share the 10 most popular posts so far. Continue reading

Made To Make Your Eyes Water

Image of a basket of mixed chillies

Everybody’s writing Christmas recipes, which is lovely, but I really don’t think the world needs another step-by-step account of how to roast a turkey.

If, however, you want to spice up the leftovers come Boxing Day, here are some recipes which should light a fire under your family, in the nicest possible way. Continue reading

Some Like It Hot

Image of chillies

My husband is firmly of the belief that almost any dish can be improved by the addition of chillies. Ideally lots of chillies.

As he’s the head gardener we have chillies available all year round – fresh, frozen, dried or made into sauces, marinades and jellies. One of our standbys is chilli jelly and this year for the first time we’ve made sweet chilli sauce. Continue reading

Wild Plum Jam

Image of white bullaces growing on the tree

I’d never heard of bullaces before I moved to Suffolk. Now I’m knee deep in them.

They’re a type of wild plum that grows in the hedgerows in East Anglia, although different varieties apparently grow in various parts of the UK, from east to west. Continue reading

Wild Rabbits and the Grapes of Sloth

It looked like a bloodbath outside the back door and inside the kitchen was no better. There were gory pools of liquid spreading slowly across the paving stones and suspicious stains on the worktops. Continue reading

Green Tomato Chutney – Just Like Mother Used To Make

Image of Mrs Portly's mum

My mum – pickled all her life

My mum got this recipe from an old wartime cookery pamphlet and made it all her married life.

I still have the tattered booklet, spotted with age and ingredients and annotated with my mother’s alterations to the original recipe. Continue reading

Spicy Tomato Ketchup

Image of baskets full of fruit and vegetables

The kitchen garden is stuffed to bursting with fruit and veg and we’ve just spent a highly satisfactory afternoon harvesting the fruits of our labours.

Him Outdoors has slaved endlessly over the past four years to turn what was a nettle patch into a productive garden and it’s really paying off. Continue reading