The elderflowers are here and it is the best time of year. If I was more of a poet I’d have come up with a second line to go with that. I’ve been shoving elderflowers into various different things for years: cordial, gin, crumble and sugar to name a few. I wanted to try something a little different, and a bit less time consuming this time round, to get that wonderful elderflower fragrance down my neck as soon as I could. A celebration of late
Meals that are made from a few simple ingredients are invariably some of my favourite dishes of all. A quick scramble around the cupboards and fridge pulling ingredients and ideas together always feels more satisfying; like you’re getting a meal for nothing. My evening meals are always planned in advance so it’s lunchtime where I get my Ready Steady Cook hat on. Sometimes however the scrabbling approach doesn’t yield any particularly tasty sounding
I live in a village and on first appearances it has all the qualities of somewhere straight out of Call The Midwife. Actually living there is quite different; people don't know each others names, good luck trying to get them to take your bins in for you and there's so much material competition it's like a car forecourt out there. Of course there are exceptions; one of which is the white house on the corner. They have a Bramley apple tree and although
I thought I knew my local area pretty well, thought I’d trodden all its paths and roads and could take you to all the best places. Turns out I was wrong as a spontaneous left turn took me to all sorts of corners of Hampshire that I didn’t even know were there. We were planning on doing a bit of local exploring but hadn’t set our expectations too high as we were so convinced we'd already seen it all; we were amazed at all the new places we
I love cheesecake. This recipe for mini cheesecake mess is a great way of using up almost anything sweet you've got hanging around and, if I do say so myself, look pretty cute too. A lovely little sweet treat for lunch or after dinner. Have you ever tried to make cheesecake (or cream cheese icing) with low fat soft cheese? It never seems to work for me and just ends up all runny and no good at all. I thought I’d give it a try with some Laughing
I have been so busy this year that I have run out of time to make my own sloe gin. It’s not the end of the world though as I have some of last year’s stash left and once that’s gone there are some delicious ready steeped and drained sloe gins around. As much as I enjoy a classic sloe gin and tonic there’s much enjoyment to be had mixing up something different.
One place you can find some inspiration for new drinks to try is thebar. I found
This is only my second pavlova. To me, meringue has always been steeped in mystery and wonder and I found it slightly intimidating. Crispy on the outside, gooey in the middle; is this all really achievable with just two ingredients? Well yes, turns out it is. My two attempts I couldn’t have been more pleased with; previously a summer berry version and this time my Blackberry and Pear Pavlova (which also happens to be all organic) and the pudding
I have just come back from a week in Wales. We went to a place where there is no phone signal and not even a hope of connecting to the internet so you have no choice but to properly relax and get away. Holidaying with the family is always good fun; lots of meals in, walks and catching up on silly things. This is what I got up to over the week and, if you’re heading off to mighty Wales, I hope it gives you some ideas for what to do.
When I heard about Brew It Yourself I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. I have made a few infusions in my time, almost always involving gin, so I was looking forward to seeing what Richard Hood and Nick Moyle (aka Two Thirsty Gardeners) had put in their book. It's been a while since I've opened a book up and not known which bit to look at or which recipe to try first but everything in Brew It Yourself sounds so tempting and completely achievable.
I love this time of year in Britain; when the weather is getting warmer and warmer but it hasn’t quite got to the muggy stage and it’s still nice and cool at night. There are flowers in the hedges and the fruit has started growing on the trees; most of my time is spent outside and as far as I’m concerned, shoes are optional. I have done plenty of cooking with elderflower in the past and it seemed an ideal time to try out something slightly different