I was never a fan of jelly and ice cream. I'm afraid that even when I was five I had standards and high expectations of jelly and ice cream that a children's party just could not match. I went off jelly after several wobbly strawberry attempts for many years. I tried it in trifle too (not for me) and it wasn't until I decided to make my own jelly that I appreciated just what a marvel it can be. Now I'm a grown up and I like jelly I've also realised
I was first introduced to beetroot in its pickled form. This was many years ago and I still enjoy a well vinegared beetroot very much. The first time I tried fresh beetroot I didn't like it; it was too earthy and nowhere near as acidic enough as I was used to. However my feelings towards this most purple of roots have changed over time and now it's one of my favourite vegetables. I like to think of this beetroot gratin as a celebration of beetroot;
Oh rhubarb. Not only the choice swear word for the less potty mouthed among us but also a rather delectable vegetable. I know it's sort of a fruit but as it doesn't have any seeds I will class it as a vegetable. I acquired my most recent handful of stalks after spending a lovely morning at a local farm shop (more about that in a separate post). I was even allowed to pull this straight out of the ground myself which was a rewarding, if somewhat exhausting,
A few days ago it really felt like spring had arrived. I got a bit excited and even opened a window to let some fresh spring air in. It was still pretty chilly but I didn't care; there were daffodils, bumblebees and the smell of blossom in the air. When this seasonal change happens I find myself craving ripe tomato salads, ratatouille and barbecues. Sadly none of these were on offer but not to worry as I had some mint and feta cheese. There's something
You know that saying about life giving you lemons? I was given some wet garlic (also called green garlic) in my vegetable box. Lemons can be made into lemonade but I certainly wasn’t about to start making garlic juice. I took some time to ponder its use. It looked like a skinny leek, but much longer, with the very pungent and distinct aroma of garlic.
Firstly I thought it best to try it raw to see what I was up against. I think even now I have
I’m not very good at anything that requires precision; cutting, gluing, drawing, sewing and the like just aren’t made for me no matter how much I might like them to be. I thought it was time I challenged this, determined to be as perfect as possible I set about making some mini chicken and chorizo tartlets. This of course was not only an excuse to try and achieve the impossible; namely a pastry tart case that didn’t shrink, but also to use up
Removing all the meat from a cooked chicken has to be one of the most rewarding things to do; ending up with a plate full of bones and a bowl full of meat opens up a world of possibilities. As I mentioned in the previous post the bones were used to make stock; half of this was used in a bright broccoli, celery and stilton soup. I think the other half will end up in a risotto in the near future.
First and most importantly it was essential to make
A beautifully roasted chicken is hard to beat; with crispy skin and succulent meat there's nothing quite like it. Having a whole roast chicken is a rare thing for me, indeed this is the first chicken I have roasted in a very long time and I wasn't about to waste a scrap of it. The chicken that was to fulfil my roast chicken dreams was a local, free range, corn fed bird. This post is about my perfect Sunday lunch and making the most of the leftovers.
I like books. I can rarely walk past a charity or second hand book shop without having a little nose around. My affection for literature is not just for old books, I love the smell of new ones. As a result of my fondness, and subsequent collection of books, it was about time I sorted a few out in order to prevent some sort of hardback avalanche occurring.
So that I didn't get bored I thought it was a good idea to intersperse the organising with
Apart from the occasional carrot cake or carrot salad I rarely have opportunity to make the carrot the star of the show. Carrots tend to make an appearance in the vegetable box but this time, instead of stored carrots from last year I had the first spring carrots. Thin and still slightly muddy with great green fronds, these carrots couldn't simply be added to a stew.
I had never made a cold soup before; I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it.