The daffodils are out which means Spring has sprung. Now is the time you might be considering giving your home a Spring clean. Coincidentally, Jerusalem artichokes are in supply at the moment and can assist with your Spring cleaning; that is, if you are also planning to clean your...for want of a better word...insides. Jerusalem artichokes will never win most attractive vegetable of the year but for what they lack in manners and appearance they more
Spring greens offer so much in their name. They suggest that either spring is here or is just around the corner, they have disguised their cabbage relations with their seasonal pseudonym. I happen to think that spring greens also deliver a lot. They look shrivelled and unwelcoming with their leaves closed to the outside world but once you start to snap them off and slice them up they are wonderfully versatile. As a relation to the cabbage, spring
For some reason I have a bit of a thing for French food. It's the food that never fails to put a smile on my face; partly because of the flavours but also because it's a great excuse to showcase local, British ingredients in different ways. It's a funny time of year, I feel it's almost time to crack out a salad but at the same time I still want comfort and warmth. What better than the absolute classic French onion soup?
There's nothing quite like
You can’t have Valentine’s Day without a little chocolate. This tart is great because you can make it in advance and leave it in the fridge so there is no last minute pudding fretting! It's beautifully rich and very easy to make; made even easier if you use a food blender for the pastry. If pastry is your nemesis, it used to be mine, I have a previous post that will make you feel much more relaxed about constructing this tart.
Start by making
Beautiful, traditional and French; a perfect meal for Valentine's Day. This one's a winner because the bottle of wine you need for the boeuf bourguignon you can then drink with the meal or yourself during the preparation as a reward for all your hard work. Being a slow cooking dish means once it's on the go you don't need to worry about it and you can get on with other things. If that wasn't enough, it's also incredible and actually quite cheap.
This is the first of a three part post for Valentine's Day. It's designed to be seasonal, sumptuous, divine and stress free. The quantities are meant for two. The dessert is one that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge; the main is meant for long cooking so you have ample time to make the simple starter. All this spare time means you're not rushing around desperately trying find that Barry White CD at the last minute. After all, it's
Luscious sloe gin will inevitably result in spare berries when sloes and gin are separated. There is only so much sloe chocolate you can eat and extra sloe gin you can make before boredom sets in. I was informed by a kind friend that sloe port was worth a try but receptacles were thin on the ground. Fortunately my Granny had given me a Rumtopf a while back which was perfect for transforming my gin soaked berries into deep red port.
Rhubarb makes a wonderful crumble and a devilishly good fool. Its astringency can cut through the most fatty of foods and its delicate colour is about the only thing around at the moment that isn't green or brown. It's also citrus season with Satsuma's, tangerines and blood oranges galore. It seems a shame to eat all the members of the orange family just for their cold preventing benefits.
I was one of those children who would pick out the sourest,
The beetroot is a vegetable of many guises. I have been fortunate enough to obtain, consume and even grow some of the purple, the pink and white striped and the golden. There's nothing quite like a beetroot; so earthy and yet so sweet. Growing beetroot has been, in my experience, immeasurably easy. I think it helped that I slightly cheated and bought plug plants rather than seeds but irrespective of this they were all a success. If you were to grow
Cooked cabbage and a wet flannel have an unfortunate amount of textures in common. Particularly if, like me, you were put off cabbage at school where it was boiled to what can only be described as wallpaper paste. Things have moved on since then and I wanted to give the cabbage a chance. I've baked it, boiled it, steamed it and fried it. Apart from frying, none of these yielded any spectacular, life changing results. Nevertheless I wasn't about