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
There are so many vegetables around at the moment and fruit is a little thin on the ground. To save me turning into a cabbage I felt I needed something other than a clementine to lift me out of my Savoy stupor. Persimmons (or Sharon Fruit) were something that I had never tried; for some reason they were forever unobtainable. I did manage to get hold of them eventually and was then thoroughly perplexed as to what to do with them.
My dilemma was
Game is a difficult food. It's hard to convince people to try it when they are absolutely determined they hate it, if you've never handled it before it can be intimidating to try and skin a rabbit and despite your best efforts sometimes you wonder why you bothered buying venison when you might as well have bought beef. Regardless of all or any of these, game is tremendously delicious.
I don't tend to have 'healthy' recipes on here, nor do
It's almost Christmas and that means indulgence and overeating. A candy beetroot and goat's cheese tart is the perfect thing to have as a light meal amidst all the festive frivolities. Candy beetroot can't fail to be eye-catching; pink and white circles which look like a humbug. Beetroot are fantastic at this time of year adding colour to an otherwise mostly green and white season. Whichever beetroot you have it is excellent with goat's cheese and
The poor sprout. I don't know of another vegetable that has to put up with as much ridicule. People turning their noses up at even the slightest mention of this poor brassica must be hard to deal with if you're a sprout. Chances are those that turn up their noses have only tried them boiled to within an inch of their life. There's much more to a sprout than as a soggy green mess at the side of the plate. There is a rumour that sprouts can cause side
Some of you may know that I made my own sloe gin this year. It all started on a warm September afternoon with a kilo of sloes, a sprinkling of sugar and a litre of fine gin. It's something I've never even attempted before but I thought how hard can it be?
Turns out it's extremely simple. Put it all together and leave the flavours and juices to mingle and infuse for as long as you can wait.
The wait is definitely worth it. This sloe gin is only