Purple Carrot Soup

Wandering around a market with cash and a cornucopia of fruit and vegetables it's hard to resist buying. I made a most excellent choice as far as I'm concerned and parted with my pennies in exchange for a majestic purple carrot. For something that I find as rarely as this I wanted to make the most of it without detracting from the magnificent root itself. Carrot soup was to be lunch. What you will need: 2 large carrots (2 purple if you can get Read more

Beef, Vegetable and Red Wine stew

I needed something slow cooked and full of goodness. Fortunately I had a fridge full of treats from the farmers' market. I had some seriously good braising steak from Challow Hill and a congregation of fantastic veg from the greengrocer. What you will need Braising steak Vegetables of your choice - carrots, swede, onions, leeks, pasnips Potatoes Red wine Stock Oil and seasoning Cut up the steaks and roll them in seasoned flour. Fry them Read more

Quince and Apple Crumble – adventures with the quince

The quince used to be a hidden fruit. It seems it was embarrassed of its furry skin, ever varying sizes and odd looks. I had heard rumours of it returning to its former glory and I kept my eyes peeled and nostrils ready for a sight or a whiff of this mysterious fruit.  I found it. If you have not ever been lucky enough to encounter the quince then scrap any plans this weekend and go and hunt some down. It looks like a pear, is tough like a pumpkin, Read more

Buttered Toffee Apple Crumble

When one suffers from less than optimal circulation in the extremities, they certainly know when the days are shortening and the evenings cooling. To rectify this and to warm the cockles there was only one thing for it. Apple crumble. Not just any apple crumble but one which I had discussed with my Grandmother just hours before. "Oooh, the other day I saw someone put butter and sugar into the apples for a crumble. It did look nice". I took this little Read more

Seasonal Stir Fry

It is almost the end of the week and time to use all that is left in the fridge to make room for all next weeks new and exciting food. Trips to delicatessens and markets have been planned in. I found some stir fry strips lurking in the freezer that I had bought from a lovely lady from Challow Hill Meats at the farmers' market. This meal seems somehow to always be ready at just the right time, it all comes together precisely at the end. What you Read more

Quick Cheat Risotto and Roasted Vegetables

Apparently I have become a magnet for books and other similar reading materials. Old and new, modern and traditional, there is not a manuscript that passes me by without a glance or sometimes a purchase. Because of this new exponential accumulation I needed to reorganise and rearrange my boudoir in preparation for a charming new bookcase I had clapped my eyes upon. I wrestled with the idea of what to have for dinner and I knew this rearrangement would Read more

Baked Marrow

What to do with quite a significant sized marrow, no time and a fridge full of food but nothing to eat. It was then that I remembered the very wise man who sold me the marrow in the first place. He recommended not to cut it down the middle and then stuff it as one might expect but to go about it as follows. Cut the marrow across rather than along into about 2 inch wedges. The kind gentleman advised to cut the skin off. I thought this was a very Read more

Classic Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy

It's been getting colder, the days getting shorter and the need for all things comforting increasing. I went to the butcher and managed to get hold of some local recipe sausages. Toad in the Hole would be it. With some gravy and mash. Proper British. What you will need Sausages of your choice 1/2 pint of milk 120g flour 3 eggs Pinch of salt and pepper 2 onions 2 garlic cloves 90ml balsamic vinegar Thyme Stock cube I started off by Read more

Pea and Lettuce Soup – a farewell to Summer

I just spent the last week in Dorset. It had me positively wanting to don my walking boots, breathe the fresh air - slightly tainted by manure - and whistle Greig's Morgenstimmung all day long. Fortunately, my dignity stayed in tact. I was also hampered by the fact I don't own walking boots and will only walk if there is the promise of food and drink at the other end. They are so proud of their food down there and Dorset cheeses were offered everywhere Read more

Plum Bakewell Tart

What a strange time of year. As a newbie to vegetable gardening and being too distracted by pride with what had been successful, I missed the band wagon and subsequently planted nothing else this year. Curses. All was not lost! A friend of mine with superfluous plums was kind enough to give us a bag full. What to do with that many plums...I consulted my various books and found a recipe I had written out by hand. I've no idea where it came from originally Read more