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
What is it about a squash that makes you warm from the inside out as you enjoy its beautiful sweet flesh. It could be the bright orange colour, a welcome sight amidst all the greens and browns of autumn. It could be the way it goes with pretty much everything: it can be soup, stew, curry, pudding; the list is endless, although I've not heard of anyone making squash gin or squash vodka. I had heard that the onion squash was the nicest of all the squashes
Sometimes carrots can be taken for granted. The base of a soup or stew, added to stock or shoved on the side of the plate. What a shame. They are such glorious things in their own right and there is no carrot sweeter than a home grown carrot. I planted these little beauties a few months back expecting them to be riddled with carrot fly and a complete disaster. The results have been quite the opposite. I am now inundated.
Before you ask, the one
Autumn arrived and brought with it a questionable frost. Was it a real one or were we all just a little bit surprised by the sudden drop in temperature? Apart from being the time for pumpkin soup, squash in all its forms and stews galore it is also the time for making sloe and hedgerow gin. There are some sloe purists who will not touch this lovely berry until a frost has been; there are those like me who pick them nice and early and speed nature
Apples are everywhere at the moment. They are falling out of trays at the market, falling off the trees along the road and falling onto my plate at any given opportunity. As much as I enjoy an apple on its own, it has to be a good one mind, sometimes you can have too many to know what to do with. Apple cakes, crumbles, pies and flapjacks are all lovely but I wanted to enjoy some apples at their very best and not shrouded by too many other flavours.
Recently it has become apparent that most of the meals I eat are vegetable orientated. There are two reasons for this; firstly I have a cornucopia of vegetables in my garden at present and each one needs celebrating in its own way and secondly meat is so expensive.
I can go into Sainsbury's and pick up four chicken breasts for £6. Not the extra special ones, not the organic ones, just the standard ones. My alternative is to go to the farmer's
Pastry has to be, without doubt, the best cradle, blanket or hat for any rich, sumptuous bed of fruit, meat or vegetables. It is that crunch, that warmth and that way it crumbles which makes it just so. I thought of pastry as my nemesis. Stupid stuff that was invariably delicious when prepared by anyone but myself. All this was to change when I met Jane.
Jane makes an awful lot of pastry. She is Jane of Jane's Kitchen and prepares a marvellous
Crumble is the food I turn to when the evenings start getting darker and it starts getting cooler. The way the sweet, slightly tart fruit of choice bubbles and seeps through the crunchy, crumbly, biscuity top is a sure fire way to warm you from inside to out. What I love about crumble is that it's so versatile; the fruit is whatever fruit you can get your hands on.
I think that a person's crumble is as unique as their fingerprint. Some crumbles
When you have a cauliflower and you add a little cheese you can't fail to make something unfathomably gorgeous. There is no other place I know of that you can get a purple cauliflower apart from my local farmers' market. If you saw it at a glance you may have to do a double take to reassure yourself that it is real.
I think the cauliflower is a very lucky vegetable. It's no looker but I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't think the union of cauliflower