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
There have been cakes in my past which I tried either when I was too young to appreciate them or they were a mass produced poor version of what is actually a beautiful cake. An example of this is carrot cake. What I thought carrot cake tasted like was nothing compared to when I made one for myself; it wasn't dry it was moist, it wasn't boring it was luscious and the icing is by far my favourite of all icing.
Another cake I had always ignored
I planted eighteen broad bean seeds under their little cloches back in March and I had eighteen successful broad bean plants come up giving me lovely green pods all of July and early August. I planted eighteen French purple bean seeds under their little cloches and I had two plants come up. I'm not sure it was my year for these little chaps.
Fortunately the two little plants that managed to battle the elements (and the neighbours heavy pawed cat)
Summer is a wonderful time for unctuous puddings. Sweet ones, sharp ones, gooey ones and normally in some shade of pink. I wish I had the willpower to buy millions of summer berries and freeze them so I can knock up a pudding anytime I fancy, but I can barely resist them enough for them to make it to the saucepan. How can you go wrong with inky blackcurrants and vibrant gooseberries? Over the weekend I had occasion to make luscious puddings with
I planted my own broad beans back in February full of anticipation and excitement for that day when I could finally snap the pods from the plant, lightly cook them and enjoy them just as they are. To say I was jealous of the broad beans at the farmers' market is an understatement. I couldn't possibly buy any and cheat on my home grown ones...could I?
Some of my broad beans are at the mangetout stage and I enjoy the occasional one immensely straight
As one of those people who would rather sit down and pick at fifteen different dishes instead of a complete meal a BBQ is perfect for me. I wish I had the energy to create authentic Tapas on a regular basis but until then I am finding all sorts of little things to throw into the standard BBQ line up.
Potatoes will always crop up in some form or other at a BBQ. Chips, baked, in salads, boiled and any other form you can find. I wanted something that