The first of the season purple sprouting broccoli was standing tall and proud at the Farmers' Market letting us all know that Spring is just around the corner. Everyone wanted some of this majestic member of the Brassica family.
In order to celebrate the first greens of the year there was only one companion up to the job - extra mature Cheddar cheese. To make it a glorious trio I bought some excellent collar bacon. This is one of those recipes
Pesto, hummus and bread are just a few examples of things that if you make yourself, couldn't be further from the shop bought version. Chicken liver pâté is another. I have long had an affection for this most accepted of offal and I felt it was about time I got myself some to see how a homemade one compares. I couldn't have asked for better livers. They were free range, organic and fresh as you could ask for. I never eat supermarket chicken and
Where a few months ago a slice of lemon drizzle cake or a blueberry muffin would have cheered up my lunchbox I needed something more substantial, more buttery and more comforting. All this snow has meant I've been raiding the cupboards and I found jars and bottles full of stuff that really I'm never going to use. I also figured if any of my nearest and dearest know me, I'll be getting many more jars of treats on the 25th.
I managed to find some
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 (for two bowls):
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,
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
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 (for two)
Sausages of your choice
1/2 pint of milk
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves
90ml balsamic vinegar
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
After spending my Sunday trying to resist everything I clapped my searching eyes on at my local farmers market, I ended up buying hundreds of carrots. How could I say no to a bunch just picked and two for £1 purple cauliflower? Either way I am now inundated with these sweet orange roots and so I consulted several recipe books and decided a carrot cake was the order of the day. They all asked for different things so I picked out what I thought were
To tell you nowt but the truth, my broad beans have been nothing short of prolific. I cannot urge you enough to throw a few broad beans in the ground and watch them develop. They are so nutty and so so green. There's nothing like picking a few pods and whiling away a few moments popping the little guys out of their silk lined beds. I really enjoy squeezing them out of their old grey skins once cooked. Unless I'm in a rush.
Despite all the care