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
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
I feel like I lost a limb this week. I live near a little market town and it's been through a lot of development of late. Some good, some not so good. Over time independent eateries (a million times better, nicer and tastier) have been heartbreakingly replaced by chains. I am so bored of chain food. I don't mean to sound depressing or ranting and raving. This is a lament.
Two of the best restaurants in the town - in fact the only two restaurants
So as I am inundated with thousands upon thousands of broad beans and courgettes, instead of becoming the next Alan Sugar and make millions selling my prides and joys, I decided I shall eat them myself and share them around. I say thousands but I mean more than I hoped for.
One of the meals we had entailed both broad beans and courgettes. I wish my tomatoes were ready but they are stubbornly green. As per usual with these lovely beans they needed
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
It has been such a busy time recently. As you may note, not even a tiny snippet of bloggage crossed my keyboard in the whole of July. Not for lack of wanting to but for a lack of time! During the hectic haphazardry that ensued I did manage to whip up a few culinary delights. And so to begin... Strawberry Ice Cream.
What you will need (for enough for 4-6 people):
600g strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
I fancied making some shortbread and in my quest I stumbled across an interesting variation of this classic. It was in James Martin's book entitled 'Desserts' (see link below). I love this book, the recipes are so easy to follow and are always yummy. He calls this particular recipe 'Grandma's caramel shortbread' and I am so grateful she shared this recipe with him so I was lucky enough to be able to make and eat it.
What you will
This is another cheap and cheerful recipe that was recently discovered. Again, it feeds two for less than £3 and counts as two of your five a day. My recipe for gnocchi with bacon, broccoli and creamy garlic sauce is quick, easy and frugal too. It's really creamy and just what you need when you're craving a dauphinoiseque meal.
What you will need (for two people):
Potato gnocchi - 59p
4 rashers of bacon - £1
Small head of broccoli
It's the end of term and funds are running low. Gone are the days of spontaneous eating out and in are the days of making whatever is edible from the darkest corners of the cupboard.
Never fear. Over the last few days I have made meals which feed two for £3 or less and even if I do say so myself are rather nice. Also, they are at least 2 of your 5 a day! Here's my recipe for a budget spaghetti bolognese.
What you will need (for two