Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

I love this time of year simply because there is so much free food around! Here’s a few pictures of the massive marrow, all the preserves and a really tasty Beef Wellington that we cooked up last weekend – it was fantastic and well worth the effort.

I do get quite obsessed with making and preserving when fruits are so abundant.  Mainly because the results taste great, make fantastic Christmas presents and I feel much better that food is not going to waste.

So much so that I even went out with a step ladder the other night to reach the masses of plums from a tree overhanging a public path where I regularly walk the dog.  I’ve had my eye on the deep purple fruits for a few weeks as the ground became more and more sticky and covered with windfall fruit – I couldn’t watch the waste any longer!  There is still plenty of fruit to be had but I’ll need a bigger ladder….

Also around where I live there is also an abundance of brambles with masses of blackberries.  Last weekend I was far from alone with my tupperware, steadily working my way along the branches collecting the deliciously dark berries and avoiding the thorns! Easily within 30mins I had about a kilo of fruit which is plenty for us, so I continued my cooking/preserving obsession by making Blackberry Jam last night.  I got 4 jars full and I’m really pleased with it as it is still sharp but sweet and hasn’t set too hard.

It’s the first time I’ve made Jam on my own (usually me and my mum have a jam making marathon weekend but we haven’t found time yet)  and my cast iron pan isn’t quite deep enough for good Jam Safety Standards!  With barely an inch to spare from the top, the moulten bubbling syrup was quite intimidating and needed a watchful eye throughout the whole process, but I’m pleased that both Plum and Blackberry Jam set quite well and didn’t cause any sticky kitchen disasters!

Anyway, this year I really have gone a bit mad and stored away to mellow in a dark cupboard (so far) are:

14 jars of Spiced Apple and Marrow Chutney,

6 jars of Red Onion and Tomato Chutney (made by H2B),

8 jars of Plum Chutney,

5 jars of Plum Jam and,

3 jars of Blackberry Jam (the forth is already half eaten!) And amazingly all this fruit and veg has been free!

I still have a few kilos of Cooking Apples from a friends trees (and many more apples still to be picked) and there are still plenty of blackberries and plums out there!  Plus I can’t forget all the tomatos I’ve grown that are still green – I think I might try Green Tomato Ketchup…

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My other half is quite established in the kitchen now when it comes to special dinners, especially anything curry related. Since getting a curry cookbook for Christmas he’s not looked back, from delicious fragrant curry’s from West India to the dry spices of Goa, we’ve really got a taste for the variety of flavours you experience in a curry.

india.gifAs we’re having some friends over in the week he made a Vindaloo at the weekend, and contrary to popular belief (and English stlye curries) a Vindaloo is not meant to be a blow-your-head-off-chili-  stinky-poo-type curry! My own taste buds are quite sensitive to chili hot spices but the combination of vinegar (Vin) and garlic (aloo) is a pleasant and not too long lasting fire on the tongue sensation.

What I’m really looking forward to is the Green Masala that he’s also made – I’ll have to post up the recipe!

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I love a bit of cake. Its the one food pleasure I simply cannot resist (and one I won’t deny myself!) So when I arrived home on Sunday, after a hard 4-hour slog clearing out junk from my childhood bedroom, to the beautiful aroma of freshly baked cake all my frowns fizzled away.

The boy done good. Very good. He does love cooking shows, making different exotic things and trying lots of different foods so when a recipe on Something for the Weekend caught his eye I knew I was in for a treat. A simple and easy to bake Tea Cake was eagerly consumed with a mug of hot tea – sheer bliss!

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