Tis' the wassailing season, so it is. When jolly rural peasant folk traditionally enjoyed the simple pleasure of a glass of cider in the orchard, their merry singing ensuring a good apple harvest. Our two apple trees, I’m afraid, received no such ceremony. But I do have apples and a terrific bircher muesli recipe for them...
At last! I have a proper leek harvest. They are fat. They are long. They are un-invaded by weevils. Regulars will remember my poor leek showing in previous years (see here). But no more! I have leeks! Lots of them! And a lovely leek, bacon and cheddar muffin recipe to show them off. Terrific for packed lunches.
You would think, by now, I might have run out of things to say about beetroot, wouldn't you? I've covered them in detail here, here, here and here. Oo and here too. Perhaps there's a beetroot marketing board I should talk to... And yet here we are in January and I find myself blessed, still, with beetroot from the patch. Admittedly it's a bit battered and woody in parts, but it's still perfectly good for juicing, smoothies and, in the weather warrants today, soup.
I know. I need a virtual slap on the wrist, don't I? I've been more than pitiful in my blogging of late. And for that I am sorry. But I have a terrific excuse. No the dog didn't eat my laptop (though he is sat a my feet as we speak with his feed-me-you-never-feed-me-it's-suppertime-feed-me face so it's not inconceivable). The excuse is this: I've written a book. A BOOK! I KNOW! I'm a bit excited about it all. And I've got some recipes from it for you...
We've been nominated for an award - Best Blogger in the Cotswolds. I know. It's very exciting. The prospect of wearing taffeta and drinking champagne if we win is all too much for us. But the winner is the one with the most votes, so we need your help! Please vote today! Here's how
The G&G cup of bucolic idealism was overflowing this weekend at the gloriously twee Chadlington Apple Day - a village celebration of the apple harvest. The sun shone on straw-hatted men pressing apples, rosy-cheeked children apple bobbing and WI ladies selling jars of apple sauce (I might have made that last bit up, but surely it was classic jam and Jerusalem territory). But for a badly knitted cardigan I could have fallen into a Miss Marple novel ("golly, the Reverend's been drowned in a cider barrel!")...
I'm at The Big Feastival this weekend teaching Parent and Child classes for AEG. The weather's been glorious (so far...) and the classes have been a hoot - blimey we certainly have a [...]
There's nothing subtle about jam-making. Not in my book anyway. Just big, intense flavours and twee, chintzy jam lids. This week I've been let loose in my neighbour's envy-inducing fruit cage to strip the redcurrant bushes. They are enormous and I pick nearly 6kg from just one plant. Back in the kitchen there's only one thing on my mind - redcurrant jelly....
There's been too much cooking of late. I've been feeling the need to get dirt in my fingernails rather than pastry. To get the sun on my back rather than chefs' whites. And the patch has noticed my absence too, becoming, as it has, a bit weedy around the edges and ever so slightly petulant....
Our next supper club is on 22nd August 2015 at The Cotswolds Distillery. Join us for a summer feast with gin cocktails to match each course. As usual, we'll talk about the food and cocktails so you'll leave full, merry on gin and a little bit cleverer too. Book quickly, there aren't many spaces!
Milk. I've always loved the stuff. From the little glass bottles with rusks at playtime and to my adult remedy for sleeplessness straight from the bottle lit by the glow of the fridge in a dark kitchen.
The broad beans are home alone this week as G&G pays a visit to the bright lights of London Town. As well as being slightly overwhelmed by how many people there are in our [...]
There's little more satisfying than a festive leftover
I've never made a Christmas cake before. That I've eaten homemade Christmas cake every year for thirty-odd years and never made my own is testament both to the extraordinary baking skills of my [...]
A cracking little winter harvest
Been a while. Sorry. But the reason is a just one: gin. Sloe gin. Aside from shoveling the odd tonne of mushroom compost, there’s not much activity up at the allotment. My estrangement from brussel sprouts (they’re always blown) and my acrimonious break up with leeks (the allium weevils got there first) mean I’m a little short on veg gluts. (And why is it, by the way, that growing veg always feels like a volatile romantic entanglement? Is it just me? It is? Oh, right.) No matter. The hedgerow will provide a glut: they are covered in sloes. But before I can justify making the annual batch of sloe gin, it’s become something of a tradition to make sure the current sloe gin stocks are suitably depleted. And being around countryside folk for whom a bottle of sloe gin is an ideal gift-to-take-to-dinner-party, we have a far few bottles. And hence the delay in this post. For there’s only so much sloe gin one can use in a week without incurring side effects. And I should also add that it’s virtually impossible to take half decent photos of the food you’ve made for your blog post whilst sampling said sloe gin ingredient. Hence the lack of photos this week. Still, I’m glad (if a little jaded) to report that the sloe gin glut is conquered and here’s how: […]
It doesn’t take much pumpkin to constitute a pumpkin glut. I have just one this year, but, at 6kg, one is plenty thank you. I confess I didn’t grow it myself. (Come on, of course I didn’t. Do you imagine I’d be nearly so nonchalant about its staggering weight if I’d nurtured it to 6kg myself!) It’s an heirloom variety called Rouge Vif d’Etempes and was grown by more skilled hands than mine. They’re a good doer this variety: tasty (not like the watery, sweet sickly things you buy to carve from the supermarket), big and the best bit is that they turn orange when they’re quite small so you can stagger the harvest. Other pumpkins remain an obstinate, and inedible, green until they are fully grown. Once peeled and de-seeded, my 6kg darling yields around 4kg of flesh. Perfect for big batch cooking. Rather like any of the recipes below: Pumpkin and Sage Risotto […]
Still in the grip of Canapé Fever here in the g&g household. At this rate I shall have to host a cocktail party just to use them up. This recipe is a particular favourite – seasonal and simple. (It makes a delicious salad too should you prefer not to prissy around with canapés): […]
“Do come for Drinks And Nibbles”. So easily uttered. So sorely regretted. Nibbles. Gone are the days when a bowl of Twiglets and a hedgehog of cheddar and pineapple sticks would suffice. And GBBO champion Style-Over-Substance-Done-Good-Frances, I might add, has a lot to answer for in upping the stakes further still with her astonishing allotment canapes. Anyway, I’m not, as you can imagine, one to fiddle around with such things. And I do not believe in poaching quails eggs. Or in vol-au-vents. I prefer the Venetian approach to nibbles: ciccheti – chunky mouthfuls of gutsy flavours, unpretentiously served with every glass of Aperol spritzer supped so authentically by every true Venetian. […]
The last of the beetroot glut series. And, very quickly, I promise… This is nice. […]
Bleakness comes by degrees I find. In sharp relief to the record summer we had, the current drizzle seems decidedly bleak. However, it’s not really until the depths of February that one really starts to feel one is living in a Russian novel. Still, bleakness enough there is to inspire an Eastern European palette-cleanser. And what better fodder of bleakness than a good warming bison grass Vodka and the earthy, hardy flavours of Detroit beetroot? […]
I’m very grateful to beetroot. I’ve not had the most fecund of growing seasons, but the beetroot, despite a shaky start, has been the most prolific and certainly the most pest-free crop this year. Unlike the courgette glut, which warranted a second Glut of the Week slot simply because it bullied it’s way to the front, threatening me with 3 kilo marrows, the beetroot gets a second slot because it is a jewel – a blessed, understated gem of loveliness – that just waits quietly and keeps cropping, sure that hard work alone will make it favourite. We’ll begin with a light lunch recipe: Beetroot and Apple Remoulade. […]