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Glut Update: A Lovage Cordial Induced Snooze

My home brewed alcoholic Lovage Cordial.

What Every Cook Should Grow Themselves

“Oh you simply have to grow it”. The cliched phrase from every kitchen gardener. Perhaps even a “oh heavens, the stuff you buy in the supermarket doesn’t even compare to the home grown version” from the more sanctimonious. And yes, most home grown produce tastes far better than shop bought. But how much of that is the taste of smugness at having created such beauty rather than a genuine improvement on shop bought? What really is worth a cook growing themselves? I attempted, very subjectively and unscientifically I’ll admit, to answer this question when I gave a talk at the first Witney Food and Drink Festival last weekend and I thought I’d share it. So here’s my Top 10. Pay attention. Quiz and debate (heated I imagine) at the end: Hardy. Strong. Good doers over winter. Gorgeous as cheesy leeks on toast. […]

Glut of the Week: Lovage

As we huddle in the staff hut of the Daylesford market garden*, warming our hands with chipped mugs of tea whilst watching the storm outside and wondering if that was it for Spring, the unmistakable smell of lovage wafts around us. It’s been harvested that morning and its pungency gets us wondering: what’s lovage for anyway? Overpoweringly fiery when raw, it’s too intense to be something you’d nonchalantly chuck in a dish for subtle flavour and a little colour. How could anyone use a whole bunch of it, let alone the field of the stuff that’s just been picked? And thus my challenge is set. I bring a bunch home. The smell lingers in the car, on my hands, in the fridge. But I will not be beaten. Google is no help. Apart from soup (yawn) there is some talk of an alcoholic cordial made with lovage (more of which later) and the only other option I find is a soothing lovage foot soak (here should you need one). I do discover that it’s been cultivated since Pliny’s time, so someone must have found good in it. I decide to pair its distinctive aniseed notes with some of my favourite things – booze, cheese, biscuits. Here’s the result: Lovage curd cheese: […]

Wordless Wednesday (or “An Hommage to Moro”)

“A Compendium of Rhubarb” by Food Bloggers Everywhere

The interweb wires of Britain are alive with the joys of rhubarb this week as food blogs the land over experiment with cyberspace's collective rhubarb glut. After by rhubarb-induced giddiness last week, I'm [...]

Wordless Wednesday (or “May, am I glad to See You”)

A Feast in Praise of Rhubarb

I get a bit giddy about rhubarb. My own rhubarb plants are fledgling and un-established  so any home harvest is treated with near religious ceremony. Before such rare and blessed occassions, I am [...]

Wordless, off topic and shamelessly smug Wednesday

Glut of the Week: Wild garlic

The dog and I went trespassing this morning. The come hither wafts of wild garlic in the wood adjoining our path were too enticing to resist. A valid defence in court for any cook, [...]

Gluts of the week: Spoons and Soil

Yes. Spoons. Tablespoons if we're going to be exact. You would not believe the number of tablespoons chefs use in a day. And this week I am being uncharacteristically chefy. I'm back at [...]

Nettle Glut: An Addendum

I thought Nettle Sorbet was looking a bit lonely in my post last week. I just blobbed it into a bowl and tarted it up with a grating of lemon zest. I hadn't make [...]

(Free)Glut of the week: Nettles

I do not recommend donning marigolds mid dog walk and charging headlong into the hedgerows. Fellow walkers look suspicious; their dogs tilt their heads quizzically. But, the derision of man and beast is nothing [...]

Easter Lunch: A Digression

After another glutless week I'm grateful for an outing of Gluts & Gluttony Gourmet: at least by the oven I have some chance of staying warm. Please forgive the digression and smile politely whilst I [...]

Glut of the Week: Eggs

And not the chocolate variety. I have lived for many years under the misapprehension that chooks, or a least the non-battery kind, only lay eggs when it's warm. How I imagined the supermarkets [...]

Glut of the Week: Savoy Cabbage

Another week. Another glut of sub-standard cabbages. Last week's mini red cabbages are followed this week by perfectly formed but very petite savoy cabbages. Like their red brothers before them they too are [...]

Glut of the week: Red Cabbages

It's muck-spreading time at the allotment, which means that anything still in the ground has to come out. It might seem drastic, but I like to start the year with a fresh, empty [...]

Glut(let) of the week: Tiny Celeriac Leaves

A Bloody Mary recipe with celeriac instead of celery salt.

Glut of the week: Shellfish

Ok, so it’s clearly not an allotment glut. However,  shellfish are at their plumpest and sweetest in Winter. A good job too, because nothing else is. When the allotment ground is too frozen [...]

The Patch Plan 2013

This year I shall welcome any glut that graces my harvest with open arms. After last year’s wash out, my plan for the patch in 2013 is to focus on volume in the [...]

Glut of the week: Snow

No veg gluts at the moment. Just snow. I imagine there's a cabbage glut somewhere under the snowflakes, but since I can't see it we'll just have to hope that the snow preserves [...]

Glut of the week: Marmalade

At this time of year the Cotswolds seems quieter than usual. Not because the tourists are nestled snug in their beds, but because the Venerable Mothers of the Wolds are slaving over their Agas [...]

Glut of the week: Fennel

Allegedly difficult to grow, Florence Fennel is one of the few veg about which I can gloat: I find it easy, reliable and totally pest free. And, by crikey, do we have a [...]

Glut of the week: Angelica

The triffid taking over the garden has been felled. It is, I’m told, completely wrong to use Autumn-felled Angelica stalks to make candied Angelica, but when a glut’s a glut... Early this spring,  [...]

Glut of the week: Blackberries

What with all the weather we’ve had this summer, the hedgerows’ bounty has been a little low key. But there are still just enough blackberries to constitute a Glut. A scenic route home [...]