Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The apple harvest

Last Sunday my next door neighbour - who is much happier on ladders than me! - harvested my cooking apples for me.

Unfortunately he has lots of apples of his own, so he didn't want any of them. Since the weekend I've peeled and chopped lots of apples, stewed them and put in bags in the freezer. There are still a lot left!

I also picked a kilo of Sloes to try out a recipe for Sloe and Bramble Cheese...but so far no blackberries.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Balcary Bay

In early September we had a weeks holiday in Scotland...staying in a cottage at Balcary Bay, Auchencairn (near to Castle Douglas).

View of the cottage from the fields, looking toward the bay.

Path to cottage from shore

Loch Mackie

Footpath from Loch Mackie to Rascarrel Bay

Reaching Rascarrel

Rascarrel Bay

Woodland walk near Loch Mackie

Hestan Island from the cottage

Becky enjoying the clifftop footpath

Balcary Bay

Preserving summer part II

I'm reading a wonderful book by Darina Allen at the moment, about forgotten cooking covers all sorts of fascinating things, like making butter, yoghurt, bread cheese, preserves.....

Lots of Tomatoes in the polytunnel...and whilst on holiday at Balcary Bay we sampled a Chilli dipping sauce. I found it went especially well with baked potato and cheese. So the first recipe I've tried from the book was Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Very simple to make....I concocted it whilst listening to the Archers. I double the recipe and got 4 a bit jars. (I used 4 chillis in the double quantity...and think that will be hot enough for us!)

Another recipe I'm keen to try is Sloe and Bramble Jelly...which she says is good served with Goats Cheese. As I love Goats Cheese....I can't resist. Plus I've always wanted to find something to do with all the gorgeous Sloes I see in the hedgerows....since I don't like alcohol.

I also made some Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup (a recipe I found on the BBC Good Food site a while ago) for our lunch today. Served with a garnish of fried onions.

It's a very frugal and tasty recipe....just over 1 lb carrots (coarsley grated/5 oz of red lnetils/olive oil/stock/tsp of cumin and pinch of chilli flakes/1 onion.

Preserving summer

I've had a busy weekend. Lovely day out in Corbridge yesterday, with my friend Helen. Lunch at Tea and Tipple in the market place as usual.

Minestrone Soup with nice crusty bread, followed by their heavenly Lemon and Blueberry Cake. Once we were restored we had a wander along the river to make the most of the late summer sunshine, then a gently potter around the shops.

Feeling inspired later in the evening I made a Lemon and Blueberry Cake of my own, based on a recipe I had for Redcurrant Cake, which includes ground almonds and lemon zest and juice. Substituted home grown Blueberries for the currants and served with cream. (the tea shop version had a lemon frosting) Very tasty, the Blueberries are lovely and juicy in a cake.