Unlimited time at home has had me making lists of projects to start (and hopefully finish) around the house. I’ve got plans for the utility room, the kitchen, the living room, the twins’ room, the garden… I also have ideas for how all five of us can productively spend our time, and you can imagine how thrilled the other four people in my family were to hear this.
But, as the saying goes, water seeks its own level, and I find we are mostly just pottering about doing what we always did: a little gardening, a little reading, a little binge-watching, some social media, some dog-walking, and – in my case – a whole lot of cooking. I can’t help myself; it’s what I love and what I do given enough time and a set of ingredients.
In this case the ingredients were 500g grams of delicious salad greens from Sarah at the Walled Garden that were reaching their last usable day, some bits of mozzarella that I had squirreled away in the freezer, and basic pantry ingredients that I always have on hand. Continue reading →
The family version, with blueberries from our bushes.
One of the many injustices of life is the over-the-top abundance of food from the garden –that you must attend to before it goes bad – which arrives when you would rather be whiling away the brief end-of-summer days by the sea, or a pool, or really anywhere but the kitchen. I love warm weather, and if I am deprived of any of it for the brief time it arrives on this little island, in this particularly rainy village, I get a little disgruntled.
Well, I say that, but I also happen to love the kitchen. Lucky for me that I can earn my living doing what I love, but even I can be a little daunted by 30 or 40 kilos of beetroot arriving in the college kitchen with the gardeners’ pleas to use it all up. My friend Ruth went to work making pickles and chutneys, and we both cracked on with the boiling, peeling, slicing and bagging of beetroot, ready to freeze and to be used later in the year, when the gardens have given up all their bounty for a long winter’s nap.
In amongst all this beetroot madness, we had a call for a birthday cake. I think you may see where I’m going with this. Continue reading →
With whipped cream, Seville orange curd and cherry compote, what’s not to like? And it’s easy to make!
A couple of weeks ago, one of our former students showed up at the college and started stacking up crates and crates of Seville oranges. Eighty kilos of Seville oranges. One hundred and seventy-six pounds of Seville oranges.
These oranges were free for the asking, and he thought that since we made marmalade for the college every winter, we might want to make a bit more. Let me tell you, that’s a lot of marmalade.
We were a bit daunted, and we immediately set to work on one of the boxes, which yielded 27 litres of chopped oranges, juice and water, later to be boiled with equal amounts of sugar to become quite a bit of marmalade for our store cupboard. Only seventy kilos to go. Continue reading →