Archive for October 31st, 2010

October ’Meanderings’ …

October was a month of plenty in the garden and on our local market and I now have a well stocked cupboard with jars of chutney, relishes, pickles and a few jams for the winter months.  Here are just a few of the new additions to my repertoire, including the ever popular Tomato Relish (which is usually gone almost as soon as it is made), plus a few more recipes to be added in November and December (Pickled Pears, Pickled Prunes and Suet Free Mincemeat).  I have also made more stocks of our favourites: Beetroot Chutney, Red Pepper Chutney, Cucumber ‘Bread & Butter Pickle, and just before Christmas, Cranberry & Orange Relish.   A couple of additional seasonal recipes too using apples, one savoury and one sweet.

Recipes this month

Tomato Relish                       Spiced Rhubarb Orange Chutney

Sloe & Apple Jelly                                Fennel & Apple Chutney

Surprise Lemon & Ginger Jam                               Crab Apple Jelly

Crab Apple Cheese

Somerset Chicken                                              Apple Mousse

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’ http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/

Bookshelf Meanderings: One book I turn to time and time again when making preserves, pickles and similar is The Penguin Book of Jams, Pickles & Chutneys by David & Rose Mabey, which comes from the mid 1970’s but is no longer published, as far as I can see.  I was fortunate enough to pick my copy up for a very small outlay, less than £1 I seem to remember, so I recommend you keep a lookout in charity shops and on sales stalls.  The content of the book is wide ranging giving fascinating historical background information for anyone interested in more than just recipes.  The first part covers storing, drying, salting and preserving fruit and vegetables.  The second part gives recipes for pickles, flavoured vinegars, chutneys, ketchups, sauces, jams, jellies, butters, cheeses, marmalades and a final chapter containing unusual items such as candied fruit and flowers, flavoured honeys and fruit curds.  There are a number of recipes on this site which originated in the book including the Basic Recipe for Fruit Curds, Sloe & Apple Jelly, Crab Apple Jelly, Crab Apple Cheese and Pickled Prunes.  Other recipes I am keen to try are: Pickled Red Cabbage, Pickled Plums, Piccalilli (from this or another recipe – or perhaps a combination) and Mushroom Ketchup.

Blogosphere Meanderings: I cannot remember where I first came across Tinyinc, which has a mixture of cooking and crafts, but I think it must have been a link or recommendation from another site.  I was drawn to the jam recipe for Marrow & Ginger Jam, which is absolutely delicious.  You would never guess that the secret ingredient is marrow or courgette so I renamed it Surprise Lemon & Ginger Jam.  If you are knitter you will love the knitted hot water bottle covers, like little sweaters and the ruched checkerboard tea cosies, just like the one my Grandma used to have on her teapot.  The writer is based in North East England and mentions places I remember from when I lived in Durham, with the occasional familiar looking photo.

Entertaining Meanderings: For a family Sunday lunch to celebrate a birthday I served Gingered Glazed Ham with a selection of roast vegetables, followed by fresh figs baked in filo pastry parcels.  This last recipe is a work in progress: although the little parcels of baked fig with their twisted pastry tops looked pretty, I felt the flavour of the figs inside needed improving. A little later I baked figs using a different recipe, which included rose water and honey which would make a much better filling.  I will be trying this again, but the fresh fig season is now over so it will have to wait for another year.

Restaurant Meanderings: Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire is a peaceful place to wander with cottages, cafes and restaurants, including two pubs, plus The Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum.  There are always brightly painted canal boats, some waiting to go through the locks or the long Blisworth Tunnel at the end of the canalside walk.  We ate a very enjoyable and reasonably priced meal at The Navigation Inn, a typical busy pub restaurant beside the canal.


‘For what we are about to receive…’ November 2010

Coming in November … recipes for vegetable side dishes plus, thinking towards Christmas, Pickled Pears to accompany cold cuts at tea time and a wonderful recipe for a boozy and Suet Free Mincemeat.
Happy Cooking & Eating! 

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