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Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of Childhood in India
Madhur Jaffrey – pub: Ebury Press

Madhur Jaffrey first came to my attention in the 1980s, initially as an actress in the Merchant Ivory film ‘Heat and Dust‘ and then through her popular Indian Cookery Series on the BBC.  I still have and use the book which accompanied the series called, simply, Indian Cooking along with a second book, beautifully illustrated with colour plates as well as recipes, called A Taste of India and a slim booklet produced by the BBC for the series Flavours of India containing a few ‘taster’ recipes from the full length book.

Climbing the Mango Trees, a delightful autobiography containing black and white family photographs and a large number of recipes, tells of Madhur Jaffrey’s childhood in India around the time of Partition.  In this very readable book she introduces us to the world of her Indian childhood with its joys and sadnesses and shares many stories of the wonderful foods the family enjoyed.  She describes how she grew up as part of a large and wealthy extended family who lived in very close proximity to one another, bringing a long lost age back to life.  In particular Madhur Jaffrey shares memories of meals with her readers, from everyday dinners, lunches, breakfasts to foods eaten on special occasions, such as mass catered family weddings or picnics.  Many anecdotes in the book centre on the smells and flavours that take Jaffrey back to her childhood, such as the tart but spicy flavour of unripe mango, eaten straight from the tree and dipped in salt, pepper, red chillies or roasted cumin.   She tells of picnics in the foothills of the Himalayas with sultana and mint stuffed meatballs, ginger and coriander flavoured cauliflower and spiced pooris, a type of puffy bread, eaten with hot green mango pickle.  Partition brought changes as the political map was rewritten.  Schoolfriends and their foods disappeared as Muslim friends fled the country, taking with them their Keema dishes of spiced ground meat, to be replaced by the incoming Pujabis who introduced Tandoor ovens with their distinctive way of baking bread and roasting spiced meat.

At the back of the book are 32 family recipes and I hope to try many of them out at some point including: Potatoes with Tomatoes, Lamb with Spinach, Maya’s Meat with Potatoes, Bimla’s Chicken Curry, Everyday Cauliflower, Carrots with Fenugreek Greens, Savoury Biscuits Studded with Cumin Seeds and Fresh Limeade.

This was a book that I enjoyed very much.  Part biography, part food memoir, it taught me through the eyes of a young girl much about life in a country going through extreme change, but also the need to value that which cannot be altered: the enduring importance of family bonds and of shared food in keeping memories alive.  If you are fascinated by India or its cooking I hope that you too will enjoy climbing the Mango Trees in company with Madhur Jaffrey.

Listen to Madhur Jaffrey talking about her Indian childhood. You Tube link:

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December ’Meanderings’ …

December was, as usual, a busy month not least because I spent part of it in hospital. This rather lessened my chances of trying some new ideas this year.  Sadly the Pannetone I had planned will have to wait for another year and our mince pie supplies were rather short but we still ate well enough.   I made some favourite seasonal recipes already on this site, plus I added a few new ones, all of which are listed below.  I had, fortunately, started early so at least we had a good selection of pickles and chutneys.  The delicately flavoured Pickled Pears were a huge hit at tea time with the cold meats and cheese and I shall definitely be making them another year, in fact I may well be giving some away as gifts.  Follow this link to see my whole list of Christmas & New Year recipes
 
Most importantly this month we celebrated once again the birth of Jesus with our church family and in our home.  I advertised a very attractive illustrated version of the traditional Christmas story called Christmas Unwrapped (pictured) which I felt was worth viewing.  (A more contemporary version can be found at Paperless Christmas and Natwivity for those who follow Twitter.  (I am not sure whether these are available outside the Christmas season.) 

Recipes this month

 Banoffee Curd                                                           Pickled Prunes
  
Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake & Starry Night Christmas Cake
  
White Christmas Slices
 
Spiced Braised Red Cabbage Casserole  Sausagemeat Plait with Fennel Chutney
 
All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’ http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com/ 

Bookshelf Meanderings:  Delia Smith’s Christmas has some lovely ideas for this time of year.  I own the original version, published in1990, but it has been republished and updated in the past year or so.  The recipes cover the entire season, from ideas for the pre-Christmas party, through Christmas Day itself and into New Year, plus ideas for using up the inevitable leftovers. 
Recipes from this book already on this site: Stollen & Spiced Braised Red Cabbage Casserole
Watch out for: Spiced Apricot & Orange Chutney, Spiced Preserved Tangerines, Cheese & Parsnip Roulade with Sage & Onion Stuffing, Creamed Turkey en Croute, Irish Coffee Pudding & Caramelised Orange Trifle.  Also Parmesan Baked Parsnips (which I have made before and are delicious) and Truffle Torte (which was made by a friend for their Christmas party – very rich and very good!)

Blogosphere Meanderings:  I am grateful to the writer of Vintage Hearth for adding the recipe for Banoffee Curd to her site, in response to my request.  My family love Fruit Curds and I have instructions for several variations which I will gradually add to this site as they are made.  The most common curds are citrus flavours, particularly Lemon, but to date my list also includes Orange, Blackberry and Banoffee.  (Banoffee has also been posted separately.)  I plan to add Lime plus St Clements, Blood Orange, Tangerine, Apple, Mango, Strawberry, Raspberry … the list goes on!  Vintage Hearth is based in Weardale, North Eastern England, part of England I know just a little.  Rather a long time ago now, when first married, I lived in the historic and beautiful City of Durham on the River Wear.  We used to drive up the valley to enjoy the scenery and wild open spaces – happy memories!  (There are some amazing pictures of the 2011 winter snow and the frozen River Wear in Durham.)  Vintage Hearth contains only a few recipes, but I have my eye on Tomato & Chilli Jam (from Prima magazine online) & Rabbit with a Cider & Cream Sauce – plus some instructions for making home made laundry starch that looks very useful.

Television Meanderings:  In October I stumbled upon the lengthy daytime TV series Lakes on a Plate, called by the Channel 4 website ‘a culinary adventure’ set in the (English) Lake District.  The programme is partly a travelogue set against a beautiful scenic backdrop with chef and presenter Peter Sidwell using regional produce to make a variety of locally influenced recipes as well as some more exotic ones. The website carries an episode guide for Series 1 (I do hope this means there will be more) and also recipes under two headings: Peter Sidwell and Lakes on a Plate.  In the very first programme the recipe for Sausage Rolls with Fennel & Apple Chutney took my eye.  I quickly made Fennel & Apple Chutney and then Sausagemeat Plait containing a layer of the chutney.   Other recipes on the site: Roasted Onion Soup, Cumberland Rum Nicky, Chocolate & Orange Shortbread & Chocolate & Raspberry Mousse – sadly some recipes from the series seem to be no longer available.

Restaurant Meanderings: Each year between Christmas onever know quite who is coming, though one member does keep tabs on numbers and let the restaurant know. Raja is at the top of Walthamstow High St (London, E17) with a ‘gourmet night’ menu: a special flat rate price for starter, a main course, rice and side dish (with an extra charge for Naan bread), not including drinks.  This year I enjoyed Prawns on Puri (similar in taste to Prawn & Tomato Korma served on a flat bread similar to Paratha Roti), followed by Chicken Shaslik (my regular favourite: skewered chargrilled chicken, onions and peppers served sizzling on a platter), pilau  rice, bhindi (okra) bhaji – plus a small chilled Cobra beer.  At the end he manager gave us a ‘free’ glass of cream liqueur on ice to say thanks: a friendly gesture I always think, even though they sometimes have problems finding enough small glasses for us all at the same time!  The fact we all go annually, plus other times in the year including takeaways, has to be a good recommend!

Miscellaneous Meanderings:  Thank you to all who have posted their comments on this site.  One reader in particular, Wendy John, has written to me on a number of occasions about my Beetroot Chutney recipe, singing its praises: actually this was my second most popular recipe in 2010 – and at time of writing, still is.  I do hope, if you are reading this Wendy and Alison, that you are still enjoying it!   

A very Happy New Year, albeit a belated one, to all my readers and blogging friends.

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‘For what we are about to receive…’ January 2011

Coming in January – A quick look at my statistics from 2010 on 1st January, as provided by WordPress and as gleaned by me with links and pictures to my top posts … recipes for New Year celebrations and for using up festive leftovers … warming soups by the bowlful … 

Happy Cooking & Eating! 

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November ’Meanderings’ …

At the start of the November I was putting the final jars of pickles and chutneys from this year on the shelf: we have quite a collection which should see us well through the next few months.  I decided to make some special pickles to serve at Christmas, particularly to accompany cold meats and cheese at the seasonal buffet table.  I also made several jars of a delicious and extremely boozy but Suet Free Mincemeat, wanting to give it a little time to mature before use.  For most of the month, however, I kept the posts simple, adding some of our favourite vegetable side dishes.

Recipes this month

Pickled Pears

Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Mash                 Rosy Roast Root Vegetables
 
Fried Cabbage with Bacon & Onion

Smashed Potatoes                               Spiced Vegetables with Chick Peas
 100_7626 Spiced vegetables with chick peas
Suet Free Mincemeat

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

Meanderings Revisited (links back to original post)
Spiced Chick Pea & Tomato Soup
Smoky Fish Chowder

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

Bookshelf Meanderings:  My copy of Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course (the original version with a very youthful looking Delia on the cover) was received as an engagement present and is so well thumbed that it is loose leaf.  As well as containing classic recipes, each chapter has a introductory section with basic information to help cooks understand how to prepare and store ingredients and how they should be used to get the best results.  This is one of my most used books and recipes already on this site include: Spiced Braised Red Cabbage Casserole, St Stephen’s Pudding, Fried Cabbage with Bacon & Onion, Yorkshire Oatmeal Parkin and Old-fashioned Bread Pudding.  There are many good recipes yet to post here, some new and some already tried.  Watch out for: Lemon Surprise Pudding, Fisherman’s Pie, Ham Egg & Cheese Risotto, Spiced Lamb with Chick Peas and Chocolate and Walnut Pudding.

Blogosphere Meanderings: I am grateful to UK based writer Angela at A Spoonful of Sugar who pointed me in the direction of the excellent Hetty Potter’s recipe which I used for my own Suet Free Mincemeat this year.  There are several potfuls stacked on my shelf waiting for Christmas.  I am also very taken with her 2009 Festive Stollen Wreath on the site, a variation on the usual version of Stollen, which is supposed to look like the swaddled baby Jesus.  This is the second time I have seen Stollen in a wreath shape in the last few days (the other was made by Nic at Cherrapeno) and it is something that would be fun to have a go at making for a change one Christmas.  (This is a site with many creative and unusual cake designs.)  I particularly like the unusual Christmas Pudding Cake!  Other recipes that I have my eye on: Pear & Cranberry Loaf, Blood Orange Sorbet, Coconut & Ginger Macaroons and Somerset Apple Cake.

Entertaining Meanderings:  Another family birthday, one where we managed to fit in two special meals to celebrate.  On the day, when we were in a bit of a rush, I found a great but simple recipe for Duck with Chinese Style Plum Sauce, which I will definitely be making again.  We followed this with a Banana Butterscotch Tarte Tatin which was delicious but very rich and buttery.  At the weekend, for the second celebration I cooked Roast Pork on a bed of Fennel and Preserved Lemon with roast potatoes and some simple steamed vegetables.   For dessert I made Portugese Style Custard Tarts using the recipe from Jamie Oliver’s TV series and new book, 30 Minute Meals and served them with Mulled Stewed Plums.

Our church midweek bible study group (we call them LIFEgroups) organised an inter-group quiz with coffee and cake. There were a large number of cakes and I made Ginger Fruit Cake using my Knock Up Cake recipe and Fragrant Marmalade Cake.  I also trialled White Christmas Slices, a new recipe for chocolatey-coconutty bites made from instructions on a Sainsbury’s card, which were a great success.  They will reappear again at Christmas, including some as gifts.

Television Meanderings: I have enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s new TV series called 30 Minute Meals, which has an accompanying book.  The recipes are certainly very straightforward: which is what you would expect from the concept of putting a meal on the table in such a short space of time.  I am not sure I will necessarily have a go at preparing a complete meal, I suppose I might, but all the recipes can be made separately.  So far I have tried Quick Portugese Style Custard Tarts, Cauliflower Macaroni and Crispy Potatoes (my versions of these recipes to follow eventually).

Miscellaneous Meanderings:  It has been a busy month with some new and interesting tastes to enjoy.  As well as birthday meals and church catering we have enjoyed the generosity of our Muslim neighbours.  We were invited to a family wedding and in the preceding days were included in the colourful and musical womens’ celebration (women only of course).  They kept us well supplied with food: mutton curries, lamb kebabs, spicy chicken and extremely spicy chick peas (which made a great base for a vegetable curry).  To go with these were chapattis, naans and savoury rice.  There was also one of my favourite dishes from across the fence, fragrant and delicious sweet rice with nuts, juicy sultanas and large pieces of shaved coconut and bowls of carrot halva, which was served warm and eaten with a spoon.  The gifts of food continued as our neighbours celebrated Eid al-Adha (16-19 November 2010, but the dates differ from year to year according to the lunar calendar) when we were also given a box of special Asian style sweetmeats (to see these click here).  We still have some items in the freezer.  I have hinted that I would like a cookery lesson, especially for the sweet rice!

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

Coming in December … As we head towards Christmas I will be adding to the list of Christmas recipes already on this site.  In particular, I will be adding the recipe for Special Occasion Rich Fruit Cake, used for our very special family Christmas cake plus, eventually, a picture of our finished 2010 Christmas Cake.

If you are interested in French Christmas recipes then Christmas in France on the French Tourism Development Agency (Club France) site may be of interest.

Christmas Unwrapped  – the Christmas Story, beautifully illustrated

It just remains for me to wish all my readers a blessed and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.  I have appreciated your company and your comments.  May we continue to meander through the world of food together!

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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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.

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‘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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September ’Meanderings’ …

A new look for this roundup from this month with less words as I am going to let the pictures do the talking instead.  Just click on the title to be taken to the post – and enjoy!  I am enjoying reading the comments that are coming in and linking up with new ‘foodie’ friends – if you are one of these then thank you for bothering to write.  I would love to hear from anyone who makes any of the recipes I post through the comments section for that recipe.

Here are the recipes I have made during September: some lovely ways of cooking chicken for the early Autumn plus some French style recipes to keep alive the memories of our Summer holiday to the French Alps this year.  (Read Meanderings ‘à la carte’ August 2010 for more details of where we visited and the foods we enjoyed there and brought home.)

Recipes this month

 Zaatar Chicken                   Mexican Style Chicken Pepper Salad
    
Aromatic Lemon Roast Chicken              Tamarind Chicken Satay
     
Chicken & Bacon Fricassée                                     Salad Niçoise
    
Tartiflette                                                 Mille-feuilles Napoléon
  
All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’

www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Meanderings Revisited (links back to original post)
Le Far Breton aux Pruneaux (Breton Far with Prunes)
Minted Salmon & Fennel Tortilla Omelette
Blackberry, Apple & Ginger Crumble
Beetroot Chutney
Blackberry Curd

Bookshelf Meanderings:
During September I made a number of recipes from Mediterranean Cooking by Christine France, including Aromatic Lemon Roast Chicken which I have posted this month.  This slim paperback book was originally available from Tesco Supermarkets (priced £3 in 1998, according to the label still on the cover) but I acquired it from a local charity shop for a fraction of this price.  It is packed with straightforward recipes full of the flavours of Mediterranean ingredients.  I hoped my family would shut their eyes and pretend they were still on holiday!  As a result of the recipes in this book I finally got round to cooking and serving Polenta to my family – and then wondered why we had never eaten it before.  It is such an easy ingredient to use.  Firstly we ate it as a simple buttery mash but on a second occasion I turned it into Courgette Polenta Slices (recipe to follow).  (I have made corn bread too in the past and really must do so again as I remember how much we enjoyed it: I just wish I could remember where I got the recipe!)  Three more recipes are in the pipeline to eventually be posted on this site, all very much enjoyed by us: Florentine Pork with Chick Peas, Tuscan Style Sausage Pot and Prawns with Provencale Style Tomato Salsa.  Among other recipes, I also have my eye on Sicilian Cauliflower Salad, Pumpkin Lemon & Parmesan Risotto & Tiramisu Ice Cream.  If you come across this book I recommend you snap it up!

Blogosphere Meanderings:
The Omnivorous Bear is written by Wendy who lives near Nottingham in Central England. I particularly enjoyed her posts about Apple Butter and she was kind enough to offer to let me know a good source of windfall cooking apples local to her (unfortunately the distance between us would have made taking up her kind offer rather silly – but thanks again Wendy!)  Not long afterwards I found some beautiful Crab Apples instead and turned them into Crab Apple Cheese, which is similar and was successful.  Wendy made her Apple Butter into a delicious sounding Toffee & Apple Butter Crumble and Apple Butter Cake, both of which I must try with my Crab Apple cheese.  Other recipes made recently which took my attention are: Seed & Grain Bread, Cheese & Sweetcorn Scones, Puy Lentil & Pumpkin Soup … plus some good instructions for Madeleines, which I will treat as reminder to get my as yet unused tin out of the cupboard and give them a go!

Restaurant Meanderings:
We ate out with family at a The Royal Thai Restaurant at Stoney Stratford, Bucks (near Milton Keynes) which they recommended and had visited on a number of occasions.  It was a quiet weekday lunchtime, the food was delicious and we ate relatively cheaply from their two course lunchtime set menu.  Almost everyone started with Sesame Prawn Toast – always a favourite (and not difficult to make either).  Main courses included Panaeng (a dry aromatic curry that was excellent, if rather hot) and Pad Priew Wan (a less hot sweet and sour flavoured dish).  We will be going back again: I want to try the Pad Thai, which is on the other lunchtime ‘Express’ menu!

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

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

Coming in October … I will be making the most of nature’s bounty adding recipes for chutneys, jellies and similar and also adding some recipes which include apples.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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August ’Meanderings’ …

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

Pictured (top to bottom)
Pitta Pizzas
Minted Apple Salad
Marinaded Feta
Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

We spent most of August on holiday in France so I arranged for some automated posts while I was away.  No one wants to spend longer in the kitchen than they have to when the weather is warm and it is lovely outdoors.  Sadly the weather has been less than perfect this year.  On the few really good days we had I was pleased to be able to make some simple snacks such as Cheese & Tomato Tortilla Bake, served with some quickly grilled meat, or Pitta Pizzas both of which were accompanied by a side salad.  Also on the menu was Welsh Rarebit, an old family favourite and a perfect light snack at any time of year. Marinaded Feta, Hummous and Pesto Hummous are also good eaten as a light snack and perfect for a summer buffet.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

I love salad meals in the summer and so I am always on the lookout for new and tasty sounding mixtures, ingredients and marinades.  One salad recipe which I have been making for a number of years is Mixed Bean Salad, which has a choice of two different marinades: both are delicious, so it is difficult to choose my favourite.  Minted Apple Salad was the result of an experiment using cider vinegar and the recipe for Tzatziki Potato Salad was another experiment using yoghurt based tzatziki as a dressing for cold potato in place of the usual mayonnaise.  Finally, I added the delicious Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad in advance of posting (in September) the delicous Za’atar Chicken with which it should be served: both from recipes by Nigella Lawson.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

This year we travelled to Haute-Savoie in the French Alps for our summer holiday not far from the Swiss and Italian borders.  We were based on a lakeside campsite at the southern end of beautiful Lake Annecy, but as usual we made our way slowly there, looking and tasting as we went.  There were many foodie delights along our way, some of which I hope may make an appearance in these pages if I am able to find both recipe and ingredients.  We ate with ex-pat English friends who served us Gesiers in a salad (literally gizzards, which some people might be inclined to turn their noses up at, but it definitely is a case of ‘don’t knock them until you have tried them’).  With the same friends, were served an extensive cheese board including Chaource, Mimolette Ancienne and several types of Brie.  We also tried some other cheeses, including Morbier which has a creamy texture and a thin blue vein running through the centre.  The Alpine region is well known for its cheeses.  Apart from the well known Fondue, which we did not eat this time, one of the best known dishes is Tartiflette, a delicious mixture of bacon, onion, cheese, mushrooms and potato.  (I made this at home before I went and it makes a regular appearance as a quick meal.)  On a day out from Lake Annecy we visited Beaufort, watching the fascinating cheesemaking process in the Coopérative Laitière, then buying and eating some of the cheese we had watched being made.  We enjoyed Jambon Sec, dried ham, several times in salads at restaurants and when self-catering: it is becoming more readily available here in the UK, but is still difficult to find and often rather expensive.  Freshwater fish is found on many menus.  At one restaurant I had a delicious Trout Meunière and in another Sandre or Pike-perch (called this because it is like a cross between the two fish).  Memorable desserts were Mousse aux Myrtilles (delicately amethyst coloured from the bilberries and served in a tiny taster cup), Pineapple Coconut Tarte Tatin (something to try at home: a rum sprinkled ring of pineapple on a coconut crumble base) and Iles Flottante (Floating Islands – always a favourite).  On the way home we dined with some French friends and they gave me their recipe for Flan, a very traditional French dessert which I will eventually post here.  There was one very unusual ingredient discovery as well, the famous red Poppy (or Coquelicot).  Coquelicots de Nemours (named after a town South East of Paris, not far from Fontainebleu) is a sweet created in 1870 from poppyseed, fruit paste and liqueur.  We found Coquelicots de Nemours as a delicious jam at breakfast at our Ibis hotel in Fontainebleu, but were unable to find it in the supermarkets: I expect it is very regional so I will keep looking on future holidays.  It was also available as a special ice cream flavour in the chain restaurant Flunch: always a place worth looking out for in France if you want an inexpensive quick meal.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

As always, we returned with wonderful French ingredients which are mostly unavailable in the UK: Walnut Vinegar, Raspberry Vinegar, Sea Salt (from Guérande, where we holidayed some years ago), olive oil, Confiture de Lait (or Dulce de Leche), cheeses (goats cheese, Chaorce, Mimolette Ancienne, Beaufort, Morbier, Reblochon and Emmental), pate, Spicy Beef Merguez and Chipolata Pork Sausages (totally different in taste to the ones available in the UK), Gesiers (which can be bought ready prepared and vacuum packed, so preparation is unnecessary)  – and of course liqueurs and wines.  I also managed to buy some really inexpensive individual tart tins in two shapes: not sure how I will use them but I could not resist. 

Bookshelf Meanderings:

I have enjoyed browsing though Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson which has a wealth of lovely summery recipes.   My copy came from the library but I may just have to invest in a copy of my own.  This book is the source for Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad and Za’atar Chicken.  Other recipes that have caught my eye are: Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice, Moroccan Roast Lamb (using the delicious spice mixture Ras el-Hanout), Chicken & Cashew Nut Curry, Gingery Duck with Red Onion & Orange Salad, Hasselback Potatoes (so simple – so attractive!), Banana & Butterscotch Upside Down Tart, Lemon Rice Pudding, Figs for 1001 Nights & Gooseberry & Elderflower Ice Cream.

Blogosphere Meanderings:
Highlighting one food site from the UK, one from outside the UK plus something completely different, which may or may not have a food connection.  This month my three are:
UK foodie site … Cherrapeno  ‘A cherrapeño is the result of a cross between a cherry pepper and a jalapeño chilli pepper’, writes Nic at the top of her blog page.  I was inspired by one of her recipes, which led to my post this month for Marinaded Feta.  True to form, there was a red chilli in the jar giving a great spicy flavour but not all recipes on the site contain chillis.  I like the look of Frozen Raspberry Kent Mess (I make a normal version, but have never thought to freeze it), Chelsea Buns (I’ve made these before but must do so again!) and Sablés (a butter biscuit which we have eaten in France) with a caramel glaze. 
Non-UK foodie site …  My French Kitchen  (Allow me this one, after all I have just come back from France and am pining for it already…!)  Ronelle’s site is a beautiful mixture of recipes with photos of France and artwork.  This lovely combination appeals as I love France and enjoy drawing and painting as well as cooking, although for me it is mostly a holiday hobby.  These caught my eye for the recipe as well as the illustrations: Tomato and Goats Cheese Tartlets, Mackerel Pate and Crystallized Orange Strips.
…and something else – The Old Foodie  A fascinating Australian based site giving anecdotes about the history of food in a plethora of well researched subjects.  Each time there is a detailed history, recipes and a clever and often connected quotation.  See Sorbet StoryFragrant Food, Bubble & Squeak and Eating à la Française.

August Recipes …

Basic Recipe: Hummous & Pesto Hummous

Cheese & Tomato Tortilla Bake
Marinaded Feta
Pitta Pizzas
Welsh Rarebit

Marinaded Mixed Bean Salad
Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad
Minted Apple Salad
Tzatziki Potato Salad

Meanderings Revisited took a break during August …

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months  

——

‘For what we are about to receive…’ September 2010 and beyond

Coming in September … a selection of ideas for cooking and using Chicken plus some French Style recipes.

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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July ’Meanderings’ … 

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

Pictured (top to bottom)
Sweet Potato & Red Leicester Streudel
Cinnamon Pear Ice Cream
Spiced Vegetable Dhal Lasagne
Citrus Fruit Mousse

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

For some time I have been wanting to share some of my favourite vegetarian recipes, collected over the years, so I have posted just a few this month.  Although I am not a vegetarian myself, I do have vegetarian friends so it is handy to have a selection of good ideas for entertaining.  I also try to cook a vegetarian meal each week for the family (not as regularly as I would like, but I do try!)  There are some really delicious meals out there which do not need meat – or fish.  The one I have made most frequently is Nigella Lawson’s Triple Cheese & Onion Strata, or at least a version of it: I often use leeks which are a delicious addition.  This is closely followed by Sweet Potato & Red Leicester Streudel which is great made as individual portion mini-streudels.  For lovers of spicy dishes there is my own Spiced Vegetable Dhal Lasagne: definitely no meat needed here! 

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Since I rediscovered my (Philips Delizia) Ice Cream machine last year I have found some lovely new ice cream and sorbet recipes and I have been posting these to continue on from the Summer dessert recipes of last month: Cider-Apple Sorbet, Cinnamon Pear Ice Cream and Mango Ice Cream.  In addition to these three ice cream/sorbets I have also included a basic recipe for Citrus Fruit Mousse, a recipe which is adaptable and could be made with a variety of fruits.  As I try out new combinations I hope, as usual, to update the recipe. Read further on for more  about my cookbook of the month, Ice Creams published by Hamlyn. 

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Restaurant Meanderings:
I ate a really enjoyable Indian meal this month. While visiting a friend in East Ham, London, E6 we went to Saravanaa Bhavan, a local Indian vegetarian restaurant serving food from the Tamil Nadu region, on the East coast of India.  We enjoyed a delicious and unusual meal, sharing two different dishes, Bagalabath (yoghurt rice cooked mixed with cashews, grapes, mustard seeds, served with pickle) and Basibelabath (rice cooked with lentils and mixed vegetables served with potato chips/appalam), drinking Lassi to go with it.   Delicious – but rather hot!  I have suggested we eat there again on another occasion as there are other dishes I would like to try, in particular the rice and lentil pattie known as idly

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Small Screen Meanderings: 
I am still watching and enjoying the Australian SBS TV series Food Safari, presented by Maeve O’Meara which was shown on the UKTV Good Food Channel.  I have now watched almost all the programmes and have discovered a great deal about the key foods and recipes from many countries worldwide, even though each of the programmes is just a half hour snapshot.  The Food Safari website is very detailed, giving programme, ingredient and other information, as well as a large number of recipes.  I notice too that there is a Food Safari book to accompany the programme: I shall have to investigate further!

Bookshelf Meanderings: 
While writing about books I ought to mention the Ice Cream book that I have been using this past month, which is fast becoming a favourite: Ice Creams published by Hamlyn – there is no specified author. (Yes, I know I already have two books, but this one pleaded with me from the charity shop shelf and I just had to have it!)  It is a slim volume, but packed with delicious ideas.  This month the recipes I have posted for Cinnamon Pear Ice Cream and Mango Ice Cream come from the book, as well as that for Honeyed Banana Ice Cream with Nuts posted a few weeks ago.  There are so many other good ones too: I have my eye on Cherry Almond Ice Cream, Crystallised Ginger Ice Cream and St Clements Ice Cream (St Clements is a mixture of orange and lemon, as  in the nursery rhyme: Oranges and Lemons, say the bells of St Clements …’.

Blogosphere Meanderings: 
Each month I will be highlighting some of the sites I have been enjoying recently: one food site from the UK, one from outside the UK plus something completely different, which may or may not have a food connection.  This month my three are:
UK foodie site … Keep Learning Keep Smiling.  For me, the title of Mary Moh’s blog sums up the joy of food blogging so well: always learning and hopefully smiling at what we produce.  Mary produces an interesting variety of food, mostly influenced by her Malaysian heritage.  I enjoy blogs that are informative, a recent example being her fascinating post, Best Local Fruits of Malaysia but I also enjoy hearing about unusual recipes, such as the ones for Pandan Yoghurt Cake and Tamarind (Assam) Tomato Tiger Prawns.
Non-UK foodie site … Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  I know that I am not alone in enjoying Celia’s blog, which originates from Sydney, Australia.  I never know what is going to pop into my Inbox and I have so many of her posts bookmarked.  Posts that have recently caught my attention are: Homemade Greek Yoghurt (I have a yoghurt maker which really ought to see the light of day again), Rhubarb and Blackberry Jam (there is rhubarb in the freezer and loads of blackberries in the garden, so this is something to try when I get back from holiday) plus Butterscotch Brownies (yum – no other comment needed!)  Some of the ingredients differ from what is available here in the UK, but  most recipes are possible.
…and something else – Epicute (part of the ‘Cheezburger’ Network) arrives in my Inbox most days and makes me smile!  Some people make so much effort to get their food ‘just right’ and most of the photos on this site are delightful.  Some of my recent favourites: Pizza Cat!, Meaty BBQ Cupcakes, Noms and Crafts, Tower of Babies, Family Portrait Time & Bon Appetit Petit!* – most come from food sites and blogs which you can follow a link to visit to find out more.  

July Recipes 

Cider-Apple Sorbet
Cinnamon Pear Ice Cream
Citrus Fruit Mousse
Mango Ice Cream 

Nut Rissoles in Tomato Sauce
Spaghetti Neapolitana
Spiced Vegetable Dhal Lasagne
Sweet Potato & Red Leicester Streudel
Triple Cheese & Onion Strata 

Meanderings Revisited (remakes & updates of previously posted recipes) …
Australian Spiced Roast Pork
Choc-Cherry Banana Flapjacks
Special Pilaf Kedgeree
Strawberry & Almond Cream 

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months   

—— 

‘For what we are about to receive…’ August 2010 & beyond 

I will be away on holiday during August, but have scheduled posts which should appear while I am away: a selection of salads plus some quick and easy snack recipes.  At this time of year and especially on holiday where it is self-catering, I mostly choose food that I can get to the table within half an hour – after all it is my holiday too.  We are off to the French Alps via Burgundy.  Among other dishes, I very much hope to be able to try Tartiflette, which I make at home (will be interesting to compare), as well as sampling our usual quota of cheese and patisserie. I have a list of special ingredients and food items to look out for as well!   I am hoping to be able to add some more French Style recipes to this site in the coming weeks. 

Meanderings Revisited will also be taking a break during August, but will re-appear in September.  

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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February ’Meanderings’ …

Pictured (top to bottom)
Mulled Stewed Fruit
Candlemas Crumble
Lime Pickle
Onion Bhajis

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

The television tells us that this winter has been one of the coldest for some years and certainly it has been chilly, wet and snowy even in London which often manages to miss the worst of the weather.  Some parts of Britain and further afield have seen much worse than we have, of course, but the cold weather does chill to the bone so there is nothing better than good warming winter food.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Following on from the soups and meat dishes posted in January, some of my February posts have been warming winter desserts.  One post, Mulled Stewed Fruit, includes several alternatives: Spiced Plums, Pears with Orange & Ginger and Apricots & Pears with Ginger & Almond, all simple ideas for weekday desserts.  Most of the dessert ideas are fairly traditional, including some basic information about Sweet Crumble Mixtures with a selection of toppings, plus a special Candlemas Crumble using the last of the mincemeat from Christmas.  I have realised that the remaining dessert posts all use eggs.  Nottingham Apple Pudding uses a batter mixture giving a crisp finish not unlike a sweet Yorkshire Pudding.  There is a twist on the traditional British dessert, Bread & Butter pudding, re-invented as Paddington Pudding, plus a second variation, Toffee Apple Croissant (Bread & Butter) Pudding.  The final egg based pudding is Clafoutis or Flognarde: a traditional and simple fruit filled French dessert.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

I enjoy cooking multi-dish Indian style meals for friends and wanted to share some of these recipes as well this month.  Most of these are accompaniments: Masoor or Red Lentil Dhal, home made Lime Pickle (so simple I will never buy a jar again!), Onion Rice Pilaf, Onion Bhajis  (a family favourite when eating out which can so easily be made at home) and Paratha Roti, (the recipe for which comes from Trinidad where the food has a strong Indian influence).  The only main course included is my favourite dish for entertaining Makkhani Murghi (Tandoori Chicken in a Butter Sauce): which tastes great but is quick to cook as it can mostly be made in advance.  I have more Indian style recipes to post in coming months.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

We have had a busy time in the church kitchen this month, with a new venture feeding Sunday lunch to about 60 church members, thus giving a people a good opportunity to get to know one another a bit better.  I was just the kitchen helper as it was the brainchild of two good friends.  There was slow roasted beef and Yorkshire Puddings with roast potatoes and a good selection of vegetable dishes (including Spiced Braised Red Cabbage Casserole and baked squash).  This was followed by a selection of crumbles made by various church members – and what a variety there were: I made a mulled peach, pear & apple with an oaty crumble topping (see Basic Recipe: Sweet Crumble Mixtures for topping recipes).  There was also apple, plum, apple & sultana and, very popular because it was unusual, chocolate & banana. I have since posted my own version of this, which I have called Tropical Banana & Chocolate Crumble.   It was such a success, with so many disappointed people who missed out, that we are doing it all again in a fortnight.  It would be interesting to hear from anyone else who has this sort of event on their church calendar, how they cope and what they serve to their guests.

I finally got to unpack and use my new (birthday present) Tagine and I can see myself using it quite a bit, especially for entertaining, even though it does take up a lot of oven space.  I was sent a great chicken recipe by a friend: North African Spiced Baked Chicken with Pickled Lemon. I also tried a new one from the Tagine book I was given to go with the pot: Moroccan Style Beef Stew with Oranges & Beetroot, which I would definitely serve to guests (providing they liked beetroot).  I had another cookery book as a birthday present as well: Green & Black’s Chocolate Recipes: Unwrapped – From the Cacao Pod to Muffins, Mousses and Moles written and compiled by Caroline Jeremy.  Lots of lovely recipes and similar to another book I own though with a wider range of recipes, Divine: Heavenly Chocolate Recipes with Heart by Linda Collister, previously reviewed on this site.   Just a shame that neither are very good for the waistline!

I was invited to a special birthday meal by my parents, where mum served one of her specialities and one of our favourites: Chicken Satay (I must get her recipe).  I am hoping to return the favour in March for her birthday and am trying to decide what to cook.  We ate a delicious Eton Mess at a local pub recently (I eventually made my own version) and that was one idea I had, but I think I will be making Cherry & Rosewater Pavlova Meringue Roulade, a Rachel Allen recipe we saw her make on television some time ago.

This month I have been using recipes from Curry: easy recipes for all your favourites by Sunil Vijayakar, which came from our local library.  This is a useful little smallish format book with a wide range of simple to follow recipes, mostly with easily to obtain ingredients (at least, I am able to find them!)  I tried out the Onion Bhaji recipe and was very pleased with the results.  Other recipes I cooked were: Chicken & Spinach Curry (delicious but a strange colour, so not attractive to photograph, which may be why there is no picture in the book), Fish Mollee (tasty but also less attractive than pictured) and Tomato & Egg Curry, which I will definitely be adding to my vegetarian repertoire.

fair_trade_logoI cannot let this February review pass without mention of Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 22 February until 7 March 2010.  The theme for this year is The Big Swap, encouraging us to change just one item in their shopping basket for a fairly traded alternative.  There is so much choice now in fairly traded items and so many lines available in our shops there is really no excuse not to buy and make a difference to the lives of others.  It is no longer possible to say, as it was some years ago, that the tea and coffee are virtually undrinkable, so if you still think that why not give them another go!  Once you have made the swap, why switch back again?!  The more Fairly Traded items we buy the more the shops will stock – and of course the more the growers and producers will benefit.  If you enjoy poetry (and fairly traded chocolate!) you might like to follow this link and read the winning poems in the annual Divine chocolate competition.  I particularly like this one: A Divine Farmer’s Tale by Joanne Carroll, the winner of the 17-adult category.

Show me a seed and I’ll show you a shoot,
Allow me the time to tend to the root,
Permit me some water and watch my shoot grow,
Give me a fair deal and I’ll continue to sow.

I’ll nurture my crops with pride and care,
Farmers like me, all owning a share,
Of the success and profit our labours bring,
At the Divine Chocolate Company we all are kings.

Hard work in the fields throughout the heat of the day,
Until the cocoa is harvested and taken away,
I am happy though, as there is a fair price paid,
And the beans will bring pleasure when chocolate is made.

A fairtrade farmer, I am the Company Divine,
When you next savour a chocolate bar, it may be one of mine!

February Recipes …

Basic Recipe: Clafoutis or Flognarde
Basic Recipe: Sweet Crumble Mixtures

Candlemas Crumble
Mulled Stewed Fruit: Plums – Pears with Orange & Ginger – Apricots & Pears with Ginger & Almond
Nottingham Apple Pudding
Paddington Pudding (Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding)
Toffee Apple Croissant (Bread & Butter) Pudding 

Lime Pickle
Masoor Dhal – Red Lentil Dhal
Onion Bhajis
Onion Rice Pilaf 
Paratha Roti
Tandoori Chicken & Makkhani Murghi (Tandoori Chicken in a Butter Sauce)

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

‘For what we are about to receive…’ March 2010 and beyond

In March I will be thinking ahead to recipes for Easter at the end of the month and I am looking for ideas.  First though, my March posts will start with marmalade, although sadly the Seville Oranges will have all but finished (you might be lucky I suppose): during February I made both ‘Oxford’ (& ‘Cambridge’) Style Seville Marmalades.  I will then be be posting a selection of family favourite cake recipes, initially citrus based: Fragrant Marmalade CakeSylvia’s Lemon Drizzle Bread and a Fragrant Chocolate Orange Marble Cake that uses my mum’s Basic Recipe: The Adaptable Sponge, which is so useful to know and always has good results.

However, returning to my Easter recipe plans.  As usual, I shall definitely be making a Simnel Cake around Mothering Sunday, but to be eaten on Easter Sunday, plus Spicy Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday, (Nigella Lawson’s delicately Cardamom flavoured recipe from last year’s Radio Times and her book Feast).  I am also thinking about making an Easter Plait (or similar), Easter Biscuits and want to get my daughter into the kitchen to make some Chocolate Rice Krispie Nests or Cornflake nests with a lovely little colourful egg in each.  I am also wondering about making Pashka, which I understand is a rich and creamy Russian dessert eaten at Easter, so will be trying to find a suitable recipe.  I have been part of a discussion on the Nigella Lawson Forum on Easter recipes and traditions: all ideas gratefully received especially for foods to make that are not traditionally British.  Please do get in touch via the comments box below …

…Happy Eating!

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Apricots on the Nile: A Memoir with Recipes
Colette Rossant
Pub: Bloomsburypbks

Collette Rossant recounts in memoir and in recipes a snapshot of her early life.  In 1937, aged five, she arrived in Cairo from Paris with her Egyptian/Jewish father and French mother. On the death of her father, her mother returned to France and Collette remained with her wealthy grandparents. At age fifteen she was summoned to Paris to join her mother, never to see her grandparents again. Before going to Cairo, even as a very young child, she loved the Parisien kitchen, but her maternal grandmother thought it was no place for her to spend time: “Une jeune fille de bonne famille ne fréquente pas la cuisine!” (A young girl of good breeding does not go into the kitchen!)  In Cairo entering the kitchen was not a problem. Collette recounts tales of the happy and seemingly carefree lifestyle of her childhood: the welcoming kitchen, where she learned so much from Ahmet the cook and her grandmother, the sights and sounds of shopping in the bazaar and the sumptuous meals she remembers. 

The final chapter of Apricots on the Nile tells how Collette, thirty years later and a journalist and food writer, retraces her steps.  She rediscovers the Egypt of her past, trying to find again the places with their remembered sights, smells and tastes. 

I loved this book with its honest account of Collette Rossant’s unusual childhood before and around the time of World War II, the sadnesses as well as the happy times, giving a window onto a world now gone for ever.   I loved too the unusual recipes, both Egyptian and French.  One in particular, Grilled Chicken with Sumac & Roasted Banana, we thoroughly enjoyed and my variation the recipe is included on this site.  There are many other delicious sounding recipes, including: Semit (soft sesame seed covered pastries) and Sambusaks (cheese filled pastries), Ta’miyya (like Felafel), Babaghanou (roasted aubergine puree, served as a dip), Stuffed Vine Leaves (filled with rice, lamb and cumin), Chickpea Purée and Traditional Hummus, Lentils and Beetroot with Swiss Chard, Fricasée of Fennel, Bean Soup and Apricot Pudding (a rich dessert of baked pureed dried apricots), plus from Collette’s time at the convent school, Soeur Leila’s Red Lentil Stew and Lentil Soup.

According to the Bloomsbury website, Collette Rossant has written two further ‘memoirs with food’, neither of which I have read, but I will try to track them down as I hope they are equally as enjoyable.
Return to Paris
Madeleines in Manhatten
I have also found reference to a book on Collette Rossant’s own website, supposedly the third in her series, called A World in my Kitchen: The Adventures of a (Mostly) French Woman in New York.   It is not clear whether this is Madeleines in Manhatten under a different title, or a new book.  Collette is also the author of several cookbooks, on a variety of subjects including Kosher Cooking, Japanese Cuisine and Slim Cuisine.

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August ‘Meanderings’ …

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

Pictured (top to bottom)
Melon & Ginger Ice Cream
Raw Beetroot Salad
Tarte Tatin by Susan Loomis

100_4917 Melon & Ginger Ice CreamLast time I wrote one of these updates I was looking forward eagerly to our French holiday, but that has long since gone and since I have been back it feels as if my feet haven’t touched the ground.  I have cooked several delicious recipes since our return and I will try to add them in the coming weeks.

We managed to find the sunny weeks 100_7594 Raw Beet Salad 1in the midst of what was mostly a very disappointing summer and Brittany was as pretty as I remembered it from my previous visits. We ate a memorable meal on our very first night travelling through Normandy en route to Brittany – always good to have a promising start!  Brittany, it seems, has a Crêperie on every corner and several times we ate Galettes: sarraisan or buckwheat pancakes with a savoury filling (crêpes usually have a sweet filling).  The region is famed for its seafood: we ate Moules Marinières, Coquilles St Jacques (as a Galette filling) and fresh Sardines in the town of Quiberon, with its canning industry and sardine festival.  Sweet regional food included Crêpes, the sweet pancake eaten either plain with melted butter and sugar or with any one of a variety of fillings and Kouign Amann, a butterscotch flavoured sticky cake, but I was disappointed not to see ‘Far’ on sale very often.  (Never mind, I can at least make that one at home – I have posted an excellent recipe for Far Breton on this site!)  Finally, rather than wine, we drank Breton cider and also Kir Breton: a mixture of fruit liqueur and cider (blackberry liqueur was particularly good).

LOOMIS Susan - Tarte TatinI had a break from posting recipes while I was away so there are very few updates for August.  Before I went away I posted the recipe for Melon & Ginger Ice Cream and once I came back, having been inspired by a book I read on holiday I made and posted a recipe for a tasty and unusual Raw Beetroot Salad.  This recipe came from Tarte Tatin: further adventures in a small French town by Susan Loomis, about which I wrote a review and I look forward to trying a few more of Loomis’ delicious sounding recipes.

For a full list of postings since my July Meanderings see below.  (Recipes already posted have been highlighted and the others will appear in coming weeks.)

August Recipes …

Melon & Ginger Ice Cream
Raw Beetroot Salad

Book Review: Tarte Tatin: further adventures in a small French town by Susan Loomis

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months

‘For what we are about to receive…’ September 2009 and beyond

Food for the mind…

Non Fiction Food book
I have discovered a fascinating little book called In the Devil’s Garden: a sinful history of forbidden food by Stewart Lee Allen.  No recipes, but lots of fascinating foodie facts and theories. 

… and for the September table …

I will be trying out a few French style ideas in the next month or so, trying to prolong the holiday a bit I suppose!   Some years ago I made pâté so I will be looking for a good recipe for a simple pork pâté to try out, I have a crepe pan and as I have some French buckwheat or sarraisin flour we can have galettes.  I would also like to try to replicate some more French patisseries: Tarte au Citron and Le ‘Far’ Breton are family favourites.

Recipe books I’ll be looking through (just a few!) …
The French Kitchen: A cookbook by Joanne Harris & Fran Warde – Pub: Transworld
French Desserts by Laura Washburn
A Flavour of Provence by Katy Holder & Susie Ward – Pub: Chartwell Books

Happy Eating!

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