Showing posts from August, 2011

Wild Plum Jam

Wild Plums make the most amazing jam.  I picked mine from an abandoned orchard behind the Wheatsheaf Pub in  Leybourne/West Malling  (ME19 5AT).  It's worth a visit as there are loads of apple and plum trees with the fruit just going to waste.  I think these are Mirabelles - though some pictures show Mirabelles as Yellow.  Whatever they are, they're delicious - and they make great Wild Plum Gin too!

Wash and weigh the fruit, removing any stalks, leaves or bruised fruit.  I leave the stones in and remove them during the cooking process - but you could take them out before if you like.

This picture shows 4lb plums.  Add about 1 pint water and bring to the boil, simmering slowly until the fruit is soft but not mushy.  As the plums get warm and slightly softer I remove the stones at this point - just with my bare hands, squashing the fruit and taking out the stone - but you could do it later if you like.  It's a pain in the neck but also therapeutic at the same time!

Once the…

Everyday Curry - Veggie, Fish or Chicken

This is not an authentic curry from any particular region.  It's a store cupboard and fridge curry that you can rustle up after work in the time it takes to cook the rice.  I make it quite mild as Hannah is more 'Korma' than 'Vindaloo' - but you can add more spice to taste!

Peel and chop 1 large or 2 small onions.  Sweat with some vegetable oil in a large-ish saute pan (or wok).  Add equal quantities of chopped fresh ginger and garlic, or just spoon some garlic ginger paste from a jar (I keep one in my fridge).  Add 1-2 tbsp of curry paste or curry powder (I used Madras curry powder as I didn't have any paste open).  Technically this is a South-Asian-ish curry so Indian curry paste would be good but I often use Thai and get away with it.  The point is that this is everyday curry - so it's made with what you have in the cupboards and the fridge so you don't have to go shopping.

Roughly chop some veg, whatever you have in the fridge, to bulk up the curry,…

Autumn Foraging

Well, it's my favourite time of year for foraging.  It's all begging to be picked, and I don't have enough time to gather what I need.  Small handfuls of blackberries have fortified my morning dog-walks for the past month - with the occasional doggy bag (literally!) full of berries brought home when I couldn't resist it.  But I have had a couple of serious foraging mornings, one in the quarry and one in Leybourne Woods that have yielded huge bags of apples and mirbelle plums, some bullaces, blackberries and rosehips.  I just love these 'me-times', soaking in the peace in the woods and  countryside and thinking about the happy hours I will spend pottering in the kitchen putting them to good use.

I was also given 3 tubs of Damsons by my neighbours - and various friends and neighbours have left empty jars on my doorstep over the past few months.  People are kind - and they always get a full jar in return!

Produce so far has included Damson Jam, Hedgerow Jam and Pi…