We have three rather old damson trees of the early variety in our garden, situated next to the beehives. What a great combination! The bees work very hard to pollinate our damson trees and, consequently, we benefit from some wonderful honey and plenty of delicious damsons. We have been at the British Larder Suffolk for 4 years now and every year so far we have enjoyed a healthy crop of damsons from these wonderful trees. I feel quite guilty as they are very old and I feel that I might be taking advantage of them. The advice I have been given is to remove them and replace with new trees, but I am not quite ready to say my goodbyes just yet. So, it’s my passion to use the damsons for as many recipes as I possibly can. You could almost call this story my ‘damson diaries’! We harvest the
07 October 14
20 September 14
Some wonderful, large, really fresh whole plaice landed on my chopping board this week. They are superb, especially as the larger the plaice, the easier they are to cook without overcooking them.
The standard recommendation is to cook flat fish, such as plaice, on the bone to prevent it from overcooking and becoming dry, but to be honest, I and a lot of others, do not enjoy all the kerfuffle with the bones. Ask your fishmonger to do all the hard work for you and get them to take the fillets off the bone as two whole fillets per fish (one larger fillet from each side of the fish, rather than two smaller fillets from each side of the fish). The bones make a delicious stock too, so ask your fishmonger to reserve them for you.
Remember, the smaller the fish, the less cooking is required (and once the fish
09 September 14
When you smell this tart baking, I can guarantee that it will send your senses wild!! The inspiration for this recipe came to me one lazy afternoon. Well, that is a bit contradictory as I do not have lazy afternoons and barely have time for myself, but every now and then (about twice a year, if I’m lucky!) I do get the chance to sit down in front of the telly for about 10 minutes before I have to start working again at 5pm. During my last such lazy session I was watching the Hairy Bikers (not really a relaxing time then, more like a busman’s short holiday!) and they were on their European tour visiting Linz in Austria. It was really interesting because I learnt that the Linzer Torte is thought to be the oldest known torte recipe in the world.
So, armed with that knowledge, I thought it’s
03 September 14
Personally, I am not keen on mixing fruits into salads, and I find the combination of strawberries and watermelon in savoury salads an acquired taste, but having said that, I could not resist this recipe.
This season I have enjoyed many delicious and superb-tasting peaches, and a few peach recipes have made their appearance because I am passionate about making the most of when they are in season.
The key to success for this recipe is to use the ripest peaches possible, as these will deliver the best flavour. This recipe is easy to make and can be prepared in advance. It is delicious served warm or chilled as a starter for a special dinner, or as a light lunch with buttered sourdough bread, or as a side dish alongside grilled pork chops. Alternatively, you can toss the whole lot into a bowl and serve it family-style on the table