The redcurrant and gooseberries are ready now, so I have devised a new recipe for storing the glut. Gooseberries are pretty difficult to use. I like stewed gooseberry, but not that much, so I am always looking for other ideas. This week I have made a sweet and sour sauce with our red gooseberries. It is lovely with lamb, and I am pretty sure it will be amazing with duck.
Gooseberries and a few redcurrants stewed with a couple of star anise
Add balsamic vinegar
Remove star anise
balance the favours until your like the taste.
I used this like a plum sauce with pancakes and pulled lamb and chopped spring onions and cucumber. it was amazing!
It’s the time of year when our rhubarb crowns really get going and Becky is a total Rhubarb fiend. She would literally eat it for dessert every meal if we had enough. So I invented this little quick cake for tea tonight. It’s was lovely and we are just in the process of stopping ourselves eating the lot.
6 large or 10 small Rhubarb stems
S/r gluten free flour
The reason I haven’t put any quantities is because the cake mix is basically an equal mix, so I use 2 eggs and weight them then put in equally amounts ( so the same weight as the eggs) of everything else except the flour. For the flour I put in 2/3 sr flour and 1/3 coconut flour.
So for my cake it was 130g of eggs, 130g of sugar, 130g of marg, 100g of S/R flour and 30g of coconut flour.
Put all of the cake ingredients (not the rhubarb), in one bowel and the wiz it up with an electric mixer. Put to one side
Slice the rhubarb into inch long pieces and then bake in a medium oven for 30- 40 mins on a non stick baking tray. I put mine in at 150.
Once baked, put aside to cool slightly. They should be softish but not mushy.
Line a cake tin with baking paper or use a silicon liner. Lay the rhubarb pieces out in the bottom of the tin in an attractive pattern. Gently spoon on the cake mix and then put in the oven at 180 for 40 minutes. Check with a skewer to see if it’s done.
Cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn out and gently peal away the baking paper. Leave to cool and serve with thick cream, or dust with icing sugar.
This recipe is vegetarian, gluten and diary free.
This is a dish that I have developed over the last few weeks. I have been trying to think of inventive ways to use our pumpkins. We have a pretty good year for squash and can easily use one a week between now and Christmas. This recipe is great on its own, but can equally be served as bed for meat. I served it recently to some guests with some slow cooked duck legs cooked with apricots. The quantities below serve 4 people.
half a medium to large pumpkin diced into 2cm cubes
2 leeks diced
Basmati Rice (measure as normal for 4 people)
Large handful per person of Baby leaves (I use chard, because I have it growing), but any leaf salad would be fine.
A few strands of saffron for the rice
Sesame oil instead if olive oil
I don’t eat garlic, but I am pretty sure it would be a nice addition if it was roasted along with the pumpkin.
Toss the pumpkin ( and parsnip if using) in oil
Roast in a hot oven until soft (180 for 30-40 mins)
After the pumpkin has been in for a while, cook your rice and then set aside.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan, soften the leeks, turn your rice into the pan and coat with the leeky oil.
Toss in the cooked pumpkin and mix for a moment in the pan.
Take the pan of of the heat and set aside.
Get a large bowl, put your pumpkin and rice mixture into the bowl
Add you pumpkin seeds and cranberries and lastly your baby leaves
Dress to your taste, but I use a little oil, some balsamic and a big squeeze of orange.
Serve in warm bowls
Do you ever feel so fortunate that you have the feeling that something bad must be round the corner? I am having such a lovely weekend just chilling out with Becky and our two whippet shaped friends that I am pretty sure I am owed some bad luck….or at the very least I owe it to someone to pay this good vibe forward in some way. (Suggestions welcome).
Tonight I have cooked us a roast dinner which is 100% sencemeadow. Roast mmuscovey duck, creamy mash potatoe, green beans, courgettes and a raspberry and red wine reduction. It was delicious and I don’t think we will ever get bored of saying “100% sencemeadow”, which we frequently do when eating one of our home grown meals.
I distributed our courgette surplus to a bunch of sporty girls on Thursday night, but we are still drowning. Courgette cake tomorrow I think.
One of the reasons we have decided to live our life the way we do is because we believe that meat is a privilege that should not be eaten lightly. We believe that animals should live natural lives (which means mixed groups..and therefore young stock). We also believe that animals should have a healthy free range existence and a carefully planned and thought through slaughter process which includes as little transportation as possible. Lastly we believe that the whole animal should be utilised, rather than just prime cuts in plastic wrappers.
I know that some people who don’t eat meat will never agree with the decisions that we have made, but I have strong views about the value of mixed farming and sustainable nitrogen cycles that do not involved artificial fertilisers which I am happy to discuss with anyone that wants to. In my view the important thing is that people are thinking about their food decisions and I can certainly respect the vegetarian point of view….but…..I am proud of what we do here, and I will not apologise for that. It is part of a set of decisions that we haven’t taken lightly, and when we take a life, we feel the blood on our hands. If you eat anything that has been commercially produced (non meat included) believe me you have blood on your hands one way or another. It just depends how far you want to look to see that blood, (Pest control, large destruction of habitats through monocultures).
it’s meat season again, by which I mean we have just had our lamb carcasses back from the abattoir, which is quite different from an ‘Abba Tour’ thankyou predictive text. Becs and I drove along there this morning for the usual ‘women should not be involved in meat production’ banter. When I asked them to put the carcasses in a bag so I didn’t get dog hair all over them in the car, they rolled their eyes and said “these women always want their legs covered’. I’m not sure what this meant, but they seemed to find the presence of two women in wooly hats in the abattoir hilarious. So anyway, this means that I have spent the day getting the carcasses from looking like animals, to looking like food. This is no mean feat and had taken me most of the day. We ended up having three rams slaughtered;
Which should provide us with plenty of meat for the majority of the year. Our eating habits very much revolve around what we have harvested at that time, so we haven’t eaten much meat since the road kill ran out a few months ago.
Each lamb basically splits into six joints; the two shoulder joints, two legs, rolled loin, and two rolled breast, and the neck. the neck I use for stews. I prefer to roll the loin, as I tried to do a roasting a saddle last year and it was a total faff to butcher and another faff to carve. I will stuff the rolled joints when I am ready to use them.
The biggest lamb was 17lb. here it is butchered;
The dogs have spent the day watching me like hawks, if Ori had telekinetic powers, all three lambs would have ended up somewhere near the dog bowls. Becky was delighted that we got the liver back this year and spent most of the journey home planning which wine she was going to have with it tonight. The hearts also look good, I am going to look up a stuffing recipe.Last but not least I have a pot of bones boiling away, and am just looking for some inspiration for how to use this stock.
The butchering was much easier this year due to my amazing Christmas present…AKA my new butchers saw, which is awesome (thanks to my in-laws).
This is a lowish calorie version of a recipe that my mum gave me. They work out about 250 cal each.
30g of baking marg
25g of raisins
25g of dates or prunes chopped
50g of brown sugar
85g of SR gluten free flour
85ml of water
1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb Soda
Plus a tea spoon of either Nutella, honey or golden syrup.
Put water dates and raisins in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute will warm.
Add bicarb and stir (it should fizz), set aside
Use a tiny bit of butter and greese 5 small ramekins or espresso cups
Put a teaspoon of either Nutella, honey or G Syrup at the bottom of each
Put the remaining marg, egg, flour and mixed spice into a bowl and mix with an electric wisk for 1 minute.
Fold in the water and fruit. The mixture will be a bit runny.
Pour into the ramekins so that the mixture comes up half way.
Microwave each ramekin for 1min 30 -2mins. It should rise and be spongy.
leave to stand for a couple of minutes
Run a knife round and turn out.
This recipe works out as 180 cal per sponge mix if you divide it between 5. Add calories for what ever topping you choose. 12grams of nuttela is 69cal.