Friday 29 September 2017

From Spade to plate: Monday 2nd October: Pumpkin many ways Part 2 - No bake Pumpkin Pie

As our sessions are relatively short (2 hours) I would like to start straight away with the making of the breadrolls and the pumpkin Pie.  Although these are quick 30 minute bread rolls, they need proving so hope it will be ready in time to have with our soup.

The pumpkin pie, is a no bake recipe and need refrigerating for a couple of hours, so again, hope that works for us in time.

No bake pumpkin Pie
This is a made up recipe, with inspiration of 3 other recipes I had, I have tried it and it tastes lovely. Just hope that we have enough time to refrigerate it enough to make and eat it at the same from spade to plate session.

No Bake Pumpkin Pie
1 c cooked pumpkin
1 c milk
¾ c brown sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

Making the shell
2 oz melted butter
7 oz crushed ginger nuts biscuits
2 tbsp maple syrup

Mix and press into the bottom of a lined pie dish

Combine all ingredients in a heavy duty pan, consistently stirring. Bring to a boil over medium heat until thicken. Pour into the pie crust and let cool before refrigerating. (have put in the freezer to speed up the cooling period)

For lunch we will make some Lentil and Zucchini Soup. The zucchini are in fact the marrows we picked a couple of weeks ago and could do with turning into something warm and hearty.

This recipe serves 4.

2 cups red lentils
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tsp sunflower oil
2 medium zucchini diced
3 3/4 vegetable stock
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
salt and pepper
Crusty bread to serve.

Cook onion in oil until soft.
Reserve a hand full of zucchini to use later
Add the remaining zucchini to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, add the stock and tumeric and bring to ta boil.
Reduce the hear over and simmer for 30 mins. Season with salt and pepper
When the soup is ready,  puree with the hand blender. Then just before serving add the reserved zucchini to the soup and cook for 1 minutes. Serve with warm crusty bread.

This coming year I hope to plant more vegetables in my back garden so that the from spade to plate group does not have to go out in wind and rain to the allotment to get the produce. Having the main ingredients in my back garden should be much easier.

This week we shall plant red baron winter onions, which we hope to harvest June 2018

This week we June, Sayoko, Glo, Simone, Maria Jose, Rozenn and Sarolta joined me.

Saturday 23 September 2017

From Spade to Plate: 25th September. Pumpkin many ways: Part 1. - Soup, Waffles and Jam

What to do with a large pumpkin?

With Halloween on the way and many people buying a pumpkin just for carving  I thought it might be nice to show a variety of recipes that can be used with the flesh.

In May I sowed the pumpkin and protected it from pests (slugs) as it was sown in a no dig allotment I did not have to worry about watering it. If I had been a farmer I would have had to spend lots of time and care to get this pumpkin to market and only to see it rot at the side of the road after it had been carved..  The truth is, you can do both. Enjoy the decorating. and use the seeds and flesh for some delicious treats.

Over the next few From Spade to Plate sessions I will do a variety of Pumpkin recipes.
It was a true united nations event

Bella - German
Rozenn - France
Lucy- Brasil
Yasmine - Canada
Simone - Italy
June - United Kingdom
Andrea - Canada
Karina - The Netherlands
Sayoko - Japan

For the main course we have Pumpkin Soup

As a dessert pumpkin Waffles and lemon Marrow  jam.

Ingredients for Marrow Jam: (makes 2 bonne Maman jars)

  • 1lb x marrow peeled, seeded and diced (1 x 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/3 pack of Dutch reduced sugar Jelly sugar. 
  • 1 x lemon, zested and juices
  • 1 oz x root ginger, (optional)  chopped & bruised (bashed with a rolling pin to release the natural ginger oils) 
Put marrow, lemon juice and rind in a pan with a little water and heat until the marrow is soft.
Puree with hand blender, then add the jelly sugar and boil for 1 minute.
Pour into sterilized jars and leave to cool.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Tomatoes, chillies and Peppers

We had a great year for tomatoes, although the ones I am using today I picked last week when they were still green and had to ripen off the vine due to blight.

I made 4 jars of tomatoes to use in soups (added basil and salt) and boiled for 30 minutes.

My other favourite this time of the year is to turn my peppers, tomatoes and chillies into sweet chilli Jam.  Thank you to Paola who gave me a few more jars as now I have run out! No doubt soon she will be able to taste some of this delicious jam.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Good place for pears and eating apples (late)

Went to St Edmunds college today thinking there would be loads of apples to pick as per usual.
However when I showed up, there was not an apple on the tree. I think the season is about 2-3 weeks early so missed the boat here.

Then went via French's road, where I normally go for late eating apples, and the kind owners were very happy for me to pick and tidy up the rotten ones.  Also their neighbours were happy for me to pick.

Then went on to Kate L. on Gough Road to pick Conference pears from her garden as well as some crab apples to make some apple cider vinegar. In her road in the verge was a pear tree which extremely large pears. Won't know yet if they will ripen or juice but will find out very soon.

Sunday 3 September 2017

Apples Galore - From Spade to plate Monday 5th Septembr

At the moment we are over run with cooking apples. Although at first I would have loved to press apples with the group, I could not get hold of any eaters so the juice would have been far too tart. Therefore change of plan.

We shall turn some of these beauties into delicious apple chutney which would take most of the time allocated for the From Spade to Plate group.

As the day started with rather dull and dreary weather, we stayed in and started the preparation but once the sun came through,  Bella, Rozenn and Simone went to the allotment with me to pick some leafbeet for the soup, sneaked in some tasty yellow raspberries and hidden cherry tomatoes.
We used some sage to 'clean' our teeth and explained the no dig method of gardening I use here.

Today we have some new visitors as well as the familiar ones:
June, Serolta, Bella, Rozenn, Glo, Gail and Simone

For lunch we make some cream of spinach soup with some Herby Feta Scones  Potato scones

Trial: mix between the potato scone recipe and the herby feta scones.

The Gluten Free version was delicious and light, well worth doing again.

450 gr potatoes
12 tsp salt
2 oz butter
4 oz Self Raising flour/ gluten free version
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 tbsp chives
1 tsp Thyme,

bake on griddle.

Friday 1 September 2017

Abundance Cambridge - Apple pressing for the Victoria Homes

As this Sunday we shall be having the annual Victoria Homes bring and share event, I went to pick the apples from Alison's and Fernando's trees to turn them into apple juice for Sunday's event.
As the weather was good, some of the children are not yet in school and could do with an activity and I had some keen members from Spade to Plate group, I decided to use this gorgeous day to press and bottle. We also picked some of the apples from 70 VR as they started to drop.