Monday 30 September 2019

Who would have thought it? We all like the Kale salad!

This morning I noticed that the cavalo nero (kale) was ready to harvest, so brought some home to look for a nice recipe.  I found one, with excellent reviews, Kale Salad,  but was worried that Kale was not every ones cup of tea. We gave it a try  though and it turned out we all had seconds! Who would have thought?
The secret. MASSAGING the kale before use!

As the weather was nice some of us had a stroll to the allotment,  to see where our broccoli and kale was growing  (whilst nibbling on raspberries, apples and tomatoes) and when we saw that the storm had taken down a sunflower, we took off the flowers to take home, stripped the leaves for the compost heap and cut the stem to dry out for kindling wood in the winter.
Hwiwoun. Li, Ai, Simone and Sylivia behind the kale patch
Li, Sylvia, Simone, Hwiwoun, Ai
While we were in the allotment, Carmen and June kept an eye on the oven and the soup that we made before we left on our walkabouts.

The fresh carrot and leek soup which went really well with the garlic knot buns made by Ai and Hwiwoun.

Whilst they were making the bread rolls Simone, Carmen, Sylvia and June were busily chopping away. The onions, broccoli, Kale and carrots.

To make sure we could eat it in time, I started making the Challah dough a few hours before the session started as it needed 2 risings and it took nearly 3 hours for that to happen. So the next stage (rolling out) Li did a wonderful job. Sylvia and Carmen prepared the apples which were the ones Melendra and June picked a few weeks ago from a tree in Churchill College. The end result was stunning.

Simone, Li, Hwiwoun, Ai, Sylvia, Carmen, June
Although it looks nice and golden, it could have been in the oven for a little while more and we thought it might be nice too with chopped dried apricots.  The pieces rose so well that each piece was enough for 2 people, so husbands and children were able to have a nibble of it too.

Yet another lovely meal made with vegetables from our abundant allotment and the love, energy and enthusiasm of 7 special friends. Cheers!


Friday 27 September 2019

Green tomatoes

My friend Consuelo sent me this recipe as she knows I have loads of green tomatoes which can be turned into something delicious.

Cheddar and walnut scones is delicious with some green tomato chutney

How much more British can you make a lunch?

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Leek Soup, Pear Custard Pie and Pasta

It was a little bit of a shock to see that the leeks in the allotment were about to go into flower so steps were taken to turn these beauties into a lovely Vegan Leek and Potato Soup which we had with a yoghurt and oat bread.

Noor making the Leek & potato soup
Isadora making the bread under dad's supervision

As the group wanted to make home made pasta we had a taster of pasta with a simple tomato sauce, topped with cracked pepper and parmesan cheese.

This is how it is done.

Look what I picked!

Picking conference pears for our desert

June and Noor preparing the pears for the pie

What a lovely morning we had.

Monday 23 September 2019

The huge bucket of tomatoes were turned into a quick tomato sauce for the pizza we made but also as a gazpacho topped with cucumber and chives.

The pizza itself is made mainly on the top stove. We mixed 230gr  self raising flour with 2 tblsps of plain yoghurt, 1 tblsp oil, salt and a little water. Kneaded it into a ball and let it rest in the fridge for a little while. We then rolled it out on a surface sprinkled with semolina to give it a little bit mote 'bite;.
In a large frying pan with a little oil we fried the base until it was golden on both sides.

We transferred it onto a pizza stone, spread the tomato sauce, carrot top pesto, grated cheese, tomatoes, baby courgettes, peppers, red onion, mushrooms salt and pepper and some bits of gorgonzola cheese. Put it under the grill until the cheeses were melted and bubbling. Delicious!

Today with the left over aquafaba  and abundance of raspberries we made some raspberry mousse

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Apple picking with June and Melendra

Today we went on a little adventure. As there were only 2 members with me today, and on Monday Simone tipped me off about an eating apple tree in front of Churchill College, we decided to go and pick these beauties for storing this winter. We packed the apple trays, newspapers and apple pickers and off the three of us set in my little car turned into a packing factory.

Melendra and I picked whilst June stayed in the car and wrapped the apples. It was a big success.
On our way back we swung by a lovely eating apple tree on French's Road and picked some more.

After this outing we had a couscous salad for lunch at home.

Monday 16 September 2019

Filo pastry and runner bean samosas

As we have now harvested most of the runner beans I thought it might be interesting to make some samosas with them. Rather than mango chutney we use a teaspoon of sweet chili jam and dip them into yoghurt with mint sauce.

The filo pastry recipe was very good. I made the dough before the group came, as it needed an hour to rest before using. We all had a go making the pastry and then use it to make the samosas


As a salad will be make a couscous salad out of the 1st cookery book.
incorporating, the peppers, cucumber and onions out of the garden and the pesto we make from carrot toppings

We used this recipe for the pesto but added a large spoon ful of nutritional yeast.

As a desert we made some apple crumblies, a recipe I got from Monique in Nottingham. We had it with a dollop of yoghurt but it can be eaten on its own.

Apple crumblies
6 oz margarine
6 oz SR flour
6 oz semolina
3 oz sugar

1 lb apples
4 oz sugar
2 oz sultanas
½ tbs cinnamon
7 ½ inch tin  

Melt margarine, stir in flour and semolina and sugar.
½ mixture in tin. Put apples and sugar in pan. Cover and cook add sultanas and cinnamon
Boil for 3 mins until thick. Spread over the mixture. Leave 1” from edge. Crumbs rest of the mixture on top.
Bake for 30 mins.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Seiko is arriving for a holiday in Cambridge.

A few months ago Seilo emailed to see if she could join From Spade to Plate when she arrives in the UK for a week of holiday. On arrival in Heathrow (6am) she took a coach to arrive in time at our home to join in the cooking.

Within minutes she was turning the handle of the pasta machine and was making fresh pasta. As we had so many tomatoes we turn them into a fresh tomato sauce which turned out wonderfully.


We sat around the kitchen table and peeled all the plum tomatoes we picked from the allotment and then
 canned them whole, as per the 'recipe' from my friend Serenella in Italy. This involved peeling the tomatoes, stuffing them into jars and finishing them off in a waterbath for 20 minutes

As a desert we poached some of the pears we picked from a tree on Chesterton Road, using elderflower syrup and some whipped cream.

We had a cucumer and tomato salad to go with it.

Monday 2 September 2019

Apples and Pears galore

As we picked loads of apples (from The Othersyde,) and pears (From corner chesterton Road) I have decided to turn them into juice before going on holiday.

Arisa pressing the apples

Sara, Sayaka, Hiroe, Arisa and Today prepping the apples

I am also looking after Maria and Pete's allotment, which has 8 very large broccoli heads in need of picking, for that reason, I have decided to use the Broccoli, Courgette and Spinach soup with gorgonzola from book 1

June is looking after the pears
and as a desert we used the pears instead of the Rhubarb when making the Rhubarb crumble from book 2. The almond and ginger topping went really well with the pears and no sound was heard when we were eating.  A keeper we have decided.
Dezyre making the crumble topping

Todai and Arisa went around the garden to pick the sweet mini mini tomatoes which we turned into salad.

Everyone was able to take back with them some pears and a bottle of apple juice.
Yet another lovely morning.