Wednesday 30 June 2021

strawberries galore

 A grey but productive day. I went to the allotment to harvest 4 kg of strawberries from the raised beds. The first few weeks have been disappointing as there was so much slug damage.

Todays harvest was turned into 15 bottles of strawberry cordial, 500ml of strawberry vinegar, and strawberry compote.  In our zoom session we made drop scones which we topped with the compote and vanilla ice cream (which we made with the Monday group.

As usual, it was fun to see Meghan and June and make these tasty recipes.

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Tortolini with mushroom and cream sauce

 Today we made some tortolini in a  creamy mushroom  sauce.

I used the square shaped ones that were put through the pasta machine to setting 6.

I think 15 would be a good amount for one portion. 

It was lovely to chat with Meghan and Melendra at the same time.

Friday 18 June 2021

Artichoke dip

A new recipe for me and another way to use artichokes.

This dip was lovely on toast and I even put some in the artichoke fritatta with a delicious result.

Thank you Paola for showing me how to use artichokes in a more versatile way.

Monday 14 June 2021

Elderflower season: our first Foraging walk is today!

June is the month for Elderflowers and lovely walks.

Today starts sunny and bright with not a cloud in the sky. We are expecting 29C so it might be too hot to go for a walk in open fields, luckily enough Alexandra park is around the corner and has lots of tree cover, and  a beautiful elder flower bush to give us the main ingredient for our Cordial.

We made some elderflower thee

It is a very versatile plant and worth reading more about here

Country file had an article with more elder recipes

Medicinal information

Every year I make more and more recipes with it.

First I made the cordial, (always adding the sugar at the second stage to prevent a sticky mess when squeezing out the flowers)

Then I tend to put in the fridge the left over lemons (and slice them very thinly) and the cordial that did not fit into the bottles.  So that with the next batch I can make Elderflower Marmalade

Sunday 13 June 2021

Time to prune the grapevine

As the grapevine needed pruning, I thought it was a great opportunity to get the dolmades recipe out again. I used the same recipe as the one in my first cookery book From Spade to Plate, and went down pretty well.

As we had run out of sweet chili jam and this group had not made it before,  I went to buy peppers and chilies to turn into a delicious jam to go with our dolmades.

We also went in the garden and the allotment to pick some strawberries and turned them into a savoury salad.


this post was first posted on 6/6/2019

From Spade to plate: Elderflower cordial making and easy bagels

This post was first published on 23/5/2018
As making elderflower cordial is such a typical English drink, we made this again with the Wednesday group. As it is a 2 day process, the Monday group picked the flowers  and prepared the lemons and let it steep so that the Wednesday group can finish it off and start another batch.

For lunch we made this amazing bagel recipe

lovely with the vegan mayonnaise  or if you don't have chickpea aqua faba and don't mind using milk, this is another great recipe

we made and the vegan 'smoked' salmon'

Add caption

Tuesday 8 June 2021

Garlic braiding

We had had such a lovely time a few years ago. This year the harvest is great but need to do this by myself.

Here is some interesting information about how to make a natural pesticide

This year's garlic looks good and hope it stores well for all the lovely recipes that we have in store for the year ahead.  We harvested the bulbs a couple of weeks ago, dried them off a little and today we decided to braid it.

Voila, the braided garlic

We harvested the red onions as they bolted, very disappointing, but we turned it into delicious red onion marmalade.

harvesting red onions

preparing onions for the marmalade

We went to the allotment to have a look around and pick some strawberries and flowers

A meeting in the allotment

Samantha, Terry's niece is joining us from Glasgow and is showing of the salad

Card made by Terry

This was first posted on 6/6/2018
then 8/6/2021

Monday 7 June 2021

What a lovely way to spend a bank holiday morning

Our first outing of the newly founded group: From Spade to Plate was a wonderful one.
As it was a bank holiday we had some families come and the children seem to enjoy it as much as the grown ups did.

Yesterday I picked one batch of elderflowers (from the Riverside) and added the lemons and juice in order to have a starter to finish off today.

11am sharp the friends arrived. armed with baskets and scissors, one group went to Alexandra park to pick the flowers, whilst June and 3 teenage girls made the scones.

When we came back, it became a hive of activity. The flowers were rinsed (there was a little black fly) lemons finely cut so tomorrow I can make a batch of Elderflower marmalade to have with the scones.

We bottled the juice, labelled it and went on our way bottles in hand.

This blog was first published 29/5/2017