Friday, 20 April 2012

Herb garden salad


The herb patch is loving this rain.  Although my garden lettuces are nowhere near ready, I have plenty of delicious herbs to jazz up a shop-bought lettuce.  I generally pick whatever combination of herbs happens to take my fancy at a particular moment.  With this one, my ingredients were:

Iceberg lettuce plus the following chopped fresh herbs:

mint
chives
parsley
a small handful of fennel leaves

It's good with a light oil and vinegar dressing.

All of the above could be grown in pots too, so you don't need to be a serious gardener to create something like this!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Is this a drought?


I could not resist posting this photo. It makes me cheerful!  And its quite hard to believe we are in a drought..a very peculiarly English drought...lush really.
view outside the front door...

Blossom!

Fruit trees in flower:


cherries


pear
apple

Salmon fillets with lentils

There are some things that I always like to have in stock in the larder and freezer, which make it very easy to throw together a meal.   This recipe uses two of those things: frozen salmon fillets and tinned lentils.  It is as simple as could be possible, and takes hardly any time at all to prepare and cook.


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Crème Caramel

More and more eggs to use up!  So yesterday I made a large mix of baked custard mixture, which resulted in a big pot of rhubarb creme caramel and four small ramekins of simple crème caramel.  This type of dish seems to be a staple of many cooking traditions in Europe.  In Spain, its called 'flan', in France  'crème caramel' or 'crème anglais', and in England I think that the traditional name is 'caramel custard'.  The Spanish version always seems to me to be very sweet.  My mum used to make it, and we called it 'baked custard' or caramel custard.  Like the best comfort foods, it is very simple, quick and quite cheap to make (even more so if you have your own chickens like we do).

The version I made yesterday is a bit more at the luxury end, as I pushed the boat out for a Good Friday feast, and made it with double cream instead of milk.  I made a double load, so I had enough to make a big pot with rhubarb at the bottom, and another 4 ramekins of the basic creme caramel because some of my family dislike rhubarb.

This recipe is for the basic crème caramel, which can be made in one large dish or several ramekins.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Veg patch news...and RIP the chicken..

Its been a very busy month in the garden.  Spring has taken off at a cracking pace, and I am trying hard to keep up.  I have up-dated my planting chronology on the Veg Patch page of my blog.   There are two major challenges this year: first the drought, which is really serious here, and secondly the bizarre weather and weather forecast.

Sunday, 1 April 2012