Results tagged “jam”

Early Autumn preserving workshops, 30th Sept & 1st Oct 2011

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smcarrotchutney0001.jpgsmpreserving2410100005.JPGIn association with Riverford, the lovely organic veg box people, I offer seasonal preserving workshops.  I cover all the basics of preserving fruits and vegetables and together we make five you can take home.

You will learn about sterilising jars, using sugar, salt and vinegar correctly as preservatives, reaching ‘setting point’ for jams and jellies, safe bottling and more. Class sizes are kept small (max 8 people) and very hands-on.  As well as your filled jars, there are recipes and guidance notes to take home.  

At the Early Autumn workshops we hope to make (subject to produce availability):

plumjamcooking.jpgPlum jam
Bottled roasted tomato passata
Hedgerow jelly
Piccalilli
Seasonal chutney
...and maybe raspberry or blackberry vinegar too.


Dates:  Friday 30th September, repeated Saturday 1st October, and Sunday 2nd October too if demand

Time:  10am - 3pm on Friday and Saturday  (11am - 4pm on Sunday)

Location:  London N5

Price:  £60 (includes light lunch)

To book:  email Anna  Please read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place.  Thank you.

"Thanks again for such a brilliant day and for sharing your wonderful skills. I can't believe how much we made and how much I learned in your lovely kitchen!"

"The pace was just right- a good combination of a bit of the science behind preserving, a hands on approach to learning, and the opportunity to chat and discuss. I think the size of the class was ideal."



Polish doughnuts (pączki)

poland
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I hardly ever use recipes from the internet, least of all from unknown food bloggers (of whom there seem to be a few million).  Usually I spend hours, days even, researching the thing I want to make in various books and then come up with a hybrid recipe that, for me, takes the best of each.  But these Polish doughnuts are an exception.  With barely a thought (OK, I did check in a few books, very quickly) I followed this recipe from the For the Body and Soul blog pretty much exactly and it worked so well I’ve barely tweaked it.  So thank you Karolcia (from Poland, studying in Canada).

smpolishdoughnuts0002.jpgMy aim was to recreate the light, puffy, too-easy-to-eat doughnuts we’d had at Cukiernia Samanta - a fantastic bakery in Zakopane, Poland where they make literally millions of doughnuts, especially in time for Fat Thursday (at the start of Lent) when all of Poland goes doughnut crazy.  We begged for their recipe, but it is a closely guarded family secret.  After many hours of mixing, kneading, resting, shaping and frying this beautiful enriched dough, I succeeded.  My note to self for next time is to let the dough rise (more slowly) in the fridge as it would be easier to roll and shape when cold.

To Romania in a spoon

greece, romania, turkey
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Smspoonberries0001.jpgWhile staying in the Carpathians with our friends Anca and Eduard, we had a lot of conversations about jam.  I don't possibly have space here to tell you about everything we learnt (although I'm sure Anna will try soon) - but here's two things.  First, Romanians have a lot of words for jam.  Second, two of them, dulceață and șerbet, are things we don't really have in the UK, involving interesting ingredients like green walnut and aubergine, and mysterious old social rituals involving teaspoons and glasses of water.

It's often tempting to try to make what you see fit with what you already know.  So, given what we already knew about Ottoman influence on Eastern European cuisine, we quickly jumped to the conclusion that this must be a Turkish phenomenon - șerbet is a Turkish word, after all.  And when we reached Turkey, we did indeed find delicious walnut and aubergine jams.

But something didn't quite fit.  Why use a Latin word - dulceață - for something Turkish?  And although we saw plenty of şerbet in Turkey, we never got offered it in spoons or water.  Well, now that we've arrived in Greece, we've realised it's much more complicated than we thought ...

Getting fruity

turkey
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Smcandiedfig0001.JPGA good Turkish meal ends with fresh fruit, often artfully presented in slices and wedges on the plate.  You might get kiwis, strawberries, oranges, apples or any number of stone fruit when in season.  But apart from this occasional appearance, fresh fruit is surprisingly hard to find.  I could suppose that this is due to the long history and widespread custom of preserving fruit so it can be enjoyed all year, a taste for which the sweet-toothed Turks maintain to this day in cities and villages alike.

It's sweet in Turkey

turkey
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Smplatelokum0001.JPGDrinking tea all day has contributed towards to the sweet tooth I seem to have developed in Turkey, as the little glass is always served with two sugar lumps on the side.  (Except in the Southeast, where you usually get three - Southeasterners liking their foods generally spicier, sweeter and tangier than their equivalents in the rest of the country.)  Sugar is found in large doses in many of the Turks’ favourite foods...

Through the kitchens of Romania

romania
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Smmattsteu0001.JPG Coming to Romania from Hungary was a huge change, primarily because we know lots of people in Romania and speak a bit of the language.   Both of these bonuses, plus the Romanian people's unrivalled hospitality, meant we could spend far more time inside people's kitchens learning about the cuisine - either by being invited in or by inviting ourselves in.  And seeing so many old friends really made it feel like a home from home.

We got straight down to business by heading up into the Apuseni Mountains to sample two stalwarts of Romanian cuisine: ţuică (plum firewater) and slănină (bacon without the meaty bits).  Here we were reminded that it is the grannies who do everything and know everything, from curing your own bacon and making your own cheese to preserving your pig's stomach in a bucket

Mum's marmalade

uk
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When I was 4, my dad gave my mother 'The Times Cookery Book' by Katie Stewart for Christmas, doubtlessly not for entirely altruistic reasons.  She's been making Katie's marmalade every January since.  The house being filled with the sweet-sour aromas of Seville oranges cooking in their own syrup is a favourite childhood memory.  Mum's excellent 2008 vintage prompted me to write it up, complete with her own and Katie's tips.


marmalade.JPG

So, we are STILL in the UK, waiting for our new car (it's a red one, and actually quite old) to be fixed up.  We still have a few essentials to buy (plug adaptors, espresso cups, etc), but hopefully next week's email will come from Paris...

Many thanks to those who have sent us tips for where to go and other useful contacts for our travels.  Please keep them coming.

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