No. 64 - March 2008
Welcome to the Recipes4us Newsletter. If you have any suggestions, additions or interesting questions for the newsletter, please write to me at Newsletter@Recipes4us.co.uk .
Happy Cooking !
Florence Sandeman, Editor
What chefs do when they're bored?
Click the picture to enlarge
This Month's Features
British Yorkshire Pudding Day attracted numerous articles including one featuring Sir Jimmy Savil. To see them all click here.
See main entry on the right
Dried Beans & Peas
Click the picture to find out the difference between the two, the various types, history, nutritional values, general cooking tips plus lots of recipes
Cooking by Country
As the publisher of a British site I am ashamed that it's taken so long to feature Wales in this section. Click the picture to find out about Welsh cuisine (so much more than Laver Bread), and culinary history, plus lots of recipes. Just in time for St. David's Day.
Food in Film
Click the film to see the next in the series.
What's in Season in
Click here to see what's in season this month and to find a UK Farmers' Market near you. There are Lots of seasonal recipes too
Click the picture to find this month's weekday menus to help you plan your meals and shopping weeks ahead. Each weekday has a main course, suggested vegetable accompaniments plus a dessert which have been planned to supply you with a balanced diet. It's also been designed so that you can interchange one day's menu with another in the same grouping and most of the main courses are ready to serve in less than 40 minutes - great for working people.
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PD of London, UK
This is a new section which is dedicated to pairing food with various sporting events. I got the idea from my Sister (in Law) Vivienne, who for many years has prepared meals for herself and her husband Peter - both avid motor sports fans - which correspond to the various countries hosting Formula 1 races during the season.
I've taken things one step further and am including other sporting events such as the Football premiership, Rugby 6 Nations and Cricket. As well as recipes, I have also added some basic information about the sport including any relevant fixture calendars, brief history etc., and I hope to be adding to the section as and when major sporting events arise. Click the picture to visit the section.
March 1st is St. David's Day
St. David's Day Flag
St David's Day is the traditional day of the Welsh. Dewi Sant as Saint David is called in the Welsh language, was a Celtic monk who lived in the sixth century. He even has his own flag - the Black Flag with yellow cross is the flag of St. David.
As well as adding a whole page on Welsh cuisine in our Cooking by Country section, the St. David's day page has also recently been updated to include more information about the Patron Saint of Wales
March is National Noodle Month (US)
Is spaghetti a noodle? In an attempt to clarify the matter here's a definition of what a noodle is:-
The main difference between noodles and spaghetti is that, in addition to flour and water, noodles contain eggs or egg yolks. Noodles can be cut into flat, thick or thin strips of various lengths.
Why not try making your own with the aid of these specialist kitchenware items
March 17th is St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland and is known for having spread Christianity in Ireland. St. Patrick's Day celebrations take place all over the world, not only by Irish people but also by many with or without an Irish ancestry. So, even if you're not Irish, why not celebrate this world famous day by cooking up something from the Emerald Isle.
The St. Patrick's day page has recently been updated with more information about this world famous saint plus LOTS of recipes. AND if you want to know about Ireland's rich culinary history you can visit the Ireland Cooking by Country page.
23rd March is EASTER Day
The Easter page has recently been updated to include lots more information such as why the date keeps moving, foods associated with Easter, including the origins of Chocolate Easter eggs, future dates. . . right up to the year 2030, plus a complete menu with time plan.
Food in the News . . . .
Campaigners reject claims GM answer to food prices
21-Feb-2008 - Europe must scrap its bio fuel targets to combat the upward spiral of food prices, say green campaigners, discarding claiming that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are the answer.
>>>>> more (External Link)
March is National Sauce Month (US)
Perk up your meals with a well flavoured sauce. We have over 100 sauce recipes on the site, so you're bound to find one to accompany whatever you're cooking.
Don't forget salsas too which is the Mexican word for SAUCE. Click the links below for lots of sauce recipes.
How does your Kitchen Garden grow
Even if you haven't decided what you want to grow yet, bought your seed or planned your planting, you still have plenty of time. No need to fret about ordering your seed either: today's garden centres have an increasingly large range of vegetable seeds to choose from including the miniature varieties.
Although March is thought to be the usual time for sowing many vegetable seeds, do keep an eye on the weather. At the moment we have had some extremely cold days and nights over here in the UK and I for one am certainly not even contemplating sowing any seeds until the very end of the month.
If you are enjoying more clement spring weather then below are some of the seeds you can start to sow.
Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, dill, summer cabbage, carrots, turnips cauliflowers, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, peas lettuce, marjoram, parsnips, radish, spinach, spring onions
Aubergines, Capsicums (Sweet peppers), Chives, mint, oregano parsley, rosemary, sage, sweet basil thyme, tomatoes
Although Iíve given you a list of suitable seeds to sow indoors, once again you should keep an eye on outdoor conditions before hardening them off and placing permanently outside. Once theyíve germinated, it wonít be long before indoor sown plants start to romp away, and extended delays in planting them out could leave you struggling with weak lanky plants. If in doubt, sow a couple of weeks later than you had anticipated.
For detailed growing instructions on the above-mentioned visit growing herbs and vegetables section
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and the chance to work with world famous chef Raymond Blanc
* * * Gardening Special * * *
Here in the UK March heralds the coming of spring and my mind always turns to growing edible produce. I have had my lapses, although most years I am harvesting fresh, chemical free produce as early as May.
This year I've decided to grow a couple of slightly unusual items which I've never grown before from seed, and have set myself the challenge of documenting all the stages, both in writing and with photos, the results of which I'll include in future newsletters. Also, I'm moving away from the usual herbs and vegetables and growing fruit.
Whilst looking at an online seed catalogue, I found two items which caught my imagination. Strawberries which bear fruit the same year the seeds are sown and outdoor watermelons.
As some you you will already know from past newsletters, I don't have a "garden" as such. I have a relatively large hard terrace, which accommodates numerous pots and containers of various sizes, in which I grow all of my produce.
Hopefully, this little exercise of mine will encourage those of you who don't have access to garden beds to have a go and to those of you who are fortunate to have a proper garden, I hope it will open up the huge possibilities you have to grow all manner of edible herbs, vegetables....and fruit for your family and friends.
I am keeping EVERYTHING crossed that I am successful with the challenge and have something to show and eat by the end of it. However, as a long term gardener (over 40 years) I know how things can sometimes go haywire. Whatever happens, good or bad, I'll be sharing the results with you over the coming months' newsletters.
So, I'm putting my money, (or rather my reputation - such as it is) where my mouth is !
The Challenge - Part One
Having ordered the seeds on 12th February they were delivered by post within 5 working days so I am ready to rock.
Same year fruiting Strawberries
The variety is Sarian which is an F1 hybrid. An F1 hybrid is the result of crossing, often by hand, two specially selected parent plants resulting in plants which are usually very uniform and often very prolific and the added consequence of the seed always more expensive.
What really caught my imagination was that the blurb said you could harvest the fruit the same year as sowing the seed, which isn't unusually the case for strawberries, so I thought I'd give it a go.
As the packet says they can be sown from January to April, I got straight on with it. After sowing on the surface of damp compost, I enclosed in a plastic bag as instructed.
The seeds are supposed to germinate within 21 days so hopefully, they will have done so by the time the next newsletter is due.
I was so excited when I found these seeds. I absolutely LOVE watermelon, but I often can't be bothered to cart a whole one home from the shops.
The variety is Yellow Baby and, as the name suggests, it is yellow rather than red, and capable of being grown outside - no mean feat for our temperate weather in the UK. Now I'll be honest, I have my doubts about this working, but I'm going to give it my best shot.
The instructions say it can be sown outdoors after all danger of frost but I'm going to give mine a head start and sow them indoors. The only problem is the instructions say to sow them indoors "4-6 weeks prior to last frost". How am I supposed to know when that will be? I'll probably take a chance and sow them indoors at the end of March.
Whether you're looking for everyday, exotic or unusual food and drink, visit
UKFoodOnline.co.uk Food shopping has never been easier !
Recipe of the Month
Crunchy Ice Cream Slice
In keeping with the Easter theme, below is a recipe which includes lots of ingredients traditionally not eaten during Lent, courtesy of Cadbury's (Burtonís Foods). Both kids and adults will love this.
1 litre good quality vanilla ice cream
0.5 litre good quality chocolate ice cream
1 x 150g pack Cadbury Fingers
Preparation Time: 1 hour plus freezing
1. Remove the ice cream from the freezer for 5 minutes to soften
2. Line a 2 lb loaf tin with cling film. Making sure there is some cling film overlapping the edge of the tin
3. Place 12 Cadbury Fingers along the bottom of the tin, ensuring the flat bottom of the Cadbury Finger is pointing upwards. Spoon over the vanilla ice cream. Flatten down with a spoon. Top with the remaining Cadbury Fingers
4. Top with the chocolate ice cream, flattening down with a back of a spoon.
5. Wrap with the overlapping cling film and place in the freezer for 3-4 hours or until frozen
6. When ready to serve, turn out on a plate and remove the cling film and slice.
*Note: This recipe is delicious with whatever flavour ice cream you have in the freezer, whether itís strawberry, just vanilla, banana etc.
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