No. 50 - November 2006
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Happy Cooking !
Florence Sandeman, Editor
Stew early to go to bed.
What's New This Month
Cooking by Country
Click the picture to find out about Scottish cuisine including history and of course lots of recipes
Food in Film
Click the film to see the next in the series....an old time family favourite!
What's in Season
Apples, Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chestnuts, Courgettes, Figs, Kale, Leeks, Onions, parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Perpetual Spinach, Squash, Turnips, Vegetable Marrow, Walnuts, Watercress
At Your Convenience
from a packet and a tin ...
Don't just use instant mash potato as an accompaniment or topping for a quick shepherd's pie, make the mixture up a little stiffer than usual (just use a little less water) then add tinned salmon or crab to make easy fishcakes. Give it extra flavour by adding finely chopped chillies, garlic salt or thinly sliced spring onion. and for an added crunch, dip into beaten egg and dried breadcrumbs before shallow frying.
How does your Kitchen Garden grow
So long as the frost hasn't got to them, continue to pot up plants of Basil, Marjoram, Oregano and Parsley and grow them indoors on windowsills for a fresh supply of herbs.
There are a few vegetable seeds which can be sown now including Hardy varieties of board beans and winter lettuce plus spring greens and early carrots. You can also plant garlic and shallot sets.
If you've grown Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, continue to remove any leaves which have turned yellow.
Don't forget to start planning next years herb gardens and vegetable plots. Many seed catalogues are now available and it's a nice way to spend a winter's evening and we've made it even more simple by including the heights and spread of many vegetable plants so you can plan a border which includes flowers for a more ornamental look.
You can also consider making a cold frame which means you can sow seed earlier for earlier harvesting.
For detailed growing instructions visit our specialist growing herbs and vegetables section
Countdown to Christmas .....
Culinary jobs for November
I know I mentioned this last year at this time, but for the benefit of readers who have subscribed since then I'd like to share my late mother-in-law's secret for Christmas pudding making as she was an excellent Christmas Pudding maker. Her secret was to make them early and to re-boil/steam then for a couple of hours every two weeks or so. The result was an incredibly dark rich pudding, a tablespoon of which was sufficient for me. And it makes 1 medium sized pudding go a long way.
If you want to make a traditional cake with marzipan and icing, ideally, once you've covered the cake with the marzipan, you should wait a week before icing....longer if
you wish and once iced, it will last for weeks in a cake tin. So why not start it now. One less thing to think about.
If you want to get a fresh one from your supermarket, or anywhere else, you'd do well to order it now.
Before Turkey became popular in the UK, Goose was the chosen bird for Christmas. Why not try it for a change. Or for something completely different why not try Venison? Many high street retailers don't sell venison roasting cuts so really, if you want to try it you should order it now.
Happy Planning !
Food in the News . . . .
Sales of Kale Increase
According to a recent news article, Kale, sometimes called Borecole, has made a huge comeback in the UK. Certainly I can remember a time when you never saw kale in supermarkets at all. Today, Kale has joined the merry band of “Super-Foods” ranking along side blueberries, acai and noni. Why? Well it is a good source of folic acid, lutein, iron, calcium, fibre and antioxidant Vitamins (A and C)….amongst other things.
Shame on me – I only had three recipe for Kale on the whole site, but it is now rectified! Here are a three more to ensure you get your Kale-ories.
More >>> (external link to full article)
! ! ! STOP PRESS ! ! !
To Celebrate St. Andrew's Day (patron saint of Scotland) on 30th November I have added Scotland to the Cooking by Country section this month (see the link on the left). I know, for a British site, it's well overdue! For more information about St Andrew's Day, click the flag.
My husband just came back from walking the dogs with half a ton of chestnuts! - I have had a look at some of your recipes...I like the sound of the Chestnut Fritters - can these be frozen?
I wouldn't suggest you freeze the fritters but certainly, chestnuts can be frozen. Simply boil them until just tender then remove the shells and freeze in useable quantities in freezer bags.
Culinary Christmas Gift ideas from Recipes4us.
Order early - one less thing to think about !
We now accept all major credit and debit cards
When you get to the check-out just choose the option "If you do not currently have a PayPal account click here". You will not have to go through the process of signing up - we get your order immediately and payment is debited direct from your chosen card (including Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Delta, Electron, Solo and Switch).
This Book May contain Nuts is more than just a cookbook. As well as the 80 recipes (from carnivore to vegetarian, starters to desserts, simple to elegant, featuring many traditional dishes from global cuisines) it's gastronomically and educationally informative, A real gem of a cookery book worthy of adding to any collection.
To read a review about it click HERE.
Click HERE to order Online or Mail Order from this site
ISBN 095483240X Also available from Amazon.co.uk
Themed Spice Packs
Great as unusual "stocking fillers" for anyone who likes to cook especially if they like to experiment with flavours from around the world.
You can't get them anywhere else so click HERE to order.
Whether you're looking for everyday, exotic or unusual food and drink, visit
Food shopping has never been easier !
Recipe of the Month
Pecan Pear Muffins
This is a recipe which is taken from the Recipes4us book "This Book May Contain Nuts" which you can order online from our shop. Makes a great gift for discerning cooks. A wonderful recipe for this time of year when pears are in abundance. You can substitute the pecans with walnuts if you prefer.
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
225g/8oz Self Raising Flour
150g/+5oz Demerara Sugar
˝ teasp Salt
˝ teasp Ground Cinnamon
250g/9oz Ripe but firm Pears
50g/2oz coarsely chopped Pecan Nuts
1 tablespoon sugar
Makes 6 Large Muffins
Cold Vegetarian Cakes
Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F Gas Mark 6 and lightly grease a 6 hole muffin tin.
2. Place the milk, oil and egg in a small mixing bowl and whisk to thorough blend. Set aside.
3. Remove the cores from the pears but leave the skin on then chop the flesh into 12mm/ ˝ -inch pieces. Set aside.
4. Place the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, stir to combine then add the chopped pear and pecans and toss to coat and distribute evenly throughout the mixture.
5. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture then pour in the egg mixture and stir until just moistened. Do not over mix.
6. Divide the mixture between the greased muffin cups sprinkle with the white sugar and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool a little then remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.
New and featured Recipes
V = Vegetarian GF = Gluten/wheat Free DF = Dairy Free
Soups & Starters
Fennel a la Grecque Vegan DF GF
Partan Bree GF
Scotch Broth DF
Desserts Cakes & Bakes
Garlic Baked Kale with Potatoes Vegan DF GF
Chilli Kale V GF
Cidered Beans Vegan DF GF
Neeps n Tatties V GF
Kailkenny V GF
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