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Untitled We went to visit Cotehele Estate today – a favourite place in the summer with its quay and mill and old house, with amazing kitchens, but in winter it is largely shut down, and for a lesser fee you can visit the gardens and the tea rooms (!) and go and look at the long long flower garland they put up every winter. For the first time, we remembered to go and see it Untitled
I didn’t realise just how vibrant it would be, dried flowers are, in my mind, beige. But this was just beautiful. All grown on the estate.

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beetroot hummus

beetroot hummus
If, like us, you like to prepare a halloween feast full of revolting themed foods, a sure winner is beetroot hummus.  A lurid colour, but all natural, and actually very very tasty.

beetroot hummus

250g cooked beetroot

480g cooked chickpeas (~225g dried pre-cooked weight)

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp salt

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp dark tahini (although it works without tahini – add more lemon juice and olive oil)

a good slug of olive oil

Peel the beetroot, if necessary. Then blend everything, and season to taste, adding more oil to get a smooth spreadable texture.

pink apple juice

Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsIt’s juicing time of year again, and this year the apple juice is pink Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This is because we have had our first harvest of the variety ‘redlove’.  It make for  good garden apple tree as the leaves are dark the flowers dark pink and the fruit dark red. As a juicing apple it is interesting as the flesh and juice are also red, and only a little added to the press makes the juice a beautiful shade of pink.

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As usual, we pre froze the apples, and in this picture this is how they look once defrosted – a little sad, but it does help with the juicing, you can practically squeeze them by hand after a brief freeze.  The other variety of apple we use is an unknown apple that the previous owner grew from a pip. We call this variety ‘bejeezus’, as we have found it is not particularly good for eating or cooking, but ideal for juicing resulting in juice sweet enough to drink without added sugar, that is also good for making wine and cider with too.  This year we shall probably have it as juice, as the cider stocks are still high.  Why we call it ‘bejeezus’? because once we realised we were going to freeze and press these apples, less care is needed when picking, and our method is to hook the shepherd’s crook around branches and shake the bejeezus  out of the tree, resulting in apples raining down hard, (and sometimes painfully) – making a fast harvesting process.  Mr CIG was a little surprised the first time I did this, and hadn’t shared my plan with him, but  he ducked fast…

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raspberry cordial

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raspberry cordial

400g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
400g sugar
300 ml water
30ml/ 2 tbsp lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook like this for 5 or 10 minutes, until the fruit has broken down. Strain and bottle in a sterilised bottle. Makes about 3/4 of a litre.

Keep in the fridge and use within a couple of weeks. Dilute to taste, with water, fizzy water, sparkling wine, or cider.

soft fruit

18958845944_b5d9189a4f_oWe have been picking soft fruit for some weeks. here at Colour it Green towers.  We have raspberries, blackcurrants, loganberries, wild strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

I realise I have listed raspberries twice, but there are so many of them, they deserved a second mention.  Our raspberry bed is a jungle. I haven’t been in and pruned out the old wood, the paths are lost to junior raspberry canes taking over triffid style, and the bed also seems to have willow, buddleia and bramble and bindweed, which we attempt to remove once we have climbed in for picking.  Still we are picking about a kilo of raspberries a day, we still have some of last year’s in the freezer, and for reasons that seemed logical at the time, last winter also established a bed of yellow autumn fruiting raspberries … Suffice to say, we need more ways to use raspberries. loganberry pavlova and a sunset

Firm favourites are raspberry crumble, jam, smoothies, in rumptopf, pavlova ice-cream, and eton mess (made with easy microwave meringues),  and raspberry flapjacks

I have a few recipes I haven’t shared yet and so will set about setting that right over the next few weeks, as well as trying some new ones.

Raspberry recipes very welcome.

UntitledA family trip out to visit the tiny 13 Century church perched on Brentor. Sort of Devon’s answer to Glastonbury Tor, this is visible for miles around, but the church is still complete, and views are not of levels, but open moors and Plymouth sound – and impressive views they are too. Untitled

It’s only a short (steep) climb to the church, so we also popped along to nearby Wheal Betsy, the remains of the engine house to a mine.
UntitledLooking up the leaning tower is a guaranteed way to vertigo! It is well worth the climb down to the ruins, and a perfect picnic spot Untitled