Kitchen news 7th June

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So finally we’re getting the cold weather we’ve been wondering about all autumn… all the wintry effects in one weekend even! One day we’re swimming down at the beach and only a week later we’re battening down the hatches against the #stormageddon! I do love the change of season (for about a week anyway) when the big casserole pot gets brought out for repeat usage on the stove and my pink fluffy slippers are unearthed from the back of the wardrobe.

Luckily in the cottage we had pre-empted the change to cool and had written up some delicious and warming dishes for the menu… Kale and potato soup with poached eggs for example: instead of sautéing off the onion and then sweating in the potato with garlic and other soupy mirepoix bits, in effect layering the flavours, we bung everything in at once, more or less, cook it up and then plop the eggs in to poach in the actual soup itself! The ingredients by themselves nothing to write home about necessarily, but together make up the most tasty and soul-warming combo… and I’ve even had a few parents stop me in the playground to say they had made it at home over the storms.

Moroccan chickpea hotpot has made a comeback too, all the lovely cinnamon, smoked paprika and cumin flavours mingling away in one chunky broth and then finished with my favourite herb of all: fresh coriander. Some kids are yet to fully grasp a love of chickpeas (my own included) but I’m giving it all I’ve got and won’t stop at yuck!

Pizza is back on the menu, this time as a tomato-less pizza bianca, with spinach, roasted garlic and ricotta and it has been going down a treat. Of course it would, it’s pizza!

And we’ve even managed a salad: A warm salad of bok choy, roasted eggplant, goats cheese and the last of the little baby bush tomatoes. The flavours sing with a basil-infused basting sauce, and a little sweet aged balsamic drizzle to finish.

A few groups finished off the current crop of rhubarb to bottle a gorgeous jam with vanilla bean to sell later in the year at Grandparents Day on Friday 16th September and at the Kitchen Garden stall at the Halloween Fete on Sunday 30th October… my store cupboards are looking very healthy already with stocks of bouillon, marinated olives, mandarine marmalade and the rhubarb and vanilla jam all ready to be labelled! So save your pennies for those…

Have a good week and stay warm!

Melissa

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