Tag: food

It’s only a Lemon Possett but I like it…

Suddenly Spring is here and it’s nearly Easter! My little man is gorgeous but he’s quite the time waster! Between playing with him, snuggling him and the actual job of caring for him (not to mention the amount of cleaning and laundry he contributes to) I don’t seem to have time for much else!

We have family visiting for the Easter weekend which I’m really looking forward to. I like spending holidays with family and it seems all the more appropriate now I have a little one – I want him to know and cherish his extended family, so it’s good to start early.

I’ve been menu planning this week and chose a rather drizzly day to try out some recipes.

I decided it was time I tried an old favourite – Lemon Possett. I first heard of this in an episode of The Box of Delights. After an icy dip in a river, one of the children asks the maid if she can make him a possett to eat. Having done some research it seems the possett has changed a little over the years. It is definitely vintage – dating back to medieval times when it was a warm milky drink, whereas today it’s somehow become a smooth creamy dessert.

It’s a very easy thing to make. Just three ingredients, only a few minutes of preparation – and allow a few hours to chill of course. I used James Martin’s recipe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lemonpossetwithlemon_85812) but there doesn’t seem to be much variation in methods. There are a few different flavours – I plan to try the orange and the rhubarb versions!

I served it in my Woodsware Iris teacups with a little shortbread biscuit on the side. Really rather pleased with the overall look. It would be a very good dinner party dessert as it can be prepared the day before, the flavour is lovely and the silky texture makes it feel like a luxurious desssert even though it’s quick and easy to make. For some reason, light, citrussy flavours seem apt for Spring, making it a perfect addition to my Easter meal.

It is with a menu planning head on I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like It!

It’s only Eve’s Pudding but I like it…

I don’t have any fruit trees in my garden, which is something I plan to remedy in the new year, until then I rely on the kindness of others for my Autumn fruit. I’ve been lucky enough this year to be given some by a student at school and by a work colleague. My challenge now is using them up!

As much as I love crumble, I like to vary my apple recipes. This is one I found on BBCGoodFood and one I have tried to make previously without success! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/252606/eves-pudding

Eve’s Pudding is an apple based dish with a sponge topping, named after the Biblical Eve who tempted Adam with an apple! The first time I made it (years ago) my batter was quite thin, it just spread out and seeped into the apples. Not so with this recipe! I like the fact it’s made with soft brown sugar – it adds some depth and richness. It smelled fab as it came out of the oven and the apples hadn’t gone completely mushy which I quite liked! It made a nice big dish of pudding which we shared with my sister and there’s still some left for tomorrow. Or at least it’s in the fridge calling to me… It might still be there tomorrow!


It is with some temptation I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Crumble but I like it…

My sister doesn’t like crumble. She refers to it alternately as ‘poor man’s pie’ or ‘sugary grit’. I for one think she’s missing a trick. I also think she doesn’t do a lot of baking – how can you not love a desert that takes minutes to prepare? No making of pastry, then letting it cool, then rolling it out, trimming it and hoping it’ll bake through when it makes it to the oven. Crumble is fail safe, quick and I always forget how tasty it is.

I’m lucky to have been offered cooking apples from one of my pupil’s gardens for the second year in a row. We enjoyed our first apple crumble of the season this weekend and we’ll polish off a few more before we head into the festive period I’m sure.

If you’ve never made a crumble then shame on you. Here are the ingredients and the method courtesy of Be-Ro – have a go. I guarantee ‘sugary grit’ will be the last words on your lips…


50 g (2 oz) margarine
100 g (4 oz) Be-Ro Self Raising Flour
50 g (2 oz) sugar


1. Heat oven to 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas Mark 5.
2 Place sweetened fresh fruit or canned fruit in ovenproof dish.
3 Rub fat into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Add sugar, mix thoroughly and spread evenly over the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes until fruit is cooked and top is golden.


It is with Autumn deja vu I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only ‘Bubble and Squeak’ but I like it…

I know it’s not glamorous, or trendy or even expensive but I find there to be something incredibly comforting in a simple bowl of bubble and squeak.

For the uninitiated – maybe you were raised by wolves? – bubble and squeak is basically leftover potatoes and vegetables, mashed up and gently fried until crispy and golden. It is often served after a roast dinner – using up remaining vegetables, and is a staple at Christmas time in the days following Christmas, when it is delicious served alongside all those cold meats that hang around for weeks!


It was served a lot during World War Two when rationing meant families had to work hard to make small amount of food last across several meals and very little went in the bin. I find that kind of thinking very appealing and hate to throw any foodstuffs away – I’m always looking for recipes that used the leftover, the dogeared and the slightly stale.

I love my bubble and squeak with a big dollop of brown sauce and veggie sausages. How do you take yours?

It is with a thought for the wolf-raised I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Welsh Rarebit but I like it…

Autumn is definitely here and it is still my favourite season. I love the cold crisp weather, the warm cosy clothes and I think possibly most of all I love the food.

I like making hot desserts and baking potatoes until they’re soft and fluffy inside, warm steaming casseroles with piles of mash and I like coming in cold from a walk or a shopping expedition to a hot snack for lunch.

One of my favourites is one of the national dishes of Wales: Welsh Rarebit. I’ve always been a bit embarrassed that our national dish is essentially cheese on toast, but over the years I’ve come to love it and find it a very comforting taste.


There are various ways of making it and various ingredients that can be added or omitted depending on your tastes. I personally am not a fan of adding ale to it and I stick to four essential ingredients:

a nice strong, tasty cheddar

some coarse grain mustard

a finely chopped onion

an uncut loaf of granary bread

Grate yourself a good portion of cheese, add a teaspoon or too of coarse grain mustard and as much finely chopped onion as you can bear. Mix this altogether in a bowl and spread liberally over a thick wedge of bread that has been toasted on one side. Let it toast slowly under a medium grill until it is golden and bubbling.

I like it with a big hot mug of tea, but again, whatever works for you is good. Sometimes, the old classic snacks are the best. This will warm you from the inside out on a cold day and be a virtual Welsh hug – the best kind!

It is with a desire for a cwtch I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Raspberry Bakewell but I like it…

Following a discussion during The Great british Bake Off I decided it was time I give Bakewell Tarts a go as my never-baked-it-before challenge. The Dr (my fiancé) is not a big fan of nuts in cake but he agreed it’d be ok if they were ground nuts, plus it’s a Northern cake so I had the go ahead!

Whilst looking for recipes on the BBC Good Food website (often my go-to when looking for recipes) I found this recipe:Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 12.53.43

It looked tasty and it looked easy and it had over 300 good reviews so that was enough for me!


It was super easy to make and just involved whizzing ingredients up to make the cake batter, then layering it into the tin with some fresh raspberries in-between. The Dr ate two slices and didn’t complain about the nuts so I’m calling that a success.

RB2It seemed like a good excuse to use my new Beryl china too so I did enjoy a pot of tea with my cake. All in all a very nice experience! Of course, I still have to make the traditional Bakewell Tarts with pastry case and a layer of jam. Next weekend perhaps…


It is with a plan for the weekend I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!


It’s only ‘Back in time for Dinner’ but I like it…

I’m doing this post a day early because I want to share something with you before it’s too late. I had a call from my Mum a few weeks back. On answering she merely yelled “Put BBC 2 on!” And hung up.

This is something we do in my family. It is perfectly normal to bring a TV or radio programme to someone’s attention by yelling “Put ITV on, now. NOW!” down the phone in the manner of the navy clearing an area due to a nuclear waste leak. As kids, if someone’s favourite song was on the radio we’d run at said person, brandishing the radio like a weapon.

Anyway, this odd but endearing trait paid off this time as, when I figured out what was on BBC 2 at that time, I was actually quite intrigued.

Let me introduce you to ‘Back in Time for Dinner’:


The premise is that the Robshaw family have their homes, clothes and diets transformed into those of a different decade. They begin in the 1950s and it is actually quite a shock to see their very basic kitchen – no fridge, washing machine, even toaster. We watch them munch on  basic and bland post war rationing meals. The rather rough whole meal ‘national loaf’ being the apotheosis of the grimness.


After 10 days the family enter a new decade and the transformation from the 50s to the 60s was quite a shock. The Robshaws take each new indignity with good humour and, to soften each blow, they do get a few encounters with celebs. Mary Berry sells them their first gas oven (is there no end to her talents?) and one of the Hairy Bikers helps Mrs Robshaw to make some really rank-looking gelatine dishes.


They are good sports this family – even the children show willing and there are some fun moments – especially when things go wrong. Spotting the fashions is fun, I love it each time they make changes to the house decor and even some of the foods and recipes are interesting.


Grab your shopping basket and head over to iPlayer. You won’t be disappointed…

It is with a desire for a pea and gelatine side dish I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Chutney but I like it…

I’m back, I’m still preserving and this time it’s personal!

i have briefly, mentioned my love of preserves and it’s ability to brighten up my vegetarian sandwiches. I love the tangy, aromatic sludge and it’s contrast with the creamy, crumbly cheddar that is still my ‘go to’ cheese despite having tried many varieties.

I started making my own chutney a long time ago now and was impressed by how easy, how cheap and how consistent it was. I have had many culinary disasters in my time but never in the chutney arena.

One of my favourites is onion chutney – a great balance of sweet and sour, rich and glossy, it’s a real palate pleaser.

I used this recipe with a few adaptations when I made some chutney recently http://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/caramelised-onion-chutney.html .

I’m not supposed to have tasted it yet, but I couldn’t wait – it’s delicious!

I’ve a craving for some spiced apple chutney – another favourite! So that may be my next project. Until then…

It is with a watering mouth I say:
It’s only Vintage but I like it!