No. 54 - April 2007

Welcome to the free monthly newsletter and we have yet another birthday .... our 7th! One again,  I am pleased to be able to say that we are still going strong,  and that the site is being visited by even more people - well over 6000 per day.  I'd like to thank you for your continued support and here's to the next 7 years. Don't forget - keep the faith -  spread the word as we can never have too many visitors.


If you have any suggestions for additions to this newsletter,   please write to me at . 


Happy Cooking ! 



Florence Sandeman, Editor



Food Funny

A man asked his wife " Where do you want to go for our anniversary?
She replies: “Somewhere I have never been before”
He says: How about the kitchen?

What's New This Month


Cooking by Country




Click the picture to find lots of information about Finnish cuisine   plus lots of recipes


Food in Film


Click the film to see the next in the series.


Baking Tip

Use a cosmetic powder puff to dust your baking sheets with to keep a large one solely for use in the kitchen



What's in Season

Asparagus, broccoli carrots, chervil,  early cucumbers,  Jersey Royal Potatoes,   kale,  morel mushrooms, radishes, rocket  rhubarb, rosemary, spinach, early strawberries, watercress -  don't forget  cockles, spring Lamb, brown crabs, lobsters and langoustines!



How does your  Kitchen Garden grow


Sowing is still the order of the day but unlike March, April is a time when you can sow the majority of vegetable and herb seeds outdoors unless there is an unusually long cold snap.



Continue to sow Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, dill, summer cabbage, carrots, turnips cauliflowers, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, peas, lettuce, marjoram, parsnips,  radish, spinach, spring onions


Start thinning out seeds which were sown last month but in order to prevent large gaps occurring, only thin to half the final distance.


Continue to sow Aubergines, Capsicums (Sweet peppers), Chives, mint,,  oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage,    sweet basil, thyme, tomatoes


Start thinning out seeds which were sown in pots or trays last month once they  are about 12mm/1/2" tall.. Don't delay too long as crowded plants not only fight for light, making them grow tall and spindly, but they are also more prone to damping off disease


For detailed growing instructions visit growing herbs and vegetables section



* * * Winner of February new subscriber prize draw * * *

MM of Northants, UK



19th April is National Garlic Day


Whether you love it or hate it, the health benefits of eating garlic are now universally hailed. Although native to Asia, it’s been used in various parts of the world for thousands of years both for culinary and medicinal purposes such as treating wounds, infections and intestinal parasites and is even mentioned in Egyptian hieroglyphs.


> > > > More






Readers' Questions


Please can you tell me why my pickled garlic has gone blue?


garlic contains anthocyanins, water-soluble pigments that turn blue, green or purple in an acid solution. Also it contains sulfur compounds which can react with copper. The amount of copper needed for this reaction is very small and is often found in normal water supplies. However, the garlic is still perfectly safe to eat.



23rd April is St. George's Day


Not only is it St. George's Day on 23rd April, it’s also Shakespeare’s birthday.  We have some super traditional English recipes on both the St. Georges day page and the England Cooking by Country page. 


As a bit of fun, we updated our St. George's Day page to include an interactive map so why not give it a try.

> > > > More

And in the words of the great bard

“And, most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath."
William Shakespeare, A midsummer nights dream



Food in the news.......


Human genes in rice sparks new GM row
Genetically modified rice containing human genes has received preliminary approval in the US, sparking new concerns and fears on both sides of the Atlantic.

> > > > More  External Link



26th April to 2nd May is National Bread Week


Bread in one form or another, is consumed the world over, so eating it during this celebratory week is something most of us will do without even thinking about it.  Whilst no-one is absolutely sure as to when the first bread was made, man has been eating, albeit a crude form of flatbread, since 10,000 BC. Certainly the ancient Egyptians were making leavened (raised) bread with yeast by 3000BC and it is thought that the workers who built the pyramids were paid in bread.

> > > > More




Recipe of the Month


Easter Humpty Biscuits

As 8th April is Easter Day, why not bake these funky  Easter Egg biscuits - great fun for kids....and adults too! My decorating skills were a bit off the day I baked these  - you can probably do better



Prep and cooking time: 35mins plus cooling
Makes approx 10 large biscuits

100g/4oz Butter or Margarine
100g/4oz Caster Sugar
1 large Egg
1 teasp Ground cinnamon
225g/8oz Plain Flour
50g/2oz Currants
A little Milk to glaze
Melted Chocolate

Coloured Icing

Extra currants to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas Mark 5 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

3. Add the egg and cinnamon and beat well.

4. Add the flour and currants, mix well then lightly knead.

5. Turn onto a floured work surface and roll out to just over 6mm/Ľ-inch) thickness.

6. Cut into circles using a cutter or glass, re-rolling the dough as necessary then using the heal of your hand, press and shape into egg shapes. The biscuits should be about 6mm/1/4-inch thick.

7. Arrange the biscuits on a baking tray, brush with milk and make eyes with the extra currants

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until pale golden.

9. Allow to cool on a wire rack before decorating. Use melted chocolate for the hair, pink icing for the lips and other coloured or white icing for the shirt and buttons.






Whether you're looking for everyday,  exotic or unusual food and drink,  visit  Food shopping has never been easier !


New and featured Recipes 

V = Vegetarian       GF = Gluten/wheat Free      DF = Dairy Free


Red Cabbage & Lingonberry Salad    Vegan  GF   DF

Sugared Lingonberries    Vegan  GF   DF

Egg Butter Spread           GF

Karelian Mushrooms            GF  

Hasselback Potatoes          GF  

Finnish Swede Casserole       

Parsley Dumplings    

Clapshot     V   GF

Stilton Mash    V 

Onion Gravy    DF

Bashed Neeps     V   GF

Stump   V   GF

Yorkshire Pudding/popovers   

Green Bean and Celeriac Gratin 

Roast Potatoes with Rosemary    V   GF  DF

Mushy Peas     V   GF

Pease Pudding    V   GF


Desserts Cakes & Bakes

Finnish Baked Apple        GF  

Sweet Buns      V

Unleavened Barley Bread      V

Karelian Pastries (3 recipes)       V

Bilberry Sponge       V

Rye Bread        DF

Pitta Bread    Vegan    DF

Rosemary Bread      Vegan   DF

Granary Bread  Vegan   DF

Bakewell Tart   V

Steamed Suet Pudding

Banoffie Pie   V

Bread and Butter Pudding   V

Victoria Sandwich   V

Singing Hinnies     V

Brandy Syllabub    V   GF

Spiced Pear Trifle    V

Poor Knights of Windsor     V

Treacle Tart  

Chester Pudding 

Ipswich Almond Pudding    

Sticky Toffee Pudding 

Baked Jam Roly Poly    DF

Manchester Tart  

Soups & Starters

Creamed Potato Soup        GF

Beetroot and Cabbage Soup      GF 

Savoury Mussels   GF  DF

Stilton and Walnut Pate      V

Stilton Pears    V

Salmon and Cucumber Mousse

Creamed Broccoli Soup

Stilton and Spinach Parcels      V 

Chestnut and Apple Soup   GF

London Particular    GF

Carrot and Cranberry Soup      V   GF

Tomato Anise Soup      Vegan   DF   GF

Leek Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup      GF

Fennel a la Grecque      Vegan   DF   GF

Herby Tomato Bruschetta      V

Honey Grilled Scallops   DF

Liver Pâté with Sherry      GF

Mediterranean Grilled Sardines    GF  DF

Fried Whitebait      DF


Main Courses 

Spiced Herring    GF   DF

Liver with Apple

Baked Stuffed Pike     GF 

Karjalanpaisti - Finnish Hot Pot      GF   DF

Reindeer Stew     DF

Linguine with Garlic Olive Oil    V

Fish and Chips

Macaroni Cheese     V  

Kedgeree    GF

Bubble and Squeak      GF

Panfried Chicken with Stilton

Cidered Mackerel with Rhubarb

Shepherd's Pie

Toad in the Hole

Jubilee Chicken

Red Leicester and Potato Bake    GF

Cornish Pasties  

Gloucestershire Squab Pie    GF

Beef Wellington

Berkshire Bacon Roly Poly Pudding     DF

Lancashire Hotpot  GF  DF 

Steak and Kidney Pie

Steak and Kidney Pudding


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