No. 68 - July 2008

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Happy Cooking ! 




Florence Sandeman, Editor


What chefs do when they're bored?

Click the picture to enlarge.


This Month's Features



History of Food

New Section !


Whilst researching on the internet for a couple of this month's features, I came across some interesting historical data, so I've decided to start a new section which will feature information about the origins of recipes or culinary related items such as ingredients, dining, farming and agriculture. There are a few articles were already on the site in some form or another, so you may have come across them before, but it's well worth you taking a look

As usual, I hope to be adding lots more over the coming months.





Culinary Videos


New Additions !



We've added a few more instruction videos to this new section. Remember. there's no need to download anything. Click the picture to go to the main Cooking Videos page.




Pasta Machines



This is the latest addition to the Kitchen/Cookware section where we tell you everything you need to know about  choosing and using pasta makers. Click the picture.



Food in Film



Click the film to see the next in the series.


Weekday Menus


Click the picture to find July's weekday menus to help you plan your meals and shopping weeks ahead.  Each weekday has a main course, suggested vegetable side dishes and accompaniments plus a dessert, which have been planned to supply you with a balanced diet. It's also been designed so that you can interchange one day's menu with another in the same grouping and most of the main courses are ready to serve in less than 40 minutes - great for working people.



What's in Season in



Click here to see what's in season this month and to find a UK Farmers' Market near you. There are Lots of seasonal recipes too





How does your  Kitchen Garden grow




Plants such as courgettes, marrows, runner, dwarf and green beans and outdoor cucumbers should be romping away by now. Make sure you keep them well watered and weed free.


Continue to make small sowings of carrots, lettuce, radish, spinach and spring onions to ensure a continuous harvest. although a good alternative is to just harvest every other plant. that way, you can have young small tender veggies now whilst leaving some to grow on. This method works especially well with Carrots, spring onions, turnips  and beetroot.


When harvesting spinach, leaf beet and loose leaved lettuce, only harvest a few outside leaves from each plant, allowing the plants to keep throwing up new leaves.


Check the ties and staking of taller plants such as beans and tomatoes , loosening or tightening as necessary.


Cordon tomatoes

Pinch out side shoots which will appear where the leaves join the stems, when they are about 2.5cm/1" long. Once tomatoes have developed on 4 or 5 trusses, pinch out the growing tip.

Aubergines and Capsicums

Fine spraying of plants with water helps encourage fruit to set. Limit to 5 or 6 fruits per plant. Once the fruit start to swell, feed with tomato food each time you water.


Courgettes and Marrows

Pinch out growing tips of trailing varieties when they reach 60cm/2ft long or have 6-8 leaves. Keep very well watered but only water around the plants and feed with liquid fertiliser once the fruits begin to form.  Continual cropping is necessary to prolong the harvesting period. Start cutting courgettes at about 10cm/4" and Marrows at about 20cm/8".


For detailed growing instructions visit growing herbs and vegetables section



Canada Day



1st July is Canada Day. Click the picture for a wealth of information about Canadian Cuisine plus lots of recipes.



4th July is Caesar Salad Day 


Caesar Salad is probably one of the best known salads along with Waldorf and Greek salads, but with so many variations being made and served today, the original recipe may surprise you.


Further still, if you thought the name derives from the great Caesars of Rome, and you had notions of Julius Caser, Caligula or Nero tucking into this wonderful dish you'll be equally surprised as to where it was first made.


 >>>> more



7th - 13th July is National Salad Week (UK)


I came across this UK national food week whilst browsing  the internet. Unfortunately, I'm not sure which week has been chosen for 2008 so, rather than not feature it at all, I'm going to use the same dates as the last one which is  7th - 13th July. I also found a US Salad week 25th - 31st July.


The first thing which comes to mind is usually items such as lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and the like however, today many other recipes have the word "salad" in their title which don't utilise traditional salad ingredients.

> > > > More



July is National Hotdog Month (USA)

To most of us, hot dogs are intrinsically linked with the USA and baseball, but as with many foods, where they end up being the most popular doesn't necessarily prove their origins.

> > > >  More



July is National Ice Cream Month (USA)


There's nothing better than home made ice cream. . . . and you don't have to have an expensive ice cream maker to get excellent results.   We have a few pages dedicated to this favourite dessert:-


National Ice Cream Month

Visit this page for information on types of ice creams


History of Ice Cream

One of the first in our new section "History of Food".


Guide to choosing Ice Cream Makers

An excellent starting place for those thinking of buying ice cream makers


Just  Ice Cream Recipes

All the ice cream and other types of ices recipes all in one place.


Below are some recipes for homemade accompaniments to serve with your homemade ice cream.

Chocolate Sauce   

Toffee Sauce 


Meringue Nests 



Other notable food dates in July include:-

14th Macaroni Day
30th National Cheesecake Day
17th  National Ice Cream Day
National Pickle Month



New Sporting Event



I've decided to get my feet wet with the latest in the Sports Event: Cowes Week - one of the UKs longest running and most successful sporting events.  Click the picture to read more about it including a little history plus, of course,  a related recipe.



* * * Gardening Challenge * * *


Recap:  Whilst looking at an online seed catalogue, I found two items which caught my imagination.  Strawberries which bear fruit the same year the seeds are sown and outdoor watermelons. Having never grown either of these from seed before, I decided I'd put my money where my mouth is and document  the various stages in this newsletter.   Remember, I'll be growing these on in containers as I don't have a "proper" garden. . . . . just a large terrace


The Challenge - Part  Five

Same year fruiting Strawberries

The variety is Sarian




I am very happy to report that the one remaining plant (of the original 9 which germinated)  is doing very well. I've hardened it off and re-potted it into a 4-inch pot and it is growing outside quite well. So things are looking promising and hopefully I'll get some strawberries from it this the packet said I would.


I also have 3 seedlings from a second batch which I sowed last month and whilst these are very late (and very small) I'm hoping I'll be able to keep them going for cropping next year.

Outdoor Watermelons

The variety is Yellow Baby


BETTER NEWS (of sorts)


In an effort to produce something (ANYTHING!)  for all my troubles, I decided to sow all the seeds I had left. I sowed them outside (in my makeshift cold frame).


I now have 3 seedlings which have produced "true" leaves i.e. not just the first pair of seed leaves.


I doubt very much that I'll get any fruit as time is marching on, but I still want to keep on with them just to see  what happens.


This is a thumbnail: click for larger picture


Recipe of the Month


Parmesan and Pomegranate Salad

In keeping with National Salad Week, here's an easy to prepare dish suitable for a light summer lunch. As mentioned above, it's courtesy of TastItalia Magazine. Don't forget to take advantage of the special introductory offer above.


Photo & Recipe TasteItalia

Serves 4

Prep Time:  15 minutes



3 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
A third of the seeds from a pomegranate
4 handfuls of rocket leaves
The Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper
100g Parmesan cheese






Wash and dry the rocket leaves and place in large bowl.


Whisk the olive oil and the lemon juice, then toss the rocket leaves in the dressing. Season to taste.

Share the pear slices across the four plates.


Use the potato peeler to shave Parmesan over the salad. Garnish each plate with the pomegranate seeds and serve.



Food in the news.......


Omega-3 linked to healthy eyes: meta-analysis
A high intake of omega-3 fatty acids and fish may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by up to 38 per cent, suggests a new meta-analysis.

> > > > More  External Link




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



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