No. 33 - May 2005

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Happy Cooking ! 



Florence Sandeman, Editor




Food Funny


What's the definition of Yogurt?

A semi-solid dairy product made from partially evaporated and fermented milk. Yogurt is one of only three foods that taste exactly the same as they sound. The other two are goulash and squid.

What's New This Month


Cooking by Country



Click the picture to find out about the Polish culinary cultures and history, present day cooking and customs plus lots of recipe



Ingredient Analysis


Star Anise

Click the picture to find lots of information about Star Anise plus lots of recipes



Cooking Tip of the Month

To freeze leftover egg yolks

Egg yolks thicken or gel when frozen and defrosted. To prevent this, beat either 1/8 teaspoon of salt or 1 teaspoons sugar into every 120ml/4fl.oz. of egg yolks. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the prepared egg yolks into each compartment of an ice cube tray. Freeze then transfer to plastic bags making  sure to label the bag with the date, and ingredient added (i.e. salt or sugar) so you know whether to add the yolks to savoury or sweet dishes. Use one cube for every egg yolk called for in a recipe. 



What's in Season

Asparagus, early beans, broccoli, carrots, cherries, chervil, early cucumbers,  green apricots, kale,  lettuce,  new potatoes,  pears, radish, rosemary, spinach, spring greens, early strawberries, watercress



How does your  Kitchen Garden grow



By the end of May the temperature and low risk of frosts means you can start sowing the seed of more tender plants such as courgettes, marrows, runner, dwarf and green beans and outdoor cucumbers however if any frosts are expected, be prepared to cover the new seedlings with cloches or fleece.


Continue to sow beetroot, broad beans, cabbage,  turnips, cauliflowers, peas, and parsnips through to mid-may and further small sowings of carrots, lettuce, radish, spinach and spring onions to ensure a continuous harvest.. Continue gradually thinning out seedlings to their final spacing


Continue to sow tomatoes Aubergines, and Capsicums and sow dwarf and French  beans  3 to a 7.5cm/3-inch pot.


Continue thinning out seeds which were sown in pots or trays last month



Plants such as tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, courgettes and capsicums which were sown indoors last month should be potted up individually to 7.5cm/3-inch pots by the time they have reached 10cm/4-inches tall.


Once all danger of frosts have passed, start hardening off indoor sown plants. It's best to leave this until very late in May.


For detailed growing instructions visit growing herbs and vegetables section


Readers' Questions


I see in your recipe for mango chutney you mention pickling salt, could you please tell me what this is ?



Pickling salt is similar to table salt, but doesn't have the iodine and anti-caking additives which can turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. You can use table salt , but the pickles won't look as nice. Coarse Kosher salt is a better substitute as it doesn't contain iodine.


Designer kitchenware for the home and the enthusiastic or professional chef.

Suppliers of high quality pans, knives, toasters, coffee machines, blenders, salt/pepper mills, kettles, food processors, ice cream makers and juice extractors by Cole and Mason, Cuisinart, Dualit, Gaggia, JA Henckels, Kitchenaid, Magimix, Meyer and Sabatier



Something to be grateful for

Any of you who have been kind enough to buy my cookery book  "This book may contain Nuts"  may think that I'm insensitive to food allergy sufferers.  Au contraire.  In fact, having been a minor sufferer myself, I know what it's like to eat something which subsequently makes you react in such a violent way as to make you swear you're never going to eat again. I was lucky in that mine wasn't really an allergy but merely an intolerance.

Today it seems more and more people are suffering with food allergies and National Allergy Week (16 - 23 May 2005) serves to increase understanding and awareness of all allergies including those relating to food.


You may be interested to know that true food allergies are actually fairly uncommon (less than 1% of the population).  Other kinds of food reactions (intolerances) are much more common (about 20% of the population).


Now, I know I just said I'm not insensitive to allergy sufferers,  but the above statistics (taken from make me wonder if some people say they are allergic to something when in actual fact they just don't like it.... sounds less picky if they have an "allergy" ? Or am I being cynical?


I don't know if it's the same for everyone with a food "intolerance", but in my case after laying off the offending article for a couple of years I now find I can eat them every once in a while but funnily enough only organic ones and only 2 or 3 at a time.


Yes, despite the rather distasteful reaction I had to eating mushrooms (I won't go into it here as it will put you off your food, which would rather defeat the object of this newsletter) I'm afraid my gluttony and sheer stubbornness far outweighed any thoughts that I may be joining the growing band of food intolerant people, so I kept trying with them ....until I got it right!


Please note - I am NOT suggesting that anyone with a true food allergy tries this method. I'm just saying that I was (a) greedy and (b) lucky.


So, as someone who has been known to put this growing phenomenon down to the fact that kids nowadays aren't being allowed to eat enough dirt when they're toddlers,  I felt quite pious and proud, that I'd managed to put together a reasonably good recipe resource catering for the most common food allergies namely dairy,  gluten/wheat and eggs.... until someone wrote to me about salicylate sensitivity.


I'd never heard of it so I did some research. "Salicylate is found in most food that grows in or out of the ground" Vegetables, herbs, spices (including good old pepper!),  fruit. Can you imagine that?!


However even with this allergy, all is not lost as it would appear that some items contain less salicylate than others so can be eaten in small quantities depending on the level of intolerance but still....sheeesh.


I promised to devise/find some recipes which would be suitable but to be quite truthful, the mere thought of cooking without any of the above is  DAUNTING. If any of you out there have got any ideas or suitable recipes they would be most gratefully received.


Happy -

(I'm only very slightly intolerant to Mushrooms )



Ever fancied a Gastronomic holiday abroad? Click on the banner below to find out more but don't wait too long as places are limited to this exclusive event.





It's National Vegetarian Week

Monday 23rd - Sunday 29th May 2005


Even if you're a confirmed carnivore why not check out the vegetarian sections for some truly scrumptious recipes.  I bet you won't even miss the meat. One way or another there are well over 1000 vegetarian recipes to choose from - soups, starters, main courses, sauces, sides, desserts, cakes and bakes and lots more.


If you have a particular ingredient you want to use, why not use the search form to find a vegetarian recipe for it by adding "vegetarian"  to the search.  e.g. Cheese main course vegetarian....even quicker - use the abbreviations Cheese Veg  MC. I just tried it and there are well over 70!





Whether you're looking for everyday,  exotic or unusual food and drink,  visit 

Food shopping has never been easier !

Recipe of the Month



Cherries in Red Wine Syrup

As fresh cherries have a very short season make the most of them with this simple to make dessert which brings out the best of fresh cherries. As an added bonus, it freezes quite well too so take advantage of the glut.



Serves 4    

Cooking and Prep time:   

30 minutes plus chilling


675g/1- 1/2lb Fresh Cherries, pitted

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

480ml/16fl.oz. Red Wine

120ml/4fl.oz. Water

1 x 7.5cm/3-inch Cinnamon Stick

The thinly pared zest of 1/2 Orange

2 heaped teasp Arrowroot








1. Place the cherries in a saucepan together with the sugar, wine, water, cinnamon and orange zest.


2. Bring to the boil, stirring then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.


3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or teacup, mix the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons of water.


4. Add the arrowroot mixture to the cherries, mixing well and continue to simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the syrup is clear.


5. Remove the heat from the pan,  allow to cool then remove the cinnamon and orange zest and chill the cherries for and least 1 hour.


Serve chilled with sponge fingers and fresh whipped cream.


Find UK Holiday Cottages



New and featured Recipes 

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


Dairy Free Parsley Sauce    Vegan     GF   DF  

Aubergine Tempura   Vegan     GF   DF  

Cardamom Peas   Vegan     GF   DF  

Moroko   GF   DF  

Garlic Asparagus with Ginger     V  DF  

Polish Dill Sauce     V

Cucumbers in Sour Cream      GF

Polish Beets      GF

Cauliflower Polonaise    

Creamed Mushrooms      GF  

Potato Noodles        DF  

Onion Mashed Potatoes    GF   


Desserts Cakes & Bakes




Apples in Red Wine   V GF   DF

Orange Mazurka      V

Warm Anise White Chocolate Sauce     V

Venezuelan Chocolate Ice Cream        GF

Chilli Poached Pears      GF   DF

Spiced Almond Biscotti       V

Baked Coconut Rice Pudding      GF

Vegan Chocolate Cake   Vegan    DF  

Dairy Free Onion Focaccia    Vegan   DF

Gluten Free Mini Shortbreads   V   GF

Soups, Appetisers & Starters

Tomato Anise Soup    Vegan  GF   DF  

Potato and Olive Oil Soup   Vegan  GF   DF  

Vegetable and Bean Soup    Vegan  GF   DF  

Chickpea and Spinach Tapas    Vegan     GF   DF  

Prawn and Avocado Cocktail    GF   DF

Mediterranean Grilled Sardines    GF   DF

Herring in Sour Cream      GF

Potato Fingers     V

Beetroot Soup      GF

Wild Mushroom Soup     GF

Asparagus Milanese     GF

Chicken Pakoras


Main Courses 

Sweet and Sour Tofu Salad

Trout with Rhubarb Sauce

Malay Chicken Curry    GF   DF  

Honan Braised Duck

Cantonese Roast Pork   DF  

Beef Pho

Oregano Braised Lamb    GF   DF

Lamb with Garlic and Sweet Potatoes   GF   DF

Potato Rosti with Bean Salsa    Vegan     GF   DF  

Chicken with Dill Sauce      GF

Fish in Horseradish Sauce

Breaded Pork

Hunters Stew     DF  

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls      GF


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