No. 70 - September 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 Additions !
More articles on culinary subjects have been added including lots of original Mrs Beeton Recipes
New Additions !
We've added more instruction videos to this section. Remember. there's no need to download anything. Click the picture to go to the main Cooking Videos page.
of the Month
As September is Mushroom Month, I decided to do a (well overdue) page on them. Click the picture.
Food in Film
Click the film to see the next in the series.
Click the picture to find this month'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 September
Click here to see what's in season this month and to find a Farmers' Market near you (UK). Lots of seasonal recipes too
How does your Kitchen Garden grow
Now that most of the hard preparation work has been done and you should be harvesting the fruit (and veg) of your labours.
Remember to keep tomatoes, peppers and aubergines fed every week and water all plants regularly until fruiting finishes.
To aid the ripening of cordon tomatoes, remove some of the leaves or branches which may be shielding the tomatoes from the sun.
The main thing about these is to make sure the plants are anchored firmly by bringing up the surrounding soil and firming. You should keep an eye on this right up until you harvest them which could be as late as December.
Continue to protect the white curds from the elements by gently folding the leaves over the top of them.
Oh, and you might as well clear the plot of spent vegetation as you go. Not only saves a mammoth job in the future but also helps protect against disease.
For detailed growing instructions visit our specialist growing herbs and vegetables section
* * * Winner of the July New subscriber prize draw * * *
TW of London, UK
* * * New Section* * *
Some of you may have noticed the slight site re-design at the beginning of August which incorporates a new navigation button at the top of the page to a recently added section - Food and Health.
As with many of the sections on this site, I am planning to build it up over the coming months to include some basics relating to how food contributes to the body's well being including general nutrition, pages on the various components which make for a balanced diet and other food related health subjects.
6th - 21st September is Scottish Food Fortnight. Scottish Food Fortnight is a national promotion of Scottish food and drink organised and funded by the Scottish Countryside Alliance Educational Trust. The campaign was established in 2003 to raise awareness of the quality and variety of food and drink and has grown to be one of the key events in Scotland's food calendar.
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20th Sep - 5th Oct 2008 is British Food Fortnight. Now in its seventh year, British Food Fortnight is the biggest national celebration of the diverse and delicious range of food that Britain produces. This year the Department of Health has teamed up with British Food Fortnight to promote the importance of its 5 A DAY
> > > > > More
27th Sep - 5th October 2008 is British Cheese Week
Many people pass over British cheese for French or Italian cheese, but with over 700 cheeses being made in Britain today, and with a very long history in cheese-making, they shouldn't. Not only is the UK still producing traditional and new British cheeses but our cheese-makers have gone a few steps further and today there is more mozzarella produced in the UK than in Italy.
> > > > > More
6th - 21st Organic Fortnight (UK)
Every year in the UK £120m of tax-payers money goes towards removing chemicals from drinking water which are mainly present as a result of the pesticides used in farming. I'm afraid I didn't have time to research other parts of the world, but I think it's safe to say that it would be a similar situation in other developed countries.
My own opinion about organic veggies is rooted in growing some of my own produce. I can buy non-organic carrots at the supermarket which keep really hard in the fridge for over a week, but my own carrots start getting bendy after a couple of days. I know exactly what's gone on mine, so I know they are free of pesticides or anything else which may affect their keeping properties. Could it just be the varieties commercial growers choose to produce? For me the verdict is still way out.
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Still A time of Plenty
I've been lucky this year. Not only is my own little "plot" still producing an abundance of veggies, but my father's garden has also done well enough for him to give me lots of onions and sweetcorn. For the first time in ages, I have enough produce to not only eat fresh, but also preserve. Click the pickles to visit our Jams, pickles and preserves section for lots of recipes to use up any excess produce harvested at this bountiful time.
Other food celebrations in September include:-
5th - 20th Seafood Fortnight (UK)
National Biscuit Month
National Chicken Month
National Honey Month - See Honey week
National Rice Month
I just read your article about almonds. I often see them fresh (in their green skins) in the markets in France. What do I do with them? Peel and dry? Are they ready to eat?
No need to dry them. Simply cut the green hull along the seam with a paring knife, split open the shell and remove the kernel. It's likely the almonds you are seeing are young, immature ones which will have a much milder flavour and softer texture than mature nuts. You can just eat them or use them in recipes.
* * * 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 Seven
Same year fruiting Strawberries
The variety is Sarian
The variety is Yellow Baby
Please show yourself sun
Lots more flowers but the fruit doesn't seem to be developing very quickly so I have just moved the pot to an area which gets sun most of the day in an effort to speed things up. I should really have done that before now but I kept hoping for the sun to put its hat on.
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Well, at least it's flowering which leads me to believe that had I got my act together, I might have had some fruit this year. As it is, not one bit of watermelon has passed my lips this summer. . . . my penance for not having fulfilled the challenge :(
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Recipe of the Month
Baked Marrow Stuffed with Two Cheeses
This is a great recipe for this time of year when marrows are in season and at their best. Use your own choice of vegetables to customise this dish - for instance, if you don’t like celery or peppers, use mushrooms instead.
Recipe and picture courtesy of The British Cheese Board
Preparation & Cooking Time : 40 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
50g (2oz) frozen sweetcorn
50g (2oz) frozen peas
50g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs
100g (4oz) Lancashire or Cheshire cheese, crumbled or grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 marrow, cut into 8 slices and deseeded
50g (2oz) Red Leicester or mature Cheddar cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Lightly grease a large baking dish or baking sheet with a teaspoon of the olive oil.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion, celery and pepper for 3 - 4 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the sweetcorn and peas. Reserve a couple of tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, then stir the rest into the vegetables with the Lancashire or Cheshire cheese and chives or parsley. Season.
3. Arrange the marrow slices in the baking dish or on the baking sheet. Pack with the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the reserved breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, removing the foil for the final 10 minutes so that the tops brown.
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