Sunday, 26 June 2016

Fruit by Rosemary Sassoon

Book Guild Publishing recently sent me a copy of the newly published book from Rosemary Sasson, Fruit - Grow, cook and preserve your own.

This handy sized softbacked book retails for £9.95 and is not your usual preserving, gardening book. Its more a sort of diary and the musings of Rosemary, her garden and how she uses the produce she grows. 

Its a practical book illustrated with her own photographs and rather than lavish pages of recipes its a chatty guide in three parts, Growing, Cooking and preserving. The last section particularly also reflects on life and its demands which impact the time or ability  you have to garden and cook as you progress through life. There are lots of handy hints, tips and ideas on using produce if a little focused on the more suburban or country dweller.

Market Fresh - Cakes from a Country Kitchen at Bees Country Kitchen, Chorley.

On gorgeous sunny summer day in England, scrub that, who am I kidding on a humid dank overcast and thundery summers day intrepid members of South Lancashire Clandestine Cake club made their way through floods (yes really it was right up to the wheels on the car) and thunderstorms to have a beautiful summer themed cake club at Bees Country Kitchen, Chorley Market.

Our theme was Market Fresh - Cakes for a country kitchen to tie in with the fact that our host are on Chorley Market and are proud to use produce sourced from the market in their delicious range of fresh, seasonal and healthy country style street food. Their range includes, stews, curry's and casseroles, rich in fresh vegetables and a fab range of cakes, check out their facebook or instagram feed for more. Sarah one of members runs Bees with her husband and daughter so we had the perfect hosts for our gathering. Lashings of hot drinks where consumed from the cute enamel mugs and we munched cake off lovely vintage crockery.

We had a fab range of cakes 

Eton Mess Cake

Semi naked Cake

Zucchini cake

Peach and raspberry cake

Apricot and butternut squash cake

Banana, raspberry charlotte russe

Blueberry, raspberry and lime drizzle cake

We didn't let the horrid weather spoil things and had a great time under the awnings sharing cake and sheltering from the rain, we attracted quite a lot of  attention from shoppers in the market who were admiring our gorgeous range of cakes. 

Many thanks to Bees Country Kitchen for being such lovely hosts.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Gill Osborne - Middle Holly Cottage

We have another shy featured foodie this month, so instead of a picture of Gill we have a photo of the lovely Middle Holly Cottage which Gill runs with her husband Andy, as a country B and B and now Tea Room and Cake Parlour. Despite hailing from other parts Gill loves Lancashire and its produce which she uses extensively in her establishment.

What is your favourite cookery or food book or publication?
That’s difficult bearing in mind I must have over 100 cookery books on my shelf! I mostly use books by Annie Rigg, Rachel Allen, Mary B, Dan Lepard. Pinterest is great and so is the Internet. Plus I do purchase several monthly publications too.

What sentence sums up Lancashire Food to you ?
Good, honest, down to earth and wholesome food, maybe with a few tweaks here and there!

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you like to be ?
That’s, easy, I’d love to run my own high street bakery selling high quality bread, cakes and patisserie.

Which piece of kit could you not do without ?
My 35 year old Kenwood Chef, my third arm. I’ve used it nearly every day and it’s only let me down once. In my opinion it was the best wedding present we got!

Who would join you at your ultimate dinner party and why?
Just my family, they’re the most important people in my life. I don’t think I could handle anyone famous, I’d be too on edge and not sleep for days before!

What would you tell your younger self?
Go for it, believe in your own ability, don’t be afraid of what others think, just be your own confident self

Describe your style in three words
Honest, Creative, Confident

What was your latest foodie gadget purchase?
A little Russell Hobbs blender, great for whizzing herbs or bits of anything really. Oh and my microplane greater – every kitchen should have one!

What is your greatest achievement to date?
Opening the tea room at Middle Holly Cottage, my dream to bake for others to enjoy.

What is the worst mistake you have made?
Not going to catering college when I left school, it wasn’t the thing to do then but gosh do I wish I had. Everything I know now is pretty much self taught.

Tell us a secret about yourself ? It may be something we wouldn’t expect !
I was a Rosebud Queen in our village fete when I was 8 years old. I still have the head-dress I wore.
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