Monday, 12 August 2013

Wild Berries

Before we bought our house, when it was empty, we would park at the edge of the woods and walk along the path to peek in the open back door to the garden. I felt a prickle of magic then and don't think it has ever left me. Every day I'm thankful for that back door to the woods.

These last few days the children and I have been picking brambles and wild raspberries on every walk. I'm stowing away the brambles in bags in the freezer till I have enough for bramble jelly. 

Bramble jelly is the most wonderful of preserves, it's jewelled, almost black colour and amazing aromatic depth of flavour are like nothing else. Making my beloved jelly in the next few weeks will just about ease my sadness at Autumn's creeping fingers - I am not quite ready to give up summer yet!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Jack Monroe

Sometimes you just have to believe the hype. I first read about Jack Monroe a few months ago as she cascaded around the media in a whirl of positive spin. Straight away I loved her - everything she stood for; her politics, her cooking, her smart mouth. She had budget cooking nailed.

My Mum always used to say that she knew a recipe would be good when she could taste it as she read it. That's how I felt when I read her 'Creamy Salmon Pasta'. I was even more determined to cook it when she blogged that some were 'sniffy' about her methods and recipes, particularly so of a recipe that's main constituents are a jar of value fish paste and plain yoghurt. Now snobbery aside I could see how the recipe would work and the fact that you can enjoy a delicious salmon pasta dish for 27p a serving is nothing short of genius. But the proof is in the cooking and I made it for the family last night and I can say without a doubt it is delicious. Light and creamy, with a chilli kick, it disappeared from all the plates pronto.

Do yourself a favour and cook it, also check out Jack's blog. As well as having a great stack of family friendly recipes, she is a really good writer, able to put into eloquent words my (and many others) anger at the way things are going in this country of ours today. There is life crushing poverty out there. The are families like you and I using food banks every week. But there is hope for a new way forward, the blog is full of compassion, anger and a will to change things for the better. And it is a start to begin and to end with kindness.

As she quotes so perfectly in a blog post today these words by Jackie Oates

“May the kindness, that starts with you
Turn full circle, when it’s due.
And the flame that burns your heart,
Burn with love that holds us now we part.”