You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Food’ tag.

If you ignore the peeling paint in the back of the room (our house is still very much a work in progress) our house is looking quite Christmassy. 

I have hung ivy and holly from most of the pictures, the staircase is wrapped in yet more ivy, the tree is decorated and sparkling, and the mantlepiece is twinkling with jam jars of tealights amongst fir branches.

Today I did the first part of my Christmas food shop – my bags were full of goodies…Morecambe Bay potted shrimp…herb encrusted salami…Wensleydale cheese studded with cranberries…and a few things I can’t mention as they’re for Mr Rigg’s stocking..ssh!

I love Christmas.

There are some fantastic Christmas markets in Manchester at the moment, full of delicious foods.  From Raclette melted over new potatoes and gerkins, to spaetzle and paella there are all kinds of goodies.

One of my favourite things at the Christmas markets is Flammkuchen – a German style pizza topped with a creamy sauce, bacon and onion.  When I cook so much at home, it always feels quite expensive to eat at the markets.  So instead we decided to give it a go at home.

I went in search for a recipe – mind you, it took me a while to get the spelling correct!  I was inspired by this recipe because it used quark – an ingredient I’ve seen before but never known what to do with it.  Here was the perfect opportunity to quell my interest – turns out it’s like cottage cheese without the lumps.  Quite nice!

Flammkuchen

Pizza dough
Creme fraiche
Sour cream
Quark
Pancetta or bacon
Onion
Black pepper

Preheat your oven 220°C.

Roll out the pizza dough as thin as you can.

Finely slice the onion – the thinner the better as the onion isn’t pre-cooked.  I used pancetta rather than bacon and sliced it into lardons.

In a bowl mix equal amounts of creme fraiche, sour cream and quark. 

Spread the creme fraiche mixture over the pizza dough, top with sliced onion and bacon before popping it into the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until it’s golden.

All it needs before eating is a good grind of black pepper…or not if your Mr Rigg.

Any other suggestions on what to do with the remaining quark would be graciously received!

Sometimes you just need something simple, quick and tasty to eat in front of the telly.  For me this week it was mushrooms on toast.  Made with mushrooms from Unicorn Grocery and bread from Barbakan.

Where has the week gone?  Not much excitement on the food front to report – but tonight Mr Rigg and I have planned out our meals (in theory!) for the next week.  There’s something deeply satisfying about being grown up and able to write a list of all the things you want to eat and being able to go out, buy the ingredients, and come home and eat those things.

As well as food planning, I’m also longing for a weekend of getting the house ready for Christmas – hopefully a tree can be found and a wreath put up.  Is anyone else starting to decorate for Christmas?

So excited – treated myself to the new Jamie Oliver recipe book that was on deal in Waterstones!  It looks fantastic, loads of lovely meals and recipes, and I love his family-style sharing way of presenting food and eating it.

Can’t wait to try some out!  Anyone else made any of his 30-minute meal recipes?  Where should I start?

I love the sound of the kimchee slaw that goes with this green curry…

Or maybe his Swedish style fish cakes with zingy salsa…

Or this gorgeous platter of smoked salmon with beets and cottage cheese…

Last weekend we had some beautiful bright, crisp weather – blue skies, sunshine and lovely autumn colours.  Mr Rigg, Buddy and I walked to our local woodland in search of sloes to make sloe gin.

Armed with baskets we headed to the first spot I knew of – however, someone else had thought it was a good day for picking sloes so we carried on to the second patch I knew of and thankfully we found quite a number of them.

Picking sloes is a long slow process.  They are small and dotted along branches that are armed with long thorns to prick your fingers.  With the weather so lovely we were in no hurry, so pushed our way into the bushes picking off the fruits.

When we had picked what we could we headed into the woods in search of more bushes.  We had almost given up when we came across three good bushes where we picked the remainder of our haul.

At home we discovered we had picked 1.6kg of sloes!  We had only wanted about 400g…oops!  With a couple of bottles of gin and granulated sugar we started to make our sloe gin.  Sat in front of the Grand Prix we pricked every sloe multiple times with a pin, then we measured them into bottles and topped up with the sugar and gin. 

We followed Darina Allen’s recipe for Sloe Gin from her Forgotten Skills of Cooking – to 700g of sloes use 350g granulated sugar and 1.2 litres of gin.  Once bottled, seal tightly and store in a dark place, turning every couple of days to start with, then every couple of months.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’m 26 and I’ve only just got an ipod.  Not that I’ve needed one up until this point, but we are hoping to use it for music at our wedding in May.

I didn’t think they were that exciting…until I discovered the wealth of food related podcasts available to download for free!  I have been busy listening to Nigel Slater talking about the different seasons and the foods he likes to eat and how, and Shelia Dillon’s Food Programme on ‘the sandwich’.

Fascinating stuff!  Looking forward to listening to them in the car when stuck in traffic coming home from work. 

Image: Izzy Burton Photography

I thought I should just explain the lack of posting…my camera is broken.  I feel lost without it – I don’t quite know how I can blog, food just doesn’t seem as interesting when only written about.  So I shall have to post lots of other people’s lovely images.

So, at a time when money is tight and I can’t go out and just buy a new one I am having to think creatively about how to raise the funds for a new camera.  Until that time, you and I are going to have to be content with camera phone pictures – great from a distance, not so good on close-ups of scrumptious food.

Oh well.

Recently we have eaten lots more corn on the cob cooked simply with butter, salt and pepper; sweetcorn fritters – this time with slithers of crispy bacon and tomato salsa; homemade rice paper rolls filled with loads of raw veggies and a soy and ginger dipping sauce – Tes at Home has a great recipe for her spring rolls with creamy peanut sauce.

And I have finally accepted autumn is upon us by starting my day with a bowl of porridge drizzled with maple syrup.  I am quite excited about autumn…Halloween…Bonfire Night…and then Christmas.

Images: {1 and 2} Martha Stewart; {3} Country Living

 

Last night was perhaps one of the loveliest evening’s I can remember for a long time.  We had dinner at Riverford’s Travelling Field Kitchen on Stockley Farm in Cheshire.

To reach Stockley Farm you must go down winding country lanes that seem to lead you nowhere.  This added to the mystery of the night – we knew when and where to turn up and that the the dinner would be seasonal, local and mostly organic.  Otherwise, we we in the dark.

Dinner was held in a field in a large yurt with a smaller yurt attached at the entrance, it’s outside draped with bunting and inside haybales, piles of cushions, pots of summer flowers and boxes of Riverford veg. 

Inside the main yurt there were large ash tables with benches and chairs.  In the centre of the yurt was a large wood-burning stove gently heating the room. 

We took a cushion to sit on and took our seats at our table, said hello to our fellow diners and supped on our drinks (organic larger for Mr Rigg and a Luscombe Scilian lemonade for me).

And so dinner began. 

Starters were platters of homemade dips (one of beetroot, another of courgette, a baba ganoush and a hummous), bowls of crisp vegetables (including khol rabi and purple cauliflower!) and a basket of bread.   

The main course was all served at the table ‘family’ style – large platters to pass and share.  There was…

  • slow-roast lamb and perfectly pink leg of lamb served with Puy lentils
  • butternut squash and pecan tart for the veggies
  • hispi (pointed) cabbage with runner beans
  • broccoli with lemon and chilli
  • carrots braised in honey and flecked with cumin seeds
  • and a salad of watercress, fennel, orange and olives.

Dessert was also served at the table to dig into yourselves – there was…

  • a generous bowl of blueberry and custard Eton Mess
  • delicate slithers of pear and almond tart
  • and dense chunks of chocolate and walnut brownie (possibly the best brownie ever – moist and cakey, dense and fudgy, deep with dark chocolate with only a hint of sweetness, and an earthiness from the nuts.

I haven’t gone into detail on the tastes and flavours of each item, because truly everything was stunning.  Most of the dishes are in the Riverford Farm Cookbook (which I own and adore) but last night we both tried dishes I would normally overlook. 

For example, I (usually) deteste the idea of fruit in a salad – so one that combined orange and olives just didn’t appeal to me and so I wouldn’t try making it at home. 

But with the dish there for you to have as little or as much as you wish, you think ‘oh well, why not!’ and so I tried it …  and I enjoyed it.  Oranges and olives do go together in this delicious salad.

Our table was a mixture of young and old: a married couple with children who are Riverford customers, a family spanning the generations, and a younger couple like ourselves who’d booked the night as an anniversary treat. 

The staff were friendly and polite, the food was fantastic, and the atmosphere in the yurt was happy, relaxed, and full of chatter.

If only eating out was always this pleasurable.

Sorry – no food pictures, was having too much fun and it was too dark!

A Local Kitchen is a fabulous food blog with lashings of great recipes and lots of local food info for those living in New York’s Hudson Valley.  So I might live a million miles away from Kaela’s local food haven, but I share her love for local and regional food.

At the moment it is a treasure trove of recipes for chutneys, preserves and vinegars – to name but a few!  This recipe for Roasted Tomato and Chipotle Salsa sounds divine.

Image: A Local Kitchen

I am so incredibly tired at the moment, tired but exciting and happy.  The past month just seems to have slipped past – I struggle even to remember what I did last weekend my week has been so busy.

I am a self-confessed ‘jack-of-all-trades’ at the moment.  I have two jobs, multiple voluntary jobs and a website to run.  This is why I have gone ‘quiet’ over the past few days…but I have some exciting news to share!

I have just got a voluntary job at the National Trust producing a sustainable food newsletter (among other things).  The National Trust is an organisation I’ve long aspired to work for, so it’s so exciting to be working with them and on food-related issues! 

In addition to that I have recently starting working in one of my local farm shops, which is also a lovely addition to my week. 

But for today (or at least yesterday – I’m now into tomorrow…) I am done and off to bed.  Too many hours have been spent looking at a laptop screen.  Next week Mr Rigg and I are on holiday at home, so hopefully I can get some rest and catch up on life.

Bookmark and Share

Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

My Pictures

All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent recipes

Food memories: Greece

Food Memories: Dordogne

Food Memories: Amalfi Coast

Food Memories: Naples

Food Memories: Loire Valley

Food Memories: Sweden

Food Memories: Barcelona