Sunday, 23 June 2013

Weekend Kitchen

I had a lovely time pottering about in the kitchen this weekend.  We got late to the market on Friday afternoon, after hanging back at the park with friends, meaning that I got a really great deal on some apricots (our first of the season!) and all the way home on the train I was picturing getting my preserving pan out again.

If you're a long time reader then you'll probably be aware that I have a bit of an addiction to preserving. Once I start, I get carried away. Realistically, what I need is for someone to physically remove the preserving pan from my house by mid September or else I'm in danger of preserving anything that is not nailed down!

first apricots of the season

First up on Saturday I made a small batch of apricot jam (simple recipe: stewing 1lb stoned and halved apricots with 120ml water for 15 mins before adding the juice of half a lemon and 1lb of granulated sugar and bringing to setting point).  As with last year, I'm trying to keep sweeter preserves limited (because we don't use a lot of them) but out of all sweet preserves I tend to crave apricot jam the most.

apricot jam and chutney 2013

Next I made a big batch of my Apricot & Onion Chutney - the perfect accompaniment to cheese, great for crackers, sandwiches, salads, cheese on toast etc.  We use a lot of this around the year and we especially like it to accompany the cheese board at Cheesemas Christmas. 

It feels good to have some preserves tucked away for both our own consumption and as gifts.

Next time I spot some decent apricots I'm going to have to make my awesome apricot curd!

Another batch of those gluten free, chocolate chip banana muffins was made and put into the freezer which will come in handy for days when it's too hot to be baking treats for Cameron's lunches.  Those hot days will come, I'm sure.

I am in planning mode for our annual Midsummers Day celebration and part of the preparation for that was homemade ice cream.  This time around I was tempted by the Full Belly Sisters recipe for Cannoli Icecream with pistachios and dark chocolate.  This recipe contains not cream but ricotta which makes for a really different texture and flavour from traditional ice cream but in a really good way.
I went a step further and added a couple of tablespoons of rose water so now it's kind of creamy/tangy turkish delight flavoured ice cream with chunks of pistachio and dark chocolate. 

making midsummer ice-cream

I don't have an ice cream maker so I just mixed it up and put it in the freezer and it has still worked out  with a soft-serve consistency.
I can't wait for Monday so we can have a proper try - so far I've just sneaked a spoonful just, you know, to make sure it's ok...

Also in the kitchen this weekend: homemade nachos using homegrown salad greens and my Spicy Sweetcorn Relish, green crisps made from homegrown mustard leaves and a new batch of that rhubarb vegannaise that I have been raving about.  

What's going on in your kitchen at the moment?


  1. I do love your kitchen tales - don't ever stop posting them :) Not much going on in my kitchen at the moment and if I don't sort it out I'll have to restart my poor neglected sourdough starter!

    1. Aww I'm glad you enjoy my updates, Suzanne!
      A sourdough starter can be like an extra child, can't it? I'm a bit neglectful with mine if we're not eating a lot of bread.

  2. These all look delicious. I haven't done much preserving lately but this is inspiring.


  3. I like preserving too, problem is I lack cupboard space in the kitchen so where to put it all! Your apricot jam and chutney sound nice, I will have to try the chutney, I make one using apples in the fall, and it is gone so quickly. The ice cream sounds good too. All your kitchen makings always look so delicious!

    1. Hi Gail, I hear you on the lack of cupboard space! I keep my jars of preserves in boxes on top of the cupboards.
      My chutney has quite a lot of apples in it, too.


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