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Still excellent growing weather for vegetables

Its Sunday again – and raining (again !)  It seems for every lovely summer’s day or two we have to pay back with a day of heavy rain.  Not complaining though because this year my vegetable garden has never looked so good.  My sprout plants are nearly as tall as me and I have kale and leeks, strong and plentiful and they will see me through the winter.

This week I pickled red cabbage ready for Christmas and dealt with a glut of tomatoes by making them into a thick sauce which I then froze in 300ml washed out plastic single cream containers.

On Friday I cooked for a group of friends.  I always enjoy cooking and baking for people because my challenge always is to have everything organised in such a way that I stay with my guests rather than having to behave like some sort of outside caterer – stuck in the kitchen and appearing from time to time either to clear away plates or present another course.  It’s so annoying for me if I am not part of the party – missing the jokes, the laughs and banter all because there is this need to arrange a garnish or check the broccoli has not overboiled !

How many times are you invited to a friend’s house and so often the hosts are not seen ?  The cook (male or female) is stressing in the kitchen whilst their opposite number is trying to diffuse the heated situation in the kitchen and at the same time entertain the guests – nightmare !

I now have this streamlined and down to a fine art – maybe some tips and hints should be shared with readers in the future.

Anyway, back to my meal with friends.  One is gluten intolerant and so rather than make him “special” by offering him a plate of fruit as dessert whilst we all tucked into freshly baked apple pie I decided to serve everyone deep filled, individual, gluten free apple pies and custard !

I was pleased with the outcome so shared my photo with Twitter and was surprised at the response.  Many people “favourited” the photo and others asked me to share the recipe.  I attach it this week as promised.

Gluten free sweet shortcrust pastry is a challenge but as soon as it gets difficult to handle, pop it into the fridge for ten minutes or so to firm up.  Then get back to it and show who’s boss !

Speaking of gluten – bread week on Bake Off was amazing.  Each week I am inspired to try something new.  I thought however I would give the 3D bread sculpture a miss but did make an amazing tasty pancetta, cheese and spring onion quick bread.

Those 3D breads were brilliant – such imagination and skill.  Well done Ian, Paul, Tamal and Flora.  Desserts next week – can’t wait !

Have a good week x










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